Yes, we are here!

At FERMENTATION and MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we have been educating folks about the benefits of self-reliance for 50 years. That includes researching and sourcing the best books and products to help individuals master the skills they need in times like these and beyond. Our online store is open and we are here to answer any questions you might have. Our customer service staff is available Monday through Friday from 8a.m.-5p.m. CDT. We can be reached at 1-800-978-7464 or by email. Stay safe!

Cheesemaking Ingredients: Acid, Cultures, Rennet, Water, Mold and Yeast, Salt

Learn about the components and science that make cheese CHEESE. Also, learn what to do with the main by-product of the process, whey.

| July 2019

Photo from Adobe Stock/lucky_elephant 


Acidification is one of the underlying processes in cheesemaking. As the milk or cheese acidifies (or cultures), it becomes tangy or tart, and the texture changes as a result. Part of what you are controlling with the timing of your cheesemaking is the rate of acidification: Acidify your curd too fast, and it can become grainy or brittle; acidify too slowly, and your pleasantly tangy flavor may turn full-on sour. To jump-start the acidification of milk for cheese, we often add lactic acid-producing bacteria or a pure form of acid directly to the milk.

When I teach tasting classes I like to describe the acidity of a cheese (or a wine, or a beer, or a chocolate, etc.) as the skeleton of the product. I think of it this way: Acidity provides the structure of the thing, which the producer can then adorn with flavor through different techniques and additions, as they see fit.

Here are a few of the acidification “vehicles” you will use to prepare cheese:

Lemon juice is the most recognizable acid. We will use it to coagulate the curd when making Ricotta.

Photo from Stocksy/Todd Lanz



May 16-17, 2020
Nashville, Tennessee

EVENT UPDATE: Unfortunately, we've had to postpone our Tennessee FAIR to 2021 due to COVID-19.


Become a Charter Member Today!


Discover how easy crafting your own money-saving fermented masterpieces can be. 

Become a member today and save as much as 25% off the newsstand price! Get a one-year membership for only $29.95!

As a member of the Fermentation community, you’ll also receive a passport to an array of added benefits specifically catered to food enthusiasts. It all starts with your quarterly magazine package – four handsome premium issues a year that you can confidently reference in the kitchen and proudly display on the coffee table.

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Informationfermentation

click me