Do you want to try making cheese at home or for business? If you don’t know what equipment to use or where to even begin, then you’ve come to the right place. Below you’ll find out what supplies you need and where you can start with cheese making. So, continue to read through this article.
To start with, let’s talk about ingredients:
The most important ingredient in making cheese is milk. You can either use pasteurised or unpasteurised milk. You may also use whole or skimmed milk. Many cheese makers use ‘Fresh Milk’, the fresher your milk is, the better. However, untra-pasteurised milk is not recommended. Note that if you are using unpasteurised milk, you need to add ingredients such as calcium chloride to help the milk to coagulate.
Cultures are also vital when it comes to making cheese. These are bacteria that are added to milk to make it acidify. Cultures also help in the curing process during cheese making. There are two common types of bacteria used for making cheese – thermophilic and mesophilic. Thermophilic cultures are often used when milk is heated at high temperature. Mesophilic cultures, on the other hand, are used when the heat used doesn’t go beyond 39°C. However, there are cultures, which are considered as ‘mixed cultures’. These are known to contain multiple strains of bacteria.
Rennet is another important ingredient in making cheese. It is an enzyme that is responsible for the milk to curdle together and then have a gel-like texture. It also allows the acidified milk to form a clean break, which is a term used when the milk starts to hold itself together when you use a cheese curd knife. Once the rennet is added, the mixture is left undisturbed to allow the gelling process. Rennet used in making cheese is either liquid, powder or tablet.
Now, let’s move on to equipment.
First is a stainless steel pot with lid. Make sure that the pot you’re using has a heavy bottom. This will allow the heat to disperse evenly without burning the milk. You may also use a heavy enamelled pot. However, you need to make sure not to use a pot made from aluminium, since it reacts with acidifiers used in cheese making.
Thermometer is also an important tool in making cheese. Achieving and maintaining the correct temperature during the cheese making process is very important.
When making cheese, it is also important to have cheese cloth. It’s a cotton fabric that’s used for wrapping the cheese curd and to drain the excess whey. Cheese cloths sold in supermarkets are open-weaved and fragile, so they are not recommended. However, if it is the only available option you have, what you can do is to layer a few pieces at different angles. This will help reduce curd loss.
Every cheese making facility needs a cheese press. As its name suggests, this tool is used to press cheese curds. Thereby exposing the milk protein and paving way for the loose curds to bond together to form a solid cheese. This tool is often required if you are making hard cheeses such as Parmesan, Cheddar, Swiss cheese, Romano, etc.
Cheese molds are also important. They are tools you can use together with the cheese press. Typically, after draining the cheese curds on a colander, they are placed inside the molds and then pressed.
For more information about cheese and cheese making equipment, please feel free to browse through our blog pages.
Cheese Kettle is a trusted supplier of dairy equipment in Australia. If you are looking for great advice about cheese making or if you want to start a cheese making business, talk to us. We will provide you with the best information and dairy processing equipment for cheese making.