To make cheese at home it requires first buying a few essential tools and ingredients. You can buy these supplies separately, or an easy option is buying a cheese kit that includes all the essentials.
These kits can be bought from online cheese supply stores. Kitchen supply stores and stores that sell beer brewing equipment typically sell cheesemaking kits and equipment too. Below is a basic shopping list for making small batches of simple cheeses in your own kitchen. Consult the recipe you are... using for specific, additional ingredients and supplies.
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Stainless Steel Pot
Stainless steel is important because it will not react with the ingredients. We find that pots made by All-Clad are durable and heat uniformly. The pot should hold at least 4 to 6 gallons.
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Slotted Stainless Steel Spoon
As with the pot, stainless steel is best because it is non-reactive. Slotted works well because when it comes time to scoop the curds out of the pot, some of the liquid (whey) will drain from the spoon.
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Cheesecloth is a lightweight, gauzy fabric. When wrapped around cheese curds, it is used to drain the liquid (whey) from the curds. Cheesecloth is used in most, if not all, home cheesemaking recipes.
Cheesecloth is also wrapped around certain types of cheese while the wheels age.
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A curd knife is a flat, long knife used for cutting curds. Curd knives can be bought from online stores like New England Cheesemaking Supply Co.
When making small batches of cheese at home, a butter knife can be used instead.Continue to 5 of 12 below.
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Stainless Steel Thermometer
A thermometer makes it easier to know when the milk has warmed to the correct temperature. A thermometer that reads up to at least 225 Fahrenheit and can clip onto the side of a pot and monitor the temperature of the milk as it heats on the stove is best.
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MilkWhole milk works best. Do not buy ultra-pasteurized milk. Look for regular pasteurized milk in the grocery store. If you want to use raw milk or goat’s milk, it is easier to find at gourmet grocery stores or health food stores.
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Rennet is an enzyme that thickens the milk. Rennet is often derived from animals, but vegetable rennet is also available. It comes in liquid or tablet form.Continue to 9 of 12 below.
09 of 12A powder that helps increase acidity and separate the solids (curds) from the liquids (whey)
10 of 12An enzyme that helps specific flavors develop in cheeses like Mozzarella, Blue Cheese and Parmesan
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Salt meant for cheesemaking has no iodine, as iodine will react with essential lactic bacteria. Kosher salt, which typically does not have iodine, can also be used.
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Helps re-stabilize the milk structure of homogenized milk so it will thicken (most milk in grocery stores is homogenized)