Homemade Yogurt or Sour
Stinging Nettle Rennet for Cheese Making
Gypsy's next article on how to make homemade yogurt and how to set
cheese using stinging nettles as a natural rennet. Great for
Simple things you may not Know
When ever buying dairy products like cultured butter milk,
sour cream, and yogurt, you can use your own milk, or even store bought
milk, so that you never have to buy these things again.
All you need to make Homemade Yogurt or Homemade Sour Cream
that what you buy is active culture. This is the most important thing.
If the culture is not active, it will not work.
Have a thermos or a glass quart jar that you can keep at an even
temperature. I have a gas oven so I place my jars into that. I also
a Yoga-therm which also works wonderfully. Its just a very large
Now, place your quart jars, or what ever you are using, in a warm area
along with the milk or cream to be used. This should all be room temp.
If it is to cold or to hot it will kill the active cultures.
Now, place a few spoonfuls of yogurt or sour cream or about 1/4 cup
of butter milk into your jars and fill with goat or cows milk. You may
even use whole milk from the store. Or half and half (or cream) for
your sour cream. Wait about a day and poof... you have homemade yogurt
and homemade sour cream! You now have more of what
you started with.
You may use ice cube trays to freeze your cultures and use later. Just
take from the trays and place cubes in freezer bags to store. Then
defrost to room temp, before using.
Stinging Nettles as a Natural Rennet for Cheese Making
Another little trick is to use stinging
to set your
cheese. Take a gallon of any kind of milk. Then take some herbs you
like, and set them in some hot water, like you were making tea from
them. Set that aside. Only use enough water to cover plus a tad bit
Now heat your milk to about 160°F and hold. Add the herbs and maintain
the temp of 160°F. Let cool to 80°F add 1 cup cultured butter milk stir
wait a moment, then add a hand full or about 1/2 cup of stinging
nettle. Your cheese will set.
Now just cut the curds (use only stainless steel when working with
cheese aluminum will kill you) After your curds are cut, keep on the
heat at 100°F a bit more for just a few minutes. Then hang
over night in cheese cloth and enjoy.
This also can be made with any kind of milk. This cheese can also be
pressed to make a hard cheese. It is a very versatile base that has
limitless possibilities. It is soft or hard, spiced or not, it is what
ever you want it to be.
By Gypsy, our resident homestead blogger
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