Q. Can I use non fat milk to make this cream cheese instead?
A. Unfortunately, this will not work very well. Without the butter fat, you will have a very low yield and a very dry final product. You can try it, but it likely will not yield a good cream cheese.
Q. I am trying to make the cream cheese from your site. I used raw milk but I also added the pint of heavy cream. It has been resting for approximately 13 hours but doesn't seem to be forming a firm curd. What can I do to save it?
A. If the milk is not setting then I usually expect to find an ultra-pasteurized or other excess heat treatments by the dairy. Since this is raw milk I normally look at milk age or late lactation milk.However if there is any residual cleaner or sanitizer on equipment used, this can be a problem
Q. Can i use raw milk? How would that affect the final product?
A. Yes you can use raw milk but must be 100% sure of it’s safe quality. It will be different than our online guides because it has varying amounts of solids. I normally suggest using 40-50%less culture and about 30-40% less rennet but you should start with some small trials first.
Q. How much salt do you normally add?
A. At the last mixing of the curds, 1 tsp. salt can be added for flavor and to encourage the final whey release. Then from there, you can add salt until you've reached your desired taste.
Q. The kitchen where I make my cheese stays pretty cool, 65 degrees F in the winter and 70 degrees F in the summer. It is winter time now. I will be trying this recipe during the winter. I figure I should turn the heat up to 68 degrees to keep the ripening milk warmer. Will my cooler temperatures have an adverse affect on the cheese, or are there adjustments that I should make to assure good ripening and flavor?
A. Colder weather is bound to make cheesemaking more difficult. Compared to the average home kitchen, a cheese making room is filled with hot water and warm milk so make rooms are usually warm. In the home kitchen or small room for making cheese and usually much smaller volumes of milk, some adaptations need to be made to get the new cheese into the proper temperature, moisture, and even airflow. Simple things … — like a cooler with warm bottles to keep the temp warm. — A pot in a sink full of warm water to make sure it stays warm — Even old blankets, sweaters, etc to incubate the new cheese.
Q. 2 questions, please. I saw where someone else asked to use a Greek yogurt strainer instead to butter muslin. The reply was that it would take a long time to drain. Could I still use the Greek yogurt strainer if, after transferring the curds into it, I put it into the fridge to allow if to drain for a longer time? If this is not possible, is there a reusable strainer that is a suitable replacement for butter muslin? Thank you.
A. Personally I find the cloth to be the best for draining because the fibers are better at wicking moisture away from the curd mass than plastic or wire screens. This is why most serious Chevre producers still use cloth draining bags. They work! The cream cheese with high fat usually needs to be opened part way through draining and mixed. Fat tends to hold moisture. Do not drain at fridge temperature.