Best Cow’s Milk To Use For Cheese Making

best cow's milk to use for cheese making

Cow’s milk is processed in many ways, so what is the best cow’s milk to use for cheese making at home?  I get asked this question all the time on Ask the Cheeseman, my YouTube Q&A show.

No Access to a Farm?

Well, because many don’t have access to the farm gate for the ultimate in raw milk, I have produced a video tutorial explaining what cow’s milk is easily obtainable from major supermarkets and is okay for cheese making.


When in Doubt, Add Calcium Chloride

Don’t forget that if you know the milk has been pasteurised then please remember to add the equivalent amount of Calcium Chloride as you do Rennet to the milk.  This will encourage better coagulation of the milk into curds and whey.

So just to recap for cow’s milk;

  • Pasteurised/Homogenised milk with a fat content of at least 3.25% is okay.
  • Pasteurised/Unhomogenised milk is much better with a fat content of at least 3.25% or higher.
  • UHT or Ultra-pasteurised milk will not set a curd, and
  • Skimmed milk is useless for making cheese.
  • Lite milk Pasteurised/Homogenised with a fat content of about 1.5 to 2% fat is okay to augment your milk if your recipe calls for lower fat e.g. Parmesan.
  • Half and Half, which is usually about 10% fat is too high for cheese making.

For cream;

  • Thickened cream contains thickeners or gelatine which affects curd set
  • Double cream with ~51% fat is too thick and difficult to incorporate back into the milk
  • Single Pure cream that has about 45% fat and is pourable, should be perfect for cheese making if your recipe calls for additional cream.

Let me know what you think. Do you have a favourite brand or dairy that you source your milk from?

2 thoughts on “Best Cow’s Milk To Use For Cheese Making

  1. Nabil Mansour says:

    By the way, I very much liked your episode on types of milk for cheesemaking; it is very beneficial and useful, especially for urban residents. So many thanks for all your efforts in sharing knowledge and experience. Keep it up!

  2. Nabil Mansour says:

    Dear Gavin,

    Greeting from Beirut, Lebanon!

    I really enjoyed watching many of your videos on youtube, and enjoyed every single moment watching you passionately making cheese. you have all the ingredients of those great teachers and educators, so congratulations! It has been a dream for me to end up doing nothing but bread and cheese, but never had the chance to fulfill the second. now may be it I have a better chance to follow the steps of a master. My question is whenever you put the milk container on the stove, I guess the fire should always be on beneath at all times, even at the time whenever you add the culture or the rennet and leave the mixture to rest for 5 minutes, for 10 minutes, or even 20. I simply ddi not get the continuous heating factor, or simply put off the fire whenever the mixture is at the rest period. Sorry for that naive question 🙂

    Thank you indeed for your kind response.

    Kindest regards,

    Nabil Mansour

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