Cheese from One Gallon Milk

The major stages of Cheese Making

ACTION

PURPOSE

1) Inoculate, incubate the milk

Bacteria slightly acidifies (ferments) the milk so that the rennet will act on the milk

2) Add the rennet,  achieve a clean break

Rennet (a digestive enzyme) digests casein, causing it to become insoluble in water and coagulate.

3) Cut and set the curd

Coagulated milk is cut into cubes and warmed to contract the curds ("curds and whey")

4) Separate and salt the curd

Whey is poured off the "curds and whey," and the curds are salted to preserve them

5) Press the curds

Salted curds are loaded into a press which presses out the whey and gives form to the cheese

6) Cure the cheese, wax it

Cheese is dried out and bacteria acts on the curds to change their taste and consistency.  It may be waxed to prevent undesirable dehydration and excessive microbial growth.

One gallon of milk yields about one pound of cheese.  You may use any kind of milk for this recipe..

INGREDIENTS TO TURN ONE GALLON OF MILK INTO ONE POUND OF CHEESE

Apparatus Needed:

PROCEDURE

INNOCULATE THE MILK:

Warm 1 gallon of fresh milk to 20oC (68 o F) in a sterilized pot the evening before you plan to make your cheese! Thoroughly blend in the inoculum of 1.5 Tblspn buttermilk or cup yogurt as starter. Cover the inoculated milk with the sterilized lid. (The function of this inoculation with bacterial starter is to have the milk fermenting bacteria to make lactic acid which lowers the pH so the rennet will be able to act on the casein.)

INCUBATE OVER NIGHT:

Let sit at room temperature overnight (20-22 C).

WARM THE MILK: 

The next morning, warm milk up to 30 C (take care not to burn it)! Meanwhile, dissolve tablet of Rennet in cup cold water.

ADD THE RENNET:  

Add dissolved rennet to the warmed milk, stir to mix thoroughly. Cover and let sit undisturbed for approximately an hour.  Do not disturb the milk until it has coagulated.

ACHIEVE A CLEAN BREAK: 

Test for completed action of rennet ( "clean break "): Probe a clean finger into the (hopefully) gelled milk and lift. If the gel is firm enough to break cleanly as the finger is lifted, go to next step. (If the milk is gelatinous and flows across your finger, let it continue sitting until a clean break is obtained. Do not stir. This may take as long as 1-2 hours.) Be patient, do NOT disturb the milk.

CUT THE CURD: 

Once a clean break is achieved, cut the curd with a long knife: begin at edge of pot, cut straight down to bottom. Cut repeatedly parallel to first cut, but increasing the angle of the knife until reaching other side of pot. Rotate the pot 90 degrees, cut as before. Rotate and cut two more times, yielding inch cubes of curd.

SETTING THE CURD (RAISE AND HOLD THE TEMPERATURE): 

Place pot over a low fire, stir curd with cleaned bare hand by reaching down to bottom, gently lifting and stirring. Cut larger curds as they appear. Do not mash or squeeze. If you wish to save some soft cottage cheese, remove a portion of the curd at this step before you raise the temperature.  Continue stirring for 15 min to prevent the curds from clumping together. The setting temperature makes a great deal of difference in the consistency of the curd/cheese. Heat curds to:

SEPARATE CURDS AND WHEY: 

Stir and maintain desired temperature until curd has contracted to consistency of firm scrambled eggs. Remove from stove. The curds should sink in whey. Decant off through a strainer (you may line the strainer with clean cloth if the curd is very fine grained). Save the whey for ricotta if you like. Place curds in a large bowl.

ADD SALT:

Sprinkle two tsp. salt over curds, working with hands to mix. Pour off accumulated whey. (The salt is necessary so that the cheese will not spoil as it cures. I tried it without salt and it spoiled. However, unsalted, uncured cheese may be frozen until use.)

PRESS THE CHEESE: 

Use sterile cheese cloth to line a smooth-sided 4" x 5" tin can from which both ends have been removed. Place still-warm curds in the cloth, cover curd with the corners of the cloth, lay the cut-out end of the can on top, and place heavy weight to press down. Let sit for minimum of 12 hours.

CURE THE CHEESE: 

The next moening, remove from press, remove cloth, rub outside of cheese with salt and rewrap with fresh cheese cloth. Place wrapped cheese on a rack in the refrigerator. Replace "bandage" daily (as long as it continues to become wet). When a dry yellowish rind forms (about one to two weeks), dip in melted wax, store in refrigerator for about a month (if you can wait that long) or longer for sharper cheese.

Troubleshooting

 

Return to the Main Index to Elkin Vanaeons Website fro the Mysts of Time
 


Idaho Web Design Tools