Basic Cheese Making Supplies

So you want to make cheese, what are some basic equipment and how do you start?  In a separate post, I’ll describe how to make chevre, but let’s start with the basic supplies.  First, as a cheesemaker for a few years, I’d recommend a few easy things to buy:

  1. Buy Ricki Carroll’s book: Home Cheese Making.
  2. Buy a few muslin cheese cloths (about 24 inches square or larger)
  3. Ricki has a website, New England Cheesemaking where you can find a few basic  ingredients: You’ll need some Cheese cultures, rennet, and some basic equipment like a good thermometer
  4. On her website I would recommend a large packet of MA11 enzyme and flora danica and a small bottle of rennet (I use 2oz microbial rennet).  These enzymes are great for making chevre and feta, both cheeses I would recommend for new cheesemakers.  Rennet is a critical ingredient for making curds separate from whey.
  5. Other equipment you need is a large milk pot(1+ to 5 gallons), some string, metal spoon, and a long thin knife.

As you expand your cheesemaking experience you will collect a few more items like a cheese press, but that all comes later…

Next comes milk and I’ll describe in a later post more than you need to know about milk!  For beginner cheese makers, look for pasteurized milk but NOT ultra-pasteurized milk.  If you have a local producer GREAT!  In Northern California we have Strauss dairy which makes great cheese.

For Chevre, look for Pasteurized Goat Milk (Not ULTRA-Pasteurized) and buy a gallon of it.

Once you have basic rennet, enzymes, and the above equipment, you’re ready to go!

-Bill

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