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Warm the milk in a stainless steel (or other non-reactive) pot to 86°F. If using calcium chloride, incorporate the mixture of diluted calcium chloride into the milk as the milk starts to warm up.
Add the culture to the milk and stir thoroughly. Allow the milk to sit undisturbed for an hour at room temperature.
Once the milk is ready, dilute the rennet in 1/4 cup cool water. Mix the rennet/water into the milk using an up-and-down motion with your spoon (not a stirring motion). Incorporate the rennet but do not over-mix.
Place a lid on the pot and let the milk mixture sit undisturbed overnight. The next morning, check that the milk has gelled and there is a clean break in the curd.
Use a knife to cut the curd into 1/2-inch cubes. If necessary, use very clean hands to check the bottom of the pot for curds that may have been missed.
Gently stir the curd off and on over the next 20 minutes. The curds should become somewhat retracted.
Place a tea towel, cotton bag, butter muslin, or multi-layered cheese cloth in a colander. Pour in the curds and allow the visible whey to drain off. Once the whey has drained, tie the cloth in knots and hang it over the sink or a bowl. Allow the curd to drain for another 4 hours or until no more whey drips off.