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General Questions

How much milk do I need to make cheese?
Can I contact other Mad Millie cheese makers?
What are the cost savings when making your own cheese?
How can I divide up a culture sachet?
Can I use expired rennet?
Can I use expired cultures?
When must I pasteurise my milk?
What is the difference between Calf Rennet and Vegetable Rennet?
When should I add Calcium Chloride to the Milk?
How long do the cultures last out of the freezer?
Do I need to sterilise my cheese cloth?
Does Mad Millie provide cheese making demonstrations?
How can I get non-chlorinated water if I don't have any at home?
 
How much milk do I need to make cheese?
Yields depend on the type of cheese that you are making and also the type of milk that you are making the cheese from.

Typically 10 litres of cow's milk is needed to make 1 kg of hard cheese.

4 litres of milk makes approx 500 - 700 grams of Feta or mozzarella (fresh cheese)

2 litres of milk will make approx 500 grams of cream cheese.

As you can see it all depends on the type of cheese and how much moisture is left in the cheese.

Typically the yield of cheese is higher for sheep's milk and lower for goat's milk. Cow's milk sits in the middle of sheep's and goats milk.
 
Can I contact other Mad Millie cheese makers?
Yes we have both a Twitter and Facebook page so you can communicate with other cheese makers.
 
What are the cost savings when making your own cheese?
The main ingredient in cheese is milk. Therefore, the cheaper you can get your milk, the more money you will save when making cheese. If you are in a country where it is legal to purchase raw milk straight from a cow, it is wise to look around your local area and see if there are any farms which are willing to sell you their milk at a cheaper price than at your supermarket.

Otherwise, generally there is greater cost savings with the fresh, soft cheeses. This is because they require less milk to make more cheese (more of the moisture is left in the cheese). In general you can make approximately 500 to 700 grams of fresh Mozzarella or Feta from 4 litres of milk. Approximately 2 litres of milk is needed to make approximately 500 grams of cream cheese and 10 litres of milk is needed to make 1 kg of hard cheese.
 
How can I divide up a culture sachet?
Each sachet is sufficient for approximately 8 – 16 litres of milk, depending on the cheese. If you want to divide up the sachet content evenly, simply open the sachet and empty it out onto a piece of tin foil. Use a sterilised credit card or something to divide the culture in half (or whatever division you prefer). Use one half, and wrap the other half tightly in the foil and store in the freezer in a sterile pottle (available from our online store).
 
Can I use expired rennet?
Over time rennet loses its activity and you may find that it takes longer for it to set the milk. Adding more rennet to get the milk to set may make the cheese taste bitter. It may therefore be best to invest in some new rennet. The expiry date of the rennet is shown on the packaging.
 
Can I use expired cultures?
Culture loses activity over time. You may therefore find you need to use more culture to compensate for the loss of activity. However, the problem with this is that you will have no idea how much extra to add to get the desired amount for the cheese you are making. Because of this, you may find it is easiest to invest in some new culture.

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When must I pasteurise my milk?
If you are using raw milk from a farm, you should pasteurise your milk before making your cheese for health safety reasons.

There are two methods of pasteurising milk in order to kill of harmful bacteria:

Method 1) Heat the milk to 68 degrees Celsius (150 degrees fahrenheit) and hold for two minutes.

Method 2) Heat the milk to 63 degrees Celsius (150 degrees fahrenheit) and hold for 30 minutes.
 
What is the difference between Calf Rennet and Vegetable Rennet?
Calf rennet is made from enzymes taken from a calf's stomach which helped it to digest the mother's milk. Mad Millie Vegetarian Rennet on the other hand is suitable for vegetarians. This is a microbial rennet made from special moulds which are able to coagulate milk. 
 
When should I add calcium chloride to the Milk?
If the milk you are using for cheese making has been processed, either through pasteurisation or homogenisation, the calcium content in the milk may have been affected. This may result in a weaker curd than would be the case with using raw milk. Adding calcium chloride can compensate for this loss of calcium in the milk, and help form a stronger, tighter curd.
 
How long do the cultures last out of the freezer?
Mesophilic and Yoghurt culture are shelf stable under 25 degrees C. The Thermophilic and Aromatic Mesophilic/Flora Danica culture last for 24 months in the freezer and 3 months at room temperature. The Penicillum Camemberti and the Penicillum Roqueforti mould spores last for 12 months in the freezer and 2 months at room temperature. Kefir culture lasts for 12 months in the freezer and 2 months at room temperature. So your cultures will not deteriorate during postage. As long as you put your cultures in the freezer once you receive them they will be fine.
 
Do I need to sterilise my cheese cloth?
Yes you should sterilise your cheese cloth. After use, soak your butter muslin in warm water to get rid of any milk residue and then soak this in water that contains some idophor steriliser. If you want to use your cheese cloth again, straight away, just squeeze out any excess water, the butter muslin does not need to be completely dry before using again. Obviously it will have to be dry if not using straight away. Remember to resterilise this before use.
 
Does Mad Millie provide cheese making demonstrations?
Yes, Mad Millie do provide cheese making demostrations. Prior to these events, information about these are posted on our facebook and twitter page and an email is sent to those who have subscribed to our newsletter. So if you are interested in these, subscribe to our newsletter and your contact information will be entered into our customer database.
 
How can I get non-chlorinated water if I don't have any at home?
You can just boil your tap water and then let it cool, or you can buy bottled water from your local supermarket.

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