Batch #3: Queso Blanco

Another weekend, another batch of cheese. This Sunday I whipped up Queso Blanco.

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Ricki Carrol’s recipe was straight forward and easier than mozzarella.

Ingredients were easy to find: whole milk and cider vinegar. Technique included heating the milk slowly to between 185-190 degrees while stirring frequently. Then slowly add in the cider vinegar to make the curds emerge. As I write the post, the curds are draining for 2-3 hours in the kitchen.

What I learned:

  • My digital thermometer kept freezing up around 163 degrees. I realized I had it on a setting to determine ideal temperature for cooked pork. I was unable to turn off the setting entirely, however I was able to switch the setting over to chicken which required a 180 degree temperature when cooked well. Image
  • Determining where to hang the cheese cloth bag was hilarious. My husband and I tied up the cheese bag onto our kitchen sink’s faucet. I had the colander immediately below in case the cheese bag fell, however my biggest problem was the cheese bag was slipping back on the top of the faucet. First I tried using a magnet to block the cloth from slipping backwards, but alas – wrong metal? Then my husband recommended using a rubber band, which worked perfectly.

Open questions:

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  • Do vinegars come in different acidity levels?
    The cider vinegar I had on hand has a 5% acidity level. I’m curious whether all vinegars are at the same level, or whether this will affect cheese making.
  • Any recommendations on where to hang your cheese to drain?
    I would love to see what other cheese makers do to rig their cheese cloth up for draining.
  • Can you reuse cheese cloth?
    If so, any recommendations on how to properly clean the cloth?
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