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Making Cheese


Bouland
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We followed the basic recipe from Ricki Carroll's "Home Cheesemaking" and used the direct-set Fromage Blanc starter. Overall we liked the slightly sour taste of the fromage blanc.

One of the ingredients we really miss from Germany is good "Quark". There is some quark commercially available in the US but it tastes lousy. So it was time to make our own which tasted actually better and fresher than most of the quark you will get in Germany. It's very versatile - you can eat it with salt and pepper on bread, mix it with fresh fruits, mix it with jam and use it as a crepe filling or use it for quiche dough.

Quark 1.JPG

did you use the jim wallace recipe on ricki carroll's site? took a workshop with him recently and he was quite enthusiastic about the newly developed quark recipe.

"Laughter is brightest where food is best."

www.chezcherie.com

Author of The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook ,The I Love Trader Joe's Party Cookbook and The I Love Trader Joe's Around the World Cookbook

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  • 2 years later...

So I have recently purchased Artisan Cheese Making at Home, and of course first came here to find all relevant cheese making knowledge my fellow eG'ers had bequeathed unto the forums.

And I'll start with the first question, hoping someone has some insight!

I'm making the cabecou from the book; it's a marinated goat cheese. Or, at least, it's supposed to be. What I'm getting is milk that's not coagulating. The recipe calls for:

1 drop liquid rennet (regular strength) diluted in 5 TBSP cool, unchlorinated water (check).

1/4 teaspoon mesophilic culture (check)

2 quarts goat milk (I am using Meyenberg, which is all I can find at the stores - Whole foods, Central Market, all of them. I can drive an hour to get some raw stuff, but I'm hoping that won't be necessary. One of my fears is that the high temps of pasteurization precludes the development of curds, but it appears others have had a decent amount of success with this particular milk)

And there are more ingredients to the recipe, but those are the only ones relevant to the current problem. I am heating the milk in a double boiler, slowly, to 75F (on the third try I tried 86F), adding the culture, waiting five minutes, whisking it in thoroughly but gently, then immediately adding the rennet in a similar fashion. I cover, but not airtight, and place the bowl in my utility room, which is registering between 70-73 degrees F.

18 hours later, I have milk. Maybe with a few dots that happened to cling together, but they fall apart even when gently ladled over butter muslin.

So am I cheese cursed or what?

 

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Thanks, Nina - I have read that in a place or two, but the recipe calls specifically for pasteurized goats milk and omits any mention of calcium chloride - I've refrained from getting any for that reason; it seems like a too-obvious ingredient to accidentally leave out, right?

 

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You do need calcium chloride for pasteurized milk - actually the ultra-homogenized stuff - because otherwise curds will not be firm and your results will be a grainy mix which is unsuitable for making cheese.

I've been making my own cream cheese, chevre, and other fresh cheeses for decades and also made some aged cheeses in the past but no longer. At my age it is easier to order the good stuff.

I sold my big cheese press with which I could press several small cheeses or one large cheese so I no longer have the equipment for pressing them.

Edited by heidih (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Okay, so I'm adding Calcium Chloride to the Cabecou - what I've read seems to have volume ratios, but I'm gathering that as small an amount as 1/8 teaspoon should do it for 2 quarts of goat milk ... will report back unless soon instructed otherwise.

Meanwhile, though, my frustration got the best of me and I strayed. I made some mozzarella with a gallon of raw milk from a farm I'm lucky to have very near my house. Quick and easy, and paired with a tomato just pulled from the vine out back, it made for a nice lunch and a necessary success on this cheesemaking quest ...

mozztom.jpg

Edited by Rico (log)

 

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Thanks, Nick. It's nice to know I can at least fall back to mozzarella when I need a confidence boost.

I added the calcium chloride (dissolved in chlorine-free water), the culture, 2 drops rennet (also dissolved in chlorine-free water), and stirred gently. Didn't see any changes immediately. Should I have? The recipe says to wait 18 hours for the curds, so I imagine I shouldn't be worried.

Right?

 

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Thanks, Nick. It's nice to know I can at least fall back to mozzarella when I need a confidence boost.

I added the calcium chloride (dissolved in chlorine-free water), the culture, 2 drops rennet (also dissolved in chlorine-free water), and stirred gently. Didn't see any changes immediately. Should I have? The recipe says to wait 18 hours for the curds, so I imagine I shouldn't be worried.

Right?

With the calcium chloride it probably won't take 18 hours.

As Andiesenji said, it is likely homogenisation that is your problem. This blasts the fat particles into little bits and makes it really hard for them to knit together as curds; doubly so as it is goat's milk which doesn't form a curd anywhere near as easily as sheep or cow milk.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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Okay, the calcium chloride seemed to work, but I didn't take into account my own lack of foresight when placing the ripening milk on top of the washing machine - much to my horror, I found the machine running not an hour later, giving the milk a good shake and ensuring no large curds formed.

So now I'm ordering more of the culture the recipe calls for, and have found myself wondering also about this Crescenza recipe - she says this is a cheese that is traditionally made from raw milk and is left overnight to ripen. Her recipe, however, calls for pasteurized milk, calcium chloride, and rennet. This leads me to a few questions ...

If I can get raw milk, should I just gently heat it to desired temp, add the cultures and let them do their thing?

If I get pasteurized milk, it's likely only going to be ultra-pasteurized. I can't seem to find the low-temp-pasteurized stuff anywhere. Would that mean I'd need to add extra calcium chloride to the 1/4 teaspoon the recipe calls for (to 1/4 teaspoon regular-strength liquid rennet)?

And last, how does calcium chloride affect cultures, if at all?

 

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  • 10 months later...

I have no idea about the percentages of cheese that use ersatz rather than natural rennet (from my experience this differs greatly from country to country), but real Italian Parmigiano-Reggiano PDO is made with natural rennet as far as I know.

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  • 5 months later...

What matters is the pressure applied to the top of the cheese. Not the force applied!

For a specific diameter of 'hoop' (mould), the pressure produced will be proportional to the force applied. Change the hoop size (radius or diameter, the height doesn't matter), and the same specified force gives a different pressure!

In other words, PSI (pounds per square inch) is what really matters.

 

And with the Dutch Press, the weight is hung from the end of the lever arm. Consequently, with different presses, one needs to be aware of the lever lengths (or rather proportions) to calculate the force that the lever delivers to each press's piston.

You need to know the mechanical advantage. Mechanical advantage is usually expressed as 2:1, 3:1, 4;1 etc. it's the distance from where you hang your weight to the pivot point, divided by the distance from the pivot point to where the presser arm (that applies the weight to your cheese mold) is attached. In other words 4:1 mechanical advantage would mean that for every one pound of weight you hang at the end of the lever equals four pounds at the end of the presser arm.

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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  • 2 years later...

I was sent the following "recipe" for making a feta style cheese by a friend of mine. I have not tried it as yet but was wondering if anybody else had heard of this method. Here is how I received the instructions:

 

 



SALTWATER CHEESE

This is quite an amazing recipe (and amazingly simple), to make a basic cheese which is similar to feta.
  1. Mix equal parts full cream milk to salt water. Bring to where it just starts to boil and it will separate curd from whey.
  2. Pour into colander lined with a cheese cloth (or similar) to drain whey.
  3. Gather up sides and squeeze out liquid. Tie it closed and put a tea kettle or heavy pot on top to press for about an hour or so.
  4. You will have a cheese similar to feta

Tip: You can make the cheese equally well using full cream powdered milk and only filtered seawater. For example, if the milk powder instructions calls for one cup of powder to 3 cups water, use sea water, not fresh water, and cheese is perfectly salted.

You can crumble in pasta, pour some olive oil on it, serve on crackers or use in salad etc. etc.

Add lemon pepper or other flavourings (herbs) if you feel incline but on its own its super!

Cape Town - At the foot of a flat topped mountain with a tablecloth covering it.

Some time ago we had Johnny Cash, Bob Hope and Steve Jobs. Now we have no Cash, no Hope and no Jobs. Please don't let Kevin Bacon die.

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6 minutes ago, JohnT said:

I was sent the following "recipe" for making a feta style cheese by a friend of mine. I have not tried it as yet but was wondering if anybody else had heard of this method. Here is how I received the instructions:

 

 

 

I am not sure that without some acid it will actually separate into curds and whey. And I am afraid I have no clue what saltwater is without some sort of percentage of salt to water.   Let's see what others have to say about this.  

 

Here's a recipe that at least gives some idea of how salty the water must be.  So perhaps it will work without acid. 

Edited by Anna N (log)
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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

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Thanks @Anna N for that link. I am going to give it a try later today and see what the results are. I will report back.

Cape Town - At the foot of a flat topped mountain with a tablecloth covering it.

Some time ago we had Johnny Cash, Bob Hope and Steve Jobs. Now we have no Cash, no Hope and no Jobs. Please don't let Kevin Bacon die.

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22 minutes ago, JohnT said:

Thanks @Anna N for that link. I am going to give it a try later today and see what the results are. I will report back.

Look forward to hearing your results. I dabbled in cheese making for a time and found it to be a very satisfying endeavour. 

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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REPORT-BACK TIME

 

Okay folks, do not waste your time, milk, water, salt and energy! I followed the instructions using a 3% salt solution (more-or-less equivalent to the salinity of sea water) and obtained about half a teaspoon of non-cheese tasting scum. No curds or separation observed. I actually did it twice - the first time I turned the liquid through the cheesecloth lined colander within a minute of it starting to boil and the second time I waited for the salty water/milk mix to cool substantially before straining. Same result both times! Maybe raw milk will react differently, but that is hard to obtain here.

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Cape Town - At the foot of a flat topped mountain with a tablecloth covering it.

Some time ago we had Johnny Cash, Bob Hope and Steve Jobs. Now we have no Cash, no Hope and no Jobs. Please don't let Kevin Bacon die.

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  • 3 years later...

Here's my first attempt at actual cheese making (I only made yogurt, paneer and ricotta before).

This is acid set cheese (the acidity coming from sour cream, buttermilk and cream of tarter). The acidified milk was cooked until curdles, drained well and salted. Then mixed with a bit of store bought blue cheese dissolved in sour cream. Pressed, salted and left to age in a closed container in the fridge. 5 days later I flipped it, punched holes and salted. Another 5 days and it was flipped, punched from the other side and salted again. I've been draining and letting some air in every couple of days.

 

It now has a light blue mold scent, and the drained water is tasty (if very salty) with pleasant blue mold and lactic acid flavor. You can see some blue bits in spots.

 

 

PXL_20201206_140618754.jpg

Edited by shain (log)
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~ Shai N.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Cheese update. Seems to be doing well, which is to say it looks blue and gnarly. Smells pleasant (assuming one finds blue cheeses to smell pleasant).

I think I'll open it up soon, my technique was not perfect, and I'm worried that letting it fully age might result in off flavors or even spoilage, and I prefer it to be mild rather than risk it being inedible (am I being paranoid?).

 

PXL_20201216_112315713.thumb.jpg.ce0666d973ca3cd04b25609029e0941e.jpg

Edited by shain (log)
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~ Shai N.

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On this topic, I've recently fallen down this Youtube rabbit hole: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCE31MqUy6nIMJ_f8y4R3_AA  Australian cheesemaking fellow who shows the process very comprehensively.  Lots of inspiration material. Now I need to go shopping for molds and mold cultures. 

Edited by cdh (log)

Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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2 hours ago, shain said:

Cheese update. Seems to be doing well, which is to say it looks blue and gnarly. Smells pleasant (assuming one finds blue cheeses to smell pleasant).

I think I'll open it up soon, my technique was not perfect, and I'm worried that letting it fully age might result in off flavors or even spoilage, and I prefer it to be mild rather than risk it being inedible (am I being paranoid?).

 

I would say "prudent," rather than "paranoid."

 

After you've tried this one, and have a sense of how it was progressing, you can try another and let it go a bit longer. Eventually you'll find the point of diminishing returns.

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“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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So it was time to try it out.

At about 3 weeks of age, there is nice blue mold growth on the outside, and I'm pretty sure there's also some Camembert mold there.

It's quite mild, the interior is between a Sainte Maure style cheese and a very rich ricotta - it's nutty, creamy, a bit flaky, with a mild blue cheese note, and a bit too salty. The crust is a bit like a young Camembert, which is to say it is separable with a pleasant bite. It has a bolder flavor of blue cheese and Camembert but is still quite gentle.

Overall I'm super happy, next time I'll apply what I learned.

We ate one quarter of the 280g wheel (almost 10oz). We'll let the reminder age a bit more and have another go.

 

PXL_20201221_192040787.thumb.jpg.92b4794cec8194c58d14236c3315c3af.jpgPXL_20201221_192630142.thumb.jpg.79c2fea4e9ca1305cea4293465346d1d.jpgPXL_20201221_192152033.thumb.jpg.98bd2c73ea91aba06b60271f59d7e94e.jpg

 

The mold pattern resembles a drawing of a stormy ocean, I think.

PXL_20201221_192051571.thumb.jpg.7283b9b733c9e51178df2830cc6fa62f.jpg

 

I'll be happy to share the instructions if anyone is interested, it was a fun experience and require no special ingredients.

Edited by shain (log)
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~ Shai N.

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  • 1 year later...

It's been 2 years already? Sheesh.

 

Started another batch.

The acid curdled cheese is mixed with sour cream and some store bought Danish blue, and salt.

I've pressed it for a day, salted it, and left to firm up and lose water.

Punctured with a skewer that was dipped into the same blue cheese (I don't think the latter part is needed, given there is mold mixed in already). The holes allow some air in.

It's now maturing in the cold storage room.

 


 

PXL_20220123_185736454.MP.jpg

Edited by shain (log)
  • Like 11

~ Shai N.

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