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Supplies and Ingredients Needed to Make Cheese

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To make cheese at home it requires first buying a few essential tools and ingredients. You can buy these supplies separately, or an easy option is buying a cheese kit that includes all the essentials. These kits can be bought from online cheese supply stores. Kitchen supply stores and stores that sell beer brewing equipment typically sell cheesemaking kits and equipment too. Below is a basic shopping list for making small batches of simple cheeses in your own kitchen. Consult the recipe you are using for specific, additional ingredients.

Stainless Steel Pot

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Stainless steel is important because it will not react with the ingredients. I find that pots made by All-Clad are durable and heat uniformly. The pot should hold at least 4-6 gallons.
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Slotted Stainless Steel Spoon

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As with the pot, stainless steel is best because it is non-reactive. Slotted works well because when it comes time to scoop the curds out of the pot, some of the liquid (whey) will drain from the spoon.
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Cheesecloth

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Cheesecloth is used to drain the whey from the curds.
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Curd Knife

A curd knife is a flat, long knife used for cutting curds. For small batches of cheese, a butter knife can be used instead.

Stainless Steel Thermometer

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Buy a thermometer like the Taylor Weekend Warrior that reads up to 225 Fahrenheit and can clip on to the side of a pot and monitor the temperature of the milk as it heats on the stove.
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Milk

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Whole milk works best. Do not buy ultra-pasteurized milk. Look for regular pasteurized milk in the grocery store. If you want to use raw milk or goat’s milk, it is easier to find at gourmet grocery stores or health food stores.

Starter Cultures

Healthy bacteria helps flavor cheese and start the acidification of the milk. Specific cultures are needed specific cheeses.

Rennet

An enzyme that thickens the milk. Most rennet is derived from animals, but vegetable rennet is also available. It comes in liquid or tablet form.

Citric Acid

A powder that helps increase acidity and separate the solids (curds) from the liquids (whey)

Lipase Powder

An enzyme that helps specific flavors develop in cheeses like Mozzarella, Blue Cheese and Parmesan

Salt

Salt meant for cheesemaking has no iodine, as iodine will react with essential lactic bacteria. Kosher salt, which typically does not have iodine, can also be used.

Calcium Chloride

Helps re-stabilize the milk structure of homogenized milk so it will thicken(most milk in grocery stores is homogenized)
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