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Old 02-27-2012, 10:27 PM   #1
ammon
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Default Components of chese recipes and their purposes

I am fairly new to cheese making, with only 4 attempts under my belt. I hope this question will also help others in my position.

I am great at following recipes, but I feel cheese making is more an art form that must be understood to create great results, rather than following directions.

So, what components are needed for cheeses of different types and what are the properties they instill? For instance, a soft cheese that will be kept in a fridge and consumed within a week does not need a culture, however, hard cheeses meant to be aged and kept for months require a culture.

In making these hard cheeses why are certain cultures used and others not? is this an issue of taste and consistency, or is there greater depth to the selection of these cultures?

In following a recipe can rennet be omitted and vinegar, or citric acid, used in its place, understanding the taste may change?

From what I have done so far, it seems hard cheeses meant for waxing and keeping longer term only need a few things:

Milk
Culture
Agent to induce separation of curds and whey

As long as I have those 3 things a hard cheese should be made, though flavor, would change, right?


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Old 02-29-2012, 02:20 PM   #2
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I recommend taking a look at a few websites devoted to cheesemaking before diving in. I can't remember her name, but there is a lady who hosts a cheesemaking site and I think they call her the Cheese Lady. Anyway, she is near the top on a google search and she has methods and recipes to look at.


Basically you need either raw or pasteurized (NOT ULTRA PASTEURIZED) milk of your choice. Generally any whole milk will work, but people usually get best results from fresh, raw milk, or good results from plain pasteurized.

Rennet is necessary.

Citric acid can be used, or I think vinegar or even lemon juice. Basically any edible acid I think. It's different that the rennet.

Some cheeses use an enzyme, like cheddar and others. Some cheeses, like Mozzerella, don't. Obviously the different enzymes give different flavors and characteristics to the cheese, and different aging and handling will affect that as well.

And you can add flavors if you choose as long as they can be kept good at aging temps.

For a hard cheese you can use different things to create a rind, and you will need a "cheese press" to keep pressure on the cheese to push out the moisture and set the consistency.

Again, there are websites devoted to cheese that can answer pretty much any question about making it. This forum is a nice place for homebrewers and winemakers to share experiences and recipes about cheese, not so much as an exhaustive resource on the subject.
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:28 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homercidal View Post
I recommend taking a look at a few websites devoted to cheesemaking before diving in. I can't remember her name, but there is a lady who hosts a cheesemaking site and I think they call her the Cheese Lady. Anyway, she is near the top on a google search and she has methods and recipes to look at.
Ricki Carroll
http://www.cheesemaking.com/
good informative site and sells supplies
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