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Cheesemaking question - where to get milk?

Cheesemaking question - where to get milk?
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  • Cheesemaking question - where to get milk?

    Post #1 - January 23rd, 2014, 10:54 am
    Post #1 - January 23rd, 2014, 10:54 am Post #1 - January 23rd, 2014, 10:54 am
    I have the cheesemaking bug and am really enjoying the results, but aside from the do-it-yourselfiness smug satisfaction it ain't all that much of a savings (if at all). Short of buying a cow (which I'm fairly sure would make it more expensive still without economies of scale) where do home cheesemakers go for affordable milk in quantity?

    Case in point, my last purchase of Kalona whole milk was nearly $9/gallon, which yielded maybe a pound (or a little more) of fresh mozzarella. Sort of a "buy-high/sell-low" business plan.

    On the plus side, I can make my own burrata which transforms my lowly fresh mozzarella to $12 starter status.
  • Post #2 - January 23rd, 2014, 8:13 pm
    Post #2 - January 23rd, 2014, 8:13 pm Post #2 - January 23rd, 2014, 8:13 pm
    Your request is somewhat puzzling. Are you looking for raw milk? Non-homogenized? Organic? Have you contacted any SE Wisconsin dairy farms directly?
  • Post #3 - January 23rd, 2014, 8:52 pm
    Post #3 - January 23rd, 2014, 8:52 pm Post #3 - January 23rd, 2014, 8:52 pm
    sundevilpeg wrote:Your request is somewhat puzzling. Are you looking for raw milk? Non-homogenized? Organic? Have you contacted any SE Wisconsin dairy farms directly?


    I'm not looking for anything unusual or unusual quantities, it's just that at an occasional make-at-home scale it's not very cost-effective. That may just be the reality of hobby cheesemaking. I was trying to find out if any other hobbyists had any insight to getting a better value ona few-gallon quantity but I guess I'll have to try Costco for at least a marginal savings.
  • Post #4 - January 23rd, 2014, 8:53 pm
    Post #4 - January 23rd, 2014, 8:53 pm Post #4 - January 23rd, 2014, 8:53 pm
    Made some goat cheese over Xmas holiday. Got my milk at Whole Foods. Easy...
    "Don't you ever underestimate the power of a female." Bootsy Collins
  • Post #5 - January 23rd, 2014, 10:28 pm
    Post #5 - January 23rd, 2014, 10:28 pm Post #5 - January 23rd, 2014, 10:28 pm
    HI,

    Costco non-organic whole milk is running around $2.79 a gallon presently. Mariano's has milk as low as $2.22 per gallon. Last week, Walgreens had milk on sale for $2.29 a gallon.

    When my sister who desires all things organic rolls into town, Mariano's organic was priced less than Costco's the last time I checked.

    If you want to up your fat content of the milk by adding heavy cream, buying a half gallon at Costco for $7. is a pretty good deal.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #6 - January 24th, 2014, 5:25 am
    Post #6 - January 24th, 2014, 5:25 am Post #6 - January 24th, 2014, 5:25 am
    Cathy2 wrote:HI,

    Costco non-organic whole milk is running around $2.79 a gallon presently. Mariano's has milk as low as $2.22 per gallon. Last week, Walgreens had milk on sale for $2.29 a gallon.

    When my sister who desires all things organic rolls into town, Mariano's organic was priced less than Costco's the last time I checked.

    If you want to up your fat content of the milk by adding heavy cream, buying a half gallon at Costco for $7. is a pretty good deal.

    Regards,


    Thx!
  • Post #7 - January 27th, 2014, 11:12 am
    Post #7 - January 27th, 2014, 11:12 am Post #7 - January 27th, 2014, 11:12 am
    I have found that home cheesemaking is not cost effective; just really yummy! Using the homongized and high pasteurized milk available in stores makes for a so-so product. It's fine for the first time you make a specific type of cheese so you're not out a boatload of cash if you screw it up. I would stick to store-bought for trial and error but go with the good stuff for your final product. You're making it fresh and getting a much better product that in the stores.

    I no longer live in the area and we are fortunate enough to have a small dairy that provides local milk that is not over processed. It runs about $9/gallon. My issue is not having access to rennet to make other types of cheese. I'm kind of stuck with the easy stuff. Bummer! :)
  • Post #8 - January 27th, 2014, 11:25 am
    Post #8 - January 27th, 2014, 11:25 am Post #8 - January 27th, 2014, 11:25 am
    dees_1 wrote:I have found that home cheesemaking is not cost effective :)


    Totally agree. Very educational and fun, though...much like a home garden.
    "Don't you ever underestimate the power of a female." Bootsy Collins
  • Post #9 - January 27th, 2014, 2:50 pm
    Post #9 - January 27th, 2014, 2:50 pm Post #9 - January 27th, 2014, 2:50 pm
    I think the milk matters and Kalona is one of my favorites.

    I went through similar thoughts when I was making ice cream last summer.
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #10 - January 27th, 2014, 6:41 pm
    Post #10 - January 27th, 2014, 6:41 pm Post #10 - January 27th, 2014, 6:41 pm
    dees_1 wrote: My issue is not having access to rennet to make other types of cheese.


    It's pretty easy to come by mail order, and lasts a good long time (I've used liquid rennet more than a year old without a problem in the fridge.) Try cheesemaking.com. As for cost effectiveness...well, like most things, on such a small scale if you want to make a quality product, it's not going to be cost effective. That said, you could make pretty reasonable cheese at $3-$4/pound using the cheapie store milk and culturing it.
  • Post #11 - January 27th, 2014, 10:50 pm
    Post #11 - January 27th, 2014, 10:50 pm Post #11 - January 27th, 2014, 10:50 pm
    Hi,

    While it may not be useful info to Dee, I have seen rennet tablets at Sunset Foods.

    In the Science and Cooking class, their process for making ricotta was: heat one quart milk to 197 degrees F, then add two tablespoons of white vinegar. Don't stir, simply pour. Once the milk reached 97 degrees F, then pour through cheesecloth to collect the clotted milk and drain the whey away.

    I make ricotta at home, because needing ricotta is often a spur of the moment thing. When I have bought ricotta, it sometimes spoiled before I got to it.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #12 - January 28th, 2014, 11:51 pm
    Post #12 - January 28th, 2014, 11:51 pm Post #12 - January 28th, 2014, 11:51 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:Hi,

    While it may not be useful info to Dee, I have seen rennet tablets at Sunset Foods.

    In the Science and Cooking class, their process for making ricotta was: heat one quart milk to 197 degrees F, then add two tablespoons of white vinegar. Don't stir, simply pour. Once the milk reached 97 degrees F, then pour through cheesecloth to collect the clotted milk and drain the whey away.

    I make ricotta at home, because needing ricotta is often a spur of the moment thing. When I have bought ricotta, it sometimes spoiled before I got to it.

    Regards,


    What's the cheese yield on this? How long does it last?
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #13 - January 29th, 2014, 7:44 am
    Post #13 - January 29th, 2014, 7:44 am Post #13 - January 29th, 2014, 7:44 am
    pairs4life wrote:
    Cathy2 wrote:Hi,

    While it may not be useful info to Dee, I have seen rennet tablets at Sunset Foods.

    In the Science and Cooking class, their process for making ricotta was: heat one quart milk to 197 degrees F, then add two tablespoons of white vinegar. Don't stir, simply pour. Once the milk reached 97 degrees F, then pour through cheesecloth to collect the clotted milk and drain the whey away.

    I make ricotta at home, because needing ricotta is often a spur of the moment thing. When I have bought ricotta, it sometimes spoiled before I got to it.

    Regards,


    What's the cheese yield on this? How long does it last?


    You end up with roughly 1/10 of the weight of the milk used for most fresh cheeses, so a gallon of milk will yield close to a pound of cheese (possibly a little more, depending on the moisture left in the final product).
  • Post #14 - January 29th, 2014, 3:10 pm
    Post #14 - January 29th, 2014, 3:10 pm Post #14 - January 29th, 2014, 3:10 pm
    Also, you can make ricotta from the leftover whey (and, actually, that is how real ricotta is supposed to made--it's made from the leftover whey from making some other cheese. I also believe that's where the name comes from, as it means "recooked.") Also, if you like that brown Scandinavian "cheese" called brunost/gjetost, you can make that boiling down whey until it reduces and caramelizes. Here's a recipe.
  • Post #15 - May 7th, 2014, 4:51 pm
    Post #15 - May 7th, 2014, 4:51 pm Post #15 - May 7th, 2014, 4:51 pm
    Hi,

    Since my family loves milk, I am always tracking the prices on milk.

    Currently, Jewel has been offering milk at $2.22 per gallon. I was at Mariano's two weeks ago, whose milk formerly priced at $2.22 was now $2.50 per gallon. This price was accompanied by a graphic demonstrating cost of milk production rising. At Walmart, their milk was over $3. Costco's pricing their milk depending on fat levels, so it starts close to $3.00 currently.

    These are not the premium or organic brands of milk, just milk.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast

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