Depending on the cheese, the process of turning milk into cheese could take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. Longer if you include the aging process. The act of making cheese is actually fairly simple. Lady Oyster and I have made a few mozzarella balls.
Basically, warm up the milk, add bacteria to make it turn sour and thicken, add rennet, continue to slowly heat until the milk turns into curds and whey, drain off the whey, add some salt, form the curds into blocks and then store the blocks until the cheese is ripe. Granted, it’s a bit more involved that than, but you get the idea. [via doobybrain]