1/2 gallon whole milk
1/4 c fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp calcium chloride (optional)
1/4 c cold water
Calcium chloride helps store-bought cheese to set firmer curds, but is optional. If using, combine calcium chloride with cold water and set aside. Bring the milk to a boil on medium heat, stirring often to prevent scorching on the bottom. Once boiling, remove from heat, add the calcium chloride mixture and stir well. Slowly drizzel in the lime juice, stirring gently. The curds should quickly form into soft fluffy masses. Cover the pot and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
Line a colander with two layers of cheese cloth set over a bowl to catch the whey. Gently ladle the curds into the cheese cloth. When all the curds are in, tie the cheese cloth and hang the bag to drain for 30 minutes. Store the whey in the refrigerator until ready to use. After draining, tightly squeeze the curds in the cheesecloth, then set on a rimmed cookie sheet. Place a heavy pot filled or can on top of the cheese. Leave at room temp for 2-3 hours to drain.
At this point you can either wrap the cheese in plastic and store in the fridge, or proceed to cook it. The cheese will last for a week in the fridge.
Calcium chloride and cheese cloth can be ordered online from the New England Cheesemaking Supply Company.