Homemade Beer Ricotta

There are foods that I relent to making from scratch, taking hours to carve a meal out of whole ingredients. Hours spend on homemade pasta, breads, pie dough and sauces. The extra time is more than worth it for real food, feed to those I love from the earth, to my hands to the table.

And then there are things that take so little time and effort, I am amazed that it took me so long to start making them from scratch.

Like whipped cream, tortillas and ricotta.

The active time on this recipe is so little, and the reward is so great, I will never buy it again. No special equipment or difficult to find ingredients. No extensive aging times or unusual techniques. Just a few simple ingredients and a stove.

Spread it on bread and top with fresh vegetables.

Make homemade ricotta ice cream.

Stuffed cannellonis.

Ricotta Cheesecake.

You might need to make a double batch.

 This is  recipe that needs a wheat beer. The citrusy breadyness comes through in really great way. I used Colete By Great Divide. The flavors were perfect for this ricotta and lent themselves well to either sweet or savory recipes using the cheese.

I was grateful that I bought a six pack, this is a beer that will make it’s way in my normal drinking and cooking rotation.


Homemade Beer Ricotta

3 cups whole milk (do not use Ultra-Pasterized, it won’t work)

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup Saison beer, Plus 2 tbs divided

3 tbs Apple Cider Vinegar (you can also use lemon juice, or a combination of the two)

Makes about 1 1/4 cups

In a pot over medium high heat (do not use an aluminum pan) add the milk, cream, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/3 cup beer.

Clip a cooking thermometer onto the side of the pan.

Bring the liquid to 190 degrees, stirring occasionally to prevent the bottom from scorching. Keep a close eye on it, the liquid reaches and passes 190 very quickly and you don’t want it rising above 200.

Remove from heat, add the 2 tbs beer and then the vinegar (or lemon juice) and stir gently once or twice. It should curdle immediately.  Allow to sit undisturbed for about 5 minutes.

Line a large strainer with 1 or 2 layers of cheese cloth, place the strainer in the sink over a large bowl.

Pour the ricotta into the strainer and allow to drain for 15 to 30 minutes and up to an hour.

After 15 minutes you will have a smooth creamy spreadable cheese. As you continue to allow it to drain, it will become more and more firm. It will also continue to firm once it is chilled, remove it from the strainer before it reaches the firmness level you want as it will continue to firm up in the fridge.

Place in an air tight container and store in the fridge.

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19 Responses to Homemade Beer Ricotta

  1. cravingsofalunatic June 6, 2012 at 12:34 am #

    Jackie this is such a cool recipe. I must try this out.

  2. Samantha June 6, 2012 at 4:33 am #

    I’ve made ricotta quite a few times, but it never crossed my mind to use beer. Thank you!

  3. Val June 6, 2012 at 5:34 am #

    I had no idea you could make ricotta at home. What a great find. Gorgeous pics too!

  4. themuffinmyth June 6, 2012 at 8:37 pm #

    Wow, I make ricotta all the time but I’ve never thought of or heard of beer being used! I’ll definitely be giving this a try next time. Thanks for the recipe!

  5. Oh My Veggies (@ohmyveggies) June 7, 2012 at 1:04 am #

    You can make ricotta with beer? Holy crap! You just blew my mind. :)

  6. Rita June 7, 2012 at 7:32 pm #

    Mind = blown. I’m still trying to wrap my brain around the beer. And I’ve never thought of using apple cider vinegar too… dinner tomorrow night is going to be exquisite.

  7. brandi / branappetit June 12, 2012 at 3:23 am #

    this sounds SO delicious! i’ve made my own ricotta in the microwave, but have never added beer. pretty sure this would be my new addiction.

  8. smanggang July 5, 2012 at 8:58 am #

    I’ve made this twice, both times to critical acclaim. I live in Japan, where bland beers dominate. Craft beers are available some places, though, and I haven’t found just the right one for this recipe yet. The quest for it has sure been fun!

    • The Beeroness July 5, 2012 at 4:10 pm #

      I’m so glad you liked it! I don’t know much about Japanese craft beer, but I hope you find some that you love.

  9. Dixie July 28, 2012 at 5:34 pm #

    I love making real food from scratch. It is quite possibly the most rewarding thing to do–to make real food with real ingredients. It’s hard to come by in a country with so much processed food and convenience meals. I had no idea that ricotta was so easy to make, and after seeing your recipe, I’m never buying it again.

    • Jackie July 28, 2012 at 6:32 pm #

      So true Dixie. It’s amazing that we grow more produce than any other nation and we still have the most processed food. It’s so sad that most people don’t take advantage of it. I love homemade ricotta, Hope you do too :)

  10. Kathy August 20, 2012 at 11:29 am #

    Yumm, have you ever tried to make this in your crock pot, truly easy no watch

  11. Jasmine August 27, 2012 at 7:41 pm #

    I love adding beer to food! It can add so much depth of flavor. I make beer cheese spreads from aged cheese: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Strong-Cheese-Provisions/162704037147389
    I’ll have to try the ricotta soon!

  12. Pech October 25, 2012 at 7:40 am #

    Thanks for the recipe- beautiful photos that inspired me! I have made ricotta before (and now am ruined so I can never buy it from the store again) but never with beer, and I couldn’t wait to try it.

    I used a citrusy saison homebrew from a local homebrew store and liked how it gave the ricotta a subtle hint of tang to counter the creamy texture. I spread mine on cucumber slices and served them as appetizers at a get-together!

  13. Cassandra November 16, 2012 at 5:17 am #

    Do you HAVE to use a wheat beer? I want to send this recipe to my uncle but he doesn’t eat gluten. Can you sub a wheat-free beer that he made himself?

    • Jackie November 16, 2012 at 7:09 am #

      All beer has gluten in it unless it is specifically “gluten free beer.” traditionally, ricotta is made with either lemon juice or vinegar so he can use either of those.

  14. Tia July 8, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

    I wish I could “like” comments on your blog like on Facebook, some of these comments are hilarious. I cook mostly wild game which pairs really well with liqueur. You have opened my eyes to a whole new realm of possibilities. This was new, exiting, and AWESOME:) Thanks. Note: I couldn’t find this exact beer, but after much internet searching I found one that was close enough, and it turned out great. I can’t wait to try more recipes. I need your cook book!

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