Happy Cheese Makers Since 1978


QWhat is rennet?
What does rennet do in making cheese?
Can I make it myself?

ARennet is an enzyme which traditionally comes from the stomach of a young milk fed calf, lamb or goat but you are better off with commercially made rennet today to make cheese. Since it would be very difficult for you to standardize
It causes the protein components in milk to form (curd) and allows the liquid components to separate and run off as whey.
The milk is allowed to acidify slightly.. Rennet is added .. The curds and whey are separated ... The curds are placed into forms
From this basic recipe, hundreds of different cheese can be made

QCan I use Junket rennet to make my cheese?

AJunket is a soft custardy desert made popular in the early 50's. The coagulation had to be slow and not much rennet added. Many people have wondered if they can use this type of rennet for their cheesemaking, the answer is yes and no...

QHow do I choose which Rennet to use? I see so many different types of reenacts to use.
How do I decide which one to use for my cheese.

ASo many choices! ...

We begin with the traditional Animal rennet. This is the time tested rennet that has been used for thousands of year ...extracted from the calf. This is what many home, farmstead and artisinal cheese makers use. We still believe that it will give you the best curd set and the least problems in aging of all of our rennets. We supply this in liquid and powder form.

We also have Vegetable rennet. This is a microbial rennet extracted from a mold and has no animal origin. This is the rennet used by those who do not want to use any animal products in their cheese other than the milk. This will pass as vegetarian. This IS NOT a GMO product. We supply this in both liquid and dry tablet form

Finally we have Chymostar and this IS a Gene Recombinant product and works much like the above rennets. This rennet was designed to cut costs since it is about 25% cheaper. This is essentially a microbial rennet with a gene for producing chymosin from the calf brought in. The producer states that this performs identical in all ways to the calf rennet. This is used extensively (75%-80%) in the commercial cheese production.

QI was wondering if you could tell me about rennet strength and conversions.
I have double strength liquid rennet.
When a recipe calls for liquid rennet should I decrease the amount by one half, or is liquid rennet normally double strength, and in that case I would keep the amount the same.

A Since double strength is double strength.... Cut the amount in half...
Normally in the U.S. rennet is Single strength or sometimes expressed as 1:15,000
(1 unit of rennet will set 15,000 units of milk at a standard time and temp)
In France you will find a basic strength of 1:10,000 and many strengths of diluted rennet mostly used by the lactic goat cheese makers

***Note*** The powdered rennet in our catalog is very concentrated and has a strength of 1:100,000

QWould you tell me the equivalent conversion of one Rennet tablet to liquid Rennet? I can only find the liquid Rennet, not powder or tablets.

A You will find liquid rennet much easier to measure accurately.
1 tsp Liquid rennet equals 1 rennet tablet...

QJust purchased your Home Cheese Making book and was wondering which of the rennets on your site best duplicates Italian mozz, or what Ricki uses for hers?
I make a batch of 4 gallons of milk per day. I wanted to get some more rennet. What rennet would you suggest for batches of this size? As the cheese taste fantastic.

A While Ricki and I both use calf rennet, any of the rennets will work...
Any of the liquid rennets will work fine but we prefer the animal rennet because it causes the milk to set a little better .. If you really make this much every day get the quart size otherwise the 2 oz. will do

QI am using rennet tablets and having trouble measuring the rennet. I have been using 1/4 rennet tablet but my curds seem too soft. Yet when I increased the rennet to 1/2 tablet, the curd got too tough.
Now I would like to make soft cheese which calls for diluted drops, and I don't know how much to use. Can I take a teaspoon of diluted tablet and call that a drop? PS I LOVE cheese making!

A This is because the rennet tablet is so difficult to divide into smaller pieces evenly (1 rennet tablet = 1 teaspoon of liquid). This is why we suggest using liquid rennet since it can be measured in very small increments and makes it much easier to make small adjustments in your cheese making process. The tablets are almost impossible to work with in very dilute rennet amounts called for in lactic cheese

QHow long will rennet tablets last on the shelf (unfrozen) if still in the sealed pack?

A Rennet will be fine in tablet form for many years stored at room temp. I would keep it away from the light.

QLiquid rennet shelf life? Does rennet loose it's strength over time? I acquired a pint of high quality Chymosin from our local cheese factory and am wondering how long it will last.

A Yes..it all depends on where it has been kept and for how long... most people buy new every 9-12 months... it will have a decreasing rate of activity with time