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:
- Buy Ricki Carroll’s book: Home Cheese Making.
- Buy a few muslin cheese cloths (about 24 inches square or larger)
- 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
- 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.
- 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!