How to make Ricotta Cheese from Whey

It was only this hot yesterday. The coconut oil was only just melted.  Some of it is only just not melted.  Not too bad at all. 

Here is yesterdays Monterey Jack cheese which is air drying for a few days. (Out of the sun -this positioning was for the artsy shot!) then it will be waxed and sent to the cave without any dinner! 

I have a newish cheese press and I think this was not pressed tight enough but we will see. OK down to business:

How to make ricotta cheese.  This is more of a process than a recipe. After the cheesemaking, let your whey sit in your big cheesemaking pot overnight to develop some acidity. It will get a white bloom on the top.  This is good. Slowly heat to boiling point.  Stir often, make sure it does not boil over ors tick to the bottom of the pot.   This will take a while. The bloom will separate until it looks like there are fat clouds floating in whey.  This happens right at the end of the process so be patient. 

Turn the heat off and stop stirring. Line your colander with a light cheese cloth. (I use old cut up pillow cases.. well they’re washed!!) Sometimes you can spoon these cloudy delicate curds in, but often you will need to gently pour the liquid through the cloth and leave it to drip. Overnight.

You never get as many curds as you want. As soon as most of the whey has dripped through I place the whole thing in the fridge to finish draining in there.   The last of the whey goes to the pigs.  One of the other reasons for having pigs is that they are my clean up guys after cheesemaking.

My new buttermilk has started nicely. I shall always have a jar of this in the fridge for the season. So I made cream cheese. Using John’s recipe here

My biggest problem was getting everything down to 70F. It was 85 in the kitchen and Daisy’s milk comes in at 101. So instead of heating the milk I had to cool it! Though the cold collected cream helped with this.

Many of you have asked where I will cure the cheeses. And make all these cultures. So I took you down below, and through the basement and then through into the cool cool cave. Into my wondrous cellar.  Now you remember don’t you. See those cupboards behind the vinegar? Those have been purpose built for the cheeses. 

I only have one lonely parmesan in the cheese cupboard. So there is an air of expectation down here too.  It is dark  and cool in here, better for making the buttermilk and cream cheese and other bits and pieces. Upstairs is too hot. Down here is a little too cool but there you are, it works.

Good morning. The lovely people at The Parts Dept where my new broken bucket came from are sending me a new one poste haste without apologies or question, and I am not to bother about sending back the broken one. So they get my vote and my business next time.

Today we are going to make our home made lasagne, using the last of the tomato sauce from last season, the dairy products that are thickening in the cave and pasta made with our eggs.  Then onto the cheesecake.

And today I shall try again to get shots of the milking. Milking and taking photographs is harder than I thought.  It looks like another beautiful day.

I am off to work. Have a lovely day.



65 Comments on “How to make Ricotta Cheese from Whey

  1. My coconut oil is STILL completely melted. And we had a lovely rain yesterday that saved me from having to water the gardens! It helped to cool things down a bit but we’re still starting out at 72F in the house this am. Keep teaching about the cheese making. I’m excited to learn more! I’m about to start my house hunting again as the sale of our current property will be signed today! We’re blessed to be able to stay here until the garden is harvested this fall. (Also gives plenty of time to move a whole farm!) Have a great day and I look forward to your next walk around the farmy!

    • Oh wow. but you are going to get another little farm right? That is a lot to shift..but how exciting to be looking for something new. c

  2. Wow, that’s a lot of productivity! I was thinking I need to make some ricotta for my baked rigatoni. I bet it tastes even better when you’ve made the cheese yourself.

  3. Apart from thinking you are superhuman, I just heard that coconut oil is good for dementia – have you heard that?

      • A friend recently said there has been some legitimate research into benefits of drinking coconut oil to alleviate dementia – oh shit I can’t find link – i’m sure it’s googlable. Love your blog!

          • I just emailed the person who sent me the link so I will send it to you as soon as she replies – probably tomorrow (unless I go bonkers and forget!)

      • (and is that good for preventing — or bringing on dementia: I forget. )

  4. I have gotten completely sidetracked and forgotten what I was going to comment on this post. What sidetracked me was curiousity as to when you started your fabulous blog, so I went back, got to reading, found the story of Mary’s Cat and the “recipe” for No Recipe Bread… my kind of cooking. My comment now applies to this post, & those at the start – I’ll work my way through from time to time – I think your work & persistance is admirable indeed and you well deserve every like, comment & follow 🙂

    • I am making ‘no recipe yoghurt’ today!! Lovely that you reading some of the old stuff..The mary’s cat is a trouble maker, you can see it showing right from the beginning! morning elladee.. c

  5. That wheel of cheese looks fantastic! I envy you that. I didn’t realize your cave stayed cool enough to store the cheese. That’s great! Trying to maintain relatively low temperatures in this heat is a problem. I fill my sink with water and set the pan of dairy into it. Obviously, if I need to warm the dairy, the water is hot and vice versa. It’s easier to maintain the temperature and there’s no risk of burning anything on the pan’s bottom.
    Thanks for the mention. I can’t wait to hear how good your cream cheese will taste using Daisy’s cream. Your lasagna is going to taste out-of-this-world good!
    Good morning, Celi. Have a great day!

    • I just automatically put it on to warm it up, and it must have been warm already, by the time I realised I was well over the 70..I wonder if that will affect the culture.. c

      • It depends on how hot it got. I don’t recall ever seeing an actual maximum temperature mentioned anywhere and I think you’re fine so long as it doesn’t go much beyond 100˚F. Pasteurization begins at 145˚F but that doesn’t mean that the milk’s proteins haven’t already started to change at a lower temp. If I see a guideline, I’ll certainly let you know. Good luck!

  6. we got a wee bit of rain too. but what is better is that today is cool with less humidity! i am loving every second of it! i can’t wait to see everything you make!

  7. The wheel of cheese is so pretty! Between you and John I’m getting closer to giving it a go! I will just say that I have some niggle in my brain that has fear attached that I might cause some health problem with bacteria gone wrong! Is this fear really baseless? That may be my biggest hurdle to get over, but I am so intrigued I know I have to try! And your face is going to pop up next time I’m tempted to complain about kitchen heat, Celi! Sending you a cool morning breeze! Debra

    • Working with raw milk always carries a risk. I am scrupulous about cleanliness so that i do not introduce a ‘bad’ bacteria. And I only use milk from me or my friend who milks too. So I know where it comes from and the cleanliness from barn to refrigerator. Now, I think you can make a fairly good cheese using pasteurised milk, you just add calcium chloride as well, during the process. I think it is calcium chloride i need to look it up. If you are fastidious about sterilising and cleanliness you are well on your way to a good product. That would probably assuage your fears. Oh i got your cool morning breeze too, it was lovely.. c

      • I am interested to know what scrupulously clean involves? I am always worried that I have not done enough when bottling and such and I would imagine working with dairy means you have to be extra careful. Also the accoutrements of dairying are big and harder to deal with, so I would be interested to know about your cleaning routine.

        • The dishwasher on extra hot wash. Everything goes in there after every use, the pots, buckets, ladles. Any cheese making equipment goes in the dishwasher before I use it too. And all are stored separately and not used for anything other than milk. Pretty basic really. My big milking buckets, hoses and cups are cleaned with an acid wash, bleach and two rinses in between, hot water. Twice a day. So they are cleaner than my kitchen! I take no chances in the barn. c

          • wow, sounds like that takes longer than the actual milking, thanks for the info.

  8. Between you and ChgoJohn I’m just so impressed with the cheese making. Have a wonderful day C! It looks like it will be a beautiful one. 🙂

  9. I wish I had the milk and cave – how brilliant, I’ll just have to make cheese vicariously through you and Chicago John 😉

  10. There doesn’t seem to be anything you and your John can’t do. How great it must feel to be so self sufficient. I was thinking of making a lemon and poppy seed cake with ricotto but I will have to make do with shop bought ricotto instead. I can’t wait to see how your other cheeses turn out!

  11. Perfect timing – I made a simple goats cheese today and tomorrow I hope to make ricotta! Fantastic post…did I miss how to make buttermilk or is that coming?! The Monterey Jack already looks fantastic…yummy 🙂

  12. So good of the company to let you get another without returning the broken one! And I love your cheese cloth made from pillow cases. Was looking for alternative ideas for them!

  13. “Air of expectation” in the cheese cupboard…love it! I so enjoy reading your posts, and seeing what you’re into each day. Enjoy your lovely dinner, you’ve certainly earned it!

  14. I am longing to try making soft cheese. I even took a class but have not yet taken the initiative. Of course I must locate milk that is not “ultra pasteurized”! At some point I will dive in! Very much enjoying your blog and hearing about your days on the farm.

  15. i tried making it from whey but it didnt work. i also used the whey within 2 hours of making my whole milk ricotta. i brought the whey to 200f and added the vinegar but nothing happened.

    • Oh dear, I have never added vinegar so i do not know about that, did it go cloudy? What did you get when you strained it.. c

  16. Pingback: The long wait is over. Today we’re making Italian Mozzarella! | from the Bartolini kitchens

  17. I love home made ricotta and what’s even more exciting is that you made it from the left overs from something else…that’s a real bonus for me. I made Chgo John’s Ricotta this past spring and it was heavenly. I practically ate the entire bowl standing in front of the fridge, just a taste…

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