Starter cultures are mixtures of bacteria which help acidify the milk so that it curdles and creates curds and whey. Starter cultures are also largely responsible for the flavour present in the cheese.
is a heat loving culture. It is used for cheeses that must be heated to a higher temperature such as Parmesan and other Swiss and Italian-type cheeses. Yoghurt is also made with a thermophilic culture.
Mesophilic is a moderate heat loving culture which would be destroyed at higher temperatures. It is used for 90 percent of your cheese making.
Rennet is an enzyme used for making the vast majority of cheeses. Rennet is not necessary if enough acidity is present in the milk to cause it to coagulate, but rennet does speed up the process and form a stronger, tighter curd, a characteristic that makes rennet essential for many of the classic harder cheeses.
Lipase is an enzyme made from animal tissue. It is added to milk to give a stronger flavour. This is useful in giving back some flavour to supermarket pasteurized milk, or for creating a strong flavoured cheese. (Note: Lipase must be stored in the freezer at all times.)
The pasteurization process which store bought milk legally must go through is responsible for lowering the calcium content naturally present in milk. Adding calcium chloride helps to restore some of the lost calcium and helps ensure you get a good, strong curd and a higher yield of cheese.
Salt is usually used either in a brine solution or sprinkled through or on the curds. This is usually done last for fresh cheeses, and before aging cheeses which need to be matured. Salt helps to add flavour, and also preserves the cheese. Salt should be non-iodized as iodine inhibits the growth of the starter culture.
Herbs can be added before the curds are put into their cheese moulds to add flavour while the cheese matures. Herbs are also great to add to fresh cheeses. Examples of good combinations to try would be whole cumin seeds in Gouda cheese, or basil in Feta. Herbs should be dried (not fresh) as fresh herbs may carry potentially dangerous microbes which could contaminate your maturing cheese.
Cheese Making Equipment
The Incubator is an insulating case which is designed to keep your milk in your Cheese Vat at the desired temperature. It can be used with either the 1L or 4L Cheese Vat. Warm water is poured into the Incubator to surround the Cheese Vat and keep the milk at the required temperature.
1L Soft Cheese Vat with Lid
This 1L Cheese Vat is perfect for soft cheeses which need to be left in a warm place overnight. This vat is therefore perfect for cheese such as Cream Cheese, Quark and Yoghurt. The Soft Cheese Vat is made from BPA free plastic and is both microwave and dishwasher safe.
4L Cheese Vat with lid
This 4L Cheese Vat is what will be used for the majority of your cheesemaking. It is the perfect size for batches of Feta, Camembert, Blue Cheese and Halloumi. The 4L Cheese Vat is made from BPA free plastic and is both microwave and dishwasher safe.
The maturing box is used to mature cheese which needs to be kept humid in an sterile place. The rack inside the Maturing Box is removable and can also be used for drying fresh and hard cheeses, as well as letting air circulate around the maturing cheese. If maturing cheese make sure you open the container every couple of days to allow a good flow of fresh air into the container.
The thermometer will ensure accurate monitoring of the milk temperature to certify optimal conditions for the starter cultures and rennet to mature and thicken the milk or cream. The thermometer included in our kits have a clip so that you can easily attach it to your pot or cheese vat.
Used to measure small quantities of calcium chloride.
Used to dilute rennet in the right amount of cooled boiled water to ensure even distribution
of the rennet in the milk. Rennet should be diluted at least 1:5 in cooled, boiled water
(water which is too hot, or contains chlorine will destroy the rennet).
Provides a mould to shape the cheese and let the whey drain from the curds.
Butter muslin is a special cloth which is used to help separate the curds from the whey. It is
often used to line colanders and cheese moulds to ensure that no curds escape and are wasted. The butter muslin provided in this kit is naturally made from 100% cotton.