I like to think I am pretty well stocked to do most things at my house. Whenever I learn to do something, or find a weakness in my plan that parts or equipment can bolster I buy several of those items, throw them in appropriately labeled boxes, on appropriately labeled shelves and then mentally check that off my list.
Since I like making cheese I generally several packages at a time. When I got on this yogurt kick (about the time my lovely bride found out that an expecting mother should eat yogurt), I decided to make some Greek strained yogurt and I just knew I had all the materials at the house.
I did not, so I decided to find some cheesecloth alternatives, so this would not happen again.
Neither the grocery store, nor my “local” Wal-Mart carried cheesecloth (they did carry craft cheesecloth, but it was more like a cotton minnow net – it was so course my cheese poured through it
I live about an hour from the local brewing supply shop that I visit on the way home from work. Consequently, I wasn’t going to make a special trip for a $5.00 package of cloth.
I was not going to wait for a mail order package either. By golly I have YouTube videos to produce…
I went to the sewing aisle to find something I could make work.
Here are my assumptions
Cheesecloth is cotton – so I figured any undyed cotton would be food safe (you make your own assumption there). I would also accept nylon as a substitute
Cheesecloth is generally 60 threads per square inch
Butter Muslin is generally 90 threads per inch, and while I am experimenting I might as well try both.
I found several things to try.
I bought a nylon tulle mesh – 1.97 yard
unbleached cotton muslin 1.50 yard
bleached cotton .97 yard
The muslin and cotton worked well with the strained yogurt. The tulle worked great for large curd cheese or straining honey.
But what worked the best was a $4.50 beer wort straining bag that I bought the following week at the brew store.
As I said in the video – you need to understand what you want to accomplish and then be flexible enough mentally that you can adapt when you cannot find something that is labeled exactly how you expect.