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Making Cheese


Bouland
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I've made cheese at home a few times in the past - and just finished a three-month cheesemaking apprenticeship at Bobolink Dairy. I plan on doing some more home cheesemaking - using some of my new-found knowledge - while I figure out a way to do it professionally. Perhaps we can use this thread to document projects? This way we can all learn from each others successes and mistakes.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've only made kefir, quark and just ordered the indgredients for feta. I am looking for a bread baker or pastry cook job without much luck so far. What do you suggest as a hard cheese to start with?

I bought some local (MD) goat camembert that was quite good the other day. Thus far I only have only found store bought milk and only cow at that. What did they use in you appreticeshop?

It would be a good idea to document projects. I'm up for it.

Woods

I've made cheese at home a few times in the past - and just finished a three-month cheesemaking apprenticeship at Bobolink Dairy. I plan on doing some more home cheesemaking - using some of my new-found knowledge - while I figure out a way to do it professionally. Perhaps we can use this thread to document projects? This way we can all learn from each others successes and mistakes.

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woods........

if i was going to make a hard cheese i would start with some simple cheddar curds..........

they're fun to eat, (squeeky), and you wont wrap up a bunch of time in affinage........

i make mostly a fresh chevre, that we sell commercially, but i made a few hundred pounds of an interesting bloomy rind cheese this summer, it is in a 6" wheel and about 1 1/2 " thick.......

a few weeks ago i took some of the acid set curd we make and rolled in in ash, then sprayed it with a pen. candidium.....

it has grown a VERY nice bloom, it is in the fridge now, waiting to become nice and gooey..........

i hope to make a few hundred pounds of a washed rind / trappist style cheese yet this fall before we dry the goats off......

there's a lot of things that can be done with an old refrigerator as a ripening cabinet, including growing molds on store bought chevre logs....

or how about growing a white mold on a cheese formed from a high end cream cheese, and blue cheese crumble.......

fusion cheese.............blue notes on the inside, agressive white mold on the outside, high fat content, and a dessicating gooeyness that makes you want to eat it with a spoon..........

crazy?????????

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woods........

if i was going to make a hard cheese i would start with some simple cheddar curds..........

they're fun to eat, (squeeky), and you wont wrap up a bunch of time in affinage........

i make mostly a fresh chevre, that we sell commercially, but i made a few hundred pounds of an interesting bloomy rind cheese this summer, it is in a 6" wheel and about 1 1/2 " thick.......

a few weeks ago i took some of the acid set curd we make and rolled in in ash, then sprayed it with a pen. candidium.....

it has grown a VERY nice bloom, it is in the fridge now, waiting to become nice and gooey..........

i hope to make a few hundred pounds of a washed rind / trappist style cheese yet this fall before we dry the goats off......

there's a lot of things that can be done with an old refrigerator as a ripening cabinet, including growing molds on store bought chevre logs....

or how about growing a white mold on a cheese formed from a high end cream cheese, and blue cheese crumble.......

fusion cheese.............blue notes on the inside, agressive white mold on the outside, high fat content, and a dessicating gooeyness that makes you want to eat it with a spoon..........

crazy?????????

Thanks for the advice. It sounds like you are a professional. I just got rid of an old refridgerator I had use for beer making. I even had a thermostat. Ah well, being a friend of Bill precludes some things.

I'll try cheddar curds, they sound good! Woods

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Hello all, 

    Is anyone aware of a thread that discusses home cheese making?  I am not sure how to search on this site for one.  Thanks,  Woods

I made feta the other day. I used cow's milk but will use goat's milk next time. Its expensive but worth a try. The feta fresh is very good but more spreadable than commercial feta. The taste is wonderful. I added lipase which gives an earthly flavor. The recipe says to age for 4-5 days after salting so I'll see.

Woods

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I've only made kefir, quark and just ordered the indgredients for feta.  I am looking for a bread baker or pastry cook job without much luck so far.  What do you suggest as a hard cheese to start with? 

I bought some local (MD) goat camembert that was quite good the other day.  Thus far I only have only found store bought milk and only cow at that.  What did they use in you appreticeshop?

It would be a good idea to document projects.  I'm up for it.

Woods

For hard cheese, the first I made was Montasio out of Ricki Carrol's Home Cheesemaking book (which I suggest picking up - it's a great beginner's resource). The resulting cheese was, um, boring. But it was cheese and that was certainly a step in the right direction.

During my apprenticeship we made cheese every day using milk from the farm's small herd of cows. Assuming you don't have your own herd, you'll probably have to buy milk. Whatever you decide to get, stay away from anything ultra-pasteurized. It's actually impossible to make cheese from UP milk - the curd never sets (I know this from experience). This rules out most of the mass-market organic brands. If you live in a state that allows consumer access to raw milk, get that. It will make tastier cheese, and it's actually easier to work with.

I made a soft-ripened cheese at home last week and was mostly successful. It's now aging in my little wine refrigerator (bought specifically for this purpose). We'll see if it actually turns out the way I was expecting. Next time I make cheese I'll try to document the process in this thread.

Edited by iain (log)
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I made a soft-ripened cheese at home last week and was mostly successful. It's now aging in my little wine refrigerator (bought specifically for this purpose).

I've read Ricki Carroll's book, bought her mozzarella kit and made some, spent beaucoup bucks on a couple of vintage cheesemaking books, found a source for raw milk ( guy also had a whole cheesemaking suite in the barn for lease) but have nowhere to ripen the stuff, so I'm interested to find out about the wine refrigerator, because that's exactly what I thought would work.

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  • 6 months later...

I looked through my unnecessarily extensive collection of cookbooks that should have answers to any question I have and I didn't come up with:

how to make cheese? Any kind?

My children love cheese, and we've access to 2 gallons a week of raw local milk from a cow we are acquainted with. We have lots of cream and we've been (they've been) shaking it into butter. we have buttermilk and we're making muffins and pancakes with that. any cheese: with the bounty of milk, with the buttermilk, with the cream...

Any suggestions on a basic book that tells us how to make cheese? Amazon has several titles that might fit the bill, but I thought I'd ask you guys first!

I think the science behind making the cheese would be an excellent science class for my homeschooled 9 & 11year old. They're just stuck with hopelessly slow food parents. :raz:

cg

ps I searched and didn't come up with any similar threads, and had to decide whether this was 'adventurous eating, cooking, or general food topics'.

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You may want to start here

http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Cottage/1288/

BUT...this is one of very few pages that didnt start out with major no nos about fresh cheese with raw milk....sermon over

Queso fresco is tasty and you can cut into slices and fry till crispy and golden

tracey

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I have just recently started making cheese at home and reallt enjoy it.

Currently the only book I have is Home Cheese Making by Ricki Carroll

I think this may be the only book you need as there is a huge variety of cheese recipes and tons of information.

I have made most of the non-aged cheeses (I am not patient enough for aged cheese!) and haven't been disappointed. Her 30 minute mozarella is incredibly easy and so much fun that my kids always insist on getting involved.

I would love to see more cheesemaking discussion here..... :biggrin:

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Yes, I promise to post about our experiences. I've already looked at the webpage that Rooftop1000 recommended and plan on trying that this week with the (human) kids. We're hoping to bite the bullet and start milking a couple of our milk goats, with neighbors promising to fill in when we want to leave for the day!

I've also ordered two cheese making books from our local library, then I'll decide which one to buy.

I also found your (Kristin) posting on paneer, but I know NOTHING about Indian food except how to eat it when it's served to me.

I'm looking foward to making the cheese! stay tuned, even for a photo or two in the next 3-5 days.

cg

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The best online resource I have found is

http://biology.clc.uc.edu/Fankhauser/Cheese/Cheese.html

Dr Fankhauser explains things with appropriately scientific rigour.

One needs an extraordinary large amount of milk, to produce a seemingly insignificant quantity of cheese!

As to kit and skills, for making hard cheeses one needs to be able to hit and hold *steady* temperatures in the range of 30-40C. We are talking about maintaining a temperature to within 1C (say 2F) for quite extended periods. Thats tricky! And one needs some form of press. I found a glass bottle that was a nice fit inside an offcut of PVC pipe. Upturned bowls provided a stable weight on my bottle/piston.

Obviously a decent thermometer is called for, as is a large water bath to surround your (large) milkpan, to steady the temperature, making all changes slow.

While its fun to have a go at, (and the results were pretty satisfying), I shan't be stopping buying cheese just yet... :biggrin:

Edited by dougal (log)

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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Have you tried making yogurt? It's super easy and you can eat it as is, strain it for a couple of hours to create a thick, 'Greek style' yogurt, or strain it over night to make a simple but very yummy fresh/curd/cream cheese which is great eaten sweet or savoury.

My favourite ways to use it are, savoury: mix with a little salt and olive oil, drizzle a little more olive oil over the top, and then just dip into it with fresh crusty bread (this is really moreish :wink: ).

Or, for a sweet take on it, simply spread as is on bread/toast/bagels etc with jam or honey - since it is simply super-strained yogurt, it retains the ever-so-slightly sour tang of yogurt, which makes it perfect with sweet stuff, and a great thing to have on the breakfast/brunch table. As a kid, this was one of my favourite breakfasts, and it still is.

Oh, and you can use up the whey that results from all that straining in bread/bagels etc. Yum!

pigeonpie

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.

Virginia Woolf

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  • 4 months later...

I'm resurrecting this thread to see who else might be interesting in keeping a cheesemaking thread alive...

Kevin and I have gone down the path and become rather maniacal cheesemakers with some successes and some failures, all of which I am willing to share. Thus far, we have made a simple cheddar and a blue (both are now aging) as well as some goat which was eaten immediately. This week, throwing ourselves back into it, we have produced a sage cheddar (needed pressing longer), a caraway cheddar (looks great!), and two whey cheeses from the remainder. As I type, Kevin is in the kitchen now, heating up yet another batch of cheddar but we are experimenting with the addition of cream.

What I can't find on the 'net is a community of like-minded home cheesemakers who are sharing their experiences and/or recipes. Ricki Carrol's site has a few shared recipes from her readers. This site has a link to a discussion forum, but it doesn't seem to work for me.

We like the smell of the caraway cheddar and will probably experiment with making some that have other seeds or flavors but aren't finding exact recipes.

Care to come along and share your cheesemaking experiments?

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Ok, good, this will give me the kick-start I need. I bought a Deluxe Cheese Kit a couple of months ago, but was knee-deep in charcuterie projects at the time. Now that it's too warm to hang meat in my garage, my thoughts are turning to the coolness of the fridge. A good ricotta, and a source of mascarpone that isn't worth its weight in gold, are probably up first. But fresh chevre sounds like a big hit in our house, too. Tell about yours, Carolyn.

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I regularly (except when the temperature is too hot) make a raw milk chevre.

This is a fresh raw milk cheese. I don't have a particular problem with it, but I do warn people before offering them any.

I buy my milk from Rainhaven Goat Dairy; among other thing she posts her monthly test results on the milk. If you are doing a fresh raw milk cheese, you should be very particular about your supplies.

I make it in gallon or half gallon batches, depending on what I expect to be using.

Step 1: Heat the milk in stainless pot up to 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from the heat, add the culture packet, mix well. Cover the top of the pot with plastic wrap. I use the Chevre culture from New England Cheesemaking.

Step 2: Let the cheese age in a room at between 60 and 70 degrees for between 16 and 24 hours.

Step 3: Boil the cheese muslin. Pour the curds into a collander lined with the muslin. Pull the muslin over the curds (so there are no exposed curds), and let drain for 4-6 hours, in a room between 60 and 70 degrees.

Step 4: Squeeze the last of the whey out of the cheese, and place the cheese in a glass pan.

Step 5: Add salt and spices. By default, I do it in one step, with 1/2 T of Truffle Salt per half-gallon of milk. Blend, cover, and refridgerate. The flavor will be infused in 2-4 hours.

Step 6: Wash and then boil the cheese muslin again, before putting it away for the next batch.

I trust the resulting cheese for up to two weeks, if kept well refridgerated.

Other notes: It is illegal to import or sell fresh raw milk cheeses.

Edited by Dave Weinstein (log)
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Ok, good, this will give me the kick-start I need.  I bought a Deluxe Cheese Kit a couple of months ago, but was knee-deep in charcuterie projects at the time.  Now that it's too warm to hang meat in my garage, my thoughts are turning to the coolness of the fridge.  A good ricotta, and a source of mascarpone that isn't worth its weight in gold, are probably up first.  But fresh chevre sounds like a big hit in our house, too.  Tell about yours, Carolyn.

One of my few regrets about moving out of Wine Country is that I used to be surrounded by dairies. Now, living in the city, Trader Joes is my only supplier of goat milk and it is pretty expensive (something like $3.00 a quart) and I was surprised that Whole Foods only sells the ultrapasteurized version which is a cheesemaker's nemesis. That made my chevre REALLY expensive to produce. I followed the instructions in Carrol's book and my resulting chevre was surprisingly dry and crumbly -- I was expecting something creamy like Laura Chenel's. It tasted good, but had the consistency of a feta without the sharp tang (no brine).

Dave makes me jealous and I may have to start hunting around for a less-expensive supply of goat milk.

I REALLY wish I could find sheep's milk, but that seems close to impossible! I'll have to stick to cow's milk cheeses for a while...

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I REALLY wish I could find sheep's milk, but that seems close to impossible! I'll have to stick to cow's milk cheeses for a while...

Do you have a farmer's market in your area? They may be a good source or may know of someone they can refer you to.

edited to add: Also try food co-ops and health food stores for possible sources or referrals.

Edited by Toliver (log)

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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Dave makes me jealous and I may have to start hunting around for a less-expensive supply of goat milk.

The milk I buy is of excellent quality, but it is definitely not inexpensive. It runs around $9/half gallon, or $16-$17/gallon.

Since I'm making a fresh raw milk cheese, I'm far more picky about the quality than the price.

--Dave

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We have a goat dairy here that sells chevre, but I find it really bland and un-goaty. They say it's because of the breed of goat - is that possible, or is it, as I imagine, more about their cheese-making technique? Because I might be able to get raw milk from them, but if all I could do with it is make more of what they're already making, boring goat cheese, why bother?

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You should be able to get the Rainhaven milk; I know it has been available in the Pike Place market before. Contact Debbie over at Rainhaven for where to buy information.

I'm watching the weather forecasts, because we're right on the cusp of "safe for making cheese" weather.

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I'm watching the weather forecasts, because we're right on the cusp of "safe for making cheese" weather.

Oh, you must expand on that statement! What is NOT safe cheesemaking weather, pray tell? Can it be too hot? Or too cold? Or too moist? I'm terribly curious...

p.s. You are paying more for your goat milk than I am! I'm impressed and probably should suck up and just buy more...

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I REALLY wish I could find sheep's milk, but that seems close to impossible! I'll have to stick to cow's milk cheeses for a while...

Do you have a farmer's market in your area? They may be a good source or may know of someone they can refer you to.

edited to add: Also try food co-ops and health food stores for possible sources or referrals.

I did make a round of phone calls and mostly idiots answered the phone who had no clue and/or no referrals. The farmer's markets are next...

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I'm watching the weather forecasts, because we're right on the cusp of "safe for making cheese" weather.

Oh, you must expand on that statement! What is NOT safe cheesemaking weather, pray tell? Can it be too hot? Or too cold? Or too moist? I'm terribly curious...

p.s. You are paying more for your goat milk than I am! I'm impressed and probably should suck up and just buy more...

It's raw milk. I want the temperature to be in the 60s or below for the entire 30 hours or so it will take to make the cheese.

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