I was posting this for someone on another board and thought while I was at it, I would also put it here in case anyone was interested in trying simple cheese making too.
Try this one, it's fairly simple and one I use a lot. A household favorite.
2 gallons of fresh, unpasteurized milk (I use goat) 1 rennet tablet (www.caprinesupply.com) 2 tsp of citric acid
Put your milk in a large pot and slowly warm to between 86 and 90 degrees (I've found that for me 86 is best. You might have to experiment a couple of times for consistency issues), stirring gently while it's warming.
While the milk is warming, take about 1/4 cup of cool, unchlorinated, unfloridated water and mix the citric acid until dissolved.
Mix this into the warming milk. A slow up and down motion is best. (I use a large, semi-flat, perforated spoon)
Also while the milk is warming, use about the same amount of water to dissolve your rennet tablet.
After you've reached the correct temperature, turn off the heat and gently mix in the dissolved rennet. You will need to gently stir for only between 5 and 20 seconds. If you see the curds start to form (watch carefully) stop mixing immediately.
Take the pot off the stove and cover with a clean towel for about 5 minutes, it needs to stay undisturbed for this time. What you'll see is a (hopefully) large, custard looking substance in the pot, floating in the whey. If you stirred too long and 'broken' the curd, don't worry it's still fine to use and will 're-form' when you hang it.
After the alloted time, and the curd has formed, you can take a long knife and slice the curd into grid-like pieces. (If it doesn't cut well or doesn't look perfect, that's fine).
At this point, you can gently mix into the pot about a tsp of salt to taste.
If you have clean cheesecloth, put some in a strainer and then scoop out the largest pieces of cheese into it. Pour the remaining whey and small pieces in there too. Tie up the ends of the cloth and let the cheese hang for about 10 minutes. Then open the cloth and turn it over and hang it again.
That's it! You've now made your own cheese! Enjoy!
As a note, some people save the whey to use to make riccotta or for use in breads, etc. Some people just use it to drink or give to their animals.
Obviously, keep your cheese in the refrigerator after you're done.
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