Cheesemaking is usually the art of making cheese using milk. The process of making cheese, such as all food preservation processes, enables the valuable and economic value of an edible product, in this instance milk, to be maintained in concentrated form at temperatures adequate to maintain the original texture and flavour of the product. Unlike other food products that can be kept in plastic or glass containers in refrigerators and cabinets, the texture and flavour of milk cannot be maintained over long periods. The best way to preserve milk is by freezing it or by preserving it before using it in the production of cheeses.
All milk that comes from the cow of one particular species of microorganism is curdled cheese. Most cheesemakers use pasteurized curd from the milk of this species of animal. The curd is made into three main products: whey, fat curd, and curdling milk. There are various techniques used in making cheese and most of these techniques depend upon the type of milk used to create the cheese and the curdling process.
Tools and Equipment
To begin making cheese, you must have the necessary equipment and supplies. You will need the following items when you begin the process of milk curdling: a milk storage bucket with a spout, wooden spoon, a milk thermometer, a milk hand pump, a milk spoon, a plastic milk bucket, a milk carton, a bag of mixed vegetables (diced carrots and peas), a pack of whole grain dry milk, a pack of semi-skimmed milk, a pack of pasteurized milk powder, a pack of evaporated milk powder, a pack of flavouring paste, and a non-stick cooking spray. These are the basic equipment required for home cheese making at home. You can purchase additional equipment, such as pastry bags, but it is important to note that the basic items listed above are very inexpensive and can be found fairly cheaply in any major supermarket. The more expensive equipment may be purchased online or from specialty shops.
Before purchasing any of these items, you should visit your local county office and inquire about the regulations for making cheese at home. Many county offices will require that you either obtain a license or register your business before they will issue you a permit to operate a dairy. Some farmers go through the trouble of registering their operations to avoid being shut down by the local government and having their farms and factories seized and closed. However, most farmers just go about their daily business as normal and do not even realize that the government has any kind of regulations regarding the dairy industry.
The next step in starting to make cheese at home is to select the milk that you wish to use. All cheeses are born with a milk culture; however, some milk cultures are more helpful in producing specific types of cheeses, such as full-fat or low-fat cheese, fat-free or low-fat cheese, and sour cream or yogurt. This is important to note because different milk cultures result in different types of cheese. Most wine producers, for example, make their wine using only natural or pasteurized milk but will blend it with another milk to produce sparkling wine. Cheesemaking requires the milk that is used to make the cheese; however, you can also purchase milk in various packages and varieties, including whole, reduced-fat, and skim. You can also purchase milk in various flavours.
Making Your Cheese
You will need to determine what type of texture you would like to create when making your cheese. Low-fat and skim milk will result in a smoother and gentler cheese. High-fat and whole milk will result in firmer and moister milk that will help with creating a smooth taste. The texture that you create will also affect the number of cheeses that you can produce at one time.
Next, you should add the cultures to the milk that you are going to use. There are many different cultures available, including the bacteria Penicillium. These bacteria are beneficial to the finished product, but only when they are added to unsweetened and non-fat milk. Other cultures help create a firmer, moister and Tangier cheese.
Finally, you add the rennet to the milk. This helps to break down the curds and whey that you have collected while making your cheese. The rennet will keep the curds from curdling, which helps to ensure that your cheese is smoother and easier to drink. The last step is to let the cheese sit until it is completely liquid, which is typically about 2 hours. After this step is completed, you can then put the cheese into your cheesemaking pot and run the steam up through the tubing that came with the kit.