How to make cheese without rennet

Updated February 21, 2017

Rennet is a mixture of digestive enzymes from the stomach of an animal such as a camel, goat, cow or sheep. These grass-eating animals need rennet to process the milk they drink from their mothers. Most cheeses are made with rennet, but many vegetarians eschew these since rennet can only be got from a calf that has been slaughtered. While there are several rennetless cheeses on the market, you can make your own at home in about a day by following these simple steps.

Pour the milk into the pot and heat over medium heat to 82.2 degrees C. Immediately remove the pot from the stove when 82.2 degrees C is reached.

Stir the 1/4 c. vinegar into the heated milk until the milk thickens. The solids are the curds and the liquid is the whey.

Line a colander with cheesecloth and place it over a bowl.

Pour the curds and whey into the cheesecloth-lined colander and let it drain. You can place it in the refrigerator overnight to drain. After it has drained in the colander, tie the corners of the cheesecloth together to form a pouch with the cheese inside. Hang this over a bowl for 1 or 2 more hours until the cheese is no longer dripping whey.

Unwrap the cheese, place it into a clean bowl and mix in the 14 tsp salt (or to taste). This cheese will be soft and spreadable, similar to a cream cheese.

Refrigerate the whey drained off in the bowl, covered, for use as a high protein substitute to milk in baking, if desired.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 qt. whole milk
  • 1/4 c. vinegar
  • Frying thermometer
  • 1 gal. pot
  • Large spoon
  • Cheesecloth
  • Colander
  • Bowl
  • 14 tsp salt


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