To make cheese you need to separate the milk into curds and whey. Curds are a coagulation of the long chain casein proteins in the milk, the whey is the liquid (also containing protein) that remains uncoagulated. Coagulation is the same thing that happens to egg when its cooked, its just the solidification process. The separation is achieved either by adding rennet (an enzyme that was originally extracted from kid or calf stomach, but is now usually produced by GM bacteria), or by increasing the acidity of the milk (either with a weak acid, such as lemon juice or vinegar, or by allowing lactic acid bacteria to produce lactic acid in the milk).
I probably just made that sound complicated, but now for the practical advice. The easiest way to make cheese is to just add the cheese culture (i.e. lactic acid bacteria) to some milk and put it in a warm place (or my Easiyo thermos) to ferment. In 24 hours you then strain it through cheese cloth and make cream or cottage cheese.
|I only wrote this post so I could show off the cheese press my husband made. |
In this case its used to drain a soft cheese.
Note the spout welded onto the baking dish underneath
|And here's the press again, being used this |
time being used to press hard cheese in a mold,
notice the springs to add extra pressure.
However, I have made lots of soft cheese, and it is very very easy to make, so don't be put off my all the complexity of hard cheeses! If you want easy cheese, with minimal ingredients and equipment, just make a soft cheese.
Do you make cheese? Any tips? Any questions?
See more cheese-making posts here.