How To Make Cheese

How To Make Cheese

There is an elaborative process involved in making cheese. Nowadays, cheese is often made in large factories whereby it can be produced in bulk. However, there are still some small artisanal producers who will make the cheese by hand.

What is the Difference Between (Un) Pasteurised?

Cheese comes in two forms, pasteurised or unpasteurised. Unpasteurised cheese is made when the milk has not been heated, and therefore treated against the harmful bacterias that it may contain. Although there are some associated health risks with unpasteurised milk and cheese, it is often the traditional way to make a lot of cheeses, for example, Brie and Camembert. Due to the associated health risks, it is advised to pregnant women to not consume unpasteurised cheese. 

The majority of cheese these days is pasteurised. If you are unsure, always check the packaging or ask your local cheesemonger. 

How to Make Cheese:

In most cases, the cheese is pasteurised. This is the process of heating the milk to 70℃ for a short period, and then rapidly cooling it. This removes harmful bacteria and microorganisms. 

how to make cheese
Stir and heat milk to remove harm bacteria.

Next, add the starter cultures. These ensure a reaction to produce lactic acid from the lactose in the milk.

Additionally, add other moulds to the cheese at this stage to assist with the maturation as well as the unique flavours for a particular cheese. For example, add Penicillium Candidum to white mould cheese for a soft and bloomy rind (such as Brie and Camembert) or add Penicillium Roqueforti to blue cheese to create the blue mould.

The coagulation stage occurs after the starter cultures. Coagulation means to solidify. At this stage, milk turns to curds with the addition of rennet.  

When fresh cheese is made, the acid from the starter cultures is used instead of the animal rennet. 

Once the curds begin to set, they release moisture, better known as whey. 

Repeatedly cut and reshape the curd to release more whey. Cheese becomes drier as it expels more whey. For example, Parmigiano Reggiano has virtually no moisture at all due to this process. 

How to Make Hard Cheese:

Similarly, cook the curds slowly to remove even more whey. This cooking stage is more common when making semi-hard and hard cheese to ensure they dry out. 

Brining cheese, or at least adding salt, is common during cheese making. Not only does it add flavour, but it also helps to preserve the cheese and keep it lasting longer. Not all cheeses are brined, alternative methods such as wax or cloth may be used instead. 

Once the curds has firmed, they are placed in moulds so the cheese can become the desired shape and size. Leave the cheese in the mould for up to 16 hours. 

Afterwards, press hard cheese again to remove any final whey.

Lastly, mature the cheese. Monitored and controlled intensely, controlling the temperature and humidity in the room. Maturation must occur in the perfect conditions to allow the enzymes to break down the fats and proteins, which enhance the flavour and texture.