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Making Cheese


Bouland
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hmm, i guess i just assumed they added the culture than let it sit for three days. do you know if this is true, or if it is just three days old? the only difference i could think of would be naturally occuring bacteria changing the ph, but that would be more akin to making a lambic than a highly controlled product.

oh, and the last beer i brewed was an outstanding, though hazy, imperial IPA.

Please delete my account from eGullet

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brining with Perry sounds intriguing.  they is a great commercially made perry here in the bay area called Ace that may go really well with a high cream content hard cheese.  or, if you have a fruit press, you could always make your own ;)

I've had Ace but am a dyed-in-the-wool Wyders fan (I seriously go through a case a week of the large bottles; serves two purposes, I get to drink a lot and they are the best bottles to re-use for our beer efforts).

In the fall, by going through San Francisco Brewcraft, we can rent a press and will be making our own!

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My boyfriend, Kevin, is a techno-nut. Unfortunately, having to rent an apartment with a hideous electric stove takes its toll on our culinary abilities, including the ability to maintain consistent temperatures in the initial cheese-making procedures.

In our recent rash of beer-making, we were using our wort chiller to bring the temperature down on a brewed mash of stout. If we are running cool water through the copper tubing to chill down beer, why couldn't we run warm water through the copper tubing to maintain an even temperature on our milk? Going a step further, he acquired a remote wireless digital thermometer so that while the warm water is keeping the milk at an even temperature, we can be notified (sitting in another room) if the temperature is changing at all.

We tried this today for the first time and with the exception of some water spillage (not paying attention to the overflow on the floor!), we seem to have had great success. The proof, obviously, will be in the pudding <ahem>, I mean the cheese. In this case, a goat cheddar which we won't get to taste for another 12 weeks. I'll post pictures of the set-up in a day or so, but I'm curious if anyone else has ever seen anything like this...

Edited by Carolyn Tillie (log)
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That's very clever. The whole temperature thing as outlined in Ricki Carroll's books put me off a little bit, wondering if I could finesse it. How can you possibly control raising the temperature a degree every five minutes, or whatever it is. The only thing I would get nervous about is wasting the water. I'll bet the little pump I bought to make a fountain out of a hunk of lava rock could be incorporated into some kind of recirculating device. Have the milk in one side of my new giant soapstone sink, a big bowl of water in the other with pump in it. Have to think about this.

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  • 4 months later...

I found these very nice -- and very reasonably priced -- cheese presses while poking around the web today, and thought you home cheesemakers might be interested:

CheesyPress

Only $65 for the 2-gallon size; $135 for the 5-gallon. But my favority is the SeesyPress, which lets you see your cheese in progress!

Silly, but cool.

I'd be interested to know if anyone has tried one of these presses.

- L.

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  • 4 months later...

I have been making simple fresh cheese for years (fromage blanc) but a couple of weeks ago I started making more complex cheeses--blue-veined, washed rind, bloomy rind, tomme, crottin, valencay, etc). Is it ever fun! Chemistry, molds, yeasts, bacteria--cooties galore!

There are already a few such sites but I feel they are wanting. By the way, my nom de Gullet, wurst case, comes from my other hobby of sausage making. But I am totally taken with this new one.

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Any advice on a starting point for someone who wishes to partake in this 'art'?

Someday the power of human stupidity will be harnessed and the energy crisis will be over.
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Any advice on a starting point for someone who wishes to partake in this 'art'?

Hi there, Turkie,

Well, it's pretty easy as well as impressive to make fresh cheese--either fresh cow cheese (fromage blanc) or fresh goat cheese (chevre). New England Cheesmaking, cheesemaking.com, sells cultures for this. You just heat a gallon of milk, add the contents of the little packet, leave it overnight, and drain it the next day. You should avoid ultrapasteurized milk (like the goat milk sold by Whole Foods). Anyhow, you get around two pounds of cow cheese and 1.5 lbs of goat. You can eat the stuff with a spoons, or smear it on toast. It's yummy! And relatively low-cal. In fact you can use low fat milk if you like.

That would be a good start. Just made the goat cheese for a birthday party and it went over big. I simply added salt, but you could add whatever.

THanks for replying.

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I make mozzarella and it's super easy. All you need is a gallon of pasteurized milk, citric acid, and rennet, all of which I found in a local health food shop. I make it with 1 percent milk -- it's best eaten warm, though. I haven't made it with higher fat milk, but I'm guessing the low milkfat content makes it tough when it cools.

The only thing difficult the first time I made it was that I didn't have heat-proof gloves -- you've got to stretch the cheese by hand when it's about 130 degrees F. Ouch! Now I have a pair of rubber gloves set aside specifically for mozzarella stretching.

Yesterday I bought cultures for chevre at a wine and beermaking shop. Can't wait to try it!

I recommend Home Cheese Making by Ricki Carroll. It has all they whys and hows, plus dozens of recipes. I believe she owns New England Cheesemaking Supply Company and was featured in Barbara Kingsolver's new book.

Diana Burrell, freelance writer/author

The Renegade Writer's Query Letters That Rock (Marion Street Press, Nov. 2006)

DianaCooks.com

My eGullet blog

The Renegade Writer Blog

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I've been trying to search for a thread I started like this a year ago, to no avail. Last year, I made a handful of home-made cheese. My caraway-studded cheddar was my best attempt and a veined blue failed miserably (actually, both attempts -- one dried out and the other stayed way too moist and oooozed).

I also use Home Cheese Making by Ricki Carroll but also really liked Making Artisan Cheeses by Tim Smith as he has some great hints and innovative recipes.

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I have been making simple fresh cheese for years (fromage blanc) but a couple of weeks ago I started making more complex cheeses--blue-veined, washed rind, bloomy rind, tomme, crottin, valencay, etc).  Is it ever fun!  Chemistry, molds, yeasts, bacteria--cooties galore!

There are already a few such sites but I feel they are wanting.  By the way, my nom de Gullet, wurst case, comes from my other hobby of sausage making.  But I am totally taken with this new one.

Hello- I make a cheese :wub: by draining yogurt. Would this qualify as a type of fromage blanc? :huh:

"As life's pleasures go, food is second only to sex.Except for salami and eggs...Now that's better than sex, but only if the salami is thickly sliced"--Alan King (1927-2004)

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I've been trying to search for a thread I started like this a year ago, to no avail. Last year, I made a handful of home-made cheese. My caraway-studded cheddar was my best attempt and a veined blue failed miserably (actually, both attempts -- one dried out and the other stayed way too moist and oooozed).

I also use Home Cheese Making by Ricki Carroll but also really liked Making Artisan Cheeses by Tim Smith as he has some great hints and innovative recipes.

They probably merged the threads... is it this one? http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=8864

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I've been trying to search for a thread I started like this a year ago, to no avail. Last year, I made a handful of home-made cheese. My caraway-studded cheddar was my best attempt and a veined blue failed miserably (actually, both attempts -- one dried out and the other stayed way too moist and oooozed).

I also use Home Cheese Making by Ricki Carroll but also really liked Making Artisan Cheeses by Tim Smith as he has some great hints and innovative recipes.

They probably merged the threads... is it this one? http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=8864

They moved the thread because it seemed more appropriate here. Yesterday I made (i.e., started) a batch of 4 camemberts. In one week they should start developing the Penicilium candidum mold and in two weeks it should be a winter wonderland, all covered in snow. I used raw milk, which is the norm for true Camembert in France but prohibited here because the cheese hasn't aged the requisite 60 days. I have a friend (actually, an employee) who is French and will eay ANYTHING, so I will offer him the first taste and observe. I buried some goat cheeses in the last few days, RIP. THey developed something called peau de crapaud, toad's skin, or oidium. Possibly due to undersalting.

I have the Carroll book and others (the Tim Smith book and a great one, Cheesemaker's Manual).and search the web for authentic recipes.

Yogurt cheese is called, I believe, laban, and sure that counts.

I am looking forward to making mozzarella. I own two beer bar cum restaurants, so I will buy the curds wholesale and make the stuff for pizza and insalata caprese.

My next project (next week) is a raw milk stinky cheese.

Sorry your blue cheese didn't work out, Carolyn. I started a raw milk one. I am letting a natural rind form but so far, of course, it's mostly blue and I hope not too pungent finally. It's only been three weeks so no telling....

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Wurst, cheesemaking is something i started but didn't have time to continue, hopefully i'll get back into it in the next few months.

I've made mozzarella and stracchino (an italian soft cheese). The mozzarella was just OK, and cost me about 3 times the cost of good quality mozzarella, so i deemed it not worth it, the stracchino was excellent and well worth it.

What do you age your cheeses in? Do you have a cellar/humidity/temperature controlled area?

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Wurst, cheesemaking is something i started but didn't have time to continue, hopefully i'll get back into it in the next few months.

I've made mozzarella and stracchino (an italian soft cheese). The mozzarella was just OK, and cost me about 3 times the cost of good quality mozzarella, so i deemed it not worth it, the stracchino was excellent and well worth it.

What do you age your cheeses in? Do you have a cellar/humidity/temperature controlled area?

Hi J.

I remember you from the Charcuterie forum.

I bought a 4.3 cubic feet fridge from best buy and connected it to a Johnson Controls thermostat controller. You also use these for lagering beer. The fridge plugs into the controller, which is set at 54F, the optimal cheese ripening temp. Then I put the individual cheeses into plastic food containers to maintain the necessary humidity (RH 95%). Ideally, you want the ambient humidity of the fridge to be 85% RH (i.e., around the closed containers), for aging cheddars and the like. I usually have a bowl of water but it gets only to around 60% so I ordered a cheap mister fogger. The individual container idea I like because I am aging cheeses (or prospective cheeses) with different ripening molds or yeasts and want to avoid cross-contamination. I filled up one fridge in about a week and just bought another!

Tell me about the stracchino. Where did you find the recipe?

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I've been trying to search for a thread I started like this a year ago, to no avail. Last year, I made a handful of home-made cheese. My caraway-studded cheddar was my best attempt and a veined blue failed miserably (actually, both attempts -- one dried out and the other stayed way too moist and oooozed).

I also use Home Cheese Making by Ricki Carroll but also really liked Making Artisan Cheeses by Tim Smith as he has some great hints and innovative recipes.

About my blue cheese (attempt), recently a bit of the rind broke and it was oozy inside, so I fear the worst. From what I have read, I suspect the acidity is at fault in both the oozy and the dry blues. Too much acidity and the cheese turns out dry and crumbly; too little, it can turn out moist. (Anyhow, I am more ocnfident about the first part of that). Oy!

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I've been trying to search for a thread I started like this a year ago, to no avail. Last year, I made a handful of home-made cheese. My caraway-studded cheddar was my best attempt and a veined blue failed miserably (actually, both attempts -- one dried out and the other stayed way too moist and oooozed).

I also use Home Cheese Making by Ricki Carroll but also really liked Making Artisan Cheeses by Tim Smith as he has some great hints and innovative recipes.

I came upon this passage in Margaret Morris's The Cheesemaker's Manual,

"A low pH at hooping time gives a brittle textured cheese and a high pH at hooping time will result in a soft, soapy, fruity or bitter cheese." This seems to correlate with your runny blue cheese (too much acidity) and with your dry one (too little).

Anyway, it looks like this forum isn't going anywhere, alas! If we were to get some momentum, we could possibly enlist an "expert" to counsel us.

Today I am making an epoisses, which I will wash with grappa (instead of marc de bourgogne); a couple of days ago I made some crottins and Ste Maures (ash covered logs). The camemberts are getting nice and felty white. I think I may have scored some raw goat's milk, and I plan to make a Tomme de Chevre. Good thing I am semi-retired and totally deranged!

Tell me about the cheddar you made. That one was successful yes? How long did you age it?

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I've been trying to search for a thread I started like this a year ago, to no avail. Last year, I made a handful of home-made cheese. My caraway-studded cheddar was my best attempt and a veined blue failed miserably (actually, both attempts -- one dried out and the other stayed way too moist and oooozed).

I also use Home Cheese Making by Ricki Carroll but also really liked Making Artisan Cheeses by Tim Smith as he has some great hints and innovative recipes.

I came upon this passage in Margaret Morris's The Cheesemaker's Manual,

"A low pH at hooping time gives a brittle textured cheese and a high pH at hooping time will result in a soft, soapy, fruity or bitter cheese." This seems to correlate with your runny blue cheese (too much acidity) and with your dry one (too little).

Anyway, it looks like this forum isn't going anywhere, alas! If we were to get some momentum, we could possibly enlist an "expert" to counsel us.

Today I am making an epoisses, which I will wash with grappa (instead of marc de bourgogne); a couple of days ago I made some crottins and Ste Maures (ash covered logs). The camemberts are getting nice and felty white. I think I may have scored some raw goat's milk, and I plan to make a Tomme de Chevre. Good thing I am semi-retired and totally deranged!

Tell me about the cheddar you made. That one was successful yes? How long did you age it?

Whoops! I just noticed a mistake. The low pH is high in acidity, of course, and the high one is low in acidity. So I switched 'em. Anyhow, I got a trusty pH meter, which helps.

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Good thread! I had a brief flirtation with cheesemaking that ended when I got pregnant and scared of Listeria. Time to get back into it! (The 'baby' is 2.5 years old, after all). I had a passable cheddar and enjoyed the soft cheeses. I had a hard time finding goat's milk that was not ultrapasteurized here in Chicago. Wurst Case, where are you that you get raw milk?

Jen

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Wurst, thanks for the info about the chamber, that is how i cure my salumi, a regular fridge with a johnson controls temp. controller, an ultrasonic humidifier and a humidistat. I may just use that fridge, as it is kept at about 50-54 for salumi, and put the cheeses in tupperwares for maturing.

The stracchino is quite easy.

2 liters of whole milk

100ml of cream

2 tablespoons of yogurt with live cultures

salt for brine

rennet

Warm 1 liter of the milk with yogurt to 35deg.C, and leave for 5-6 hours holding temp at about 32C. Add remaining milk and cream

Bring back to 30 C.

Add rennet (i don't remember the quantity, i use the pill form, and i don't have my notes here), you want it to set to a pudding texture. Leave for 1 hour.

Cut into large cubes

Leave about 20 minutes

Transfer to baskets, being careful not to break up teh chunks too much.

Leave for 12 hours to drain, at room temperature (max 18C)

Transfer gently to a brine bath (again don't have the quantities here with me, about a fist full of salt per liter of water), leave for 2 hours.

Trasnfer to a sealed container, and let it age at least 1/2 a day at about 12-15C.

EAT.

You'll have to experiment with the quantity of rennet, and salt in brine and time in brine to get it just right, but it should be a soft creamy, somewhat jiggly cheese with a distinct sour note and a slight bitter note.

jason

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Tell me about the cheddar you made.  That one was successful yes?  How long did you age it?

Wurst, I made the Carroll recipe for cheddar but steamed a full three to four tablespoons of caraway seeds to fully stud it. I aged it 8 months but four months into my aging, had to lower the temperature of my extra fridge from the 55-degrees I had it set at closer to the mid-30s for additional food products I had to store.

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  • 1 month later...

Ive just recieved my cheese making stuff a few days ago and yesterday i made my first batch of Feta cheese, as i thought it was a good way to get familiar with the process.

Tomorrow half of it will go into some oil with some slightly boiled fresh spices and the other half will stay in the saltwater.

So in a week i should have a lot of homemade feta - gonna be a good weeked :)

The water left after i drained the cheese out produces 300g of ricotta and a portion of the water was used for breadmaking, and both bread and ricotta taste just great:)

Tomorrow its creamcheese (if thats a word:) ) and monday my first try at a blue cheese.

Must say that cheesemaking so far is quite fun and interesting :)

Edited by Morten (log)
http://www.grydeskeen.dk - a danish foodblog :)
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  • 2 weeks later...

Inspired by a recipe for 30-minute mozzarella in Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and the availability of rennet in my local health food store, I decided to try my hand at home cheesemaking the other day. The recipe involves heating milk combined with citric acid, adding rennet, then straining the curd, heating it in the microwave, and kneading it to remove the whey. (recipe available at www.animalvegetablemiracle.com)

The good news: It really does take only 30 minutes.

The bad news: Since it was mozzarella, and I was making it fresh, I was expecting the result to be "fresh mozzarella", i.e. the stuff that is sold in round balls covered in liquid. The result that I got, however, was a block of cheese with the taste and texture of string cheese, which is not something that I'm willing to put even 30 minutes of effort into.

Did I overheat or overknead the curds? Or is a different recipe/technique altogether required to get the "fresh mozzarella" texture?

"There is nothing like a good tomato sandwich now and then."

-Harriet M. Welsch

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