Cheesemaking for Beginners

By on November 09, 2011

Tricia just prepared a log of herbed mozzarella. You can do this too!

Making cheese at home is surprisingly easy.

Enjoy fresh flavors in just the kind of cheese you want.

When you’re the cheese maker you get to decide which milk to use (cow, sheep, goat), what fat content, and which seasonings to add.

It’s a fun project to do with kids or friends, as a cheese-making party.

We have all the supplies you need—you just add the milk!

mozzarella ricotta cheese making kitTricia makes mozzarella at home in our video, using our 30 Minute Mozzarella/Ricotta Cheese Kit. She uses whole cow’s milk as the main ingredient, and adds her own dried herbs.

Tips for Beginning Cheesemakers

Use NON-homogenized cow’s milk

Make your own decision about whether you want to use pasteurized or raw cow’s milk, but be sure the milk has not been homogenized. The homogenizing process turns the butterfat into very small globules, distributed through the milk. It’s more difficult to create cheese from homogenized milk and the cheese will be smoother, with less body.

Did you know that goat’s milk and sheep’s milk are naturally homogenized? They have smaller fat globules that do not emerge as cream; this means their cheeses will be softer.

Easy to skip the microwave step

The classic mozzarella recipes call for two short rounds of microwaving. If you don’t use a microwave you can replace these steps with additional heating on your cooktop.

Save the Whey

When you drain off whey during the cheese-making process, you can reserve the nutrient-rich liquid. Whey has easily absorbed protein, along with minerals, vitamins, and lactose; use it to replace other liquids when you make pizza dough or bread. Ricki Carroll, the cheese making expert, says whey keeps for up to a week in the refrigerator and can be frozen. Dogs and cats love it too.

For more information try some terrific books on cheese making.

In the video Tricia talks about books that are full of photographs showing you how to make cheese and all sorts of dairy products including butter and yogurt.

Another excellent book is Home Cheese Making from the noted cheese maker, Ricki Carroll. Each book gives you seasoned advice in clear, easy-to-follow recipes.

  Comments (19)


Can you make cheese from this kit without microwaving the cheese?  I will NOT use a microwave!

Posted by M.C. on Nov. 11, 2011 at 9:24:34 PM

M.C., Many of us choose the non-microwave life. Yes, you can make mozzarella with the kit but without the microwave. Here’s how, from Mother Earth News

Posted by on Nov. 12, 2011 at 9:47:02 AM


If your are confused about the use of microwaves read this excellent article

Posted by Roz on Feb. 10, 2012 at 8:07:32 PM

Roz, Thank you for another point of view on microwaves. We all have to look at the research and make up our minds.

Posted by on Feb. 14, 2012 at 3:13:13 PM


How about making cheese without salt?  I mainly want to learn to make my own cheese so that I can do without the salt — all cheeses taste too salty to me!

Posted by Snoodely on Jul. 20, 2012 at 3:30:08 PM


Hi - I love this video and want to try this - I have all the ingredients, and it looks much simpler than the recipe in the cheesemaking book I have….

My one question: How much milk are you using for the mozzarella recipe?? I have watched the video 3 times, and can’t for the life of me find where it tells how much milk to use!


Posted by Rose on Sep. 22, 2012 at 10:51:17 AM

Rose, Sorry about that! Our recipe uses 1 gallon of milk. Enjoy your mozzarella!

Posted by on Sep. 24, 2012 at 2:08:21 PM


hello, can you use vegetarian rennet in the recipes which call for real rennet, such as the goat cheeses?

Posted by Michele on Oct. 27, 2012 at 12:54:38 AM

Michele, Yes, you can use vegetarian rennet.

Posted by on Oct. 27, 2012 at 8:19:02 AM


My daughter and I followed your mozzarella recipe.  It worked great.  We’ll be looking for ricotta and other cheese recipes.  Thanks.

Posted by Ken & Isabelle on Nov. 04, 2012 at 4:56:51 PM


Ken & Isabelle, Hooray! Thanks for letting us know!

Posted by Charlotte, Peaceful Valley on Nov. 29, 2012 at 3:13:48 PM


While you provide quantities for citric acid, rennet, water, etc., I didn’t hear how much milk you started with.  Looked like it might be one gallon.  Can you confirm?

Posted by Richard B. on Jan. 08, 2013 at 5:04:52 PM

Richard B., Yes, it is one gallon of milk.

Posted by on Jan. 09, 2013 at 3:01:41 PM


Can we use a copper pot? the video just says non-aluminum.

Posted by Rick W on Mar. 05, 2013 at 3:18:15 PM

Rick, Copper might react with the acids in the milk over time.  Best to use a stainless steel pot.

Posted by on Mar. 06, 2013 at 3:24:02 PM


where do you get non homoganised milk?

Posted by manette martinez on Mar. 15, 2013 at 9:02:43 PM

Manette, Your local health food store or natural foods co-op should have it.

Posted by on Mar. 17, 2013 at 1:24:34 PM


Grew up in TX on a small organic farm (before most people knew about organic). My mom made the BEST smooth pimiento cheese spread from cottage cheese. I would love to find the recipe. It contains no grated cheeses.

Posted by Rose Rawson on Aug. 08, 2015 at 10:13:42 PM

Rose, that sounds really good. I would suggest doing a search on the internet, I found a bunch of recipes when I searched for “Pimiento Cheese Spread from Cottage Cheese”. You may find what you are looking for!

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Aug. 21, 2015 at 10:48:23 AM

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