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Free Images of Making Cheese

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Making Cheese

Turning any kind of milk into cheese involves removing water, lactose and some of the minerals in the milk to produce a concentrate of milk fat and protein.  The essential ingredients to produce cheese include milk, a coagulating enzyme known as “rennet”, bacterial cultures and salt.  Sometimes other ingredients are added for flavour.  I recently visited a New York state Mennonite dairy farm near the Finger Lakes and enjoyed their blueberry cheese - a mixture of cheddar cheese with plump berries. 

The basic steps to cheese production are:  

Ripening the Milk - is the practice of giving a culture some time to begin producing acid before rennet is added.  

After milk is warmed in a sterilized container (pot), a starter such as yogurt or buttermilk is added. The milk is now incubated to allow the bacteria in the starter to grow. 

Adding Rennet - After a period of time, the milk is slowly heated to about 86 degrees F and rennet is added.  Rennet causes milk proteins to transform the milk liquid into a semi-firm gel.  The milk is allowed to sit undisturbed for a few hours until the gelled milk provides a “clean break” when tested.  A clean break means that the milk has gelled enough and has a yogurt/pudding like consistency that will produce a clean crack when tested.

Cutting the Curd - The milk, now called “curd”, is repeatedly cut with a long blade and allowed to settle for a few minutes.  Curd should not be over cut because it could result in curd particles that are too small and not recovered in the cheese.  It should be noted that different types of cheese require different types of curd size.  Something like a hard Italian cheese will have curd cut to the size of a rice grain, while Cheddar curds are about one cm cubes.  Ripened soft cheeses may have curd larger than 2 cm.  In the images below, an automated vat with mechanical knives has been used.

At this point, the water and lactose begins to separate from the curds – this liquid is known as “whey”.  The whey is poured off the top.

Cooking - The curds are now cooked until they have the consistency of firmly scrambled eggs.  The cooked curds are again allowed to sit for a few minutes to allow them to sink. 

Draining - After cooking, they whey is poured off.  The warm curds are now salted and placed into a cheese press.  During pressing, the warm curds knit together to form a solid cheese.

Ripening & Packaging - The prepared cheese is ripened and packaged.

 

 mixing chemicals for cheese making

Cheese Making -1
Checking the chemical compounds.

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Cheese curds in a vat.

Cheese Curds - 1  in a cheese vat.

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Draining curds in cheese vat.

Cheese Curds - 2

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Packaged cheese curds.

Cheese Curds - 3

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Packaged cheese curds.

Cheese Curds - 4

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Cheese Image Pages  [1]

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