Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about our cows, their milk and our cheesemaking process with the frequently asked questions.

What type of cows do you get the milk from?

We get 90 -95% of our milk from Holstein Cows and the rest of the milk is from Guernsey or Jersey Cows.

Where do you get your milk from?

All of our milk that we use to make our cheese comes from local Door and Kewaunee County small family farms. Many of the farms have been with Renard’s Cheese since 1961 as their farms are second and third generation.

Are the cows grass fed?

The cows are grass fed as climate allows and also fed a mixture of wheat and grains to enable them to produce the highest quality milk.

Is the milk hormone free?

All of our milk is hormone free (rBGH free). The farms that we get our milk from certify that their milk is free from genetically engineered hormone rBGH.

How much milk does it take to make one pound of cheese?

You may be surprised and the answer might even help justify your spending a little more for nice cheese; more raw material goes into making cheese than you think. One pound of cheese requires 10 pounds (or about five quarts) of cow’s milk.

What type of cultures does Renard’s Cheese use?

The first stage in cheese making is to ripen the milk. During the ripening process, lactose is converted into lactic acid. Cheese makers use starter cultures to control this ripening process. We use a combination of thermophillic and mesophillic Cultures. Choosing either a thermophillic or mesophillic culture will depend on the type of cheese that you are going to make. Mesophillic is a non-heat loving culture and is used for making cheeses that are not heated to more than 102 degrees. This is the most common and is used to make 90% of variety of cheeses. This would include soft cheese, blue cheese, feta, farmers cheese, colby, cheddar, brie, and many others. Thermophillic is a heat loving culture and is used to make cheeses that can be heated to 130 degrees. This is used in most Italian cheeses such as parmesan, provolone, mozzarella and swiss, monterey jack, etc.

What makes the cheese yellow? Is there dye in your cheese?

We only use natural Annatto seed coloring – we do not use any chemical dyes. Annatto is a food coloring derived from the seeds of the achiote tree native to tropical regions from Mexico to Brazil. It is often used to impart a yellow or orange color to foods.

What are the qualifications to be a Master Cheesemaker?

The Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker Program was established as an advanced education program for experienced cheesemakers through joint sponsorship with the Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research, UW-Extension, and the Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin. In order to be accepted into the program, you must currently be making cheese in a Wisconsin plant and hold a Wisconsin cheesemaker’s license for a minimum of ten years. It is a three year program consisting of eight classes along with a final exam. Each Master candidate must participate in the Program’s quality assurance component of plant and product inspection. This program, the only one in the U.S., enhances the quality image of what is already the nation’s premier cheesemaking state and the unparalleled standards of Wisconsin cheesemaking.

Factory Tour Frequently Asked Questions

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