How to Make Feta Cheese

Feta is delicious crumbled over traditional Mediterranean Salads. Did you know that you can make it yourself by using some common household ingredients? It is an easy, fascinating process with a great result. The following instructions and illustrations come from David Fankhauser's web page on cheese making[1]. Shared with permission.


  • 1 gallon (3.8 L) fresh goat milk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh yogurt (Dannon Plain works well)
  • 1/2 tablet rennet, dissolve in 1/4 cup water
  • 1+ gallon pot with lid (stainless steel with heavy bottom is best; enamel works, but you must stir it!)
  • Thermometer


  1. 1
    Warm one gallon of fresh goat's milk to 30°C (86°F), stirring it regularly so that it does not burn on the bottom. Remove it from the heat and set aside.
  2. 2
    Mix 1 tablespoon of yogurt with an equal amount of milk to blend. Stir the blended yogurt and milk into the warmed milk and mix thoroughly. Cover and and allow the inoculated milk to sit for one hour at room temperature.
  3. 3
    While the inoculated milk sits, dissolve 1/2 tablet of rennet in fresh, cool, dechlorinated water.
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    After the inoculated milk has sat for one hour, add the dissolved rennet and stir to mix thoroughly.
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    Let the inoculated, renneted milk sit covered overnight at room temperature.
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    Check for a clean break the next morning, by which time the milk should have gelled and some of the whey will have separated.
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    Cut the curd by starting at one side, and cut straight down to bottom. Make the next cut 12 inch (1.3 cm) from and parallel to the first, but sloping slightly (the sliced curd will be wider at bottom than top). Repeat increasing angle with each cut. Turn the pot 90° and repeat cuts. Repeat cuts and turning two more times. The curd pieces should be about ½ inch cubes or slices as you prefer.
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    With a very clean hand and arm, reach to the bottom and gently lift the curds to stir. Cut the large pieces that appear with a table knife so that they are ½ inch cubes.
  9. 9
    Let the cut curds sit, with occasional stirring, for 10-15 minutes until curd is somewhat contracted.
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    Decant off the whey through the strainer lined with the handkerchief, pouring the curds into the handkerchief. Save the whey for a later step.
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    Let the cheese drain in the handkerchief until no more whey drains out (about 2-4 hours). It may be drained at room temperature or in the refrigerator, as shown in the image.
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    Place the drained curds into a bowl. Mix in a 1/2 of a teaspoon of salt, breaking up the curd.
  13. 13
    Press the cheese into a mold. (See the External Links for how to make your own cheese press.) Line the can with a handkerchief, place the curds inside, fold over the ends of the cloth, place the end on top, and place a weight on top of that. Let sit overnight.
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    Prepare pickling whey brine (12.5% salt): mix 20 oz of whey (saved from before) with 5 tablespoons (73.9 ml) of salt. Stir to dissolve. The brine must be acidic or else the cheese will melt on the surface. The whey is made acidic by letting it sit out at room temperature, covered, for 12-24 hrs.
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    Cut the cheese into 1.5 inch (3.8 cm) cubes and place them in a wide-mouth jar. Pour brine over to cover. Let the cheese pickle for several days in the refrigerator. The cheese will become drier and more easily crumbled with time.
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    Store in the refrigerator. Rinse before use to remove excess salt.


  • The tablet form rennet shown in the illustration is a microbial product and does not contain any non-vegetarian material.


  • Do not use city tap water to dissolve rennet as it most likely contains chlorine that will make the rennet fail.
  • If the culture becomes contaminated at any point, the likelihood of contracting food poisoning from the cheese is greatly increased.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 long bladed knife
  • 2 clean sterile handkerchiefs or cheesecloth
  • strainer
  • A cheese mold: Cut the ends out of a smooth-sided 4 x 5 inch tin can, save one of the cut ends.
  • table salt

Sources and Citations

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