The Science of Making Cheese Presenter: Lindsey Long What is cheese made from? How does cheese form? What is the process? It is not hard to make cheese and most everything any body would need is easily found at the grocery store or the kitchen. All you need is a gallon of milk, 3 lemons, a little salt, a thermometer, 5 quart pan, colander, cheese clothe, long handled plastic spoon, large bucket, and if you want to you can add what ever else you want to spice it up. Cheese is made by heating the milk to 185 degrees Fahrenheit then adding up to ½ of a cup of lemon juice or vinegar, or by using rennet tablets. Rennet contains rennin, which is a bacterial enzyme that multiplies when in a lactose environment. Both of the methods cause the curding action or coagulation. The difference is that lemon juice and vinegar contain high amounts of citric acid, which causes a fast coagulation. These cheeses are known as soft cheese. Cream cheese, ricotta, and cottage cheese are examples. When rennet is used it takes the bacterial enzyme longer to raise the lactic acid level high enough to coagulate the cheese. This takes a few hours to set up and when strained and dried becomes hard cheese. Drying different ages of cheese can take months so today we will make ½ batches of soft cheese due to time restraints. Ingredients ½ gallon whole cow or goat milk ¼ cup lemon juice Sea Salt Additives are optional. Prepare colander with cheesecloth lining. Set in large pan or bucket in sink. Heat milk as directed above stirring frequently. Add the lemon juice after thirty seconds at 185 degrees. Watch the milk as it starts to solidify. At this point the lemon juice has raised the lactic acid level high enough to make it curd. The liquid left behind is called whey. Some people drink the whey and use it in other cooking. Pour the contents of the pan into the colander then add salt. The salt kills the lemon taste so how much salt you use determines how it tastes. A great tasting soft cheese is Lemon Basil. Allow cheese to strain for a few hours or even overnight. The longer the cheese is strained the harder the cheese becomes. Making cheese is rewarding, you get to eat it when its’ done! Don’t forget to clean up your mess with soapy bleach water, rinse thoroughly, and wipe everything down real good J. More Great Ideas! Pepper/Bacon Crushed Red Pepper/ Tomato Mango/Peach Melon Mix Garlic/Chive Savory/Sundried Tomato Crab/ Garlic/Savory Show what you learned about making cheese by filling in the blanks and return to teacher. Thank you. 1. Heat the milk to ______ degrees Fahrenheit. 2. Milk provides a _______ environment for rennin to multiply. 3. Lemon juice and vinegar contain high amounts of citric __________. 4. Lactic acid _________________ when it reaches high levels. 5. Rennin is a ______________ ___________. 6. Lemon juice and vinegar makes _________ cheeses. 7. Rennet makes __________ cheese. 8. ____ decreases the taste of lemon juice. 9. If let to strain for a long time the cheese becomes _______. 10. Remember to ______ everything down when you are done.