Moorlands Cheesemaking                                                Welcome to our blog 



Delivering cheese making supplies, world wide, for almost 60 years.

Summer Bries  

Another great cheese originating from France in the Brie region and one conquering up visions of summer picnics. Fresh crusty loaf, bunch of grapes, bottle of wine and a ripe, creamy, homemade Brie. The difference between Brie and Camembert is cream is added to Brie giving it a higher fat content. Both are made from cow’s milk, although with all cheeses, different milk such as goat, sheep and buffalo may also be used. Why not have a go this summer making your own delicious Brie using one of Moorlands cheese making kits and simply adding a pot of Penicillium Candidium to your order. Following the recipe in the booklet for Soft Cheese, once the cheeses have been drained, treat them with a solution of the white mould bacteria by either dipping or spraying the surface. Within 9-12 days there should be an even white coat of mould. Ripen loosely wrapped for 2-3 weeks and always allow cheese to achieve room temperature before serving.


Christmas With Moorlands  

It’s that time of year again when you find yourself scratching your head, trying to think of unusual Christmas gifts for those hard-to-buy-for family and friends.

Maybe you’re looking for a present for someone who seems to have just about everything! Or perhaps you’re searching for something to give to a couple or a whole family as a joint gift. You may be totally out of ideas, so we have a great suggestion - choose one of the great cheese making kits from our selection at Moorlands!
From budding young chefs to seasoned food connoisseurs, our kits are sure to please everyone. The combined kit contains everything you need to make both hard and soft cheeses.
Of course, by giving a cheese making kit this Christmas, you’re not only giving the opportunity to enjoy a pleasurable pastime, but the ongoing gift of lovely fresh or well matured cheese to enjoy!  You might say  ...........                             'The Gift Thats Just Keeps Giving'







Christmas is galloping towards us having just recovered from last years it seems!
A homemade Stilton has to be one of the show-offiest contributions anyone could bring to a feast; knocking homemade Slow Gin right off the table. Undoubtedly the biggest mistake is to over mature. A large stilton (7kg) is only 8-10 weeks old at point of sale, the smaller (2kg) stilton probably only 6 weeks. Of course your home made cheese will continue to dry out as it is consumed over Christmas into the New Year, so important not to make it too soon, allowing it to dry out before you even start to eat it.
A Stilton-style cheese can be made using either the Moorlands Combined or Hard Cheese Making Kit following the easy step by step instructions for the Hard Cheese and introducing Penicillium Roquefort at the same time as the mesophilic starter. Once out of the mould, use the smallest, sterilised knitting needle or skewer you can find, prick your cheese 20 -25 times, from top to bottom encouraging blue mould growth throughout. Continue to turn your cheese regularly over the next 6 weeks.
Crackers, of course, fresh figs, grapes and apple are ideal accompaniments to your Stilton, which should always be served at room temperature. Two other useful tips, store your blue cheeses separately to avoid pungency cross contamination and wrap in our waxed or ultra-fine cheese wrap to ensure freshness. 
You still have plenty of time, so seriously, why not have a go ........


Present Idea 

Have you managed to start buying presents yet, or finding it as daunting as ever to break the ice and make your first purchase. Perhaps Moorlands can help. Do you know someone who went on a cheese making course this year, loved it and ever since been dropping massive hints about getting a kit for Christmas. Hints like “Can you smell cheese? “Or “Do we have any cheese? If I had a cheese kit, we’d always have cheese”.

An adventurous person, into making home produce such as bread, jam, pickles; possibly even wine and beer. Someone fascinated by bacteria or biology in general or just loves being in the kitchen creating masterpieces. Thought of anyone? Last year there was a definite surge 6-8 weeks before Christmas of people wanting to make a Stilton to bring out alongside a bottle of their homemade Sloe Gin.
Remember, a Cheese Kit is the gift that keeps giving ........ Whoever you give a kit to they will feel obliged to keep giving you cheese. Win, win situation.

"Butter up your crackers"

…… shouted my son excitedly as he left the table to fetch his first homemade Cheddar from the kitchen. It was delicious! 
Cheddar has to be the nation’s favourite, with tons being consumed every year. Originating from the Somerset village of Cheddar, just a few miles from the dairy farm where I grow up, it has been exported and copy the world over, being second in popularity in America, only to Mozzarella.
Taking between 3 – 34 months to mature, depending on how tasty you like your cheese, a Cheddar type cheese is relatively easy to make. Following the recipe for hard cheese in ‘An Introduction to Cheesemaking At Home, after only 6 weeks the cheese is very decent. Obviously the longer you leave it, the better it will be. By far the hardest part is having the patience to wait for your cheese to mature, so it’s a good idea to have a succession of homemade cheeses at different stages of maturity, perhaps setting aside one day a month to make a batch. 1k cheeses can be cut in half and bandaged or waxed separately for smaller households; a useful size to wrap up and give family and friends, if you can bear to part with any!



A popular misconception is Mozzarella is an easy soft cheese to make. It isn’t really, requiring some degree of hands on skill which only comes with practise; once the art has been perfected however, it then becomes a doddle. A very pleasurable, tactile doddle. You need to be quick, having everything to hand before starting a batch of Mozzarella, as the formed ball of curd must be dropped into iced water, while still having hot whey to the side in case the curds start to resist and break during stretching.

Sound like an interesting challenge? Moorlands have a Mozzarella Kit which includes Chris Ashby's  ’30 Minute Mozzarella’ recipe and the necessary ingredients consisting of:-
Citric acid
My first attempt wasn’t great, still edible, but didn’t have the lovely chewy, slightly elasticated texture. Results have improved!
Like most other worthwhile tasks in life, practice makes perfect ......                                                


Ah, it’s brilliant to have the first of your empties trickling their way back to Moorlands for a refill. Thank you so much to those who have and those who will in the future, for entering into the spirit of things.
Just to recap, as stated on Moorlands 'Recycle Page' send any five of the same plastic containers back to Moorlands and we will send you a free refill.
Rennet, Calcium Chloride and Annatto bottles of all sizes are included, so too the containers, large and small, for the Cheese Salt and Citric Acid. All we ask is you rinse and dry naturally before returning; new screw tops/caps, where necessary, will be provided at this end to avoid any leakages on the refill's journey back to you. 


Elderflower Cordial

July's blog is a little early, so as not to miss the flowers!


Nothing quenches a thirst quite like a glass of homemade elderflower cordial with ice and a sprig of fresh mint from the garden.

If you haven’t made it before you won’t know how easy and delicious it is. The ingredients are just 2.5kg white sugar, 3 unwaxed lemons, 25 fresh elderflower heads and 90gs of citric acid. Wash the elderflower heads. Put the sugar in a large pan with 2lts of water. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved completely. Remove the zest from the lemons with a potato peeler and slice the lemons into rounds. Bring the pan of syrup to the boil, then remove from heat. Add the elderflower heads, sliced lemons, zest and citric acid and stir well. Leave the pan covered for 24hrs to infuse. Drain the contents of the pan through a piece of muslin. The cordial is ready to enjoy, store in bottles or freeze in ice cube trays.

Moorlands stock citric acid, muslin and straining bags. Do it this weekend, before the flowers disappear for another year.



Raw Milk             

Consider myself very fortunate to have been reared on a farm, allowed to play in mud and drink raw cow’s milk. Some believe raw milk to be full of harmful bacteria, while others believe quite the opposite. The jury very much 'still out' on the verdict.  
Knowing it will not be for everyone and if trying for the first time, definitely proceed with caution, you will immediately taste a difference. Smooth and creamy – it just tastes ‘good for you’. And of course perfect for making cheese! Like so many other natural foods, manufacturers have mucked about with milk, putting it through homogenisation, a process in which milk is spun round at high speed, breaking down the fat molecules enabling fat to enter straight into the blood stream. Fat in non-homogenised milk leaves the body naturally through our digestive system.
Super Markets have had our dairy farmers over a ‘churn’ for far too long, crippling many, so to be able to buy raw milk direct from farmers is fantastic. If you live in an urban area local diaries deliver far and wide great tasting, non-homogenised, pasteurised milk in glass bottles, significantly reducing the amount of plastic usage in a household. Expect to pay a little more, but what price our health and environment?                                                         

        Please view our UK Raw Milk Producers page for more informaion              

Spring Season            

Spring sparks the beginning of a new cheese making season, with buffalo, sheep, cows and goats being let out onto fields of young pasture.  Spring grass contains high levels of protein and energy making it an excellent feed, which farmers and small holders will want to take full advantage of. There is also the economic sense it makes to turn livestock out as soon as possible, with the animals themselves being thrilled to run free once more; bucking and galloping with joy.

A particular favourite homemade cheese at this time of year is Chevre (goat) cheese. Moorlands sells a Chevre starter already containing a vegetarian rennet, making it as simple as adding one sachet to 3.75lts warm milk. Using goat’s milk isn’t essential, but is authentic, cow’s milk makes a perfect substitute. After the curds have thickened, ladle gently into a muslin lined colander. Hang to dry for 6-12 hours. Refrigerate and enjoy.

Making a simple fresh cheese is the perfect introduction to cheese making, allowing you to acquire a feel for the whole process. Pictured below, our very popular 'Five Starter Selection' containing Curd, Chevre, Buttermilk, Yoghurt and Mascarpone/Creme Fresh 


Everything in Moderation


Cheese predates recorded history, coming about quite by accident while milk was carried in pouches made from the stomachs of ruminant’s containing an inherit supply of rennet.

As recently as a couple of generations ago, most households would have been making cheese of some sort. Making cheese proved a valuable way of preserving milk and utilising sour milk rather than the alternative of pouring it down the drain. Back in the day, everyday food essentials would have been locally sourced through the baker, butcher and green grocer. My own grand-father delivered seasonal vegetables grown on his farm along with fresh milk, from his horse drawn cart to the surrounding hamlet. Definitely no treats like strawberries or tomatoes until the summer months came around! As food manufacturing became industrialised on a massive scale, making cheese at home virtually became a thing of the past.

Nowadays, with small quantities of rennet, starters and small scale equipment readily available as never before, home cheese making has grown once more in popularity, enjoying a bit of a boom. Not only because ‘Homemade’ tastes better, but because what actually goes into our food matters.

With very real global concerns over food security, a return to the old days is on the horizon. England, as an island, will set us in good stead as we strive towards self-sufficiency.

What a wonderful thing hindsight is, on reflection.

 Stocking Fillers


               If you have an accomplished or budding cheese maker in the family why not spoil them this year with some little cheese making treats, stuffed deep in their stocking.

The Combined Cheese Kit remains our best seller, but once someone has a kit there are numerous extras just to show you care, even if you don’t necessarily understand their addiction!

Moorlands has a range of useful essentials which we have put together as perfect stocking fillers, from cow and goat labels, white and blue mould bacteria, stocking size 60ml bottles of annatto, calcium chloride and rennet, little pots of organic salt and citric acid, twin pack syringes, dinky plastic moulds, a handy humidity meter and even useful, cut to size plastic matting to aid whey drainage, to name a few ……

If you are buying a loved one a starter culture they have been dying to try or more supplies of rennet, these will need to be added to the stocking last minute/night before and will be provided in an insulated jiffy bag. Full storage instructions will be on all labels.

For the practically well behaved, a smart stainless steel cheese iron says it all really, especially if it’s engraved with the recipient’s name.



 Kefir, a 'Very' Good Bacteria 

There are almost too many reasons why we should all be drinking Kefir every day. This probiotic culture, enjoying a revival right now, for good reason, is simply bursting with antioxidants, antibodies, metabolites, vitamins and minerals. Over the past 40 years we have been told ‘not to eat this, not to drink that’, but now finally through better education we have the truth on good and bad bacteria. ** The same also applies to healthy and unhealthy fats **.

Originating from Eastern Europe, Kefir can be sweetened with honey, maple syrup, sugar or pureed fruit. Making your own Kefir will provide your gut with live bacteria, essential for helping maintain a healthy, well balanced bowel while aiding your immune system. Another incentive, if you needed one, it’s cheaper to make your own.

Heat 4ltrs of milk to 30c, add and mix in 1 sachet of Kefir culture. Cover and let set at room temperature, undisturbed for 12 hours or until thickened to desired consistency. Your finished Kefir may be stored in the fridge for up to one week. May also be re-cultured. Kefir is truly the ultimate culture that keeps giving.


    Fascinating History


Pont l’Eveque is an ancient rind washed soft cheese made from cow’s milk, similar to a Brie or Camembert only with a richer, deeper flavour with an aroma to match. In the thirteenth century known as Angelo, Norman farmers developed Angelo into the soft cheese known today as Pont l’Eveque.

The flavour is not for the faint hearted, nevertheless being consumed all over France for hundreds of years, where its great character is second to none and considered a delicacy. Rather harshly, the aroma of Pont l’Eveque has been likened to a ‘dirty farmyard’; perhaps ‘Normandy countryside’ is a more appealing description for its infamous, full bodied bouquet.

Maturing times for this old soft cheese are relatively short, eaten fresh within 7-8 days from production or wrapped and stacked together on a shelf, between 12 – 16c will be ripe in 5-6 weeks. Make and enjoy both ways ….

Everything you need to have a go yourself making this super little cheese is available from Moorlands. The traditional Pont l’Eveque small square mould below will produce a 450 – 500g cheese, coming with a free practical fact sheet.


    Lost, Not Forgotten

Junket is an old English pudding made with milk hardly ever mentioned anymore, when it is, it’s with a great fondness. Years ago given to poorly children with inflamed throats to soothe away pain, while nourishing the body when perhaps the appetite was lost.

Being so easy to make, with very few ingredients, Junket is an ideal treat for busy families packed full of healthy reasons to give it a go this Sunday for pudding; Calcium, Protein, Potassium, Vitamins D and A to name a few ……

Gently warm 1 pint of milk to blood temperature. Add 1 teaspoon of liquid rennet, sugar to taste and a drop of vanilla essence. Stir then pour into a waiting pudding bowl or individual dishes and chill until set. Once set, finely grated nutmeg over the top really does create a taste sensation. Junket is delicious on its own, served with fresh fruit or used like a custard, dished up with crumbles and tarts.

Junket, a little different to cheese making although the principle remains the same, magically/biologically turning a liquid into an edible solid.

For more useful information on cheese making, please visit


One of the many advantages of making your own cheese at home is you have free rein to add the ingredients you find most appealing.Popular flavourings include spices, herbs, onions/chives and fruits such as cranberries and apricots, but have you ever thought of adding beer. Using a mature cheese, like Cheddar, break up into small bits and add the beer.You then reform and repress the cheese, now with its delicious, added flavour. In fact, this is how the majority of flavoured cheeses are made.

If you prefer, you can rind wash the cheese in beer, a process generally used for small cheeses of around 2kg, a method used down the centuries by Cistercian monks. Simply wash in a beer solution, to which 3% salt has been added, twice a week. The cheese needs to be kept on racks in 100% humidity, resulting in a very tasty, if smelly, cheese. This can be applied to a variety of cheese types, including Stinking Bishop, which is a semi soft cheese washed in a perry made from stinking bishop pears. Caerphilly is another popular cheese which is often rind washed.

Whichever method of adding beer to your cheese, we’re sure you’ll enjoy the result. For more information about cheese making, please visit

     Revival of an Old French Tradition

The use of ash on cheese is traced back to small farmhouse cheese makers in France, who preserved their autumn cheeses through the winter months by coating them in an ash and salt mixture. Ash was originally made from grape vine cuttings or charcoal from the fireplace, providing an instant rind for protection and neutralised surface acidity, while allowing natural moulds to continue to grow. The ash, or activated charcoal which it is sometimes called, allowed moisture to be drawn out and the curd to mature without the rind becoming rancid or sticky. The end result is a condensed, nutty texture with a strong creamy flavour. Ashing will sweeten the surface of your cheese and prepare it for Penicillium Candidum mould growth, inhibiting unwanted bacteria.

 Brief directions for use: - Mix ash with your salt before applying and within a few days the black rind become greyer as the white mould grows through – within 8-10 days the entire rind should be white

Witnessing a new trend amongst Artisan and home cheese makers is always exciting; ever keen to try something new to them, but which was tried and tested many generations ago.

Ash is readily available from Moorlands


    The Waiting Game

Once bitten by the cheese-making bug, you will go to extraordinary lengths to provide the perfect maturing cave.

Moorlands has dedicated, imaginative customers sharing their solutions to ensure their home-made cheese has the best start in life.

UK cities are particular hot spots, with cheese making happening in flats, terraces and even bedsits. Under stairs cupboards are being turned into caves; insulated boxes are springing up on balconies, in garden sheds and garages. Very important to make sure your insulated box is rodent proof though ...  

Of course, most modern fridges have much better temperature control nowadays, with the bottom salad compartment being perfect for maturing soft cheeses and great to store matured, hard cheese between meals. Making hard cheese is all about the waiting game, but making cheese regularly will reward you with a succession of delicious achievements.    

     Top Ten Cheese Making Tips

Making cheese at home is something most people are capable of doing, it’s just a case of bearing in mind a set of basic tips, which will enable you to get great results.

1.    Be sure to keep all equipment and preparation areas really clean to prevent unwanted mould growth.

2.    Get organised. Check that you have everything to hand before you start with regard to ingredients and equipment. If you don’t already have them, you’ll need to invest in some basic equipment before starting out in cheese making, including a large bowl, long-handled spoon or skimmer, cheesecloth, a colander, large pan, thermometer and measuring cups/spoons. If you’re making hard cheese, then a press will also be required. You can buy good quality equipment at

3.    Write everything down. In the back of 'An Introduction To Cheesemaking At Home' there are blank pages to do just that. When you turn out your first home made cheese and it tastes delicious, you will be able to do it all again. Perhaps it may need tweaking, i.e. a little less salt or a few more herbs, keeping notes will help you create your ideal cheese.

4.    Use good quality, fresh milk to make your cheese – UHT milk is not suitable! Ideally raw (untreated) milk is best, although you can use pasteurised milk, preferably organic. The most important point about the milk is that it must be non-homogenised.

5.    Depending on the type of cheese you choose to make, you will need rennet and specific cultures, all of which can be obtained from the Moorlands website.

6.    If you’re just starting out in cheese making, the best option may be to purchase one of our comprehensive kits that include full instructions, together with items such as rennet, starter, cheesecloth, thermometer, mat etc, depending on which kit you choose

7.    The best place to make low temperature cheese is in your kitchen sink! To gently heat your milk, place it in a pan placed in a sink of hot water, topping up the water from a kettle as required.

8.    You don’t necessarily need to buy specific cheese salt, fine grade cooking/table salt will suffice.

9.    If applying wax to your cheese, ensure that the cheese is completely dry before you start, to prevent mould growth.

10.  Be adventurous. Cheese making is not an exact science.

For more information and advice please visit our Q&A page    

     Know Your Source

You may have made various food related New Year’s resolutions that you may or may not have succeeded in keeping. Perhaps you vowed to give up chocolate, eat more fruit and veg, limit the carbs or cut back on alcohol?

Whatever dietary promises you made, a good approach to food is to eat a balanced diet (a well-worn phrase, but a good mix of different foods in moderate amounts seems wise) and to understand more about where your food originates and what it contains.  

We certainly care more about the use of additives, rearing of livestock and source of origin than we did in the past, which is very positive. Of course, the more we make our own foods, using locally sourced ingredients where possible, or at least those with a reliable provenance, the more we can be sure of what we’re eating.

You may bake your own bread, make meals from scratch and even grow some of your own veg, so why not add cheese making to your list? By making your own cheese you can select the type of milk you use (sheep’s, cow’s or goat’s) from your preferred source, use our high quality rennet (including vegetarian and GM free) and cultures/starters and add natural flavourings and herbs of your choice for added interest. That way you’ll know exactly what’s in your cheese and how it was made!      

     A New Start

With the start of a new year you may be considering taking up a new hobby or pastime. There are so many great activities available, but if you’re looking for something really different that provides a tasty end result, then cheesemaking could be the pastime for you.   Cheese is a very nutritious foodstuff (an added bonus if you’ve made a New Year’s resolution to eat more healthily) as it is a great source of protein, calcium and vitamins.

The options you have when making cheese are also endless, with a great variety of hard and soft cheeses to choose from and the scope to add herbs, seasoning and flavourings of your choice to create even more possibilities.   A great way to get started is with one of our comprehensive kits that include the essentials to get you started, together with full

We also supply a range of equipment and ingredients, such as rennet, to provide you with everything that you need to make delicious cheese.   So what are you waiting for? Take up cheesemaking today!  



     A Cheesy Tradition

A traditional part of Christmas is to serve a tasty, festive cheeseboard, whether that’s after a hearty lunch or dinner for family, or as part of an informal drinks party for friends and neighbours. A Yorkshire tradition is to serve cheese with the Christmas cake, a practice that dates back to the 1900s.   Favourite choices for your festive spread may include vintage Cheddar, Stilton, Brie, smoked cheeses and maybe some Wensleydale with cranberries or White Stilton with apricots. What would be your number one Christmas cheese choice?  

Whichever specific cheeses you choose, it’s a good idea to have a mixture of hard and soft cheeses, offering a variety of flavours and textures. What you serve them with is up to you: savoury biscuits, grapes or simply a glass of wine or port.   Of course, to add even more variety to your cheeseboard, you can make your own cheese, to which you can add your personal choice of herbs, spices and flavourings, giving your Christmas spread that truly unique touch.   Regardless of which cheeses you select or how you serve them, there’s no doubt it’s just not Christmas without some delicious cheese!    


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