This is a great page to visit if you’ve bought a DIY cheese kit from me or are considering it. Cheese making requires a bit of patience, flexibility and innovation but don’t worry! If you don’t already possess these traits, making cheese will help you practice them and who knows, maybe someday you can even claim to have them! I’m working on all this myself so I speak from experience.
This page is part User’s Manual, part Supplies Info.
If you have any further questions, please send a comment and I will reply as soon as I can. Thank you!
Info. on Ingredients and Supplies:
Thermometers- I’ve recently switched from the glass, non-mercury thermometers currently pictured on etsy and artfire to heavy duty metal thermometers. The glass therms were great quality but since we’re always seeking improvements and have found them, the switch is on! The temp range is the same 0-220 degrees F with increments of 2 shown- perfect for cheesemaking (you can also use it for cooking meat and even candy I think). We changed because unlike the glass thermometers the metal ones are not breakable, are also non-mercury and can be recalibrated by turning the nut under the display with small pliers (boil water=212 DF, twist the nut until you hit that temp, tada! you recalibrated). An added bonus, you can rest the metal thermometer on the edge of the pot either as is or by fitting the cover’s pen clip onto the thermometer itself as shown in the photos. I don’t know about you but I prefer this to constantly dipping the glass thermometer to check the temp.
Rennet- a coagulant used in cheesemaking. If you keep your tablets in the freezer, they will be nice and potent for at least 1-2 years. This is not the same as Junket brand rennet which is used for pudding-like desserts. If you use that rennet you will have to almost quadruple the amount for use in our recipes. From what I understand, it can be used for cheese if you want to try it.
We use Marschall’s vegetarian rennet tablets developed from a mold strain called Rhizomucor miehei- completely void of any animal ingredients. Traditionally rennet was made of calf stomach lining. Concoctions made of plants such as nettles and thistles are also used with success around the world.
Cheese Salt- pure kosher flake salt without iodine or anti-caking agents (these interfere with cheesemaking)
Citric Acid- food grade acid derived from fruit. It’s sour, sometimes called lemon salt. It is completely safe (you can buy it in spice sections of some grocery stores and it covers sour candies) but like lemon, can be an eye irritant and when it produces dust it can make you sneeze, so just be careful.
Butter Muslin- 100% finely woven bleached cotton used to drain cheese, butter, yogurt etc.
Cheesecloth- loosely woven cotton fabric used in all manners of kitchen and other crafts. Used interchangeably with butter muslin but it is not nearly as finely woven. UCC provides only Butter Muslin but I may sometimes call it cheesecloth out of habit.
Molds- for our purposes this refers to food grade, sturdy plastic containers with drainage holes. They drain cheeses and shape them into cool shapes.
The brown coffee bags are made of 25% recycled fibers and 40% post-consumer material. The lining is glassine which is a polished paper- not a petroleum plastic or corn plastic. It is completely recyclable and compostable at home, not a facility! Before you recycle though, consider that they are sturdy and that the tin-tie makes them very reusable. You can store your cheesemaking supplies in the bag, in your pantry, indefinitely.
The labels are completely recycled/recyclable and the adhesive is water-based.
The cardboard boxes are made of 100% recycled materials, sturdy and reusable as well as completely recyclable. You can store your cheesemaking supplies in the box, in your pantry, indefinitely or cover my labels and use the box for a gift!
Any more questions? Email us at urbancheesecraft (at) gmail.com.