Rennet Ruminations

What kind of rennet do you use and why? Would you be interested in attending a workshop on how to make your own rennet? Please post comments with responses. Thanks!

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  1. I use DCI Org rennet. Even though I am not certified organic at the moment, I do make certifiable cheese, and would like to have the option to be certified in the future.

    The rennet itself is not “organic” but it’s produced without using genetically modified organisms (as some vegetable rennets are), so it’s allowed to be used to make organic cheese. To make a 100% organic cheese, you would need to use vels (fourth stomach of a suckling ruminant) from certified organic livestock, and to use your own culture — as the do at Little Falls Farm in Harrison, Maine.

    I would be interested in attending a demonstration on making rennet from vels.

  2. I would be very interested in attending such a demonstration of making rennet from an animal. I am also interested in what plants I could grow to make a coagulant — I’ve tried nettles (which grow abundantly around my farm) with no success. I’ve planted cardoon this year in hopes of trying that as well. I haven’t found much information on the internet, but perhaps someone else has?

  3. Pasted below is nettle rennet info from Jim Wallace:

    Here is another bit on using nettles … sorry but I have lost the
    source for this one
    One thing you need to know about these veg rennets is that they do not
    form a very solid curd

    Cover a pot of nettles with water, boil and reduce liquid to half.
    Warm 1 gallon of fresh goat’s milk to 90F. Add 1/4 cup nettle
    juice (or 1 rennet tablet) to milk. When the first clabber forms,
    about 30 minutes, pour into a cheesecloth bag and hang the curd up
    to drain. After the liquid has drained for a few minutes squeeze
    the bag to form a block and drain off excess moisture. Store in
    cheesecloth in a cool place.

    The nettles are edible but most people tend to discard them. They are
    picked locally and are frozen until needed. This is not only convenient
    but essential since the freezing takes away the sting and causes the
    leaves to become limp and easier to apply. The leaves are dipped into a
    sterilizing solution and are then applied using a brush. It is believed
    that nettle leaves were used originally because they prevented the
    cheese from drying out too quickly and protected it from flies. Nettles
    also grew in abundance and cost nothing.

    Leaves are used to cover Cornish Yarg

  4. We would be interested in hosting a rennet workshop in the future if there’s interest. It would have to be kid season, in the Spring…..

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