Many types of specialized cheese making supplies are utilized when creating cheese. One is the cheese press, which is used to press a mixture of watery whey and cheese curds so the whey will pass through the porous cheesecloth but allow the cheese curds to remain. A specialized dairy thermometer is also often utilized in cheese making, usually clipping to the side of a pot and made of stainless steel. In addition, a double boiler is utilized to cook milk more effectively than an average pot.
Among the most vital cheese making supplies is the cheese press, a relatively simple contraption that has changed little over the years. This piece of equipment is used to press the whey, a watery side effect of cheese curd creation, away from the curds. Two factors determine the usability of a cheese press: how many pounds of cheese curds the cheese press can fit within its mechanism and how many pounds of pressure it can exert upon its contents.
Cheesecloth is a type of fabric made from cotton and can vary in thickness. Though cheesecloth has many uses outside of making cheese, such as straining stock or being used as curtains, when it is used in conjunction with other cheese making supplies it can help separate whey from curds to further the development of cheese. Cheesecloth is typically tied around the substance before it is pressed, and whey will go through the cloth, but curds will not. After cheese is made, cheesecloth is sometimes used as a protective wrap for certain types of cheese.
Many types of cheese making supplies are designed specifically for making cheese, and the dairy thermometer is no exception. Two main differences set dairy thermometers apart from other thermometers. First, most dairy thermometers have a clip so they can be attached to the side of a double boiler. Second, dairy thermometers are usually made of stainless steel rather than glass because glass could break into the mixture during the process.
A double boiler is commonly used to cook milk that is being used to make cheese. This type of cooking apparatus uses indirect heat to cook. Two pans, the first filled with water and the second set inside it, are used to form a double boiler. The reason for using a double boiler rather than a single pot is so that milk will not stick to the bottom of the pan.