Author Topic: Cheese Making Supplies Cheap?  (Read 4663 times)

BrooklineBiker

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Cheese Making Supplies Cheap?
« on: March 08, 2015, 05:46:21 PM »
Hi everybody,
My children would like to learn how to make cheese at home. he request appeals to my frugal instincts.  I looked on Amazon and Google for rennet, cheese salt, and mesophilic starter. The prices all look high. Can any one recommend a cheap vendor?
Thanks!

KariO

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Re: Cheese Making Supplies Cheap?
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2015, 07:10:58 PM »
Have you tried an acid-set cheese yet? Just lemon juice or vinegar and milk. I'm trying this with a friend next weekend.

http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/11/easy-fresh-cheese-recipe-farmers-cheese-paneer-queso-fresco.html

BooksAreNerdy

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Re: Cheese Making Supplies Cheap?
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2015, 07:12:32 PM »
New england cheese making supply. This is not a cheap hobby at all. You need raw, non homogenized milk, which runs around $8/gallon. You will need 2-4 gallons per cheese. Plus rennet, calcium chloride, etc. The press alone can run hundreds.

I say, look up a yogurt or mozzarella recipe and try those first. They don't require a press. Good way to lean into the hobby.

Also, cheese making is an art and a science. It took me about 15 cheeses to get one right.

My only authority on the subject comes from owning a dairy cow and making all of our milk products. We decided to sell the cow recently because hobby farming just did fit in with our financial goals.

BrooklineBiker

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Re: Cheese Making Supplies Cheap?
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2015, 08:48:09 PM »
New england cheese making supply. This is not a cheap hobby at all. You need raw, non homogenized milk, which runs around $8/gallon. You will need 2-4 gallons per cheese. Plus rennet, calcium chloride, etc. The press alone can run hundreds.

I say, look up a yogurt or mozzarella recipe and try those first. They don't require a press. Good way to lean into the hobby.

Also, cheese making is an art and a science. It took me about 15 cheeses to get one right.

My only authority on the subject comes from owning a dairy cow and making all of our milk products. We decided to sell the cow recently because hobby farming just did fit in with our financial goals.
Thanks for the feedback. I will stick with the easy stuff. Mozzarella is fine by me.

BrooklineBiker

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Re: Cheese Making Supplies Cheap?
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2015, 08:49:40 PM »
Have you tried an acid-set cheese yet? Just lemon juice or vinegar and milk. I'm trying this with a friend next weekend.

http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/11/easy-fresh-cheese-recipe-farmers-cheese-paneer-queso-fresco.html

Thank you. This is just what I was hoping for. Are there other recipes out there like this?

KariO

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Re: Cheese Making Supplies Cheap?
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2015, 09:26:39 PM »
Here's a fresh mozzarella recipe that just requires citric acid powder and rennet, which aren't too spendy:

http://www.simplebites.net/the-best-party-trick-ever-how-to-make-thirty-minute-mozzarella/

I will let you all know results when I try these --anybody else do the same, OK?

Allie

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Re: Cheese Making Supplies Cheap?
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2015, 11:31:16 PM »
Take a peek at dr frankhausers cheese page...

http://biology.clc.uc.edu/fankhauser/cheese/cheese.html

He is a professor of microbiology (or some such thing) who has developed his recipes and experiments with home cheese making.  I first found his page a few years ago and he keeps adding new recipes, experiments, and techniques.  I think he may actually have started teaching cheese at the college where he teaches. 

If you want to learn to make a cheese press on the cheap with an old can; use a sterilized screw driver to inoculate a blue cheese; and use an actual animal stomach to make rennet (you can't get any more mustachian than that!), his page is the place to start.  Plus, he knows the science to keep it all safe.

There are plenty of YouTube videos on how to make a cheese press from food safe containers and hardware store parts.  My favorite was the redneck cheese press made of drain parts...although, I don't know if it is safe... :-). I don't have the link, but a quick Google should get you to some easy to follow instructions pretty quickly.

teen persuasion

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Re: Cheese Making Supplies Cheap?
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2015, 08:23:07 AM »
Here's a fresh mozzarella recipe that just requires citric acid powder and rennet, which aren't too spendy:

http://www.simplebites.net/the-best-party-trick-ever-how-to-make-thirty-minute-mozzarella/

I will let you all know results when I try these --anybody else do the same, OK?

I got the mozzarella making kit mentioned on the link, and it is a good starting point, since it included the citric acid, Rennet tablets and thermometer (and cheese cloth, but that's for ricotta cheese).  It takes a bit of experimentation to get the knack of it, but it is fun to make mozzarella for homemade pizza (I use the whey in the dough, and other baked goods).  Later I found a Make-your-own store nearby that sold the liquid rennet (easier) from the New England Cheesemaking Company so I got it there and avoided shipping costs.  Sadly, the Make-your-own store closed, and I'm almost out of rennet, so I'm looking for a good source, too.  I've been able to get citric acid during canning season at Wal-Mart.  Ricotta only requires citric acid (or vinegar as an alternative), but requires longer cooking than mozzarella and draining thru cheesecloth.

The book mentioned on the link above is great - I found it in my public library.

thd7t

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Re: Cheese Making Supplies Cheap?
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2015, 08:43:11 AM »
The press and the molds are pretty easy to make.  I made a press using poplar and threaded rod.  Then, you just need weights.  The molds can be made by drilling or cutting tupperware or other reuseable containers.  You also don't need raw, unhomogenized milk (although it is more delicious).  You just need to stay away from "Ultra pasteurized" milk.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2015, 08:44:42 AM by thd7t »

MishMash

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Re: Cheese Making Supplies Cheap?
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2015, 09:07:26 AM »
The press and the molds are pretty easy to make.  I made a press using poplar and threaded rod.  Then, you just need weights.  The molds can be made by drilling or cutting tupperware or other reuseable containers.  You also don't need raw, unhomogenized milk (although it is more delicious).  You just need to stay away from "Ultra pasteurized" milk.

Really?  I've never had luck with mozzarella with store bought milk, even the type labeled pasturized vs Ultra pasturized due to the homogenization process.  I get low temp pasturized milk from a dairy farmer.  If you live anywhere near dairy country you can get it cheaper.  I drie 2 hours a couple of times a year to PA where I can get raw or low temp pasturized milk for 2-3 a gallon depending on supply.

teen persuasion

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Re: Cheese Making Supplies Cheap?
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2015, 09:18:16 AM »
I've had no problems using store bought milk.

thd7t

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Re: Cheese Making Supplies Cheap?
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2015, 09:52:04 AM »
The press and the molds are pretty easy to make.  I made a press using poplar and threaded rod.  Then, you just need weights.  The molds can be made by drilling or cutting tupperware or other reuseable containers.  You also don't need raw, unhomogenized milk (although it is more delicious).  You just need to stay away from "Ultra pasteurized" milk.

Really?  I've never had luck with mozzarella with store bought milk, even the type labeled pasturized vs Ultra pasturized due to the homogenization process.  I get low temp pasturized milk from a dairy farmer.  If you live anywhere near dairy country you can get it cheaper.  I drie 2 hours a couple of times a year to PA where I can get raw or low temp pasturized milk for 2-3 a gallon depending on supply.
It's been hit or miss for me with store bought milk.  I joined a raw milk coop for a few years because of it.  Part of the issue is that organic milk is usually UP, but I prefer to use organic.  I don't think homogenization has been an issue, but I'll revisit that.

blueflipflop

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Re: Cheese Making Supplies Cheap?
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2015, 10:21:40 AM »
I just made some cheese this weekend with milk I bought at the grocery store, you can use pasteurized milk, just not ultra pasteurized.  Raw milk probably makes your cheese smoother but mine still tasted great.

I used this cheese making kit- and her book is also awesome, I checked it out multiple times from our library.

http://www.urbancheesecraft.com/  I got the $50 deluxe kit.

Have fun, you can go cheap or expensive depending on what types of cheese you want to make.

BrooklineBiker

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Re: Cheese Making Supplies Cheap?
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2015, 08:01:44 PM »
Hi everyone,
Thanks so much for the responses. This is really helpful information.

Carless

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Re: Cheese Making Supplies Cheap?
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2015, 09:17:59 PM »
Hello, I've really gotten into cheesemaking and have some great results so far.  You certainly don't need an expensive press as I made mine out of salvaged lumber, an old scale (for pressure measurement) and a car jack.  I wanted to make cheddar so I needed high pressure capability, but the three cheeses shown were all made without a press.  One is a Tomme, it wasn't very tasty the first time I tried it, so I vacuum sealed it to age some more and now it tastes lovely - my best so far despite the fact it looks somewhat rock-like.  I made this in a plastic basket from a chinese kitchen supply store (cost ~$1).  Weight was from a ziploc of warm water.  There is also a Brie shown, which was quite tasty and also needs no pressure.  The last one is a honey-rubbed montasio, for which the curds were wrapped in a cloth and pressed with weights.

In all cases I used supermarket milk (Neilson 3.25% usually).  For recipes the ones on http://www.cheesemaking.com/recipes/recipedetails.html are some of the most reliable.

Most of my work has come out edible if not spectacular.  Grate it over veg and no-one cares.  All my failures have involved grocery store goat milk, so I think it must be bad quality (no chevre for me, although I've started making a lovely cow's milk substitute).  I regularly make a triple cream soft cheese (like St. Andre) heavenly and a great gift too.

If you want something easy, why not yogurt?  You can buy one at the grocery store and use it for starter.  You can drain it and it makes a great spread, and it's hard to mess up.  Creme fraiche, cream cheese, all of these are easy and so much better than store bought.

totoro

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Re: Cheese Making Supplies Cheap?
« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2018, 10:25:58 AM »
Just starting with cheese-making. Apparently you can make your own cultures from the packets and freeze them: https://www.culturesforhealth.com/learn/cheese/making-keeping-mother-cheese-culture/

And you can used buttermilk to make the base culture: https://www.reformationacres.com/2010/11/mesophilic-starter-culture.html

There are quite a few youtube videos on this and cheese-making at home. 

RelaxedGal

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Re: Cheese Making Supplies Cheap?
« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2018, 10:47:28 AM »
On Mozarella,
http://www.cheesemaking.com/howtomakemozzarellacheese.html

On buying supplies:
I picked mine up at the local home brew place.  I noticed them when I picked up the airlock and champagne yeast for MMM's home brew, http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2014/04/22/brew-your-own-cider/

On Milk:
Lactaid milk is Ultra-pasteurized and won't make cheese.  Advice that might not help the OP but might keep someone else from avoiding our mistake.  If you can't be a good example, at least be a warning to others!

Goldy

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Re: Cheese Making Supplies Cheap?
« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2018, 07:43:08 PM »
I have made a few so far including a Gouda, parmasean, red leister, gjestost, and halloumi.  So far this seems to be a pretty inexpensive hobby.  I made the press out of some scrap wood and a gallon jug hangs off the end for weight.  I drilled a series of holes in the arm so the plunger can be moved so you can multiply the weight due to changing leverage.  My rig goes from 8 to 65lbs. 

For milk I find that aldiís milk works well for me and is about two bucks a gallon.  If you use store milk you need to add some calcium chloride solution.  Brew stores often have supplies for cheese.

If you havenít tried t yet give halloumi a try.  Itís similar to mozzarella but you can grill it without it melting.

living small

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Re: Cheese Making Supplies Cheap?
« Reply #18 on: March 20, 2018, 08:31:19 PM »
PTF!
This is a very informative thread!
I make yogurt, labneh, and farmer's cheese, but have always wanted to do the real deal. I am currently overrun by other projects and DH informs me that I do not need another hobby. harrumph.

I hear Mozzarella is the gateway drug of cheesemaking.

thd7t

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Re: Cheese Making Supplies Cheap?
« Reply #19 on: March 22, 2018, 08:41:44 AM »
We used to make halloumi.  It was spectacular and definitely better than any I could buy locally. 

Mozzarella is a wonderful gateway cheese, but make sure you boil the whey after you're done so that you can get the finest ricotta you've ever had!

living small

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Re: Cheese Making Supplies Cheap?
« Reply #20 on: March 23, 2018, 04:25:16 AM »
I have heard that about the ricotta from the whey!

good to know!