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Making cheese

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Darnit, now I've gone and come up with another dumb question.

 

I understand the "basics" of making cheese  -- milk, rennet, curdle, break curd, drain.  However, how do I make different types of cheese?  I've seen a few shows make homemade mozz, but what about other soft cheeses?  I don't mean soft like Brie, but the stuff you buy in chunks and can shred.

 

I'm fortunate to live in the sticks, so while I don't have a Restaurant Depot down the street, I do have local milk producers.  They will sell non-pasteurized milk labeled (for legal reasons) as "not for human consumption".  My question is, from a restaurant standpoint, can I pasteurize my own milk (legally)?  The purpose would be to use the lower heat, longer time and not end up with the end product that comes in gallon jugs (also not homogenized).  I believe this should render a better cheese.  Also, it would leave me the ability to source milk from other animals (sheep, buffalo, etc) to create a unique taste.

 

For the purpose of this discussion, my intent is to make and serve fresh cheese rather than to try to create aged cheeses (I don't have enough biology, chemistry, etc to attempt such things). 

 

The most important requirement is that I make SAFE cheese. 

post #2 of 5

If the cheese is to be consumed within 90 day (or is it 180 days, whatever), according to FDA the milk has to be pasteurized.

If you don’t pasteurize the milk the cheese has to age for at least 90 (180) days. If anything went wrong it would show up within that period.

 

Yes you can pasteurize your own milk.

post #3 of 5

According to the FDA, raw milk cheeses must be aged for a minimum of 60 days at a temperature no higher than 35°F.  Of course, this is geared towards producers.  The FDA can't really regulate what you do at home, if it is for your own consumption.  Many of the world's great unaged, or short aged cheeses have traditionally been made with raw milk and continue to be made that way.  They just aren't legal in the US.  Of course, there is science to somewhat support the FDA's stance, just as there is science to support the fact that eating soft cooked eggs are more "dangerous" than hard cooked eggs, or medium rare burgers are more likely to make you sick than a well done one.  My personal opinion is that this is overkill, especially if you are very familiar with the farmers you are buying your milk from.  I guess it really all depends on what your tolerance for risk is.  Are you someone who makes sun tea, eats over easy eggs, or prefers your burgers medium rare, or do you prefer to follow FDA guidelines and err on the side of safety?

http://www.onceachef.com/ is my personal blog where I share many recipes, my passion for cooking, and all things food.
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http://www.onceachef.com/ is my personal blog where I share many recipes, my passion for cooking, and all things food.
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post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

I'm interested in doing this for my restaurant, not for home.  Therefore, it's important that I be "legal".  If I can "legally" pasteurize my own milk instead of buying it pre-pasteurized, then I'm set.  I still need to do the learning of making cheese, but first the legal hurdles.

post #5 of 5

A local creamery is looking for help and I'd love to do the jub, just to learn the secrets of really good cheese making.   Alas itis too far away from me, and moving is not practical.  

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