Making cheese at home can be somewhat overwhelming at first. There are so many different types, styles, and variations of cheese to choose from, it's tough to decide where to begin.
For new cheesemakers, it helps to pick cheeses that are forgiving when it comes to temperature variation and time discrepancies. Your first cheese might not look just like the picture, but it will almost always taste delicous and fresh, and in making it you will have learned a few fundamental processes involved in cheesemaking.
CULTURED SOFT CHEESES
Fresh, unripened soft cheese is a good place to start, because it involves the basic processes of cheesemaking without getting too involved in more complicated steps like pressing and aging. There are a few different types of cheese that are easy for beginners.
Acid cheeses are another good place for beginners to start, as these recipes generally involve only a few ingredients. These cheeses are made by combining heated milk with an acid such as lemon juice or vinegar to help the milk coagulate. If you attempt these cheeses you'll also need butter muslin to drain whey from the cheese to thicken its texture.
If you're looking to create a homemade cheese with a little tang, you may want to try one of our goat cheese recipes. The ingredients and effort required for these recipes vary a bit, so take a peek at each to see which looks most doable for you.
If you are feeling very adventurous and want to jump right into making hard cheeses, here are a few good ones that are easier and will give you a feel for the basics of hard cheesemaking.
These familiar cheeses are generally mild in flavor with shorter aging periods. To try out some other techniques in cheesemaking, colby and cheddar are great smoking candidates, and gouda can be brined, depending on the recipe.
BEGINNER CHEESEMAKING KITS
If cheesemaking still sounds daunting, a basic cheese kit may be the place to start. The kits contain all the ingredients and equipment needed for making specific cheeses. Just add milk!
While our Cheese Starter Cultures are for making dairy cheeses, many vegan cheese recipes begin with a starter culture called rejuvelac to make cheeses such as this Cashew Vegan Cheese. More vegan cheese recipes can be found in the book Artisan Vegan Cheese.