I know cottage cheese as it's from warm temperature of milk and rennet, and ricotta cheese from high temperature of whey and acid.

So what is the cheese from boiling milk and acid, and does the leftover water from this and ricotta cheese have few meaningful ingredients? Has most of protein been extracted and could I discard it?

2 Answers 2


The cheese made from heating milk to 85C and then adding a coagulant is generally called Farmer Cheese, as it's the easiest useful cheese to make from whole milk. While this coagulant is generally an acid, it's still farmer cheese if you use rennet.

That's 85C, though. Neither ricotta nor farmer cheese get quite boiled. The only cheese where bringing the milk to a boil is common is paneer.

You will note that this is very similar to recipes to make cottage cheese. That's because the two cheeses are the same, up until it comes time to handle the curds. Farmer cheese is cut small, cooked, and drained, resulting in a creamy or chalky spreadable cheese, and cottage cheese is cut large, chilled and salted, resulting in larger, softer curds.

Note that a lot of the "ricotta" sold in supermarkets in the USA is actually farmer cheese, since it's made from whole milk rather than whey.

The whey leftover from either farmer cheese or cottage cheese is not useful for further cheesemaking. Due to the high-heat cooking, all useful solids have been removed from the milk. The whey can be used for other purposes, such as wet-packing feta and mozzarella or making bread.

  • 2
    The cheese I've made the most boils the milk: paneer. Nearly all recipes bring the milk to the boil, turn off the heat, then add the acid. Otherwise it's very similar to farmer cheese, but pressed quite a bit. The leftover whey is good in bread, but I tend to chuck it on the garden (cooled, diluted, and only on plants that can take some acid, it has some minor fertiliser benefits)
    – Chris H
    Commented Oct 16, 2022 at 18:55
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    Huh. I only heat my paneer milk to 90C. But you're right -- apparently a lot of people boil it. Revising my answer appropriately.
    – FuzzyChef
    Commented Oct 16, 2022 at 18:59
  • Recipes online that seem to be written in Indian English all seem to call for boiling, as do my UK-published Indian recipe books. I wonder if not quite boiling it makes a difference.
    – Chris H
    Commented Oct 16, 2022 at 19:03
  • @ChrisH I remember seeing something about "boiling" in Indian English meaning "cooking liquid," (as in "boil until lukewarm," an instruction from an Indian recipe) so it might not be intended to quite reach 100C
    – Esther
    Commented Oct 19, 2022 at 16:12

Cottage cheese curd can be set with rennet, acid and rennet, or acid alone - the rennet coagulates more protein than the acid alone and gives a firmer texture. The reference chapter at the bottom explains further.

The whey after acid setting of milk will have some residual protein, though may be similar to the acid whey byproduct from yogurt manufacture where it's difficult to use for further extraction.

cheese chart

Acid-curd cheese process. From Guinee et al.

Fresh Acid-Curd Cheese Varieties.
T. P. Guinee, P. D. Pudja & N. Y. Farkye.

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