First foray into cheesemaking...

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Ty520

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Wife got me a cheesemaking kit for christmas.

Plan on trying a mozzarella for my first attempt to adorn our homemade pizzas

While I like to try to support local business (and bit the bullet this time, and purchased a gallon of local raw unpasteurized milk), at $12 a gallon, it isn't economically viable.

Should i be able to get by using standard pasteurized milk?
 

bernardsmith

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You can. Supermarket milk is absolutely fine BUT you need to add about 1/4 t of calcium chloride (food grade - not what you might use to melt ice), to each gallon of milk. That said, Mozzarella cheese is not really an easy cheese to make. It stretches only when the pH of the curds are between 5.2 and 5.5. Too much or too little acidity and it doesn't stretch and too much handling can make it grainy.
What I would do before trying to make just about any cheese is to get hold of any basic book on cheese making. Almost all of them (perhaps all of them) are organized from easier to harder cheeses to make so that they scaffold the skills you need. The easiest cheeses are fresh cheeses which tend to be soft and by definition don't need aging. To make harder cheeses you will need a rig of some kind to press the cheese under weight. Some cheeses need little pressure to remove the whey. Others require 50 lbs or more of pressure. Simple cheeses like quark, paneer, haloumi or ricotta (which you can drain and make far more dry than you are likely to buy) and cheese like squeaky curd (as used in Poutine) or a feta -type cheese are all much easier to make for a beginner than Mozz. And if you can find non organic goats milk (organic is usually heated to a point that the calcium chloride cannot repair the damage to the calcium compounds and so the cheese cannot coagulate as needed) you can make a delightful chevre using the same recipe as quark.

One last thought. I make cheese from a gallon of store bought milk almost every week, and I don't but any basic cultures to acidify and flavor the milk. What I do is I make milk kefir from kefir grains and I use the kefir I make to culture the milk. Kefir contains just about every bacterium that you might buy to make meso- or thermophillic cheeses (cheddar to swiss-type to parmesan). For blue cheese you need the specific culture and although I have yet to try making a brie but I suspect that the kefir has the cultures you would buy to make brie.
 
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Ty520

Ty520

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You can. Supermarket milk is absolutely fine BUT you need to add about 1/4 t of calcium chloride (food grade - not what you might use to melt ice), to each gallon of milk. That said, Mozzarella cheese is not really an easy cheese to make. It stretches only when the pH of the curds are between 5.2 and 5.5. Too much or too little acidity and it doesn't stretch and too much handling can make it grainy.
What I would do before trying to make just about any cheese is to get hold of any basic book on cheese making. Almost all of them (perhaps all of them) are organized from easier to harder cheeses to make so that they scaffold the skills you need. The easiest cheeses are fresh cheeses which tend to be soft and by definition don't need aging. To make harder cheeses you will need a rig of some kind to press the cheese under weight. Some cheeses need little pressure to remove the whey. Others require 50 lbs or more of pressure. Simple cheeses like quark, paneer, haloumi or ricotta (which you can drain and make far more dry than you are likely to buy) and cheese like squeaky curd (as used in Poutine) or a feta -type cheese are all much easier to make for a beginner than Mozz. And if you can find non organic goats milk (organic is usually heated to a point that the calcium chloride cannot repair the damage to the calcium compounds and so the cheese cannot coagulate as needed) you can make a delightful chevre using the same recipe as quark.

One last thought. I make cheese from a gallon of store bought milk almost every week, and I don't but any basic cultures to acidify and flavor the milk. What I do is I make milk kefir from kefir grains and I use the kefir I make to culture the milk. Kefir contains just about every bacterium that you might buy to make meso- or thermophillic cheeses (cheddar to swiss-type to parmesan). For blue cheese you need the specific culture and although I have yet to try making a brie but I suspect that the kefir has the cultures you would buy to make brie.

The kit came with a booklet. The mozzarella came out pretty good in my opinion
You can. Supermarket milk is absolutely fine BUT you need to add about 1/4 t of calcium chloride (food grade - not what you might use to melt ice), to each gallon of milk. That said, Mozzarella cheese is not really an easy cheese to make. It stretches only when the pH of the curds are between 5.2 and 5.5. Too much or too little acidity and it doesn't stretch and too much handling can make it grainy.
What I would do before trying to make just about any cheese is to get hold of any basic book on cheese making. Almost all of them (perhaps all of them) are organized from easier to harder cheeses to make so that they scaffold the skills you need. The easiest cheeses are fresh cheeses which tend to be soft and by definition don't need aging. To make harder cheeses you will need a rig of some kind to press the cheese under weight. Some cheeses need little pressure to remove the whey. Others require 50 lbs or more of pressure. Simple cheeses like quark, paneer, haloumi or ricotta (which you can drain and make far more dry than you are likely to buy) and cheese like squeaky curd (as used in Poutine) or a feta -type cheese are all much easier to make for a beginner than Mozz. And if you can find non organic goats milk (organic is usually heated to a point that the calcium chloride cannot repair the damage to the calcium compounds and so the cheese cannot coagulate as needed) you can make a delightful chevre using the same recipe as quark.

One last thought. I make cheese from a gallon of store bought milk almost every week, and I don't but any basic cultures to acidify and flavor the milk. What I do is I make milk kefir from kefir grains and I use the kefir I make to culture the milk. Kefir contains just about every bacterium that you might buy to make meso- or thermophillic cheeses (cheddar to swiss-type to parmesan). For blue cheese you need the specific culture and although I have yet to try making a brie but I suspect that the kefir has the cultures you would buy to make brie.
The kit did come with a book.pretty straight forward. The mozzarella came out quite well in my opinion. It did have a tight skin around the outside though.

It came with citric acid and rennet and some herbs and spices to do various types of cheeses ( 40 batches total).

The author indicated that some of the recipes will work with standard pasteurized milk, but seemed to indicate that ultra pasteurized would not - and some of the recipes supposedly won't work with any level of pasteurization.

I'm not big on aged or cultured cheeses like bleu. We make pizza from scratch about once a week, so mozzarella will probably be our go to.
 

FromZwolle

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fwiw, i've had the best outcomes with blues. the mold seems to cover a multitude of deficiencies in milk source.

that being said, washed rind cheeses are also pretty foolproof and result in very unique and tasty results.

pulled curd cheeses are a bit fickle, but so worth it. especially caciocavallo and the like.
 

FromZwolle

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cheeseforum.org is a wealth of information, and you can poke fun at passedpawn there too. that alone is well worth creating the account.
 

twd000

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Are you guys sourcing raw milk? I'm reading the David Asher book and he's adamant about raw milk from pastured cows. I'm not excited about paying $4 a quart and there's only about 4 months a year that animals can graze on pasture here


Does grocery store pasteurized homogenized milk work for these cheese recipes?
 
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