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is making cheese economical or more of a hobby?

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bkov

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is making cheese economical or more of a hobby?
 

Yooper

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It's definitely not economical in my case. I pay $7 a gallon for fresh raw goat's milk. That makes about 1 pound of cheese. I also bought the rennet, cheesecloth, cheese salt, citric acid, cultures, cheese wax, press, etc, so I am paying about $7.50 per pound of fresh mozzarella. Same with the ricotta and feta. However, it's fantastic.

This weekend I'll be making some monteray jack cheese. I don't know how much it is per pound in the store, but at over $7.50 per pound and at least two months of aging, I doubt that's economical either!
 

k1v1116

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If you get cheap milk it can be inexpensive, for me 1lb mozz is about $7-8 depending on were I get it and that's just the square block of stuff at the supermarket not even fresh, 1 gallon of milk costs about $3.50 of course its not organic goat milk or anything like that. So for me to make basic mozz its close to half price and still better quality that anything I can get at a supermarket.
 

Tenchiro

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It isn't any cheaper than buying cheese but like brewing it is fun. We just made our first batch this weekend and while it wasn't quite Mozzarella it was good.
 

zoebisch01

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If you make high end cheeses it will be. For standard grocery store cheeses, no unless you raise your own dairy goats/cows. Even then I doubt it would be more economically feasible (the milk part).
 

Yooper

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But, as others said, it's fun and it's GOOD! The raw goat's milk comes to me only because I have an interest in the herd- that's why it's legal. Even so, it's $7 a gallon. Honestly, though, the fresh mozzarella is so worth it, and the feta is fantastic. My husband loves the ricotta- I make it from the whey leftover from the other cheeses, and he likes it creamy and puts it on his morning whole wheat toast. It's kind of like a cream cheese, the way I make it.
You can also use much less salt than what's in commercial cheeses, and add herbs and seasonings as you make it, too.

Tonight I'm having some garlic ricotta on triscuits from ricotta made yesterday.
 

Glubki

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Even raising goats and cows isn't very economical unless you go large scale when you factor in the cost of feed, vet bills, labor, housing etc... that is why good cheese can cost more than $8-10 a lb.
 

Laurel

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I'd be perfectly happy paying $8-10/lb for good cheese. Many times it costs $25-40/lb for nice cheeses. But I don't make those kinds, I just stick to fresh ones that are easy.
 

Glubki

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$25 to $40 a pound? It better sing and dance and leave me with a warm tingly feeling the next morning for that price...
 

Tusch

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The $24-40 per lb stuff is also sold by the 1-5oz kind of packages. My father often enjoys some bleu that is $35/lb and its not like he spent $35 but he also isn't letting just anyone try it unless they know they're gonna like it haha.

I have been looking to get into cheese making myself. Been reading up on it and plan to do some beginner cheeses this summer and move into bleu, I found some very good tutorials on the processes online.
 

JVD_X

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My husband loves the ricotta- I make it from the whey leftover from the other cheeses, and he likes it creamy and puts it on his morning whole wheat toast. It's kind of like a cream cheese, the way I make it.
You can also use much less salt than what's in commercial cheeses, and add herbs and seasonings as you make it, too.

Tonight I'm having some garlic ricotta on triscuits from ricotta made yesterday.
My god yooperbrew... that sounds amazing.
 

Laurel

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I made mozz yesterday for about $2.50/lb. It can be more economical.
 

r2eng

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Thanks everyone for the good info... I am a mozzarella snob, and only use whole-milk: not the crap skim stuff found at the supermegalowmart. I may have to try some homemade mozzarella!
 

iamjonsharp

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A hobby...a delicious, delicious, hobby. Although, we get milk when it's on manager special at the grocery, when it's $1.50 to $2.00 a gallon, and it still makes some tasty cheese. Granted haven't tried it with fresh raw milk yet...
 

Evets

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This is the mozzarella I made about an hour ago. I'm lucky in that I get fresh raw milk for $2.50 a gallon here. I can also get raw goat milk but I haven't tried it yet.

 

Kittyfeet

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I've made a few cheeses recently and it was fun. I buy the cheapo milk at megalomart, so it's probably cost effective for me. I'm still waiting for the day I have time to make lasagna with my homemade cheese, and a Milwaukee Cheesecake.
And here's some great recipes for lots of different cheeses (sorry if the linky's been posted already): GourmetSleuth - How To Make Cheese - Cheese Making Recipes
 

flyangler18

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Milk is milk when you're making cheese. The fresher/rawer it is the better, but you can use any old store bought milk to make cheese.
Not entirely true - as many brands of milk that are only marked 'pasteurized' make in fact be 'ultra pasteurized'. UP milk won't form a curd. I wish I could get my hands on some raw cow's and goat's milk, but I haven't been successful so far; I've been using Swiss Valley Farms whole milk with excellent results thus far.
 

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Not entirely true - as many brands of milk that are only marked 'pasteurized' make in fact be 'ultra pasteurized'. UP milk won't form a curd. I wish I could get my hands on some raw cow's and goat's milk, but I haven't been successful so far; I've been using Swiss Valley Farms whole milk with excellent results thus far.
Very true. Not just pasteurized, but store bought milk is homogenized, too, which changes the protein structure. That's what keeps the cream from rising to the top in store bought milk. Well, it changes the curd formation too, so some people add calcium chloride to the milk at the same time as the cultures, to sort of normalize the protein.

I am using goat's milk- because that's what my source is. I use CaCl in it, because of the way the protein is structured.

It's true that store bought milk is pretty similiar, except for the UHP stuff that Flyangler mentioned. You can't use it to make cheese.

I've read many articles about using powdered milk with some added whipping cream, if your only source is UHP milk. It's supposed to work just fine, but I haven't tried it.

Whole milk gives a very creamy higher fat cheese. Skim milk or low fat milk would give a lower fat cheese. The goat's milk I use is about 4% milk fat, maybe a bit more. It's definitely NOT a low fat way to make it!
 

avaserfi

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I found a local source of raw goat milk so I ordered a mozerella/ricotta kit from AHS. Can't wait to get started.

Anyone have some quick tips for a beginner? The process seems fairly easy.
 

caspio

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I found a local source of raw goat milk so I ordered a mozerella/ricotta kit from AHS. Can't wait to get started.

Anyone have some quick tips for a beginner? The process seems fairly easy.
It depends on the mozzarella recipe you're following, but most all of them have you heat the curds until you can stretch them like taffy. That temperature is above where I can comfortably hold them with my bare hands. On my first batch I tried doing it with spoons, but the texture just wasn't right. The second time around, I wore gloves that were thick enough to let me handle the hot cheese without any issues. That one actually came out looking and tasting the way it was supposed to.
 

AnonyBrew

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If you make high end cheeses it will be. For standard grocery store cheeses, no unless you raise your own dairy goats/cows. Even then I doubt it would be more economically feasible (the milk part).
Sorry for being off topic.

Zoebisch! I'm flying up to State College this Thursday & plan to meet up with Pjj2ba. I tried to send you a PM but your inbox is FULL. Send me a PM if you want to meet up.
 

Mateo

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Let me warn you... Cheese does not come out good from homogenized milk. You need raw milk from a cow or a goat for it to come out good.

Now if you have a cow you can make tons of great cheese.

I tried and tried with store bought milk and have finally given up. I am giving away my cheese molds to my in-laws who have cows.
 

Dr. Fedwell

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I make quite good cheese from Costco milk. On this island, milk is $7 a gal at a regular supermarket. Costco, $4.25. I do add CaCl and it turns out fine. The curd sets up well for most hard cheeses and soft cheese is no problem. I am not sure if the milk is local to Hawaii, or is from California. We do have a lot of cattle here on Maui, but the Haleakala Dairy closed a while back and operates in name only with milk that is from somewhere in the state(or sometimes CA I suspect). Gonna ask at the Costco.
 

Polboy

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damn i guess i will have to try to make some cheese, at my costco gal of whole milk is around $1.8
 

mccumath

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Is making beer at home economical? I think not (so do my family/friends)! I have made a few "cheeses" (correct?) for fun, and I really enjoyed it! I want to move to fancier cheeses, but have been spending all my money on beer stuff.

Anyone that tells you getting into a hobby is cheaper than buying it commercially is lying (I am sure there are rare cases, but not many I imagine...)!
 

PhilsPhan84

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Mateo said:
Let me warn you... Cheese does not come out good from homogenized milk. You need raw milk from a cow or a goat for it to come out good.
I'll have to disagree. While having raw milk will make a better cheese, this statement makes it sound like its impossible to make good cheese with store brought milk(which is all homogenized). I've made several batches with store brought Whole & 2% milk and all have been REALLY good, if not better then store brought mozz.

I may be new to cheese making, but I'm not new to cheese as I'm a "retired" dairy farmer. And unfortunately most all states are sticklers on the sale of raw milks. Which is a shame because I'd drink raw milk straight from the source anyday over store bought...
 

edmanster

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mccumath said:
Is making beer at home economical? I think not (so do my family/friends)!
Really? Must be BMC and dont care for taste!! After the initial investment and fuel and time I think I'm way ahead!! Just made a rochefort 9 clone for about $50 for 5gal.. In the store here it's $5+ for 12oz! Let's not get into the sours!!
EDIT: let's not forget that it's a hobby that gives in return :mug:
 

jwwbrennan

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Cheese is very economical for us but we get milk from the farmer straight from milking and don't pay anything like the prices quoted. The other consideration is the type of cheese. Some of the cheeses in the local store run very high (Cambozola for example) compared to making it yourself. Mozzarella and cream cheese don't save as much money but with a little effort they so much better. Ricotta is practically a different cheese it is so much better in pancakes and other dishes.
 
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