I have really been wanting to try making some soft cheeses after reading this thread. So I got some buttermilk & cottage cheese starter cultures from the NE Cheesemaking Supply, and have been testing them out as well as other recipes I've found in this thread. I have lots of jars of chunky milk in the fridge that seem to smell, taste, & look the same.
As far as milk products in my fridge are: kefir (cow, goat, coconut milks), yogurt, buttermilk, the cottage cheese started from the culture I bought, and cottage cheese from the super easy recipe I found on here (with no starters, just clabbered milk). I know the kefir, non-starter cottage cheese, and yogurt turned out right. The buttermilk & other cottage cheese just look like a mass of gel (like the clabbered milk before I cut it). I guess this is what my yogurt looks like, too, though.
So, my question is, is it all basically the same? I wanted the buttermilk to make sour cream, and I dumped the cottage cheese from the starter. Can I make sour cream from the kefir since kefir & buttermilk can be interchanged in other recipes? Can I go ahead and cut the curd from any of these concoctions & get cheese from them if I heat them & strain them? It seems like a waste to do all these different kinds if they're going to turn out the same.
I'm so confused!