Category Archives: CHEESE




During my 2 weeks off I had a lovely time…and my cheese cave (aka the wine chiller) is looking not too shabby…bit worried about the cheeses at the top though..not sure I pressed them enough and they’re looking a bit wonky !!!…they seem to be drying out OK so hopefully Fingers crossed


No surprises for what we’re going to be having for tea..I’m feeling very productive today!!


  • 10 litres of milk stir in 3 3/4 teaspoons Citric Acid
  • Heat to 95º.
  • Once it’s at that temp put in the rennet (I use Renco) for this amount of milk and with the Renco 7 mls .
  • Stir for 30 seconds.
  • Once it’s stopped swirling then leave it to sit for 3 minutes to let the curds develop.
  • Cut the curds into cubes making sure you cut all the way to the bottom of the pan.


  • Next lift the curds out of the pan and put them in a glass bowl and drain off as much of the whey as possible (put it back into the pan ..don’t thrown them away).
  • Knead the curds and drain more whey off. This is the time to add a good pinch of salt to the curds.

The curds should start coming together but as they cool it will get more difficult. Pop them in the microwave and heat them on high for 30 seconds (or a double boiler would do if you don’t have a microwave but I’m sorry I don’t know how long it would take to heat the curds)

Keep kneading them until they can be formed into a ball that has a smooth and shiny surface and you’re done.

After I have made the Mozzarella ball I put it straight into a brine solution as I’ve found if you put them on a tray or plate or something they tend to flatten out in brine they float and keep their shape…but that’s just my personal preference.

So later tonight Pizza ..having been so productive today though I’m going to cheat and use prepared bases (I got them from a local pizza company who were selling them for $1 each for a pack of 3 I can’t make them that cheap and the time saved ..oy !!

Oh and of course the whey is now draining for more Ricotta (apparently the whey from Mozzarella produces one of the better Ricotta’s – I like them all)..well it had to be done didn’t it? DSC02839

Today mostly I’ll be making Cheese ……

Well as the title says yesterday (not today) I spent the day making cheese. I am so pleased I have finally found somewhere I can get raw milk from (which until my cows can have calves I really need) and I can get easily as much as I need…….so yesterday I got 40 litres (in fact a little bit more).

So I spent the day making cheese and put 25 litres of milk to what I think was good use.


In the end

Gouda ~ did one large one which I cut in half and 2 small ones – one I put cracked black pepper in (I had this made by a commercial company and really liked it)…altogether around 3kgs (61/2 lbs)of cheese

Had huge amounts of whey left so that was used 2 ways..

Ricotta ~ I would say about 1kg (2lbs)
…….and after that had been strained what was left went out to the pigs this morning….so nothing was wasted….I like that…a lot Smile


I’ve still got 20 litres or so left so I’m thinking Mozzarella either today or tomorrow.

It’s been a bit of a revelation to rediscover just how fascinating milk is. Don’t get me wrong I think I’ve always though it was amazing because there are so many things you can do / make with milk but cheese making has given me a completely different appreciation of it all over again …..

Does that make me sound sad ?!!!…Oh gawd I sound like I have no life and now I find milk fascinating!!! Ahhh well  I’ll just go and sit quietly and rock in a corner LOL!! Nyah-Nyah

Cheese update…

The cheese I made back in February has been sat maturing away in the wine fridge …sorry cheese cave…so we thought as it had reached the grand old age of 6 months we’d open it up and check it …for quality assurance purposes you understand Winking smile

I have to say I was delighted…it tasted like a mature cheddar (thank goodness!) so we kept half to eat, I cut the half into quarters and then re-waxed them to carry on doing their thing.


I’m off work now for a couple of weeks so one of my days is going to be taken up making more cheese….roll on.


I made Ricotta from the whey I gathered from the two cheeses I made..this morning it was well and truly drained but still lovely and moist. I would love to say I left it overnight on purpose but truth be known I forgot about it last night!!! LOL !!!

I made Ricotta last week with my other cheeses but this time I tried leaving the whey for 24 hours (rather than adding vinegar to acidify it) as I had read somewhere that acidifying it this way gives a smoother cheese…well it was right. Adding the vinegar and making it straight away resulted in quite a grainy cheese – leaving it 24 hours produced a much nicer, smoother cheese….so that’s the way to go in the future.

So as an exercise just to see how efficient making our own cheese is from a cost point of view I had a little look about…..

Ricotta here in NZ at one of the supermarkets is anything between $5-14 for a 250g tub. The amount I got from the whey yesterday was 450g

So the sums:

  • Milk                          = $12:00
  • Starter Culture           = $  1.50
  • Gas                          = $  5.00
  • TOTAL                      = $18.50

(I don’t know if the amount I’ve allowed for the gas is accurate but I am allowing this much as an over estimation)

So for a kilo of Gouda and Cheddar and 450g of Ricotta I am more than happy that it’s efficient from a financial point of view. Efficient from a time point of view ….mmmm…well it does take a lot of time to do but if these cheeses come out tasting good then it’s time I’m happy to invest….we’ll have to wait and see …March for the Gouda and the Cheddar- May at the earliest…you see it’s teaching patience 🙂


What I’ve been doing for the last few days (other than working) …well been making more cheese…I have a new pass time at the moment…now I’ve discovered that it’s not as scary as I thought it would be I’m on a roll!!!

So I now have a Cheddar type cheese maturing (the one I made last weekend) in it’s wonderful wax jacket and in addition 2 Gouda’s maturing in the fridge and another Cheddar sat in the press ( will be out tomorrow to go and air dry).

It’s a fascinating thing to do…and I have cheeses…they look like cheeses anyway….now we’ve just got to wait until they’ve matured to find out if they taste like cheese. The one thing I am learning (other than making cheese obviously) is patience ~ with this new process for me it’s all very exciting while you are making it but then it all comes to an abrupt halt and you have to wait….no choice in the case of cheese.


Well I pretty much think says what I’ve been up recently..I’ve not been keeping up with writing on here.

I’ve wanted to make cheese for a long time. I thought to begin with how hard can it be…then I started reading …..Oh good grief to quote someone I was speaking to seemed like a dark art !!!!!!

So I avoided it for a while even though I had my lovely cheese press.

Cheddar type cheese

What I used:

  • 16 litres of raw milk  (4 gallons roughly…I worked it out on 4 litres per gallon and it worked fine)
  • 7.5mls liquid rennet (7mls per 10 litres of milk)
  • 1oz salt
  • Mesophilic starter culture

Equipment needed:

  • Large heavy bottomed pan (or a double boiler)
  • Cheese cloth for draining
  • Colander
  • Whisk
  • Long knife for cutting


  • Warm the milk until it is 30 deg F..needs to be done slowly.
  • Then add Mesophillic starter (I’m not going to put amounts because it will depend on who the supplier is or if you make your own as to what is needed for the amount of milk you are using…mix thoroughly and then leave it to ripen for an hour.
  • Add the rennet and then slowly pour it into the milk and stir for at least 5 minutes.
  • Allow the milk to set for 1-2 hours until you get a clean break
  •  Cut the curds with a long knife into ¼ inch cubes and then let them sit for 15minutes to set.

  • Slowly raise the temp of the milk to 102 deg F over a 45 minute period stir every few minutes so the curds don’t stick together. Then cook them for another 45 minutes at 102 degrees – keep stirring. (I sat the big pan on top of a roasting tin filled with water (it was too big to fit in anything else..but a smaller pan could go on a double boiler to keep it at 102.
  • Drain the whey off quickly into a cheese cloth lined colander….try not to let the curds mat together. I drained off as much of the whey as possible before I drained the curds into the collader.
  • Put the curds back in the pan / double boiler and stir then to break up any bits that have matted.
  • Add the salt and mix well.
  • Cook them for one hour stirring every few minutes (I kept the heat really low and it kept the temp at 102)

  • Put the curds in a cheese cloth and then………….
Ta da…the cheese press gets it’s first use (the beginning of many I can now tell you)…..
  • Press the cheese at 20lbs for 45 minutes
  • Remove from the press and turn it over and press at 40lbs for 3 hours.
  • Remove from the press , turn it over and press at 50lbs for 24 hours.
  • Remove from the press, put on a cheese board and dry at room temp for 3-5 days until the cheese is dry to the touch…turn every day.
  • Wax the cheese and age in the fridge for 3 – 24 months depending on how sharp you want the flavour. Make sure it is turned every few days so it dries evenly.

(You can use shop bought milk  and add ¼ tsp calcium chloride per gallon of milk)


If you want flavours like horseradish or jalepeno then you add them just before the first pressing…Sprinkle them evenly and then mix well.