I have been looking into brewing beer for the last month, but since I am in the middle of a move and can't get my equipment until Oct I opted to make some cheese in the meantime.
I am very lucky to have a goat farm right down the road where I was able to get 1 gallon on fresh milk and from that I made feta in about a week.
I followed the recipe from this page and bought the two ingredients needed from my LHBS. http://fiascofarm.com/dairy/feta.html
First cooked the milk
Then added ingredients to allow it to curdle
Cheesecloth was ready in a strainer
Collect all the curdle in the cloth
Then the waiting start by letting the cheese hang for three hrs
Then after three hrs you take it out and turn it over to let it drain again, but for 24hrs now
Then after 24 hrs you take it out, cut it, and let it soak in salt for 3 days
Then lastly you just let it age in a jar of salt water.
I have to say it tastes GREAT! Has just the right texture to crumble it and was super easy to make.
I would recommend it to anyone for a simple cheese, and it was especially good practice for maintaining the right temperature.
I did exactly the same thing on Saturday with 2.5 gallons of fresh milk I got from a brew club buddy. Straight from the udder is the way to go for sure. I got about 2.5 lb of Feta waiting to be brined and made about a cup of ricotta from the cooked whey.
A quart of skimmed cream went to make a vanilla ice cream with Mexican vanilla that will knock your socks off.
I'll be trying other cheeses as more milk comes available.
I would say it makes life a LOT easier. With milk you have to be careful not to overheat it and slowly get it to the desired temp. A double boiler really helped me do that. Otherwise there is a good chance of unevenly heating the milk
I just put a smaller pot inside of a larger pot as my "double boiler"
Planned: Düsseldorfer Alt
Primary: American Wheat
Kegged/Drinking: Bamber Rauchbier