All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Science with Mrs. Suggs
If you ask enough good questions, you may eventually find the best answer.
Make Your Own Cheese
The purpose of this experiment is to find out how easy or difficult it is to make cheese in your own kitchen using milk, lemon juice and cheese cloth.
The science of making cheese dates back thousands of years. Many different human cultures have made cheese throughout history. The invention of cheese was important to these societies because it allowed them to have a source of protein on hand that did not spoil as quickly as fresh milk or meat. Aged, hard cheeses, in particular keep for long periods of time in cool places, such as in caves. With an available source of protein, cultures that learned to make cheese could devote their attentions to other matters, such as inventing new technology, or engaging in artistic endeavors.
• 1 gallon whole or buttermilk
• The juice of a lemon or vinegar
• Salt to taste
• Cheese cloth
• A stove
• A strainer
The materials needed for this experiment can be bought at a grocery store.
1. Pour the milk in a large sauce pan. Add a little bit of salt (around one teaspoon)..
2. Bring the milk to almost a boil (about 90 degrees celsius, 190 dgrees fahrenheit) .
3. Turn the heat down to low.
4. While stirring the milk continuously, pour in the juice from one lemon or the vinegar (about 1/3 of a cup).
5. The milk will curdle, meaning that the milk fat (curds) separates from the liquid in the milk (whey).
6. Allow the milk to cool slightly.
7. Using a slotted spoon, remove as many of the curds from the milk as you can and place them in the cheese cloth.
8. Pour the rest of the milk through the strainer. You can keep the whey if you would like. It is drinkable.
9. Transfer the remaining curds that are in the strainer into the cheese cloth.
10. Gently roll the curds up in the cheese cloth..
11. Allow the cheese to drain for two hours or more. Leavein fridge overnight.
13. Enjoy. Place any uneaten cheese in the refrigerator. It is best to use the cheese within three days.
14. Experiment with other types of cheeses as time allows. There are several soft cheeses that can be made quickly and easily at home. Many recipes are available through the internet or cookbooks.