Making Cheese & Tofu, March 25, 2009

Presentations by Fran Wade and Steve Eisenberg, ESPers during break at cheese & tofu gathering

Updated 11/8/09; see ‘When using pasteurized milk’ below.

We had an excellent and enthusiastic turnout for this gathering; thank you ESPers! To stimulate our taste buds, Fran brought goat cheese samples from Gayle Prunhuber, and Steve brought a sample batch of his homemade soy milk.

Both Fran and Steve provided instructional handouts, which are available on our website. See ESP Fermentation & Culturing Files for:

  • Cheese and Tofu Making, by Fran Wade; includes basic instructions, and recipes for a semi-hard cheese (mozzarella-like), cream cheese, ricotta, tofu and soy burgers.
  • Soya Milk & Tofu (Using SoyaJoy Machine), by Steve Eisenberg: includes basic instructions, and recipes for soy milk, tofu and soy burgers.

See Gathering Summary: Making Cheese & Tofu for complete summary of the gathering, including excellent tips that came up during the presentations, sources of equipment and supplies, and list of resources.

See also: Cheese Making for Beginners, by David B. Fankhauser, Ph.D.; University of Cincinnati Clermont College  for excellent information and a tutorial sequence.

When using pasteurized milk

Subsequent to the gathering, we learned how to treat pasteurized milk so that it will form a curd. [Pasteurization denatures the protein that binds calcium so that the milk will not form curds]. Add 1/2 tsp of a 30% Calcium Chloride solution per gallon of milk BEFORE adding rennet. This added calcium helps to restore the altered protein so that the curds can form.

You can obtain the 30% CaCl2 solution at Evergreen Pharmacy, or any compounding pharmacy. Or order it from the web.

See Journal of Dairy Science article: “Concerning the Addition of Calcium Choride to Milk for Cheese Making,” by W. V. Price, Department of Dairy Industry, Cornell University, for the science. (

See Food Safety and Pasteurization for more on this process.

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