Sourcing milk when ready to make some homemade cheese (Critical Task)
Sourcing milk is one of the most critical tasks., Unlike yogurt and kefir, cheeses preferably are made with minimally processed milk from healthy cows and licenced farms.
For best results at home, the milk must not be homogenised and should be fresh as posible - maximum day two after milking. The raw milk has excellent coagulation, but if not sourced from the “right” farm can be dangerous due to the posible presence of pathogens. Fresh milk is a must if you wish to reduce the risk of food poisoning to a minimum. However, raw milk, bacteria, and fungus are traditional sources of cultures.
On the other hand, pasteurised milk is not sterile but reduces the risk of food poisoning. So regardless of the type of milk you choose - raw or pasteurised- always ensure that it is fresh as posible and with the highest level of fat and protein. For the supermarkets, “fresh as posible” frequently means 3-5 days, but remember that day 2 is sometimes a critical point as any other day on top can spoil your try.
A good piece of advice is to source your milk from farms that make the cheese themselves.
Making cheese with overprocessed milk is posible, but you need to add to the milk all elements lost during processing: cultures, fungi, enzymes, colourings, sometimes flavours and calcium(calcium chloride)
As with yogurt and kefir making, homogenised milk must be avoided, as it breaks down fat globules into smaller globules. As a result, the milk will not make large, firm curds, reducing the cheese yield and negatively acting on the ability to handle the cheese during production. What the calcium does - Calcium is the “glue” that helps hold together protein structure and maintain strong curds. Calcium chloride is added to homogenised or pasteurised milk to restore the calcium level.
Milk from any animal can be used if the recipe does not specify the animal. However, the milk will be different depending on the season, stage of lactation, and diet. The goat milk creates soft curds, so calcium chloride is frequently added. Usually, Buffalo and Sheep milk contain more solids, increasing the cheese yield. The various milk also can change the colour of the milk.
The minimally processed whole milk is better as the high level of fat makes the cheese increase the yield and flavour and improve the texture compared to skim milk. Sometimes cream is added to increase the amount of fat in the milk and enhance the cheese, but the primary modifier is the freshness of the milk.