Can I use tap water to make cheese?
Tap water can contain chlorine which kills bacteria and should not be used for making cheese. Use bottled or filtered water instead or boil tap water. You can also leave tap water sit on the counter for 24 hrs to remove chlorine.
Can I use UHT milk and what is it?
No and yes. UHT milk has been pasteurized at a high temperature and makes the milk not usable for making most cheeses. With that being said you can make cream cheese from UHT Milk in some places. Check the label for the symbol UHT. If it has UHT on the label don’t use it for cheese making unless you have no other choice. Then only proceed with solf cheese.
What kind of salt can I use?
Pickling, kosher, Himalayan, Rock and Sea salt are all acceptable salts to use. Iodized salt (common table salt) is not recommended for cheese making. Check the label for the word IODIZED If it says iodized do not use it as iodine kills bacteria
Can I use raw milk with the same recipes as pasteurized? Can I use goat milk or cow milk?
Yes you can use raw milk in the same way as Pasteurized milk as long as you understand the risks involved when using raw milk for cheese making. If there are any harmful pathogen or bacteria in your milk it could make you very sick when used for cheese making
Some cheeses need a specific kind of milk to make a successful cheese and others are interchangeable. There is nothing wrong with experimenting and learning at your own pace.
What happens when my milk ends up getting too hot for culture or rennet?
The heat can kill the culture or bacteria and the rennet too. It will render your milk UHT, Take the time to go slow and don’t over heat your milk. An accident of 2 or 3 degrees higher is not going to turn your milk to UHT milk but a quick rise in temperature that is too high will affect your cheese in the long run. Do your best to follow the directions of the recipe you are following.
What if my milk is not warm enough?
If your temperature is too cold the starter culture you are using may not reproduce enough to develop flavors and acid and the rennet may not set properly.
Can I rescue my milk after the temperature gets too high or too low by accident?
Yes you can turn up our the heat if your milk temperature is too cold and the starter culture will begin to act as it should. If you have gotten the milk hotter than the target temperature and if you think you have killed off the bacteria due to too high of heat you can cool the milk down and start over again as long as the milk was not heated as high as UHT (above 135 °c)
How can I make a cheese cave?
A cheese cave is a clean place where your cheese can age. There should never be any meat, fruit or vegetables in the same place that you are aging your cheese because these can carry other unwanted bacteria. You can use your crisper in your fridge to age cheese. It is slightly cooler in a crisper than the ideal temps for aging which are between 5°c and 15°c but works well for beginner. Once you are ready to move on you can purchase a wine cooler which is perfect for aging cheese. From there if you need more room or a bigger cave you can transform an old fridge into a cheese cave by purchasing a thermostat online. Inkbird is a popular name for thermostats.
How much CaCl2 (calcium chloride) do I use?
Most recipes that are 4 to 6 Litres will call for ¼ tsp of liquid Calcium Chloride
Can I use Organic Milk for cheeses?
Yes just check the label and make sure it is not UHT milk.
How can I stop the curds from sticking to the cheesecloth?
Make sure you wet your cheese cloth before putting any curds in it. Always rinse your cheese cloth in cold water NOT HOT!
How do I increase humidity in my cheese cave?
Wet a paper towel and put it into a small dish and into the corner of your cave if it’s a small cave. If it’s a larger cave add more water and a bigger bowl.
Can I vacuum seal my cheese?
YES you can and many cheese making companies are doing just that. Make sure your cheese is dry to the touch before you vacuum seal your cheese or mold can still grow inside the sealed bag.
Can cheese be frozen?
Yes cheese can be frozen but some cheeses will change texture. Do your research before freezing.
My family really likes feta after it has been frozen as it makes a more crumbly cheese.
Can milk be frozen and defrosted and made into cheese?
Yes milk can be frozen and defrosted for SOME cheeses. Not all cheeses.
What cheeses can I make without rennet?
Any acid cheese such as farmers cheese or Ricotta where an acid such as vinegar or lemon are added to the milk to aide in curdling the cheese.
Why did my cheese turn out bitter?
There are many reasons as to why your cheese can go bitter. Most commonly is too much rennet or too much culture. If the culture sits too long in the milk or is heated too high it can develop too much acid and leave a bitter flavor. If not enough whey has been released from the curd for the specific cheese being made , bitterness can occur.
Why won't my cheese melt?
If your Mozzarella doesn’t melt it could be you didn’t get a very good stretch but sometimes even if you do get a good stretch it’s reported that it won’t melt. This could be due to the acidity level of the cheese being either too high or too low. To get around this you can get a PH tester but they are costly.
There are so many questions when it comes to making cheese and even after years of cheese making and teaching cheese we still have some questions too. Feel free to join our face book group
"Learn to make Cheese" Here is the url for it https://www.facebook.com/groups/270065349856166/
Ask any cheese making questions you need to. Our group is free and spans all over the world. We have over 13,000 cheesy members and many famous cheese makers learning and offering lots of help. They are all learning at different levels and happy to help in any cheesy way they can.
The internet is a great place to learn cheese making but you can't talk directly with someone all the time. On our face book page you CAN! Check us out for more support than you can possibly imagine.