I usually make this cheese while making Mozzarella or right after...waste not, right? And everyone around my house loves this stuff.
Make sure to do it with fresh whey, no more than 3 hours old, left over from making hard cheese. If you don't have whey, buttermilk can be used as a wonderful substitute.
Heat the whey in a pot until foam appears. This usually happens just prior to boiling; if the mixture boils, it will taste burned.
Turn off the heat; let the whey set for 5 minutes.
Gently skim off the foam and place the whey in a colander lined with butter muslin or fine hole cheese cloth.
Add vinegar to cooling whey. For each cup of whey add a tablespoon of vinegar.
If you want to any seasonings now is the time, I add a bout a teaspoon of salt.
Let drain for 15 minutes, then refrigerate. This ricotta will keep for up to one week in the refrigerator.
About 1/2 pound per gallon of whey.
*For cottage Cheese, basically you follow the instructions above but add 2 tablespoons fulls of white vinegar to the hot whey and heat it to 95 degrees F, the curd will separate from the liquid. Use a cloth lined colander and follow the steps above.