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Old 01-02-2011, 12:00 AM   #1
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Anyone making homemade cheese?

Recently, I've been watching videos on youtube about how to make homemade cheese (many have called it "farmer's cheese" - it's meant to be consumed immediately or very soon after making...not aged).
I finally made my first batch tonight - the recipe was 1/2 gal. pasture-raised, raw cows milk, 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar, plus salt and herbs for seasoning.

I followed the directions - cooking the milk just to about 190f and then adding the vinegar, stirring until the curds separated and then straining in a colander with cheesecloth. The taste is pretty bland, which I guess I expected, since I did not add cultures, but...the curds seem quite tough. I've never tried this before, so I have no experience to draw on, but I expected something much softer like ricotta or cottage cheese.

any tips? is the toughness of the curds a sign of overcooking or some other user error, or is this just normal?

I have the cheese hanging in cheese cloth suspended from a rack in my refrigerator. I plan on letting it sit overnight and then having cheese and crackers tomorrow. :-) Hopefully it's not inedible.

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Old 01-02-2011, 12:06 AM   #2
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To be honest, the thought to make cheese curdles my mind, so, hats off to you!! It sounds pretty neat though - Hope that cheese is yummy for you tomorrow!
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Old 01-02-2011, 12:08 AM   #3
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To be honest, the thought to make cheese curdles my mind, so, hats off to you!! It sounds pretty neat though - Hope that cheese is yummy for you tomorrow!
Haha! After smelling the cooked whey left over, I'm a little squicked out myself...but, onward and upward. This is all part of my New Year's attempt at becoming more of a pioneer woman. I've been making homemade breads, homemade ice creams, now homemade cheese...soon I'm on to sourdough and yogurt...I hope. :-)
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Old 01-02-2011, 12:13 AM   #4
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Yogurt is pretty easy, there are a bunch of ways to do it but the easiest for me was always the heating pad method. You can probably find it on you tube. I am envious about the cheesemaking. I have been dying to try it myself. By the way, if you make yogurt and hang it like you do the cheese you get what used to be called yogurt cheese or shevre. But it also is a good sub for Greek yogurt.
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Old 01-02-2011, 12:26 AM   #5
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U-go-gurt-gurl!! HAHAHA...:) I am just being silly! I will have to google yogurt making. I adore the stuff, but, never thought to make it either.... &, to think...a long time ago, I pitched-in at a dairy farm??...I sound kinda "dairy dumb" actually!
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Old 01-02-2011, 01:50 AM   #6
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Hi
I have made cheese before, never with vinegar can't
get fresh unprocessed milk. If you want creamy cheese
to use Make it from yogurt. I don't remember where
I got the recipie. But if you Google Yogurt Cheese I bet
you can find it. I make my own Butter milk and can't tell
any difference from what you buy in the Grocery store.
I make my own corned beef and Pastrami and bread I have
been accused of trying to reinvent the wheel
Welcome to DC
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Old 01-02-2011, 01:55 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Josie1945 View Post
Hi
I have made cheese before, never with vinegar can't
get fresh unprocessed milk. If you want creamy cheese
to use Make it from yogurt. I don't remember where
I got the recipie. But if you Google Yogurt Cheese I bet
you can find it. I make my own Butter milk and can't tell
any difference from what you buy in the Grocery store.
I make my own corned beef and Pastrami and bread I have
been accused of trying to reinvent the wheel
Welcome to DC
Josie
I don't eat (store-bought) pasteurized dairy, so yogurt-making is going to be a bit of a challenge. Most of the recipes I've found so far call for using some kind of starter...so I have to start by making the starter. I think...

how do you make your buttermilk? Also...homemade pastrami and corned beef? yum! sometime in the near future, my little family plans on relocating to farmland of some kind and I'm hoping to find a nice place to buy grass-fed beef. I haven't eaten beef in years, but if I can find a source I'm comfortable with, I would love to make stuff like corned beef and pastrami (my husband would love it too!). :-)
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Old 01-02-2011, 02:35 AM   #8
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I will look up recipies tomorow and see what I can find for you.

Josie
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Old 01-02-2011, 03:12 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cookingmama View Post
I don't eat (store-bought) pasteurized dairy, so yogurt-making is going to be a bit of a challenge. Most of the recipes I've found so far call for using some kind of starter...so I have to start by making the starter. I think...

how do you make your buttermilk? Also...homemade pastrami and corned beef? yum! sometime in the near future, my little family plans on relocating to farmland of some kind and I'm hoping to find a nice place to buy grass-fed beef. I haven't eaten beef in years, but if I can find a source I'm comfortable with, I would love to make stuff like corned beef and pastrami (my husband would love it too!). :-)
I'm pretty sure you can get packaged yoghurt starter. I think I saw it at the health food store. I just buy a small container of organic yoghurt. If you do decide to start with yoghurt, make sure it is one with live bacillus. Once you start making yoghurt, you can use your own yoghurt to start the next batch.

Corned beef is easy in a zip lock bag. It takes about eight days.

You could also make quark, which is a lot like cream cheese. It's cultured with the same bacillus as for sour cream or cultured buttermilk. It's even easier than yoghurt. If you have raw milk, the bacillus may already be in the milk.

I think you may have overcooked the curds. I have made vinegar cottage cheese and the curds were not hard. For flavour, add a little bit of salt. It's amazing the difference it makes.
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Old 01-02-2011, 10:30 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by taxlady View Post
I'm pretty sure you can get packaged yoghurt starter. I think I saw it at the health food store. I just buy a small container of organic yoghurt. If you do decide to start with yoghurt, make sure it is one with live bacillus. Once you start making yoghurt, you can use your own yoghurt to start the next batch.

Corned beef is easy in a zip lock bag. It takes about eight days.

You could also make quark, which is a lot like cream cheese. It's cultured with the same bacillus as for sour cream or cultured buttermilk. It's even easier than yoghurt. If you have raw milk, the bacillus may already be in the milk.

I think you may have overcooked the curds. I have made vinegar cottage cheese and the curds were not hard. For flavour, add a little bit of salt. It's amazing the difference it makes.
I think you're right about overcooking the curds. I heated to 190 or 200 and I think that's just way too high. It completely defeats the purpose of using raw milk too. :-) Next time i'm going to try letting it just simmer (around 145?) and then adding the acid and taking it off the stove immediately.

We tried the cheese today and it's hard like cheddar...but pretty tasty all things considered. I salted it before letting it hang last night and added some fresh thyme, basil, rosemary and sage (chopped very finely) - tonight we're having our own little caprese salad. The REAL victory will be when I can make caprese salad with homemade cheese and homegrown tomatoes and basil...sigh...a girl can dream, right?
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