Buying milk to make cheese.


Cheese can be made from milk from any dairy animal. Fresh, raw milk from cows or goats and store bought whole milk. One rule of thumb regardless of the source of your milk is the fresher the better. When purchasing milk from the store, be sure to check the freshness dates.

Using Store Bought Milk

Ask your grocer for milk from their latest delivery to ensure the freshest possible. Milk should always be kept refrigerated until used.

Homogenized Milk

Store bought milk is homogenized which means that the cream particles (butter fat) have been mechanically broken up into microscopic particles. This is done to prevent the cream from separating from the milk. Homogenizing and pasteurizing alters the milk protein. Unless the cheese maker compensates for this, the milk will not make a satisfactory curd.

Adjusting Store Bought Milk

To compensate for the processing of store bought milk we add calcium chloride prior to adding rennet. The addition of calcium chloride will help restore the altered milk protein and aid in the development of a quality curd.


Using Fresh Milk

If you have access to fresh milk from cows, sheep or goats we encourage you to use it. As you may already know, the chemistry of fresh milk will vary with the season, diet, and even the time of day you milk. You will need to experiment a little to adjust your recipe. Use your recipe as is, then make adjustments as needed.

*This article is an excerpt from The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Cheese Making by James R. Leverentz.

homemade cheese tray

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