Guide to Home Cheese Making

Guide to getting started in home cheese making, including milk requirements, using rennet, recipes for lactic cheese, Caerphilly, and step-by-step instructions for making cheese.

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My wife, Ricki, and I first got involved with cheese making out of necessity. Over the years, though, our involvement with this ancient culinary craft has grown from necessity to avocation, and has finally become a full-time vocation (we now own and operate a cheese-making supplies company). And believe it or not, that process has been a real adventure.

Our story began when we purchased several milk goats, each of which produced a generous gallon a day. At first we tried drinking the milk as quickly as our does manufactured it. Couldn't be done. Next we tried our hand at making yogurt. But, as with milk, one can consume only so much yogurt before it spoils — so our chickens inherited the surplus, which they gobbled until we feared they'd begin laying curdled eggs. And that was when we decided to try making cheese — a craft about which we knew absolutely nothing!

Guide to Home Cheese Making

Since our local bookstores weren't exactly bulging with tomes on home cheese making, I retreated to the University of Massachusetts Library and invested endless hours in searching out old recipes (primarily of 1800's vintage). As a result of this research, I finally gained enough knowledge and confidence to actually give cheese making a go.

For our premier attempt, we employed a homemade bricks-and-orange-juice-cans press in an effort to turn out a few pounds of feta (a brine-cured goat's-milk cheese of Greek origin). The homespun press did get the job done, but only barely, and it soon became apparent that if Ricki and I were going to continue pursuing our new hobby-of-necessity, we'd have to purchase some specialized equipment.



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