Barncast 68 — Cheese #2

Finally as promised here is a cheese walk through! The show really ended up in two parts, the Farm Phone/Round Up and the Cheese walk through. For the second bit make sure you have access to a computer to walk through with us. Now some food snobs out there will note that I do a fairly fast recipe and it won’t have a ton of flavour. That’s the best part though, anyone at home can make this recipe! It only takes milk, citric acid (canning aisle) and rennet (pudding/cooking aisle). From start to finish it only takes 30 minutes, what could be better than that for your first introduction to making cheese?? So listen and follow along at:
Picture Walk through

Picture Walk through

Picture a day, frame of brood:
Frame of Brood from the hive

First flowersDucklings

  1. Kim’s avatar

    loved your cheese episode. how different would cheese curd be?


  2. Sherry W’s avatar

    Wow, I want to run home and make cheese now! I’m going to look in my local store to see if I can find everything.


  3. andrew’s avatar

    Hey Kim and Sherry!

    Sorry to Tom and India and anyone else that had trouble this morning with comments. Our hosting provider had some trouble and lost part of the database. A trouble ticket was filed and it was resolved within minutes.

    Kim, what do you mean by cheese curds? The type you get when making hard cheeses or the type you eat?

    The type you get when making hard cheese are very different, they are cut into cubes. Think of very fragile cubes of jelo floating in the whey. They aren’t that stuck together mass. The type you eat taste a lot different too. They are normally cheese curds from making cheddar cheese and as such are very dry and squeaky. Since this cheese is heated and pulled it form a very different texture and taste.

    Good luck Sherry! Let us know how it turns out. :)


  4. India’s avatar

    Well, I’m REALLY frustrated now :0( All bouyed up by your great walk through, I went in search of the ingredients/equipment. I got rennet no bother, much to my surprise. But citric acid? Nope. Seems I would need to find a drug dealer and ask if they’d not bother with the cocaine, but could they supply me with some citric acid! Grr! And, I can’t get a thermometer that is low enough.
    So,being a law-abiding citizen, I thought about adding the juice of 1 – 1.5 lemons – what d’you think? Worth a go? And, how critical is the temperature? Could I heat the milk slowly until the curds start to form?
    I might just try it anyway, but would welcome and thoughts you might have.
    Thanks ;0)


  5. andrew’s avatar

    Hey India,

    I didn’t think you would have so much trouble finding it. :( 1.5 lemons just isn’t enough acid unfortunately. I did a quick google search and it suggested the following options:

    The last one was a homebrew place, so maybe you have a beer making store near by? That help?


  6. India’s avatar

    Thanks Andrew – I was Googling for Sodium Bicarbonate this morning and came across a UK supplier that also sold citric acid – and yes, it is a soap making supplier. I never would have guessed to look there.
    When I order some, I reckon I’ll have enough to make cheese for the next 100 years ;o)
    Take care,


  7. Kim’s avatar

    Thanks Andrew! I meant the kind you eat. It’s so mild I didn’t realize it was related to cheddar. The squeek turns some people off but I love the stuff!



  8. Liza NYC’s avatar

    Thank you for all your wonderful podcasts. You inspired me to give my son a cheesemaking class at Bobolink Dairy, a farm in Sussex County, NJ where we also have a house. He’s taking me on the 2nd ticket so I’ll let you know, if you’re interested, how it goes. Loved this podcast, as I have all the others, and I mean every single one. I just don’t get a chance to listen to them on time every week so my comments come a little late sometimes. Take care of yourselves and hope your foot is better, Misty.


  9. misty’s avatar

    Thanks Liza, my foot is OK. I just rolled my ankle and it’s already better. Gimpy ankles are a pain.

    Definitely let us know how the cheese-making class goes. Maybe you could take along a recorder and ask the instructor some questions. We would definitely play it!


  10. John G’s avatar

    I get citric acid for $3.50 US for one pound US at a local wine/beer making shop (Butler Winery). Liquid rennet is at our Sahara Mart, $5 for about 50 gal of milk.

    My yield is 600g of curds for 1 gal of milk. What is yours?

    Feed whey to the PIGS! Whey still has a lot of good protein and nutrition.

    One thing I have learned is that too much rennet will make your cheese too rubbery, hard to work with, and tasteless. The addition of enzymes, available in many different varieties and often requiring some kind of mold, allow you to make different kinds of cheeses. Basic Farmer’s cheese, Mozzarelle, and Ricotta do not require the enzymes. But do follow the steps Andrew and Misty lined out to make your basic cheese.

    We had a dinner party last night where we had my homemade cheese ravioli and my homemade sausage ravioli (with homemade pasta) and both were a big hit. And You can do it too!


  11. Liza NYC’s avatar

    About recording the cheese making class, I’ve never done that except by accident on my camera. But, I’ll try or at least take pictures and somehow get back to you. Take care of yourselves!
    Liza NYC


  12. Alissa’s avatar

    Hey M and A it was cool to hear myself on the farm phone, thanks for giving a review of how it all began for you two. I’m from CA too (Bay Area)! I want to do a podcast. I’ve secured a url (or is it .net?–it’s 2:42 AM not too precise at this hour!), but am confused about what to do next. Do you have a show you can suggest of yours about how to podcast? I’m thinking libsyn, but would rather something free, eh? guidance is appreciated.

    keep it up guys!



  13. andrew’s avatar

    John G, our yield is around 10:1, though it varies with the recipe so for soft cheeses it’ll be much higher, with havarti it’s lower, closer to 10:1 and with parmesan or any long aging dry/themophillic cheese it maybe closer to 15:1.

    Alissa, drop us an email at and we talk about it more detail. I think podcast411 might be a good start if you listen to his early episodes, he talks about how to podcast I beleive. Anyways shoot us an email.



  14. gina’s avatar

    For supplies (e.g. citric acid, other types of cultures, etc.) that can’t be found locally, one can try (New England cheesemaking Supply). I’m sorry if you mentioned this in the podcast (I didn’t get a chance to listen today at work and it’s impossible on my slow internet at home, LOL). I have yet to try making cheeses, but I plan to soon.


  15. misty’s avatar

    Hi Gina,

    We did not mention a specific cheese-supply place (well, I think we might have mentioned Hoegger’s (sp??)) because there are a lot of them out there. We have no reason to support a specific one. Anyone cal Google for “cheese supplies” and get a lot of hits. It’s worth-while to compare prices, as they can vary a lot.


  16. gina’s avatar

    I wasn’t endorsing them either and I have never ordered from them. I just saw the Ricki Carroll book and know they are affiliated. I was trying to help out your commentor who couldn’t find citric acid. sorry.


  17. andrew’s avatar

    Hi Gina,

    No worries at all, New England Cheese Making sells very nice small packets of everything and their book is a great starting point. I have bought from them and didn’t have any complaints. India unfortunately is on the other side of the pond hence her problems finding citric acid. :) She did find some and made some wonderful cheese, just click her name to go to her blog for pictures. :)



  18. misty’s avatar

    No problem at all, Gina. :) We appreciate the suggestion. I think we both try really hard not to endorse any one company, since we are not affiliated with any. I also had just wanted to bring up the point that prices can vary widely. Andrew found that out when he was first starting to buy supplies.

    We are always open to suggestions and comments from our readers, and I hope I didn’t give the impression that I was anything but happy to see your comment. :)


  19. Nikol’s avatar

    Hooray! I just made cheese with your tutorial! I screwed up on a few counts, but it still worked, and l tasty & promising, and I can’t wait to see what happens when I get it right.

    The grocery had tons of milk marked way down because it was close to date, so I thought it would be a low-risk adventure. I used junket (used a whole tab because it wasn’t really clotting, but I think with junket it just takes a lot longer–at least 30 minutes, maybe more) & 2% cow’s milk. (As a side note, only one of the many chain grocery stores around here sells citric acid. I live in rural Kansas & the stores in Topeka didn’t have it–well, the natural food store allegedly had it, just not in stock–but the market in another nearby small town did. When I used to can years ago, it seemed like they had it in every store, but it seems to have given way to Fruit Fresh & similar products.)

    I think I overworked the cheese a bit and got a little too enthusiastic about eliminating whey, because it was a bit rubbery. We ate half for dinner with tomatoes & basil & I’ve cubed the rest & tossed it with balsamic vinegar, olive oil & herbs & pepper. I plan to toss that with hot pasta & vegetables for dinner tomorrow night. Also found ricotta instructions & made that from the whey, but don’t know what to try with the rest (no pigs).

    Anyway, thanks again! I love your podcast. It’s inspirational & encouraging & chockablock with really top-notch information. I found you looking for chicken podcasts on iTunes & I’ve been working my way through the archive for the last month, and have hooked several friends as well. Huzzah for Geek.Farm.Life!



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