homemade cheese using rennet tablets

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by digitS', Dec 22, 2007.

  1. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Since yogurt is somewhat commonly used and a few folks even make their own:

    I'm wondering if anyone has some experience making and feeding homemade cheese made out of milk, buttermilk or yogurt, and rennet tablets. This recipe limits the whey that the chickens would otherwise need to consume.

    Steve
     
  2. picklespickles

    picklespickles Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 27, 2007
    i never made it with rennet, but i made a simple sort of farmer's cottage cheese type thing with lemon juice before. just heat the milk, add something sour (i think vinegar would probably work too) and then strain in cheese cloth over the sink or a bowl for a few hours.
     
  3. picklespickles

    picklespickles Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 27, 2007
    by the way, if you use soy milk, then it's like making a soft non square tofu.
     
  4. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Could you use pickle juice, Pickles?!

    Anywaaaay, both soy & dairy sound good but I'd be a little worried about the lactose intolerance issue with the chickens if one doesn't add an active culture.

    Steve
     
  5. picklespickles

    picklespickles Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 27, 2007
    i guess i thought it would just get it what it needs from the natural process like sour dough bread will? like you have a starter that you pass on and use for years and years so it has grown its own natural yeast/bateria/whatever? maybe not............
     
  6. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    First I have to say that in no way am I much of a cheese maker. (Still, I was well thought of in the chicken yard [​IMG]

    I believe that it may not be necessary to do anything at all and milk will form curds and the whey will separate. Adding vinegar or an active culture or rennet speeds up the process and makes it safer.

    The value of the active culture is also apparently for the protection of the birds. I understand there are studies out there showing the culture has important benefits.

    The dangers of just letting the milk sit there with no additives is that it will become contaminated with something toxic. Having the milk about 70°F throughout the process is important for it to work right.

    Back when I had access to lots of milk here's what I did. And, not only were the hens appreciative but I think I was doing the right thing for them.

    1. crush and dissolve 1/4 rennet tablet in a little water
    2. pour a gallon of the room-temperature milk into a shallow pan
    3. stir the water & rennet along with a little buttermilk into the milk
    4. allow the milk to stand 12 hours or so until it is firm like a heavy yogurt
    5. cut this into small pieces using a knife
    6. allow to stand until it is one-half liquid and one-half curds
    7. pour these curds & whey sloooowly thru a colander - the whey can go in the compost

    Serve the curds to the hens.
     
  7. carugoman

    carugoman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    whoa! Wait a few! Before anyone makes a toxic waste site...let me explain a few things about proper cheesemaking techniques from someone that has been making for generations.

    Rennet tablets are used for making rennet pudding. Under extreme dire emergency conditions one might be able to make an edible product that might be considered cheese,if you considered spaghettios fine Italian pasta! When making cheese,sanitation is not only required but necessary for successful,consistent product. If you're making cheese,make cheese,don't bake bread,don't cook the pot roast don't make brownies don't whatever! Cross-contamination and unwanted organisms in your curd can make you and your family extremely sick. Buy a book from Amazon.com or go to the library and read up about cheese-making;online there are many sites that offer free recipes and how-to's. It's relatively inexpensive to make fresh cheese and takes less than 2 hours time start to finish to prepare a few pounds.

    All y'all take care!
     
  8. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you, Carugoman! I hasten to clarify - I never ate this "cheese" - - it was for the poultry.

    I grew up, however, eating Junket. And, something all but identical to the "chicken recipe" is on that company's webpages - for people!

    This rennet approach was a simple one so as to better utilize milk. The birds just can't drink it straight or probably shouldn't. On BYC, I see lots of folks buying yogurt for their flock. Gosh, that looks expensive!

    Steve
     
  9. SandraChick

    SandraChick Chillin' With My Peeps

  10. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow Sandra! I had to follow that thread for 25 pages before I found the cheese recipe!! Went all the way to the end at 31 pages [​IMG] & 6 weeks ago. Wow, again!

    Enjoyed the whole thing tho' [​IMG] Gosh, a lot of yogurt making and there must have been lots going to the chickens that didn't pass the taste test. The pictures of the Saanen goats brought back some memories.

    The cheese recipe is the same 1/4 tablet rennet to 1 gallon of milk but there's the addition of the citric acid. All the stove-top heating makes things quite a bit more involved. All the Junket folks are asking of us is to keep the milk at room-temperature.

    I'd not have thought to find all this yogurt-making on the Egg & Chicken Recipes forum. Thank You, it was Fun!

    Steve

    Here's the thread's cheese recipe on page #25.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2007

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