Depending on the type of cheese you choose to make, you may find that you will need additional cheesemaking equipment. The list below will be your guide for sourcing the proper equipment.
Home cheeses are often made in batches using 1, 2 or 4 gallons of milk. You will want to find pots that can accommodate this volume of liquid, while still leaving about 2 inches of space at the top (consider using pots with a volume of 1½, 3, and 5 gallons). Look for high-quality stainless steel pots to heat your milk in. Make sure the surface is free of any deep scratches that may harbor bacteria.
You may find that the easiest way to heat your cheese is not directly on the burner, but in a hot water bath, particularly with the larger volumes of milk. For this reason, you may wish to purchase an even larger pot that can be used as a water bath. We have found that either an aluminum tamale pot or an enameled canning pot works well for this purpose. A 32-quart pot is large enough to use as a water bath for 4 gallons of milk.
If you plan to wax your cheese, you will need a dedicated pot used just for waxing. Look for a pot with a capacity large enough to fit the entire cheese you wish to wax.
The best way to measure cheese culture and mold powders is by weight, but if you do not have a scale that can measure to the hundredth of a gram, you will need spoons that are small enough to measure the quantity of culture that you need. Look for measuring spoons that get as small as 1/8 tsp or even 1/16 tsp.
You can measure your liquid calcium chloride and rennet with measuring spoons, but you will get a more accurate result with a liquid syringe. Look for one that can measure as small a volume as ¼ tsp.
A good thermometer is essential to the home cheesemaker. You can use either a digital or analog thermometer. Look for one that comes with a clip to attach to the side of your pot. Digital thermometers that have temperature alarms are especially helpful. Ideally, look for a thermometer that can be calibrated.
This is a stainless steel utensil with small holes perforating the spoon. Look for one with a long handle, so that it can reach to the bottom of your cheese pot.
This is used to cut the curd. You will want a utensil that can reach the bottom of the pot. A long knife will work, as will a cake-decorating knife. Cheesemaker supply stores also sell a version specific to making cheese.
Cheesecloth and butter muslin are both used to drain the curds from the whey. Butter muslin has a tight weave and is best for draining moist and soft cheeses, as it will keep even the smallest curd particles from escaping. Cheesecloth has a looser weave and is better for lining hard or pressed cheeses in their molds.
These cloths should be purchased from a cheesemaking supply store (the grocery-store aisle cheesecloth is not as durable and has too open of a weave). They can be washed and reused.
Draining bags can be used for draining fresh cheeses. Alternatively, you can use a clean pillowcase.