Thursday, March 1, 2012

Find Your Whey - March: Time to Get Cultured

It's March's Cheese Challenge. We finally have a name thanks to some brainstorming from Sean over at Punk Domestics. This month we're finally getting a bit of culture. We're going with soft cheeses so you won't need to worry about having a press yet.

So far we've done cheeses that are acidified with acids such as lemon juice and citric acid. Now we'll be using cultures that acidify cheese. There are two primary types of starters that come in two forms. The first type, which we'll be using this month, is the Mesophilic Starter. It prefers low-temperature cheeses. The second type is a thermophilic starter which is used to make high-temperature cheeses.

They both come in two forms a direct-set starter or a prepared starter. Direct set is by far the easiest type because all you need to do is add it directly to the milk. Prepared starters require a lengthy process to create, but they also ensure that you no longer have to buy the starter because, like yogurt, you can just keep it going. Unfortunately the prepared starter is only good for 3 days in the refrigerator and a month in the freezer.

There are several types of cheese you can make this month that will work. I'm going to be making a sun-dried tomato feta in olive oil.Unfortunately this must be aged for up to 4 weeks so I'll be posting about making it next month.

Other cheeses that you can make are (Cheeses that don't have links are found in the book Home Cheese Making: Recipes for 75 Delicious Cheeses):

Cottage Cheese
Cheese Curds
Cream Cheese
Swiss and French Style Cream Cheese

Don't forget to share your experiences!


  1. When my goats are in production we make a lot of cheeses...mostly soft ones. Last summer we attempted gouda and colby for the first time..they were good..but we are so impatient it was hard to let them age! My resource has been Cultures for Health, Caprine Supply, and (their monzorella kit is a favorite). I look forward to seeing more of you experiences!!

  2. Yay! I'm excited to do this month's cheese challenge. :) Haven't decided which to make yet though...

  3. Woohoo! Made cream cheese: