Cheese Making

From Antivist


Curds & Whey

  • 12 cups fresh water (3 quarts)
  • 6 cups instant dry milk powder
  • 1 to 1-1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat the water in a very large pot over low heat. Stir in the dry milk powder as the water heats. Heat it gently so the milk won't burn. When the milk is very hot (about 120°), stir in about a cup of vinegar. Stir the mixture up gently. Turn off the heat and allow the mixture to sit for about 10 minutes, don't skip this part. The mixture has to sit for the milk to have a chance to curdle. Now there should be a big clump of white cheese curd in the middle of a pool of clear amber liquid. Look at it to make sure. If the liquid is still milky, then you need to add more vinegar to finish curdling the cheese. Add a couple of spoonfuls of vinegar at a time and stir gently. More of the cheese will curdle and clump up. Continue until all of the cheese is curdled, and the liquid is clear. This liquid is called whey. The white clumps are called curds. You have made curds and whey, just like Miss Muffet.

Now the cheese must be rinsed. Line a strainer or collander with cheese cloth, or a thin cloth napkin, or a clean baby diaper. Get the cloth wet with a little water. Carefully pour the big pot of curds and whey into the strainer. Let all of the whey strain off. Run a little cold water over the curds to cool them down, and to rinse out all of the whey. Squeeze the curds with your fingers to break them up, and rinse them thoroughly. Gather up the cloth around the curds. Squeeze it to remove as much of the moisture as you can. This part takes a few minutes. Be patient, and squeeze the cloth covered ball until it is quite dry.

Now, open up the cloth and transfer the cheese curds to a bowl or container. You will have between 1 and 1-1/4 pounds of cheese curds, or between 3 and 4 cups of firmly packed curd. Stir the salt into the curds.

Ricotta or Cottage Cheese: The cheese you have now will work as ricotta cheese in lasagna, or pretty much any where else. To turn it into cottage cheese, add a little evaporated milk or yogurt to "cream" it and stir to combine. You can divide the mixture in half and make some of each if you want to give them both a try.

Homemade Yogurt Cheese

  • 1 quart yogurt, store-bought or homemade, dairy or soy
  • 1 strainer
  • paper coffee filters or cheese cloth or any loosely woven fabric that is clean, and preferably, pet-hair-free

You may use homemade yogurt or purchased yogurt to make this recipe. I always use homemade because I keep it on hand regularly. Line a strainer with damp cheese cloth, or paper coffee filters or any clean loosely woven clean fabric. It will take about 3 or 4 paper coffee filters to line a standard sized strainer or colander. Spoon the yogurt into the filter or fabric. Set the strainer in the sink and allow it to drain overnight. The whey will drip out of the yogurt, leaving a smooth, creamy cheese similar in texture to cream cheese or neufchatel. This recipe makes about 1-1/2 cups.

Cottage Cheese

The key to either of the 'cottage' cheeses is to heat the curds gently and gradualy. Cottage cheese is made my allowing the milk to coagulate, or clabber, without rennet. Heat a gallon of skim milk to about 72 degrees F, and add 1/2 cup of buttermilk. Stir thoroughly then cover the milk and let stand undisturbed in a warm place for 16-24 hours until it coagulates. You can use raw milk, but because of the risk of unfavorable bacteria developing, you will probably have better results with pastuerized milk. Do not let the temperature drop below 70F during clabbering. When the milk has clabbered, cut the curds into 1/4 inch cubes, mix and let rest for 10 minutes. Then slowly raise the temperature to 104F increasing it by 5F every five minutes. Continue to cook at 104F for 20 to 40 minutes or until the curds feel firm. The curds should not stick together when squeezed, and the inside of the curds should appear dry and granular. If necessary, raise the temp. as high as 120F. When the curds are cooked, drain and rinse them. Add a teaspoon of salt for every pound of curd. For a creamed cottage cheese add 4-6 tablespoons of sweet or sour cream.

Farmer's Cheese

Is made by using the cottage cheese recipe above, except you use whole milk rather than low-fat. After coagulation cut curd into 1/4 inch cubes. Heat slowly to 104F. and continue to cook until curds reatin shape after being pinched or pressed with the fingers. Drain, rinse and pour into an oblong shape in a clean, folded cheesecloth. Wrap cloth over and press lightly with a board.

Cream Cheese

Combine 2 C. heavy cream w/2 T. buttermilk. Suspend the mixture in a clean cheese cloth over a bowl for 24 hours or until the cream thickens. The longer you leave it suspended, the drier the cheese will be. Season with salt or herbs for taste if you wish.

For a tangy cream cheese and with less fat, use yogurt in place of the cream and Buttermilk.


  • Heat one gallon milk in a stainless pot with a thick bottom to 185° F (85° C). Stir constantly enough to prevent scorching.
  • Stir in 1/4 cup of white vinegar.
  • Stir until curd forms and separates. (Within a minute or less.)
  • Cover and let cool to a managable temperature.
  • Line a strainer with a sterile handkerchief, pour in the mixture to allow the whey to drain though and separate out the curds.
  • Pick up the corners of the handkerchief, loop a thick rubber band around the ends and hang to drain for several hours in a cool place. The fine curd slows down the drainage.
  • Remove the panir to a container and refrigerate. It will keep for 2-4 weeks.


Ricotta is made from re-cooked whey. In fact the word "ricotta" means "re-cooked." It forms when proteins from the whey separate, rise and coagulate. This recipe will not yield much more then a cup of cheese.


Whey from the making of a one gallon cheese recipe. 1 Quart Milk 1/3 Cup White Vinegar

  • Mix the quart of milk with the whey.
  • Warm the mixture to 100 F / 38 C. Keep it at this temperature for about an hour. The milk might curdle, do not worry.
  • After an hour, bring the temperature of the milk mixture to 200 F / 93.5 C. Do not allow it to boil.
  • While stirring with a whisk, slowly add the white vinegar.
  • Stir for an additional five minutes then remove the mixture from the heat.
  • Cool the mixture in the refrigerator for at least 8-10 hours.
  • Line a colander with a double layer of a very fine cheese cloth or butter muslin.
  • Pour the mixture through the colander.
  • Allow the cheese drain for several hours.
  • Salt the ricotta cheese to taste.
  • Place the cheese into a sealable container in your refrigerator.
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