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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am already up to my ears in milk and my girls are still each nursing trips!! Time to learn how to make cheese. I need vegetable rennet, which I found... but do you all prefer liquid or tablets? Liquid seems like it would be easier, but let me know if I'm wrong. I would be making small batches, no more than a gallon at a time most likely...at least for now.

After I figure that out... what about cultures? What are they, and how can I know it's not animal based? I am fine with starting simple, but would eventually love to make hard cheeses too.

Is there a great, quick read, how to book out there?
 

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I use tablets...dont know why lol...you canmake simple cheese to useup a lot of milk fast cause it gets eaten fast!!! lol...We call it vinegar cheese, some call it white cheese...lotsof names..but you simply bring your gallonof milk to a boil...remove from heat and add 1/4- 1/2 cup white vinegar and stir to seperate why from the curds...strain the whey (save it for ricotta cheese or use on plants, feed chickens pigs ect...) strain through cheese cloth..salt to taste and let drip to desire dryness...I likeit a bit moist but my husband likes it dry, great for spaggettie, salads ect....we also do this same cheese using the juice from a jar jalepenos (we also add 1/4 cup vinegar to get a good seperation) We chop jalepenos up and add to the cheese..salt and hang to drip to desire dryness...One gallon makes aprox in pound of cheese...
Hoegger has great cheese books as well to go past a simple vinegar cheese : )
we also make home made pudding...freeze some for pudding pops: ) enjoy
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks! I was planning to just do a vinegar cheese, but then all the reviews said it was super bland and flavorless. Found a recipe for cottage cheese (which sounds exactly like the directions for vinegar cheese, just maybe breaking the curds smaller??) and also one for a brick cheese, though it does require rennet. It uses yogurt for the culture though... which is nice.

I'm gonna hit the library tonight and see if I can find some cheese books. Then when I find one I like, will probably buy it.

One other question... is it possible to use a cow-milk recipe or is goat milk too different in makeup? Do I need to be looking specifically for goat cheese recipes?

I can't wait to get started on this!!! I LOVE cheese. If I can make my own cheese and butter... I can avoid commercial dairy entirely!!!!! :cool:

OH... which brings up another question. I have made butter with cow's cream, a mason jar and a marble. But... since goat milk doesn't really separate - I mean, it does a LITTLE... but I get just a teensy bit of cream that I dont know if I could really skim off or not... how do ya'll do your butter??? Do I just have to start saving a tsp of cream at a time? Or is there an easier way?
 

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Sure the vinegar cheese is bland if you put nothing in it. I used sea salt and my favorite herb mix and it was absolutely delish! You go through a box of crackers very quickly too! ;)

Unfortunately you probably won't find the Cheese Maker's Journey in the library. You can do cow milk recipes but I know there are some differences so it may not turn out on first try. I guarantee that if you order Cheese Maker's Journey book, you won't regret it. I have found that book to have the easiest instructions and my Chevre turned out great on the first try. The author has been making cheese from goat milk for over 20 years and she gives great detailed step by step instructions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
**Adding crackers to grocery list** :book:
 

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I a gree with Karen..I cant keep the vinegar cheese..kids andhubby gobble it up all the time..adding salt and herbs garlic..you can play with it and find what the family likes..Mine eat the jalenpano cheese like crazy...Im a wimp so I like it salted ..maybe fresh herbs..the longer it sits with herb the better it absorbs the flavor..also getting your salt amount how you like it might take some playing..good luck : )
Oh, Yes you can use any Cow milk cheese recipe with goats milk...and you either need to let goats milk sit to cream up or buy a cream seperater...the problem with letting it sit to cream up is stronger goat flavor..some like it some dont ...
 

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i use this website, and they have all the cheese making products with recipes that you might need. i use the tablet rennet
http://www.cheesemaking.com/

if you're wanting to make kefir with real kefir grains, this site sells real freeze dried ones that you have to bring back to life. it's great. i've had mine for a long time, and have tons if i didn't try to kill my grains...lol. i recommend the grains over the powder. grains can last you forever whereas the powder only lasts a few rounds of kefir making.
http://www.culturesforhealth.com/starter-cultures/kefir-cultures.html
 

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Oooh Oooh vinegar cheese? A bowl full with crackers makes an easy breakfast, lunch or snack.:)
Rice vinegar is very good to use. Once I found champagne V & that was wonderful! A little pricey but worth the flavor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
OH wait... I can use flavored vinegar?!?! I have a pomegranite basalmic... wonder if that would work. That would be YUMMY!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
So... just finished first batch. Used half gallon milk and a quarter cup pomegranate vinegar. Draining now. Still warm, but curd is super rubbery... almost like mozzarella. I thought it was gonna be a spreadable consistency. Is this from to much vinegar or is that what it's supposed to be like? Tasted pretty good once I added a lil salt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ah... interesting. I was curious about that. Most recipes I found say bring it to 180 or so, but ppl on here said bring to a boil. I brought it JUST to a boil. Will definitely have to play with it for awhile till I figure it all out.. but the way I love my cheese... I think I can handle that. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
This isn't grainy really. I would say almost like a squeaky cheese. However, it does strongly resemble a brain, so we'll have to work on aesthetics next time. :) flavor is good tho. But the pomegranate vinegar made it turn out gray.
 

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My vinegar cheese always turns out rubbery, but in a good way. I like it crumbled in a salad.

For spreadable cheese I use the Junket rennet tablets from my local grocer (in the pudding/custard aisle) and cultured buttermilk as my culture.

I put a gallon of room temp milk and a half cup of cultured buttermilk in a stainless or glass pan, and stick it in the oven over night with the light on to keep it just a bit warm. the next day i crush a half tablet of the junket rennet into a half cup of luke warm water and mix it with the milk and let it sit for a while (usually a few hours) then I put my cotton cloth that I use as cheese cloth (old sheet material) in a strainer, pour the cheese and whey through it, and then hang the cheese to drain for a few hours. Once it has drained I dump it in a bowl and mix in what ever flavor i want (I like low sodium garden vegetable dip mix powdered seasoning) then put it in containers for the fridge. I spread it on crackers, sandwiches, put it on my baked potatoes, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
War Pony, am I reading that correctly that you don't cook it at all? Do you worry about health risks letting raw milk sit warm for so long? I suppose the temp you bring the milk to for most cheeses isn't probably sufficient to kill much anyway...
 

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War Pony, am I reading that correctly that you don't cook it at all? Do you worry about health risks letting raw milk sit warm for so long? I suppose the temp you bring the milk to for most cheeses isn't probably sufficient to kill much anyway...
That's right, for my spreadable cheeses I use fresh-from-the-goat-still-warm or just warmed to room temp raw milk. I don't worry about the health risks at all, but that is something each person has to decide for themselves.

My equipment is all sterilized before adding the milk and I immediately add my culture so that beneficial bacteria have the first chance to colonize. It is a "do at your own risk" sort of thing, though i have my reasons and i do that intentionally. IF you do heat first you have got to cool the milk down before adding your culture anyway, otherwise the higher temp can kill your cheese culture.

I want the natural good bacteria of the milk in there along with my culture. Heating can kill that off and give bad bacteria a chance to start growing. i prefer the flavour and texture when it hasn't been heated or pasteurized, but I also am more concerned about bad bacteria growing after it has been heated and killed off the good bacteria than i am about bad bacteria growing when the milk is raw.

The only batch of fresh cheese I have ever had go gross was heated milk I was making for someone else. I will not provide raw milk cheese to anyone else, not because i think it is dangerous... I wouldn't eat it myself if I thought it was dangerous... but because i think if something else made someone sick my raw milk product would get blamed no matter what the truth was.
 
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