Homemade Rennet: Please read if making cheese!

LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,215 admin

I am so excited everyone! I just got this book today.

I was skimming through the book to see just what I got. It looks fantastic!

It tells you how to harvest calf, kid, lamb rennet. Animal rennet will give a firmer curd. The book says cure it in salt for 6 months to activate the enzymes. One website said never before 12 or you risk "blow outs" (that sounds a bit violent) and poor cheese.

One question that I have is if you can harvest a lamb/kid/calf stomach if the newborn is ailing immediately at birth and won't make it, or it died during birth. In this same line of thought, would it have to suck first?

Inside, I found that cardoon (a Mediterranean thistle) is a plant much used for cheesemaking. @torey Richters sells both plants and seeds. The stalk is also edible. The plant is 5×4', so a beautiful large plant. I joked about keeping it as a houseplant, just pruning it until I get those thistle blossoms at the top. Haha

Keep in mind that a vegetable rennet cheese will be softer and one link below says it will not last more than 3 months...like any cheese lasts that long here!

It touches on how you know if your bought rennet is GMO.

Ah...I should have made these pictures upright...

I'm not yet done. My husband found some more herbal milk curdling plants, such as nettle that makes a firmer cheese, but wait! There's more.


(indulge me with that last word). Haha!

I will add a few very interesting & informative links below. You bet I'll be printing off the extra information to put with this new book.

Time for fun & tasty science experiments, everyone! Leave any of your "conclusions" in this thread.


  • dipat2005
    dipat2005 Posts: 1,205 ✭✭✭✭

    I used to belong to Eugene area gleaners. They are a very active group and after several years it became too much for me with four young kids.

  • vickeym
    vickeym Posts: 1,938 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Wow, thank you for sharing this. Now I need my milk supplier to get another cow or two. The one she currently has does not give enough for me to get a second gallon a week. lol

    Now I need this book too.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,402 admin

    Awesome list of resources. Thanks @LaurieLovesLearning.