I love easy, home made cheese, especially when I can get the milk for it.

I prefer to get 'farm fresh' milk, but when that isn't easily acquired, I buy it in the organic section of my local super market. Please keep in mind that you can't get 'raw' milk as easily as you could years ago (unfortunately, it is illegal to sell in a lot of states). Most of us have to settle for pasteurized, farmer's market milk and/or what is available for purchase organically.

This recipe, when followed correctly, will yield about 10 - 12 ounces of semi-soft cheese. If this is your first time making a cheese of any kind, resist the urge to flavor it up. Wait to experiment with flavoring a cheese after you can make a good cheese. A good cheese (for this type) is soft to semi-soft, sliceable and/or easily crumbled.

a 4 quart stock pot (not copper or cast iron as these are reactive metals that will turn your cheese bad colors)
medium - large colandar
new package of food grade cheese cloth
candy thermometer or meat thermometer
large bowl (2 - 3 quart bowl is okay, but you want to make sure that the colander will rest on top of the bowl (so the bowl opening need to be at tad smaller than the top of the colander. The collection bowl should also be significantly deeper than the colander so it can collect the whey.)
large spoon - wood, bamboo, plastic
rubber scraper
ball of cotton string or yarn (binder's twine would be ok, too)
place to hang your cheese from while it is draining
kitchen timer (or other timer that you can hear or see)
1/2 gallon raw or pasteurized sheep milk (goat milk will work too) *NOTE: DO NOT use ultra-pasteurized or double pasterized milk!!
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (and/or 1 tbsp of white cider vinegar)
1/2 tsp to 1 tsp freshly ground sea salt (table salt will do if you don't have a mill or sea salt)
optional: 1/2 pint of fresh cream (again, pasteurized ok, but NOT ultra-pasteurized) This is optional because the sheep or goat milk you're using will not always have an optimal amount of cream. Also, some people prefer a lower fat cheese.
optional: brand new pair of rubber gloves that have been scoured and set aside
about 3 - 4 hours of time

Step 1: Slowly Heat the Milk and Salt.

Place the 4 quart pot on the stove and pour the 2 quarts of sheep or goat milk into it. Make sure to use a rubber scraper to get all of the cream into the pan as well.

Add the 1/2 tsp - 1 tsp of sea salt.

Turn heat up to about medium to medium high. It should take about 1/2 hour to slowly heat the milk to 185F.

Watch over it so it does not boil and periodically check the temperature.

Do NOT leave the thermometer in the pan.

Turn off the heat when the milk has reached 185F.
<p>can you tell me how long the cheese will keep for.. Thank you</p>
<p>This is a really clear and interesting instructable. I love the idea of making my own cheese and here in France have easy access to local direct sales raw organic milk. We have an organic goat farm down the road too, so I'll have to see if they sell the raw milk. We used to make this sort of cheese on the farm when I was a child and I really want to get into making it again, particularly as we only eat organic and the finished cheese is naturally quite expensive but our labour is free!! I also like your suggestions for the whey because that was one of the reasons I hesitated up to now because I was wondering what to use it for. Just a question, can you make it from the milk after it has been frozen, as we tend to go and fetch our milk once a week and I understand freezing has little effect on bacteria (except to make them sleepy!) so technically it should still work? Many thanks for posting this. I enclose a picture of a nearby town's raw milk vending machine. All the best, Sue</p>
<p>I love the picture of the raw milk vending machine! It makes me wish we had such easy access, here. I have found that freezing the milk before making the cheese makes a much granier cheese (mealy) and I don't much like the texture. However, if you find that you don't like the texture after using the frozen milk, I've found that you can whip the cheese and use it much like cream cheese.</p>
<p>You can freeze and thaw cow's milk and make cheese from it, I can't see any reason you shouldn't be able to do that same with sheep's milk.</p>

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