FAQ's

Cheese Kits Troubleshooting

Cheese Making is an art form as well as a science. Sometimes it takes a few attempts to learn the nuances of cheese making before we perfect each recipe. Here are some helpful points to read over as a checklist to make sure you have considered some of these pieces throughout the process.

1. What milk did you use? Please refer to our FAQ's section to learn about the best milk to use.

2. Is your thermometer working? Make sure you test your thermometer in warm or hot water. If it appears to be stuck, place the thermometer in ice water to reset to zero. Hold the clip and stem and turn the gauge or dial back to zero so it is aligned then test again in warm water.

3. Have you properly cleaned and sanitized your pot, slotted spoon, measuring cups and measuring spoons? You can sanitize using a water vinegar solution.

4. Did you use non-chlorinated water with your rennet? Chlorine will deactivate your ingredients. Make sure you use bottled or distilled water.

5. Did you add the full quarter tablet of rennet? Always add a minimum of 1/4 tablet of rennet or more. Did you wait at least 10 minutes for the rennet to activate in the water? Make sure the rennet is completely broken up and there are no large chunks before you add to the milk. Rennet that has been sitting as a liquid solution before for longer than 30 minutes will begin to deactivate.

6. What was the fat content of your milk? Our recipe is based on using a specific range of milk fat (+/-3%-+/-4%) if your milk fat content is well under 3% or well over 4% the PH level will be be off and you will get ricotta. For high fat milk, like buffalo milk, double the ingredients. Low fat milk such as skim, 1% or 2% rarely work when making mozzarella.

7. Did you allow at least 15-30 minutes for your rennet to set? Did your temperature drop below 90ºF during that time? Did you allow for 3-5 minutes in between knife cuts? After the knife cuts are made be sure your temperature is at least 90ºF before beginning to stir the curd.

8. How old is your bacterial culture? Has it been stored in the freezer? Culture will begin to deactivate about 6-8 weeks if it is left at room temperature. It will last 2 years in the freezer.

Cheese Making is an art form as well as a science. Sometimes it takes a few attempts to learn the nuances of cheese making before we perfect each recipe. Here are some helpful points to read over as a checklist to make sure you have considered some of these pieces throughout the process.

1. What milk did you use? Please refer to our FAQ's section to learn about the best milk to use.

2. Is your thermometer working? Make sure you test your thermometer in warm or hot water. If it appears to be stuck, place the thermometer in ice water to reset to zero. Hold the clip and stem and turn the gauge or dial back to zero so it is aligned then test again in warm water.

3. Have you properly cleaned and sanitized your pot, slotted spoon, measuring cups and measuring spoons? You can sanitize using a water vinegar solution.

4. Did you use non-chlorinated water with your citric acid and rennet? Chlorine will deactivate your ingredients. Make sure you use bottled or distilled water.

5. Did you add the full quarter tablet of rennet? Always add a minimum of 1/4 tablet of rennet or more. Did you wait at least 10 minutes for the rennet to activate in the water? Make sure the rennet is completely broken up and there are no large chunks before you add to the milk. Rennet that has been sitting as a liquid solution before for longer than 30 minutes will begin to deactivate.

6. What was the fat content of your milk? Our recipe is based on using a specific range of milk fat (+/-3%-+/-4%) if your milk fat content is well under 3% or well over 4% the PH level will be be off and you will get ricotta. For high fat milk, like buffalo milk, double the ingredients. Low fat milk such as skim, 1% or 2% rarely work when making mozzarella.

7. Did you allow at least 15-30 minutes for your rennet to set? Did the temperature drop below 90ºF during that time? Did you allow for 3-5 minutes in between knife cuts? After the knife cuts are made be sure your temperature is at least 90ºF before beginning to stir the curd.

8. Learning to stretch and shape mozzarella can only be done with trial and error. Do not expect to achieve this on your first attempt. There are several points to consider when learning to stretch:

- Is you hot water bath hot enough? Aim for 160-180ºF
- Is the curd piece hot all the way through after you dip it? Using the hot water method will heat your curd more quickly on the outside. Be sure to take it out of the liquid and bend and move it around, put it back into the bath to evenly heat the curd before stretching. You curd piece should be hot enough that when holding it out in front of you gravity will naturally, slowly stretch it on it's own.
- Be sure to wear gloves if it is too hot. The curd must be hot when stretching.
- Do not over stretch. When the curd piece cools down it will no longer stretch.
- Begin to shape into a ball while the curd is still hot.

9. Be sure to salt the mozzarella to your own taste. The recipe is just a guideline. Salt during the early stages of stretching while the curd is still hot.

10. Fresh mozzarella will last up to 7 days. It is last longer if extra salt was added and if the mozza ball is extremely dry. Bacteria in the liquid is what causes the cheese go off.

Cheese Making is an art form as well as a science. Sometimes it takes a few attempts to learn the nuances of cheese making before we perfect each recipe. Here are some helpful points to read over as a checklist to make sure you have considered some of these pieces throughout the process.

1. What milk did you use? Please refer to our FAQ's section to learn about the best milk to use.

2. Is your thermometer working? Make sure you test your thermometer in warm or hot water. If it appears to be stuck, place the thermometer in ice water to reset to zero. Hold the clip and stem and turn the gauge or dial back to zero so it is aligned then test again in warm water.

3. Have you properly cleaned and sanitized your pot, slotted spoon, measuring cups and measuring spoons? You can sanitize using a water vinegar solution.

4. Did you use non-chlorinated water with your citric acid and rennet? Chlorine will deactivate your ingredients. Make sure you use bottled or distilled water.

5. Did you add the full quarter tablet of rennet? Always add a minimum of 1/4 tablet of rennet or more. Did you wait at least 10 minutes for the rennet to activate in the water? Make sure the rennet is completely broken up and there are no large chunks before you add to the milk. Rennet that has been sitting as a liquid solution before for longer than 30 minutes will begin to deactivate.

6. What was the fat content of your milk? Our recipe is based on using a specific range of milk fat (+/-3%-+/-4%) if your milk fat content is well under 3% or well over 4% the PH level will be be off and you will get ricotta. For high fat milk, like buffalo milk, double the ingredients. Low fat milk such as skim, 1% or 2% rarely work when making mozzarella.

7. Did you allow at least 15-30 minutes for your rennet to set? Did the temperature drop below 90ºF during that time? Did you allow for 3-5 minutes in between knife cuts? After the knife cuts are made be sure your temperature is at least 90ºF before beginning to stir the curd.

8. Learning to stretch and shape mozzarella can only be done with trial and error. Do not expect to achieve this on your first attempt. There are several points to consider when learning to stretch:- Is you hot water bath hot enough? Aim for 160-180ºF - Is the curd piece hot all the way through after you dip it? Using the hot water method will heat your curd more quickly on the outside. Be sure to take it out of the liquid and bend and move it around, put it back into the bath to evenly heat the curd before stretching. You curd piece should be hot enough that when holding it out in front of you gravity will naturally, slowly stretch it on it's own. - Be sure to wear gloves if it is too hot. The curd must be hot when stretching. - Do not over stretch. When the curd piece cools down it will no longer stretch. - Begin to shape into a ball while the curd is still hot.

9. Be sure to salt the mozzarella to your own taste. The recipe is just a guideline. Salt during the early stages of stretching while the curd is still hot.

10. Fresh mozzarella will last up to 7 days. It is last longer if extra salt was added and if the mozza ball is extremely dry. Bacteria in the liquid is what causes the cheese go off.

Cheese Making is an art form as well as a science. Sometimes it takes a few attempts to learn the nuances of cheese making before we perfect each recipe. Here are some helpful points to read over as a checklist to make sure you have considered some of these pieces throughout the process.

1. What milk did you use? Please refer to our FAQ's section to learn about the best milk to use.

2. Is your thermometer working? Make sure you test your thermometer in warm or hot water. If it appears to be stuck, place the thermometer in ice water to reset to zero. Hold the clip and stem and turn the gauge or dial back to zero so it is aligned then test again in warm water.

3. Have you properly cleaned and sanitized your pot, slotted spoon, measuring cups and measuring spoons? You can sanitize using a water vinegar solution.

4. Did you use non-chlorinated water with your citric acid and rennet? Chlorine will deactivate your ingredients. Make sure you use bottled or distilled water.

5. Did you add the full quarter tablet of rennet? Always add a minimum of 1/4 tablet of rennet or more. Did you wait at least 10 minutes for the rennet to activate in the water? Make sure the rennet is completely broken up and there are no large chunks before you add to the milk. Rennet that has been sitting as a liquid solution before for longer than 30 minutes will begin to deactivate.

6. What was the fat content of your milk? Our recipe is based on using a specific range of milk fat (+/-3%-+/-4%) if your milk fat content is well under 3% or well over 4% the PH level will be be off and you will get ricotta. For high fat milk, like buffalo milk, double the ingredients. Low fat milk such as skim, 1% or 2% rarely work when making mozzarella.

7. Did you allow at least 15-30 minutes for your rennet to set? Did the temperature drop below 90ºF during that time? Did you allow for 3-5 minutes in between knife cuts? After the knife cuts are made be sure your temperature is at least 90ºF before beginning to stir the curd.

8. Learning to stretch and shape mozzarella can only be done with trial and error. Do not expect to achieve this on your first attempt. There are several points to consider when learning to stretch:- Is you hot water bath hot enough? Aim for 160-180ºF - Is the curd piece hot all the way through after you dip it? Using the hot water method will heat your curd more quickly on the outside. Be sure to take it out of the liquid and bend and move it around, put it back into the bath to evenly heat the curd before stretching. You curd piece should be hot enough that when holding it out in front of you gravity will naturally, slowly stretch it on it's own. - Be sure to wear gloves if it is too hot. The curd must be hot when stretching. - Do not over stretch. When the curd piece cools down it will no longer stretch. - Begin to shape into a ball while the curd is still hot.

9. Be sure to salt the mozzarella to your own taste. The recipe is just a guideline. Salt during the early stages of stretching while the curd is still hot.

10. Fresh mozzarella will last up to 7 days. It is last longer if extra salt was added and if the mozza ball is extremely dry. Bacteria in the liquid is what causes the cheese go off.

Cheese Making is an art form as well as a science. Sometimes it takes a few attempts to learn the nuances of cheese making before we perfect each recipe. Here are some helpful points to read over as a checklist to make sure you have considered some of these pieces throughout the process.

1. What milk did you use? Please refer to our FAQ's section to learn about the best milk to use.

2. Is your thermometer working? Make sure you test your thermometer in warm or hot water. If it appears to be stuck, place the thermometer in ice water to reset to zero. Hold the clip and stem and turn the gauge or dial back to zero so it is aligned then test again in warm water.

3. Have you properly cleaned and sanitized your pot, slotted spoon, measuring cups and measuring spoons? You can sanitize using a water vinegar solution.

4. Did you use non-chlorinated water with your citric acid and rennet? Chlorine will deactivate your ingredients. Make sure you use bottled or distilled water.

5. Did you add the full quarter tablet of rennet? Always add a minimum of 1/4 tablet of rennet or more. Did you wait at least 10 minutes for the rennet to activate in the water? Make sure the rennet is completely broken up and there are no large chunks before you add to the milk. Rennet that has been sitting as a liquid solution before for longer than 30 minutes will begin to deactivate.

6. What was the fat content of your milk? Our recipe is based on using a specific range of milk fat (+/-3%-+/-4%) if your milk fat content is well under 3% or well over 4% the PH level will be be off and you will get ricotta. For high fat milk, like buffalo milk, double the ingredients. Low fat milk such as skim, 1% or 2% rarely work when making mozzarella.

7. Did you allow at least 15-30 minutes for your rennet to set? Did the temperature drop below 90ºF during that time? Did you allow for 3-5 minutes in between knife cuts? After the knife cuts are made be sure your temperature is at least 90ºF before beginning to stir the curd.

8. Learning to stretch and shape mozzarella can only be done with trial and error. Do not expect to achieve this on your first attempt. There are several points to consider when learning to stretch:- Is you hot water bath hot enough? Aim for 160-180ºF - Is the curd piece hot all the way through after you dip it? Using the hot water method will heat your curd more quickly on the outside. Be sure to take it out of the liquid and bend and move it around, put it back into the bath to evenly heat the curd before stretching. You curd piece should be hot enough that when holding it out in front of you gravity will naturally, slowly stretch it on it's own. - Be sure to wear gloves if it is too hot. The curd must be hot when stretching. - Do not over stretch. When the curd piece cools down it will no longer stretch. - Begin to shape into a ball while the curd is still hot.

9. Be sure to salt the mozzarella to your own taste. The recipe is just a guideline. Salt during the early stages of stretching while the curd is still hot.

10. Fresh mozzarella will last up to 7 days. It is last longer if extra salt was added and if the mozza ball is extremely dry. Bacteria in the liquid is what causes the cheese go off.

Cheese Making is an art form as well as a science. Sometimes it takes a few attempts to learn the nuances of cheese making before we perfect each recipe. Here are some helpful points to read over as a checklist to make sure you have considered some of these pieces throughout the process.

1. What milk did you use? Please refer to our FAQ's section to learn about the best milk to use.

2. Is your thermometer working? Make sure you test your thermometer in warm or hot water. If it appears to be stuck, place the thermometer in ice water to reset to zero. Hold the clip and stem and turn the gauge or dial back to zero so it is aligned then test again in warm water.

3. Have you properly cleaned and sanitized your pot, slotted spoon, measuring cups and measuring spoons? You can sanitize using a water vinegar solution.

4. Did you use non-chlorinated water with your citric acid and rennet? Chlorine will deactivate your ingredients. Make sure you use bottled or distilled water.

5. Did you add the full quarter tablet of rennet? Always add a minimum of 1/4 tablet of rennet or more. Did you wait at least 10 minutes for the rennet to activate in the water? Make sure the rennet is completely broken up and there are no large chunks before you add to the milk. Rennet that has been sitting as a liquid solution before for longer than 30 minutes will begin to deactivate.

6. What was the fat content of your milk? Our recipe is based on using a specific range of milk fat (+/-3%-+/-4%) if your milk fat content is well under 3% or well over 4% the PH level will be be off and you will get ricotta. For high fat milk, like buffalo milk, double the ingredients. Low fat milk such as skim, 1% or 2% rarely work when making mozzarella.

7. Did you allow at least 15-30 minutes for your rennet to set? Did the temperature drop below 90ºF during that time? Did you allow for 3-5 minutes in between knife cuts? After the knife cuts are made be sure your temperature is at least 90ºF before beginning to stir the curd.

8. Learning to stretch and shape mozzarella can only be done with trial and error. Do not expect to achieve this on your first attempt. There are several points to consider when learning to stretch:- Is you hot water bath hot enough? Aim for 160-180ºF - Is the curd piece hot all the way through after you dip it? Using the hot water method will heat your curd more quickly on the outside. Be sure to take it out of the liquid and bend and move it around, put it back into the bath to evenly heat the curd before stretching. You curd piece should be hot enough that when holding it out in front of you gravity will naturally, slowly stretch it on it's own. - Be sure to wear gloves if it is too hot. The curd must be hot when stretching. - Do not over stretch. When the curd piece cools down it will no longer stretch. - Begin to shape into a ball while the curd is still hot.

9. Be sure to salt the mozzarella to your own taste. The recipe is just a guideline. Salt during the early stages of stretching while the curd is still hot.

10. Fresh mozzarella will last up to 7 days. It is last longer if extra salt was added and if the mozza ball is extremely dry. Bacteria in the liquid is what causes the cheese go off.

Cheese Making is an art form as well as a science. Sometimes it takes a few attempts to learn the nuances of cheese making before we perfect each recipe. Here are some helpful points to read over as a checklist to make sure you have considered some of these pieces throughout the process.

1. What milk did you use? Please refer to our FAQ's section to learn about the best milk to use.

2. Is your thermometer working? Make sure you test your thermometer in warm or hot water. If it appears to be stuck, place the thermometer in ice water to reset to zero. Hold the clip and stem and turn the gauge or dial back to zero so it is aligned then test again in warm water.

3. Have you properly cleaned and sanitized your pot, slotted spoon, measuring cups and measuring spoons? You can sanitize using a water vinegar solution.

4. Did you use non-chlorinated water with your citric acid and rennet? Chlorine will deactivate your ingredients. Make sure you use bottled or distilled water.

5. Did you add the full quarter tablet of rennet? Always add a minimum of 1/4 tablet of rennet or more. Did you wait at least 10 minutes for the rennet to activate in the water? Make sure the rennet is completely broken up and there are no large chunks before you add to the milk. Rennet that has been sitting as a liquid solution before for longer than 30 minutes will begin to deactivate.

6. What was the fat content of your milk? Our recipe is based on using a specific range of milk fat (+/-3%-+/-4%) if your milk fat content is well under 3% or well over 4% the PH level will be be off and you will get ricotta. For high fat milk, like buffalo milk, double the ingredients. Low fat milk such as skim, 1% or 2% rarely work when making mozzarella.

7. Did you allow at least 15-30 minutes for your rennet to set? Did the temperature drop below 90ºF during that time? Did you allow for 3-5 minutes in between knife cuts? After the knife cuts are made be sure your temperature is at least 90ºF before beginning to stir the curd.

8. Learning to stretch and shape mozzarella can only be done with trial and error. Do not expect to achieve this on your first attempt. There are several points to consider when learning to stretch:- Is you hot water bath hot enough? Aim for 160-180ºF - Is the curd piece hot all the way through after you dip it? Using the hot water method will heat your curd more quickly on the outside. Be sure to take it out of the liquid and bend and move it around, put it back into the bath to evenly heat the curd before stretching. You curd piece should be hot enough that when holding it out in front of you gravity will naturally, slowly stretch it on it's own. - Be sure to wear gloves if it is too hot. The curd must be hot when stretching. - Do not over stretch. When the curd piece cools down it will no longer stretch. - Begin to shape into a ball while the curd is still hot.

9. Be sure to salt the mozzarella to your own taste. The recipe is just a guideline. Salt during the early stages of stretching while the curd is still hot.

10. Fresh mozzarella will last up to 7 days. It is last longer if extra salt was added and if the mozza ball is extremely dry. Bacteria in the liquid is what causes the cheese go off.

Frequently Asked Questions

Milk is the most important ingredient in cheese making. Selecting the BEST milk will determine the success of your cheese. As a general rule, unprocessed milk (raw/ unpasteurized) is the best milk to use. However, all milk sold in stores in Canada and most of the USA is pasteurized by law. Therefore, because most of us are Urban Cheese Makers and might not have access to raw milk, we need to use the next best thing: Non Homogenized milk.

Non-homogenized milk is milk that has been pasteurized, but has not undergone the blending process. Because it has been less processed it is a stronger milk and can withstand the transformation from a liquid to a solid in a relatively short period of time. This is particularly important when making fresh Mozzarella, because it only takes 30-60 minutes to make and therefore the transformation is taking place extremely fast.

High quality milk will produce high quality cheese. Low quality milk will most often give you ricotta or no cheese at all. Let’s learn about what is high quality milk vs low quality milk. Please keep in mind, I’m providing education about milk in the context of CHEESE MAKING :)

High Quality Milk: Is milk that has been the LEAST PROCESSED. This can be cow, goat, sheep, buffalo etc.

1. Fresh, Unpasteurized or Raw milk (they all mean the same thing). In Canada this is illegal to buy or sell in stores. But it falls under the category of high quality milk. So it belongs on this list.

2. Non-Homogenized milk (often referred to as WHOLE milk) However, it does not mean the milk is automatically non-homogenized just because it says whole. Makes sure it says Non-Homogenized on the label. Homogenization is not the same as pasteurized. It is pasteurized milk that has been further processed to break up the fat globules so that the structure of the milk is bound together. To put it another way, the cream is no longer separated from the milk, which is why the consistency of non-homogenized milk has visible floating cream globules in it. Which is also why it is so great for cheese making because it has been processed less than other conventional milks.

3. High Fat, Grass-Fed and the fresher, the better (don’t use close to expiry). High fat milk, like 3.25% and above is milk that has also been less processed than conventional milk, which means there are more proteins and bacteria that gives you a stable milk. Using grass-fed cow’s milk also allows for more stable milk from a diet richer in nutrients. This milk will work well with any ‘slow’ cheese (meaning cheeses that require an active bacteria and calcium chloride as ingredients). However, this milk choice becomes less reliable when making ‘fast’ cheeses such as fresh mozzarella. It is okay to use, but the percentage of success goes down.

Low Quality Milk: Is milk that has been the MOST PROCESSED. Most often cow’s milk is the most processed.

1. 2%, 1% & Skim milk. These milks lie at the top of the low quality list mostly because you can make cheese with them if you are making a cheese that comes with active bacterial cultures and calcium chloride. You can use these milks to make some fresh cheeses like mozzarella and ricotta, but the success percentages are very low. You would have to be an expert cheese maker or use altered recipes that include bacterial cultures. These conventional milks have been pasteurized, homogenized and skimmed several times over leaving a product very low in nutrients and bacterial which makes it much more difficult to form cheese.

2. Lactose Free milks. If you are not using ultra-pasteurized milk you can attempt to make cheese, however, because it is milk that has been processed and treated the results can be inconsistent.

3. Ultra-Pasteurized (UP) or Ultra-High Temperature (UHT) milk. These milks are treated with extreme heat and cold. These processes denature the milk completely to the point where it lasts unnaturally long periods of time allowing for easier transport and longer shelf-life in the store. You cannot make cheese with these milks.

Our dairy-based cheese kits (Cheddar, Feta, Mozzarella, Curds for Poutine) are not meant to be uses with nut or soy based milks. If you are looking to make vegan cheese please go to the “Cheese Kits” section on the website to learn more about the vegan cheese making kit.

Yes! None of the ingredients in the cheese kits contain gluten. Even the gravy powder is gluten-free.

Traditionally, rennet is animal based, however, we chose to use vegetable rennet. We include microbial rennet in dry, pill form. Microbial means that it is made with plants (usually green leafy plants and fungi). The cheese you make will be vegetarian.

All the kits have a shelf-life between 2-5 years.

The Mozza & Ricotta kit lasts 5 years if the rennet is stored in the freezer and 3 years if stored on the shelf. The rest of the kit items last indefinitely.

The Cheddar, Poutine and Feta/Goat kits all have culture that can last up to 2 years if stored in the freezer or 2 months if on the shelf. If the rennet is stored in the freezer it will last 5 years, or 3 years on the shelf. The calcium chloride will last 3 years if stored in the fridge or 2 years if stored on the shelf. The rest of the kit items last indefinitely.

The vegan kit ingredients such as kappa carrageenan, nutritional yeast flakes and cashews (if stored in freezer) lasts 2 years. The rest of the kit items last indefinitely.

Absolutely! There are plenty of ways to use your liquid whey ;) If you are using leftover whey from making mozza and you have salted the liquid remember to adjust your recipes that also use salt.

In baking, substitute it for water when making pancakes, muffins, bread and pizza dough. It can be added to water when boiling or cooking potatoes, rice, pasta, grains and beans. It can be used in soup stocks or in a smoothie to increase your protein content. You can give it to your cat and tomato plants in small amounts.

It freezes and thaws very well and will last up to 2 weeks in the fridge.

Yes. Contact us at info@cheesemaker.ca for our list of wholesale prices and minimum purchases or to discuss carrying our cheese kits in your store.