CHEESE-MAKING ARTICLE: CHEESECLOTH

Cheesecloth and muslin are cloths that help to collect the curds (cheese) and separate the whey (liquid) when making cheese. Wash and boil all cheese-making cloths for 5-10 minutes before use. Rinse well and boil for 5-10 minutes after use (or soak overnight in a sanitising solution) before air-drying and then storing.
   

LOOSE WEAVE CHEESECLOTH
Soft, stretchy 100% cotton cloth ideal for making hard cheeses where curds are firmer. Loose weave cheesecloth allows excess whey to drain away more efficiently in a cheese press than tight weave cheesecloth. This cloth can be reused but handle with care to last as long as possible as it tends to fray easily and is commonly used doubled over (folded in half) in cheese-making.


TIGHT WEAVE CHEESECLOTH
100% cotton cloth that is soft but doesn’t stretch as much as loose weave cheesecloth, so is ideal for smaller softer curds, fresh soft cheeses and draining yoghurt. This cloth can be reused many times if cared for and doesn’t fray as easily as loose weave cheesecloth.


BUTTER MUSLIN
Tightly woven 100% cotton cloth, with minimal resistance and ideal for all kinds of cheese-making. Muslin is good “go-to” cloth when beginning as it lasts the longest when cared for.


BLUE COMMERCIAL CHEESECLOTH
Commercial-grade cheesecloth that is classified as disposable but can be washed and used several times. This cloth is best used when making semi-hard cheeses that are softer than other hard cheeses as the curds don’t stick as easily to the surface of the blue commercial cheesecloths.


CHUX
Available from supermarkets quite cheaply, handy for draining fresh soft cheeses but holds onto too much moisture when making semi-hard and hard cheeses. Yoghurt and labneh also sticks to the chux.


FINE MESH BAGS
i.e. nut milk bags, jelly bags, mash bags. Fine mesh bags are often used for draining nut milk, yoghurt, beer mash and fruit puree (to collect the fruit juice). Commonly nylon, very tightly woven so large amounts drain very slowly; however these bags don’t stretch, come in various sizes and can be machine washed.






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