Making Squeaky Cheese Curds

Have you tried cheese curds? They are delicious! They are easy to make, too.

To make cheese you need 2 gallons of milk. Raw milk will give you more cheese than pasteurized milk from the store. Pasteurized milk is easier and less expensive to get than raw milk. We have Echo, so I have plenty of unpasteurized milk! A gallon of milk weighs 8 pounds. Each gallon of milk gives between 1 and 1 1/2 pounds of cheese. What happened to the rest of the pounds? Read on and find out!

I also need some rennet, and some starter. Starter changes the milk slightly so it’s able to turn into cheese. You can find out more information about what a starter does, and what it’s made of here.

Rennet is used to make the milk turn into a curd, which is a little like jello. You can find out more about rennet here.

How to:
Slowly heat 2 gallons of milk to 96˚F over low heat.

Once the milk reaches the right temperature, add the starter culture. I’m using a C-201 thermophilic starter. That’s a lot of big words for 1st grade.

The starter is in the small spoon. I add a ‘dash’ to 2 gallons of milk.

I mix the starter in and let the milk sit for about 20 minutes to ‘ripen.’
That means the starter has done it’s job and it’s time to add the rennet.

I add 1/2 teaspoon rennet mixed into 2 Tablespoons of cool, filtered water.

Once the rennet is added, I cover the container with a camp chef cover that
keeps the milk mixture nice and warm.

It’s time to wait again. Leave the milk undisturbed, that means don’t move it, don’t touch it, don’t check it. It needs to rest for 30 minutes. I usually clean the kitchen or vacuum or find something else useful to do while I’m waiting for the curd to form.

After I cut the curd, I mix the curds for 5 minutes.

Then I have to slooooowwwwly raise the temperature of the curds to 116˚F by turning on the stove very low.
This takes about 30 minutes, and I need to keep stirring it.

Can you see a difference in the curds (the white chunks) between the first picture and the last picture?
Heating the curds makes the whey (the clear, yellow-ish liquid) come out of the curds. All cheese is made from curds.

Next I need to separate the curds from the whey. I’m making cheese, I need the curds, but not the whey.

About 12 pounds of whey went down the drain, that’s about 1 1/2 gallons. (Remember I started with 2 gallons, each gallon weighs about 8 pounds.)

I have to wait about 30 minutes or more depending on how dry I want my curds. It takes a few hours to make cheese. I usually have a few 30 minute breaks to get useful things done.

Time to open the cloth!

Now our family gets to enjoy some fresh Squeaky Cheese Curds! They are delicious! We like them better than the orange Squeaky Cheese from the store. My Squeaky Cheese isn’t orange because I didn’t add any food coloring to it. If you want your cheese to be orange you need to add a special food coloring.

I hope you have a chance to try this recipe at home!

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