Thre are two different ways how to make cheese: you can proceed in a natural way or sterile.
How to make cheese in a natural way
Making cheese yourself in a natural way means that you do not work sterile, as it is done in cheese factories. Raw milk is used, that’s the way how to make cheese naturally. This is only permitted for a few types of cheese in dairies. Making cheese yourself in a natural way also means that no chemical additives are used. Depending on the type of cheese, most of the cultures in or on the cheese are required to get the desired type of cheese.
The type of production and the recipes are also natural and, above all, simple. Because if you saw a “professional recipe” as a beginner, you would be more likely to get scared and tell yourself “I can never do it” instead of just trying and making good cheese.
The industry always tries to make exactly the same cheese in order to get always the same taste. Therefore, it is necessary to work with pasteurized milk and to monitor every single step and intervene if necessary so that the cheese is always the same.
If you want to make cheese yourself in a natural way, you only roughly measure whether the values are where they need to be. However, this is only the case with very few cheeses. Most are allowed to have their natural fluctuations and still become a perfect cheese. That is the way how to make cheese very easily 🙂 Natural cheese always tastes different. So when you make cheese yourself, you will never get the same cheese in a natural way. The raw material alone, the milk, has extreme fluctuations, depending on the season, species, weather, and feed. The number of microorganisms also fluctuates greatly due to the climatic conditions and seasons. It is a good thing if you always get a slightly different cheese. It is always a surprise. But it always has its typical basic taste as you know it. If you want to work in a natural way when making cheese yourself, it also means that you do not have a set of rules, as is the case in the industry. We are also allowed to use vessels, shapes, and rooms that are not approved in industry/handicrafts.
How to make cheese in the “sterile way”
Pasteurized milk is used here. All cultures, fungi and microorganisms must be added artificially. Calcium in the form of calcium chloride must also be added to produce a solid jelly. The advantage of how to make cheese in this way is, that the cheese almost always gets the same taste. Since all cultures are always present in the same strength. If you want to make your own cheese in the “sterile way”, you also have to work sterile. Any foreign culture caused by contamination of the hands, devices, vessels, premises, or a single hair in the milk can cause the cheese to tip over. The whole “system” is vulnerable to external circumstances.
Conclusion regarding the two types of how to make cheese:
You can choose the way you want to make your cheese yourself. To help you to choose, I have listed the advantages and disadvantages for you here.
Here are the advantages if you want to make cheese yourself in a natural way:
• Every cheese is unique.
• No foreign cultures have to be added to the cheese.
• The manufacturing process is less susceptible.
• You don’t have to work sterile.
• The cheese is pure, natural food.
• A regional product with its own character is created.
Here are the advantages of working “sterile” when you make cheese yourself:
• Every cheese tastes the same.
• The maturity is not left to “chance”.
• More control over the course.
• No danger from unwanted germs in the milk.
Now to the disadvantages of both types:
The natural way how to make cheese yourself:
• There may be unwanted germs in the milk.
• Every cheese tastes different.
• The desired type of maturation can drift into another.
• Less control during the ripening process.
• Only a few types of cheese can be sold.
The “sterile way” to make cheese:
• An “artificial cheese” is created.
• All cultures must be artificially added.
• You have to work sterile and very precisely.
• The regional character largely disappears.
• Additives must be used.
Tip for a better feeling and more security:
If you have no experience and low knowledge about how to make cheese, it is advisable to work with pure-bred cultures first in order to avoid incorrect production. In this way, you learn how maturity is controlled and carried out safely. If you understand this, you have a better feeling to deal with the natural process.
I have made several experiences myself of how big the differences in milk quality can be. Always make sure that you get really clean milk. This is the only way how to make cheese that is really good and “safe”. If the milk smells strange when heated, it is advisable to either pasteurize it or topple it away.
It is still better to work “sterile” when making cheese yourself and to get a “clean” cheese in the end, than a natural one that could be “contaminated”.