To become a cheesemaker, you must first decide how much cheese you want to make. You have the option of starting a small side business or becoming a Master Cheesemaker®. While there are no specific courses that must be completed in order to become a cheesemaker, some schools do offer cheesemaking classes. Working in a dairy can also provide you with valuable cheesemaking experience.
Short-term cheesemaking courses are available at some colleges. Sanitation, regulatory issues, flavor, body, texture, and types of cheeses are all covered in these classes. Some of the courses also include hands-on cheesemaking.
You’ll need a facility to make cheese if you want to start your own small business as a cheesemaker. A pasteurizer, drainage system, and cooling system may also be required. A pasteurizer heats milk to a temperature that kills the bacteria that cause illness. The whey from the cheese curds will be drained the drainage system. A cooling system is a place where cheese is kept cool.
Most states will require you to have your facility certified the local health department once you have it in order. Regulations differ state, so check with your local health department to learn more about the laws and regulations in your area. Cleanliness, proper temperatures in heating and cooling units, and proper cleanup facilities are all things the health department will be looking for.
Another factor to consider when making cheese is the quality of the ingredients. Cows from different parts of the country produce milk with varying amounts of butterfat. Jersey cows, according to many, produce the best milk for cheesemaking.
The University of Wisconsin’s Center for Dairy Research bestows the title of Master Cheesemaker®. Outside of Europe, the Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker® program is the first of its kind. To work as a cheesemaker of this magnitude, you must first obtain a Wisconsin cheesemaker’s license. You can apply for the course once you have been making cheese for ten years and have made one specific type of cheese for at least five years.
You must complete four required courses in cheese technology, artisanship, grading, and quality assurance at this point. In addition, three elective courses must be completed. You must also complete a three-year apprenticeship working with the cheese for which you are seeking certification. Cheesemakers can become certified in as many different types of cheese as they want.