- Purchase all recipe books, supplies and ingredients (see resources below for the home cheese maker).
- Have all your equipment sanitized and ready to go.
- Start with clean fresh milk no more than two days old.
Basic instructions for feta
- Pour milk (pasteurized or raw) into stainless steel pot heat to desired temperature. 85 degrees for feta
- Ripen cheese by adding culture mesophilic or thermophilic. Let ripen for desired amount of time, use mesophilic for feta.
- Add rennet using exact measurements for recipe. Stir and let sit 30 minutes to 1 hour until you get a clean break.
- Let the curd sit for 5 minutes, then gently sir the curd for 5-10 minutes.
- Let sit for 30 minutes. Then, hang in cheesecloth bags for 4 hours.
- Take out of bags, break up curd and put back in same bags. Place in cheese mold and press for 12 hours.
- Take out of press and place wheels in salt brine for two months.
- Brine solution: 2 cups of sea salt or un-iodized salt to one gallon of water.
- Raw milk cheese must be aged two months to be safe for consumption.
- You can place up to three wheels in the solution, be sure to keep them under the brine. You can place small tubs of water with lids on top to keep them under the solution.
- Feta can be kept in the brine forever, it will just keep aging and develop more flavor. Break off the amount you need when you need it or you can place the feta in a quart jar with brine in your fridge to make it easier to handle.
Cheese making sanitation
- Cleanliness is the most important factor in safe cheese making! So let’s keep it safe.
- You must be clean. Wear a hairnet; keep nails short and clean, hands washed. You cannot be too clean.
- Surfaces where cheese is handled, stored and made should all be washed with hot soapy water, rinsed with hot water, sanitized with warm bleach water and air dried. If making cheese in your kitchen-- animals should not be present.
- Cheese cloth bags should be washed and rinsed hot water and you can bleach them. Use 1 teaspoon bleach and cold water then store them. One suggestion: put a Tupperware bowl in the refrigerator until ready to use. You can also boil the bags and store them, instead of using bleach.
- If you remember that everything touching the milk or cheese needs to go through all the steps for sanitizing milk. Equipment sanitation will be the same. Spoons, knifes, bowls, everything should all go through the sanitizing process.
- Make sure when making cheese that there is not bleach left on containers to be used for rennet or culture. There is a good possibility the bleach will kill the culture and make your rennet inactive or less active.
- Once you get the hang of this. you will have a great time making cheese! Having fun in the cheese room makes all the difference and you will have wonderful cheese.
- Fias co Farm- A good all around website about goats. Includes goat care, health and husbandry, cheese making, and resource books.
- Caprine Supply- Goat and dairy supplies and information.
- Hoegger Supply Company- Cheesemaking supplies and equipment.
- New England Cheesemaking Supply- Good source for cheesemaking supplies. Cheesemaking Made Easy by Riki Carroll.
- Glengarry Cheesemaking Supply- Good source for larger quantities of cultures, equipment, supplies and consulting.
- Dairy Goat Journal- Information, ideas, and insights for everyone who raises, manages, or just loves goats.
- Creamline- A magazine about cheese
- Cheesemaking Made Easy (book) by Ricki Carroll
- Treating Dairy Cows Naturally (book) by Hubert J. Karreman, V.M.D
- Corvallis Brewing supply- Cultures, rennet, cheesecloth, cheese molds, cheesemaking books.