Here we go, a place for recipes, questions, tips..and general chat welcome :0)
I'll be posting recipes in this spot to make finding a new or favorite recipe easier.
Please, remember to make sure your recipe is in one post. Anything I can do to make this post easier to understand or navigate, please let me know.
Were you able to salvage that last blue?
I've been wanting to make some, now would be perfect. It would be aged in time for a fall salad crop.
I was going to use a blue from the store to inoculate. However, all I can find locally, say on the label "natural mold inhibitor to protect freshness"??? Isn't that ridiculous for a moldy cheese.lol Anyway, I don't think it would work and I don't feel like wasting the curd to find out.
I'll have to wait for someone in the city to bring me the real stuff.
Well, I'm hoping it survives. I washed it with vinegar and salt, put it in a clean container in the house fridge until I got the mini cave cleaned. It's back in there now, and needs the second piercing... I put a pan of water with a mound of rock salt on the shelf below. Haven't checked the humidity yet today, and the remote doesn't send a good signal from inside that cave.
I did save some rind from a store blue; never thought to read the label! It's in the freezer, and I should chuck it. Man, the tiny amount of p. roqueforti I received for what I paid was sinful.
Darius, that's neat that you have a cave so that you can make hard cheeses. Because I am into too many gardening "things", I don't have time to nurture/tend to hard cheeses! Nor do I have a cheese cave! I'll just enjoy reading about everyone's cheesemaking experiences. Good luck with your bleu!
Cocoa--HERE I AM!! So, will this be for any recipes or just cheese/dairy recipes?
I am just about to read about making cream cheese at home. I bet it is a TON better than store bought... Janet
Yeah, I can't justify buying p. roqueforti, not yet anyway. I don't think we'd eat more then 4lbs a year. I do hope that I can freeze chunks of a blue for use. Does the p. roqueforti you bought have directions for storing? Can it be frozen?
Yay, Bariolio. Glad you found us! All dairy products and their uses welcome! Yogurt and such are gateway dairy products..next thing you know you'll be eyeing dumb-bells at garage sales. Thinking of ways to incorporate them on a homemade cheese press :0)
There are ways to age a few cheeses without a cave, and I use a home made (read, cheap) press. Darius made her cave as well. We are here to enable :0)
Please, feel free to post any dairy recipes you got. Sometimes people have more issues with some of the things I think of as simple to make, and yet, I still can't make a cream cheese that I enjoy.lol Everyone has way of doing something a bit different, it helps us all.
Yes, the p. roqueforti can, and should be frozen. I don't remember if my tiny jar came with directions for storing but maybe they did, because it went right away into the freezer. The recipe for the Stilton wheels I have started (2 gallon batches) called for 1/4 tsp. which I think could be cut down. I've started 3 so far, and maybe have enough p. roqueforti for at least 1 more try.
First tip right up front is to get some real liquid calf rennet if you plan to ever make any cheese that ages more than 60 days. It keeps a long time refrigerated. I started cheesemaking by using Junket tablets from the grocery store, then bought some rennet tablets when I bought the p. roqueforti. After reading comments about the tendency of the rennet tablets to make aged cheese taste bitter, I bought a small jar of liquid calf rennet and switched.
Now I have several 2 lb wheels of 2 different cheese types in the cave that are approaching 4 months and they have slightly bitter overtones. I haven't checked my notes yet, but I feel fairly sure they were made with the tablets, not the liquid, and should be thrown away because I don't think there's any way to fix them. What a waste of time and ingredients!
Second tip: Never use Junket/ rennet tablets with raw milk for aged cheese. The possibility of listeria contamination is pretty high.
For beginning cheesemakers, your initial supply list can be as simple as buying calf rennet and calcium chloride (for pasteurized milk) and making meso and thermo cultures at home from cultured buttermilk and plain yogurt containing live cultures. It's recommended that you stick to one type of cheese until you really understand all the variables that affect cheesemaking, like the seasonal differences in milk, 'make' temp. and humidity variations, etc. Once you get that down pat you can decide whether you need or want to buy more complex cultures to make cheese like blues, brie, camembert, morbier...
You can use old kitchen glassware towels (but NOT terry) for draining, or buy butter muslin for fine cheesecloth (I did). I also bought some "flour sacks" from fantes.com, which are not actually sacks but hemmed squares of a high thread count cotton. Because it becomes harder and harder to clean the cheese residue from the cloth, I'm thinking to order some plyban to try.
After I learned that I really love making cheese, converting an old refrigerator into a temp. controlled cave was my first big expenditure. Next will be either a better homemade press, or a restaurant food warmer (with a good added temp. controller that I already have) that holds more than 2 gallons. Some recipes call for raising the temp. by 2º every 15 minutes, impossible on my electric stove, plus my biggest SS pot only holds 2 gallons. (Some cheese types age better from 4 gallon batches.)
Here's my current homemade cheese press, shown with a 22 lb. concrete block weight. I also have some free weights, so I can press from 5 lbs. to 50 lbs. The guide pipes for the movable top board are just cut pieces of the cheap electrical conduit tubing. It works, but it's cumbersome.
Great tips! I'll get a photo of my press soon. Same principle and from scrap pieces too :0)
I use butter muslin as well. Try to remove the curd by soaking the cloth a few hours in water and few drops of dish soap. I drape it over the center or wall of the sink and use my curd knife (icing spatula) to scrape off the stuck bits. I get about twice the life out muslin that way. If you have or hear of an easier way, lmk! please.
Cleaning muslin is such a bore.lol
Ok, that's weird. I don't have any buildup of any sort on my cheese cloth. I toss it into washing machine when I'm done. But it doesn't sound like that would make a difference.
People who use milking machines use vinegar to remove milk stone deposits. Perhaps, worth a try.
Hey, now that I think about it. I wash my cheese cloth with my rags that I use to wash the udders. And my my udder wash is vinegar.
How do ya like this, cheeseyfriends? I was tired of washing butter muslin and found this fine stainless steel mesh, from a company in CA. I have some left to make more strainers. I needed something to hold 1/2 gallon of yogurt to make yochee (yogurt cheese). It was expensive but worth it. After using, I rinse with the sink sprayer and cold water, then run through the dishwasher. If I made cheeses with it, I'd boil to sterilize. I got the idea from people using permanent coffee filters to drain yogurt. I should go into business and market them!
I know using ultra pasteurized milk for yogurt is not supposed to work. I have a gallon of raw milk and want to add a pint of heavy cream that's ultrap. Do you think this will mess up the yogurt? REALLY don't want to mess up my precious raw milk!
I just wanted ultra creamy yogurt! Thanks for the info. I tried to get fresh cream but they didn't have any extra--said something about the heat and the cows. Maybe it's "lean milk" time of the year? And I don't know of any "just" pasteurized cream. So I'll just use the fresh raw for my next yogurt.
I always say, "Dairy fat is my favorite fat". LOL! I am not a "dieter", but recently started eating low carb. Been having some health issues and need to see if it makes a difference in how I feel (and look, eventually). So, good fats are on the menu!
Good luck, I do hope it makes you feel better. It's never fun not to feel your best.
I looked in one of my cake books, since there is a large section on stabilizing creams. Thought it might give some hints. Guess not, Here's the author's description of UP cream "which has the soul of mediocrity and should be banned"
Nearly as dramatic as '"crime to mankind"lol
I like her.
bariolio, I went on a really low-carb regime about a year and a half ago, and felt GREAT. That's when I got interested in making cheese. ^_^ Within 3 months I was off all meds, including BP meds! (I also lost weight, which was great, although that was not my primary goal.) My good fat intake increased a LOT and my cholesterol ratios improved too. The only fats I use now are EVOO, EV coconut oil, butter, and home-rendered animal fats from pastured animals.
I kept my carbs below 100 g/day until Fall when I started falling off the wagon. I'm climbing up on it again because as I ate more carbs, I started feeling worse. Starchy carbs are SO addictive.
There is a Jersey dairy up in the next town that sells pasteurized cream, which I buy for my coffee and to make butter. I do use their milk for cheese, but it's P/H and only 3/4% BF. It's okay for cheese but I really should learn how much cream to add for creamier cheese. Raw milk sales are illegal here so I'm looking into cow shares.
I've been wondering if the reason I can't make a cream cheese or sour cream without it being 'greasy' is the homogenization?
Cow shares would be perfect for you, Darius. I hope you can find one. Have you asked of KFC forum? There maybe a local family that is willing to have 'one share', but wouldn't ever bother to advertise for it.
I inoculated some morning milk with an effervescent buttermilk culture (DCI-901). Will make a fresh cheese from it, don't know what, yet :0)
No worries here, you know I stink at math and would never catch that.lol
I do use my milk, but I can't make a cream cheese or sour cream that is similar in texture to a store bought. Come to think of it, if I don't remove all the cream from my milk when making cottage cheese (I use a no cooked method), it leaves bits with an unpleasant texture. I don't have any greasy textures with cooked curds and a high cream content. So maybe, a cooked curd cream cheese might work? Unfortunately, it's too hot to be making any sort of cream cheese at the moment.
I can substitute a fresh type cheese for cream cheese in some recipes..but not all.I usually just do without those items...like cheesecake. My daughter is the sour cream lover, so I buy sour cream at the store when she's here...yes, I feel stupid doing it.lol
I would still encourage you to ask outright for a cowshare, if you haven't already. I rarely post there and I know of at least 6 places I would send you looking if you lived nearby. None of those people post on KFC either. You never know, who know somebody, that knows somebody :0)
I see a few people in the farm section of craiglist looking for raw cow/goat milk, another resource.
Somewhere on KFC, I remember seeing some pre-made contracts for cow shares as well. You might see if someone has put together one for your state or similar state laws. I imagine it would make an individual cow owner a bit more comfortable knowing exactly what is expected of them and vise versa, especially if they have never 'shared' before.
Then on the hand, if the gov't shuts down, milk might be the least of our worries. They need to get it together or take it out of their own paychecks.
Here's my cheese press. Two old cutting boards that had seen better days. DH used a keyhole bit and drilled the holes half way thu the thicker base, then glued and screwed the dowels (from hardware store) in place. Follower is a piece of untreated oak, cut into a circle with a jigsaw. Drip pan is a cake pan,dh cut a left a spout for drainage (not sure tool he used to do this). Mold is 6" PVR water line. We got it for free when we noticed the city workers installing line downtown. They were happy to give us a scrap of the new stuff. If using PVC, make sure it is 'water line'..food safe. Waste drain pvc pipe is not food safe. I use an assortment of 'found' weights. The only thing we had to purchase was the wooden dowels.
I've been using it over two years and it's held up. The only thing I'd change. I wished I had measured the height of the dowels. An inch shorter, and it would fit right under my sink. Now I haul it to the the laundry room to store. It wouldn't be too hard to recut them, but little details like that don't make it to the top of our priority list very quick.lol
I have a question I should know the answer to but don't remember. I want to make some simple chevre but don't remember the temp to bring the milk up to. Also, isn't it 1/4 cup vinegar to make it curdle? I should have enough goat milk to give it a try soon.
Add the vinegar at 180* you can raise the temp up to 200* for maximum curd and add a bit more vinegar if needed.
Apple cider vinegar will taste better then white, but lemon juice is the best tasting. If you can get tart acidic lemons. A meyers type lemon doesn't have a lot acidity, so you may need up to 1/2 cup per gallon.
Those are variations of cow milk, panir and queso blanco. But I see a lot of homesteaders with goats call it chevre and their end cheese looks different then from cow milk. Chevre means 'goat' so that could be anything.lol
This recipe uses cultures but may have some useful info for you. I've never made it and I haven't cared for any goat's milk cheeses I've tasted in the past. Fresh might be better, though. Good luck! Janet
I used white vinegar last time and whole cow's milk from the store. I have some ACV and will try that. Thanks so much. I'll let you know how it turns out. I got about 18 oz of milk this morning. I start milking the second doe a week from tomorrow!!
Hey Janet, you make mozzarella? There is someone looking for a recipe from store bought milk in the 'recipe' forum. I can't remember if lipase is a necessity with store bought, or just added for flavor. If you have a moment, I'm sure they would appreciate the help.
Howdy! Got here after reading the recipe thread and getting link to make mozzarella cheese. I have made my first batch. Did it with friends. I think its better to do it on your own the first time though. One friend is just too impatient. lol We didn't quite get the curds warm enough to be stringy and then didn't put it in the ice bath. But it was still good. Had it in some eggplant parmagiana (made with mozzarella).
I think the goat milk would make a nice Gorgonzola. Have you found any reason why it wouldn't?
I'm going to make a blue today and try out the 'cheese drawer' in my fridge. It holds at 55, I think that'll work.
Tammy, I always skip the ice bath or brine. I just put it in a ziplock bag and throw in the fridge until used. I think I have the 30min. recipe down to about 20 min now.lol It gets easier with practice, soon you'll be able to make it with all your friends talking at once :0)
Cajun, when I use citric acid (the powder, or fruit) the cheese comes out a bit softer, but is still a solid mass of curd, not what I consider creamy. Have you talked with Jay anytime lately. I thought she had a thread on goat cheese a few years ago?
55º is a nice temp for blues; my problem was/is getting the humidity high enough!
Haven't seen any reason not to make the gorgonzola dolce with goat milk. I need to see how much p. roqueforti I have left (if any). I need to make cheese 3 times this week, but one will be with Jersey milk. 2 gallons is about all I can do at one time, due mainly to pot size. Today I'm making the easy Caerphilly w/goat. It will be interesting to see the difference between goat and cow for this cheese.
I'd make chevré instead but I prefer to use the chevré culture, which I did not order... maybe next month.
Well, I chickened out. My kitchen is too hot to follow Fankhauser or Carroll's recipe to the tee. I thought I could combine their methods and come up with something. But I'm not feeling too confident about that now.
Making feta instead.
Darius, if you get a chance post the Caerphilly directions and I'll put them in the links...I still want try that one! I can't find the recipe section on the cheese forum? Where did it go ?
Thought I'd try to find another blue recipe that will work.
My "Stilton" recipe was pretty easy... it's from Pav (Linuxboy). I'll post the Caerphilly recipe today. Mine is a modified mish-mash but basically the recipe from 200 Easy Homemade Cheese Recipes (I think). The moderator on the cheese forum has moved a lot of stuff around lately.
I'm in the process of making cream cheese (like Philly) but it isn't behaving like the directions say. After mixing in everything at the right temp, it's supposed to sit for 12-24 hours and form small whey puddles on top, which is when you start draining it (curd firm enough). But mine sat for 27 hours and no puddles (except where I poked at it!). So I'm draining it anyway and it seems to be doing okay. I'll let it finish draining in the frig tonight and put it in containers tomorrow. If anyone has experience with cream cheese, give me some pointers! I used 1 gallon whole milk (Borden's), 1 pint org heavy cream ("O" brand), calcium chloride, buttermilk culture and liquid veal rennet. I just scraped/stirred it and added some cheese salt. Here's the recipe/instructions: http://www.cheesemaking.com//CreamChz.html
Janet, novice cheesemaker
Well, my first raw milk cheese (goat Caerphilly) will be interesting! The Fahrenheit-Celsius switch on my digital thermometer decided not to work and I mis-calculated when determining the ºC I needed for the make and ended up 10ºF too warm for every stage. The curds felt somewhat rubbery but knitted okay. I had 2 gallons plus 1 quart of milk, and the wheel after pressing overnight weighs 2.29 pounds.
Isn't cheesemaking interesting?!! My cream cheese turned out fine. It never did develop the whey puddles but drained into a nice cheese. Next time I won't wait so long to drain--it came out just a tad too tart to be *excellent*!
Darius, I made moz with raw cow milk once and had to make several changes to the directions for using store milk. One thing that happened was milky whey. The tech guy told me it was milkfat and to try x,y,and z next time. I don't think I've tried it again with raw milk. But sure want to. Good luck with your Caerphilly. How long does it age? I guess you'll know if it messed up at that point?
Cheesemaking is an art as well as a science!
Good for you on the cream cheese! I made lovely Coeur å la crème on Valentine's day, from a Fromage Blanc I made. Easy Peasy. At the beginning of summer I made a double batch of American Neufchatel for cheese cakes, and froze half. The cheesecake was the first one I'd ever made and was merely passable... but probably not the fault of the cheese.
Most of the Caerphilly recipes say you can eat them at 3 weeks. My earlier ones were okay at 3, but much better at 6 weeks. This recipe I'm trying now (with Flora Danica added) says edible at 2 weeks.
I made a smaller 1 gallon batch yesterday afternoon... the make was more on target since I accurately did the Celsius conversion this time, although the whey was still milky. 1.21 lbs out of the press, and now in a brine for 24 hours.
Lynea makes raw milk cheese, so hopefully she'll chime in about the milky whey!
My second attempt at goat cheese turned out great but I was worried. It didn't seem to want to curdle. I read on the ehow site that it could take up to 24 hours so I let it sit overnight. I drained it this morning and added chopped green onion and salt and it worked fine.
Something usable in place of powdered milk is tapioca powder. What the powdered milk does is merely thicken without adding any good nutrition... so tapioca would work just as well. An Amish dairy goat farmer I know makes yogurt that way...
I've been buying my cultures from New England Cheesemaking Supply. Number 5 makes a dessert quality yogurt I truly love. I make a half gallon of yogurt every other weekend and eat it every day at lunch with a dab of jelly or jam or apple butter. YUM!
Mmm, I haven't had tapioca in forever. Thanks...I know what's for desert tonight :0)
Sorry, don't know why whey gets milky...ph, perhaps?... They only time it happens for me is when I try to make mozz with fresh (straight from the cow) milk. And since I like it a bit drier, I use day old skimmed milk.
The jury is still out on my feta. I'll wait to post the recipe. I used yogurt in place of lipase (which works well for mozz) but it might have made my feta too soft...or it could be the HOT kitchen.
I don't know what I'm doing today. I need to decide quick. Milk is pooling up!
I'm almost ready to drain the whey off the 3rd batch of goat curds. The whey is normal looking, and the curds feel just like they should! The first 'make' had the milky whey; the 2nd 'make' never curdled and it went in the trash. Must have been some cycling of the goat affecting her milk.
Darius, yes, it was directed to you. I've followed you along your journey and am amazed at everything you have done. I really appreciate you sharing so much info about what you are working on. You've got you a cheese cave set up now?
Robin, Darius and Cocoa are like cheese queens. It amazes me.
I have enough extra milk to make cheese again and good thing. I am getting low. I think this time I will make green onion, lemon basil and sun dried tomato. I sliced the meat of a tomato very thin and it's sitting on the dash of the closed up truck in the sun. But the sun has not completely cooperated today so I may have to either cheat and put my "sun dried" maters in the dehydrator to finish them or I may just wait and put them back out on the dash tomorrow. But I wanted to ask the cheese queens or anybody else who might know, if it's OK to put tomatoes in cheese.
You all are Masters of The Cheesemaking in my mind! :) I've only gotten as far as making yogurt and then draining it for a cream cheese like consistancy. I keep following everyone's posts hoping to get inspired to try making mozzarella. One of these days...
AYankeeCat said--"I've been buying my cultures from New England Cheesemaking Supply. Number 5 makes a dessert quality yogurt I truly love."
ME TOO! I also add 1/4 t Flora Danica per gallon. YUM!
I just got back from a visit with family and friends in New Orleans and made "milk products" all week! I brought 3 gallons of raw milk--made yogurt, ricotta and mascarpone (this one was a first). It came out good but again, I have to watch the room temp. I think it was a bit warm and I left it overnight. It was just a bit tart, which is fine, but I prefer a more fresh dairy taste. Each new dairy-making experience teaches me something! Now that I'm back home I can control conditions better.
Cajun, here's a link with nice pictures and instructions if you don't have a yogurt maker. I like that it's good for a month, so she says and looks pretty easy. But I've read in the past where yogurt can be used as a substituion for sour cream (can use in cooking, dips, etc) or drained then flavored for a soft cheese. I didn't like my flavoring last time.
I bought milk and yogurt yesterday to make some this weekend. Have to wash up the cooler and fetch my boxes of jars out of the shed.
Caqj, you can make yogurt by adding 3-4 Tbs. store-bought PLAIN yogurt to fresh milk that's heated to 115º. Don't exceed that temp or it will kill the bacteria in the yogurt. After you mix it well, put it in a place that will keep it around 110-115 for several hours while the lactobacillus do their work. A thermos works fine, or putting the warmed mix in jars covered with a towel in a cooler. I use my dehydrator, set on 110º as the temp stays pretty accurate.
You can save some of the "new" yogurt for the next batch.
ps... be sure the store-bought yogurt says it contains LIVE cultures! I use Dannon plain.
Yes. Store-bought milk still has growing bacteria... the kind that survive some pasteurization. (It just lacks the nutritious enzymes.) I don't worry as much with fresh (raw) milk, unless it sits in the fridge a day or three. In that case, it should be pasteurized first too for safety.
I finally figured out the problem with my fresh goat milk could also have been that it was refrigerated almost a week before I made (or tried to make) cheese with it. I should have cooked it to 185º even though that defeats the goodness in fresh milk.
Having said that, I often get local pasteurized Jersey milk the day it is processed, and I never re-pasteurize it for yogurt.
Lucky ducky! I can only get my fresh milk every other Saturday. And I had saved a gallon to use when I got home from N.O. to make yogurt for myself. My 27 y/o daughter got into it. GRRRR. I don't think she will again... :) I may go to Georgia's and get their low pasteurized milk (from Way Back When dairy). MUST have my yogurt!
I'm glad you mentioned that. I'll be sure to use fresh milk for the yogurt. I will be havibng lots of extra milk now. I started weaning Mollie's kid yesterday. I sold her other kid so now I am milking her twice a day. She gave me 40oz today. I wean Dusty's kids in 2 weeks and then I will be milking her twice a day too.
I have my curds sitting on the stove finishing now so I can put it together in the morning.
Was all set to make my yogurt today. I bought the Dannon plain yogurt yesterday and now I realize I neglected to buy a new thermometer. Grrrrr So the yogurt is on hold until another trip to town. Oh well, guess I will just have to make cheese. I was going to make cheese anyway so now I may make a double batch. Green onion for sure but don't know what the second might be. Anybody have any ideas for a sweetish cheese? Is that possible?
My first try at lactofermented veggies is on the counter. I realized after I put it in the jars and cleaned up that I had forgotten the carrots. Oh well. I hope we like it. I used the whey from my last batch of cheese. The curds for my next batch are waiting for morning to arrive so they can become cheese!!!!
My goat cheese (Caerphilly) made on Wednesday looks a bit better. I added some calcium chloride. I haven't planned any cheese this coming week as I'm supposed to go to Charlottesville to see my liver docs, a 2-day trip. A DG friend is going along, and we'll do some shopping in the "big city" LOL. Then the next week I'm getting my hopes up for making a goat blue cheese!
However, that trip may not happen, at least until I see what the storms Lee and Katia are going to do. My fall garden is just going good, and the sweet potatoes are not ready yet... both those areas will flood if or when Lee comes up the Tennessee Valley. God only knows what will happen if Katia comes in along the VA coast at the same time. Just one storm here could cause the same kind of havoc Irene caused in the Vermont mountains. Water always runs downhill!
Cajun, Did you have some clabber or meso culture? I have one recipe that i consider a naturally sweeter cheese, but would require one of those. Not that I'm sure it would work with goat milk, I just don't know much about their milk. Sometimes I make a yogurt cheese spread with powdered sugar and cinnamon...did you want something that sweet?
Darius, gook luck at the doc and with the weather!
Keeping my fingers crossed that Lee would push our heat bubble out of Texas...but not looking good:0(
You know we would take it, if we could!
My milking plans are all screwed up at the moment. I love having a plan.lol And don't know what I'll be doing, day to day, for the next few weeks. Still too warm for cheese making, like Janet, everything I make has a tart or stranger taste to it. Not bad, just not as enjoyable. I'm down to our last 6lbs butter which will last till cool weather arrives...then it'll be time to switch back to milking twice a day. I'm ready for a cheese and butter making marathon! lol
I feel behind, if I haven't kept up with the links, please let me know what I need to add :0)
I'm trying my first cottage cheese as I write this. Made a double batch of yogurt last night and added a pint of heavy cream too!! Yum! Now I'm going to try some lactic cheese from my Home Cheese Making book. I bought 2 gallons whole at the store and didn't get around to making anything, then it was time to buy my raw on Saturday. So, now got some cheesemakin' to do!
Good luck with all the cheese creating and I pray the storms miss everyone. (Although, we could use the rain!) It's windy here but no rain :( Janet
Thanks... I'll have to look up a recipe. Not making any cheese this week, too much else to do.
I did finally cut my stilton. The piercings must have closed up because the veining isn't throughout. Plus, it is very bitter. Need to figure out what's wrong as most of my cheese makes have bitter overtones after 60-90 days. I'm thinking either the calf rennet or CaCL may be the culprit, they are the only thing common to ALL my makes.
Well shoot, It sure looks tasty!
Is it too late to pierce again?
Do you let your rennet come to room temp, before using? I had some troubles when I first started making cheese and someone recommended making sure my rennet wasn't cold.
Now, it's the first step whenever I'm making cheese. I keep water in a mason jar (in the fridge). I pour what I need then add my rennet. The combo is room temp by the time culturing is done. I don't have, or remember, an explanation as to why this helps, but it has.
A good place to start on the cottage cheese, if you like small curd, start with a recipe that uses heat. If you like larger, softer curds, try using a no-heat recipe. Make sure you 'feel' and squish some of the curds during the process. By feel is how I make them now, it's easier then hoping they turn out the same texture each time.
Thank you ever so much, Cocoa. I just puked on my keyboard. hahaha! HOW can anyone eat that worm poop cheese??
Anyway, the cottage cheese did not come out well. I had to hand over the cheesemaking to my older daughter, who is visiting right now. While I was at church, she finished it up (a cooked variety) and heated it too fast and stirred too much. So we have little tough cheese pellets! I'll let her eat them...
Today we are trying Lactic cheese. It is in the "hanging in the butter muslin" stage, draining, and will be reading tomorrow. We'll make some into an herbal spread and some sweetened for toast.
I have one gallon of raw cow milk left and will make ricotta because I know that will come out right!
Darius, you must be so bummed about the bitterness in your cheeses. I really hope you find out what is causing that. It's alot of work and waste of good milk when it doesn't turn out good...I know!
Janet, sorry about the cottage cheese pellets. The lactic cheese should be fine!
The consensus at CheeseForum.org is: BITTER CHEESE is usually (not always) caused by hydrophobic peptides. Several possible causes were listed. I've ruled out most of them, except:
-pasteurized at too high of a delta T can cause bitter peptide formation
-contaminated milk (usually pseudomonas) will form bitter peptides
-milk with high plasmin will cause bitter peptides (i.e. mastitic animals)
Most (but not all) the cheese I've made over the last 7 months has been from a local fairly new Jersey dairy, and almost all cheese I've made has had bitter overtones. My make notes for every batch say whether I used P/H milk, or goat... but not the source of the bovine milk. (Haven't cut any of the pressed goat cheese yet.) So, I'm beginning to wonder about the pasteurizing temps of the local Jersey milk, probably more than any concern about contamination or mastitis.
Bottom line is roughly 60-75 gallons of milk made into bitter cheese. Bleck.
Sorry about the cottage cheese, Janet. Hope your daughter enjoyed her pellets.lol
Darius, that's new to me and unnerving! I'm glad I learned something new, but sorry it's such an expense to you :0(
Any suggestions from the forum where you go from here?
Thinking out loud...Wiki says pseudomonas can have a hard to remove biofilm. No mention on how to remove them, I would want to know.
If the goat cheese turns out to have the same bitterness...I would question the culture.
Nope, no forum suggestions... yet. I'm just glad to see some suggested culprits!
And I agree, if the goat cheese is also bitter, it probably boils down to the starter culture. I somehow doubt the Danisco rennet would be at fault, and I'm sure I didn't use too much (according to the recipes anyway).
The only cheese I have ever made is the "creme cheese" type. I just flavor it with different herbs. I think I may try flavoring some with sugar and orange zest. I wonder if i should use granulated sugar or powdered sugar instead.
Helpful daughter just divided up the lactic cheese we made and flavored half with mixed herbs from my garden--basil, oregano, rosemary and thyme, some salt, & a bit of garlic sauteed in EVOO. For the other one, she mixed fresh lemon zest, a mix of True Lemon and True Lime (crystalized juices), fresh lemon juice and the "insides" of one vanilla bean along with liquid sucralose (EZ-Sweetz) to lightly sweeten. Both are yummy! I made my last cheese this morning--ricotta made with extra cream! We threw in the vanilla bean after the insides were scrapped for the other dish, while the curds were hot and just sitting there. It is marvelous! Now it's time to rest from all this dairy making and go spend some $$ shopping together. She leaves tomorrow :(
Cajun--the orange zest idea sounds really good too. Let us know how it turns out!
My milk cow [ Jersey/Brown Swiss] has calved [2 weeks ago] and I am getting about 3 gal /day after the calf gets what he wants, -- I will be trying my first cheese making in 35 years, -- [or--starting over], -- will tell you how it works, I have about 8 gal of milk in the frig now, -- I have read your posts with interest, -- Michael
I have a cheese making book with a very simple [Farm Chedar] recipe, -- will try that first, -- do you have to use cheese wax when you age the cheese, --or-- could you just vac-seal it into a bag??, -- is the bag too air tight?, -- just wondering, --
I vacuum-seal all my pressed cheeses just before they go into the cave. You have to be sure they are really dry to the touch, though... or whey will continue to seep out inside the bag despite a tight seal, and affect the cheese. One big advantage of vac-sealing is that you have few worries over keeping the humidity high enough in the aging environment since the humidity is sealed in.
I seal unpressed soft cheese like Stiltons but not before they are fully mature (for Stilton that's 60-90 days), and I re-seal any cheese I have cut to taste after enough aging. I find that even if they are "ready", they store better, Usually when I re-seal, I cut the wheel in half, or even quarters if it's a 2 pound wheel, and mark them well. That makes it easy to just open a smaller piece to eat, or have a piece to give away.
Any cheese I buy to try out, I cut into smaller portions; they keep better in the house refrigerator without getting moldy or dried out if there's more than I want to eat over the next several days after I buy it.
Here is the recipe I use most often. It's great for those days when you have too much milk and not enough time to deal with it. There is enough time between each step that I can go about other chores while making cheese.
It's a 'washed curd', most washed curd cheeses have great melting abilities, they don't separate when cooked. Other washed curd cheeses are Edam, Gouda, Colby, and the softer, Havarti and Fontina. Since this recipe has such wide variations, you won't know exactly what your cheese will taste like until it's aged out. We haven't had a bad one yet.lol After aging, I cut them open and taste. The I reseal them with a label, like, 'mack-n-cheese' or 'enchiladas'. What ever I think they will be best cooked with.
Homestead Washed Curd:
1-5 gallons milk (whole or skimmed) warmed to 78 degrees, room temp, or straight from the cow.
1/4 tsp powdered meso, or 1 'ice cube' frozen meso per gallon
Let sit 1-2 hours.
1/4 tsp rennet per gallon used, diluted into about 1/2 cup milk, (stir in, 15 seconds-2 min. depending on amount of cream)
sit 45 min.-1 1/2 hrs
once curd is set, cut into 1/2" to 3/4 cubes
let sit 15-30 min
Gently stir and cut down remaining large curds
sit 15-30min. .
"Washing the curd"
...repeat stirring and breaking up the curd every 15-30 minutes. The curds will shrink and settle.
Once the curds have settled and enough whey is on top to remove. Start replacing the whey that is sitting above the curds with hot tap water. You will repeat this 3-5 times.
The last 'washing', the curd will have shrunk down and be firm. The last replacing of whey with water, should be almost all hot tap water. The curds should be warm into the press.
Completely drain curd.
Add 1 tbsp salt, per gallon used, milling into the curds.
press 12-18 hours with 40-50 lbs.
Air dry, flipping, 1-2 days in fridge or countertop.
Wax or vacuum pack, age 3 months or longer at 45-55 degrees.
Darius, I use the Danisco rennet too, " DCI double strength vegetable", I've been using that for the last year and maybe why I don't have anymore 'setting up' issues..but the warming of the rennet has become habit now :0)
Cajun, I've used granulated and powdered sugar. I use whatever I have on hand:0)
thanks for the recipe, -- I got more milk then I can use, -- I have 6 gal in the frig waiting to be cheese, --and 2 in the other frig to see if it will be used by the family, -- I have been wanting to sell some-- but gov. BS has me worried, ---
My Danisco rennet is apparently repackaged by Glengarry. The label (60 ml/2 oz.bottle) only says
"Coagulant 300 IMCU
Use 3/4 tsp. per 13-15 liters of milk
Diluted in 1/4 cup of cool water
Country of orgin: USA
Manufacturer: Danisco USA
Distributor: Glengarry Cheesemaking Inc."
It doesn't even say calf rennet, which is what I ordered, nor does it specify strength.
I usually use buttermilk mixed with whole milk for my ricotta--one qt buttermilk to 1 gallon whole. But I didn't have buttermilk the last 2 times so used citric acid and a bit of salt. I find they both work well.
This is what I do:
Mix milks together in pot and bring to about 175 (with buttermilk but to 190 or so with citric). When nice curds form, turn off heat and let it sit there about 15 min. Scoop out curds to drain in butter muslin--tie up and hang about 30 min. Refrigerate. Can be turned into sweet or savory or eaten as is.
As for rennet, I got mine from New England Cheesemaking Supply and it says it's veal rennet. I guess that's the same as calf. For anyone reading this that is unfamiliar with rennet, they also make a vegetarian rennet, liquids and tablets.
Micheal, yep, the BS, has me too worried to ever consider selling. I clabber the extra for chickens. This fall, will do the same for pigs. Another thing to consider, my family and close friends will trade cheese for goods (like, spices and oils) that we can't grow ourselves.
Daruis, I suspect there is only a small handful of rennet and culture manufactures. Most cheese supply houses seem to repackage. I wish they'd be clearer about the sources tho. I'd bet, I've ordered the same cultures..under different names.
Ooo, Janet, that sounds good, I like the addition of the buttermilk! Can't wait to try it!
Cajun, my MIL just sent me a book, 200 Easy to Make Cheeses. I haven't had time to read, just been scanning through it. It looks like a lot of the recipes use goat milk. More recipes using goat milk then I ever thought. Maybe the library would order you a copy.
Bit the bullet today and borrowed money to consolidate my few debts (under $600), buy 2 more tires and get the leaking clutch master cylinder replaced. I hope there's enough money to buy a real cheese mold that will hold a 2 gallon batch for pressing! I'd love a Kovoda mold but they are very pricey!
Made my cheeses today. The tried and true green onion is good. I eat it on crackers nearly everyday. This morning I had it on crackers with bratwurst for breakfast. That was the last of the batch I made last week. Good thing I have more now.
The sweet batch came out good too. I used the zest of 2 large oranges and 3 or so tbsp granulated sugar. It will taste really good on some of those thin cookie wafers.
What do you guys do with all your whey? I have been feeding it to the dogs but that seems like such a waste. I wondered if you could use it to make low fat yogurt but I know you have to heat the milk to 180 for cheese but only 115 for yogurt.
made Farmhuose chedar, and tried out the new press, etc, -- the cheese seemed very rubbery when I took it out of the bag after it drained, was kind of hard to break up the big lump for mixing in the salt, -- hope it does not mean a bad first batch, -- but-- I followed the instructions exactly, -- so-- we will see, -- used 5 gal of milk, the cheese weighed 5.3 pounds after first pressing, -- now it has been in the press over night, -- in about a month I will see what I have done, --
Michael, nice looking press... did you make it? and is that upright wood member also part of it?
I don't know enough yet to comment on your curds feeling rubbery. I can suggest http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php, which has lots of help from beginners to artisan cheesemakers, suggestions, recipes, etc. When I first joined (it's free) in January, I read everything on all the different cheese groups, and slowly some of the more technical stuff is making sense. I post all my questions there, as do many... from novices to the subtle nuances of experienced cheesemakers.
Cheryl, cheese and brats for breakfast sounds great... glad your cheese turned out nicely for you!
Darius, I think I'm going to like the book. It's all basic recipes, not a lot of technical info tho. I would love some new molds, any molds. Someday :0)
Micheal, I bet it will be great! Don't get discouraged if it doesn't taste like much after 1 month, it will still be bland.
Cajun, not enough milk solids left in your whey to make yogurt. You can make whey ricotta .You can heat the whey to almost boiling and add more coagulate (vinegar, citric acid, lemon juice) and the residual curd will be tiny flecks. Drain through a fine cloth, butter muslin or a hanky.
This new book has a recipe for gjetost, using fresh goat's whey. Use a sterile pot and bring whey to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until whey is 1/4 it's original volume (2-6 hours). Towards the end, continuously stir to keep from burning. You want it thick, pasty and caramel brown color. Place pot in a sink of cool water and stir the mixture until cool. Stir in cinnamon to taste, pour into a prepared baking dish and sit at room temp until firm. Unmold and store in fridge up to 6-7 weeks. Slice off slivers and serve on toast.
It didn't say, but I bet a crock pot would work :0)
the up-right piece in the above background is part of the other press, --[the bench has 2 ] -- I made it from yellow pine, and a piece of 3 1/2 inch x 1/4 alum angle iron screwed to the wall, ----I guess I will just have to wait a month and see how it all works, -- but the press worked well, -- I need to make a better bottom board, and a tighter follower, -as the cheese has a ridge around it where it bulged up between the pvc pipe and the too small follower, -- but-- I have a jig saw, --so it will be no problem, -
Hey guys! I decided to check the Harris County library system for cheesemaking books and found these:
Cheesemaking / Rita Ash.
Mastering cheese : lessons for connoisseurship from a maître fromager / Max McCalman, David Gibbons.
They didn't have the 200 Easy To Make Cheeses, which sounds more like my kinda book :) But I'll look through these and see what they have. I don't make hard cheeses at all because I have no cave or other environment to cure them. But I still have plenty of soft cheese recipes to try.
Darius, I know you will save those pennies for your mold! You'll get a nice one, some day... :)
Cocoa, your gjetost sounds heavenly! (Well, except for the goat part-hahaha!). I assume that's whey from hard cheese making, not from using acid to make soft cheese. As for my whey, at first I was trying to use it in the garden and make puddings/gelatins with it. But then I developed symptoms of lactose intolerance! I only have whey leftover from soft cheese making and have no animals to feed. So I just dump it now. If anyone can think of something I can do with it, let me know! Also, a VERY good lesson I learned. DON'T use it to water POTTED PLANTS!! STINKIPOO! Yep, I just didn't think about it souring... :)
Cajun, your green onion cheese sounds yummy!
And Michael, your cheese will probably be great! Ok, well, hopefully it will be edible...Like I said, I don't make hard cheeses. I have to show my hubby your homemade cheese press. He's an engineer and loves to make stuff like this!
I'm all stocked up with cheese and yogurt at the moment so have to turn my attention elsewhere. Like fixing a few stitches in the skirt my DD made for me while visiting. She was in a great hurry to finish before she left. Luckily, along with the new Singer she "suggested" I needed (got SINGER 7258 Stylist Model Sewing Machine from Amazon), she bought my a nice new seam ripper too!
Have a groovy cheese making day!
I've heard of gjetost, maybe I should make some while I'm still making goat cheese and have whey. As it is, I just toss the whey on the compost pile. (I put some directly on plants and it burned them.)
Janet, I understand (most) people don't develop lactose intolerance from A2 milk... and all goat milk is A2. Some bovine milk is also A2, notably the milk from "brown cows" like Jersey and Brown Swiss. 99% of store-milk is Holstein or Holstein/Friesian, which is A1 milk (black and black/white cows). The milk industry in the US doesn't want to even acknowledge the subject because if it is proven beyond a doubt scientifically, they'd have to replace almost all dairy herds if ordinary people understood the A1-A2 controversy! http://tinyurl.com/dzoqvp
My plans for the 2 gallons of goat milk this Tuesday are to make a gorgonzola. I "think" I have a scant bit of PC left (man, that stuff is expensive!) but maybe I'll need to augment it with a piece of blue cheese. Then the next week's batch of goat milk might become Crottins or perhaps even Humbolt Fog... have to see what cultures are needed.
Darius the recipe you have is very diferent from the one in the book, -- the rubbery problem started after hanging the curd for 1 hr, [in the other recipe] I will try this one next time, -- but next I am going to get my daughter to try the washed curd recipe above, -- I will have lots of milk --so-- I will be able to try this again, --
I turned some cream that's been in the fridge well a week into cultured butter today. I had nearly 3 pints of pasteurized cream; added 3/4 cup of cultured buttermilk last night, and let it culture at room temp. for 24 hours.
"Churned" it in the KitchenAid mixer for about 2 minutes on low, washed it well several times in cold water to get the "butter-milk" out, added salt and now have 1.4 pounds of butter! The cost of the local cream was $1.39/pint. I don't know what GOOD butter costs these days because I haven't bought any in ages, although I saw imported Irish Kerrygold butter today at the store for $9.95/half pound.
No, this is from a fairly new local dairy... pasteurized Jersey cream I buy for my coffee. Jersey milk is very high in butterfat, and they skim the whole milk down to 3.3% BF and sell most of the cream to another dairy for ice cream. They only have one store near here that carries their cream, and I can only get it on Fridays... it goes fast when it comes in, and I usually buy 3-4 pints since it's a 70 mile round trip. The town has a Lowe's and a big Walmart, so I make a combined trip.
The Nubian goat milk I have been getting is raw but not much cream actually rises to the top because the size of the fat molecules is small... goat milk is naturally homogenized.
Janet, you can use any fresh whey for the gjetost, used with cow whey it's call mysost. But it cooks down the whey to concentrate the lactose into a sweet product. It may not agree with you if you are feeling intolerant.
Keep you eye on aging temps when looking at hard cheese recipes, there're a number of them that can age at regular fridge temps, the washed curds again, is one group that's not as sensitive.
You are my kind of gal! I love to sew too! Only, my sewing room is upstairs and it's still hotter then...you know. Looking forward to getting my winter sewing groove back :0)
Micheal, what are you comparing the rubbery curd to? If this is your first 'cooked' curd, know that adding heat usually will always ends with squeaky, rubbery texture of the curd. Did it knit together well after pressing?
Darius, same here. It's getting cool enough to catch up on the butter making. I have dried tomatoes and some basil still left in the garden. I noticed today that the dill I tried to reseed during the hottest part of this summer is now germinating.lol I really enjoyed and almost finished all the dill butter from this spring.
I use whey in the garden, mostly acidic loving flowers, roses, azaleas, blue berries. Whey needs to be diluted 4 parts water to 1 part whey and I try to spread it around, like one plant will get one application a year. You can also use whey in place of milk for powdery mildew...10 parts water to 1 part whey. ONLY use fresh whey from recipes that didn't include salt or strong additional acidifiers (citric acid, vinegar). That stuff I pour down the sink.
Thanks for the cheese aging tip, Cocoa. I really laughed when I read your other statement, though. I actually DON'T love to sew!! I used to sew some of my daughter's clothes when they were toddlers. But I sewed one too many sleeves in backwards, and decided I could be a good mommy and still shop at K-mart for their clothes! I don't mind a bit of sewing once a year, though. :)
And I'm copying that info on whey use for the garden. I'm surprised I didn't kill my azaleas with full strength whey! I only did it once, I think...
Darius, your buttermaking is inspiring. Can't wait till the cows increase their milk-making. Right now, the dairy I get my raw milk from does not have cream available. I think it is related to either the hot weather, the drought, or both. I don't know much about cows and milk making. BUT I'm a retired Lactation Consultant, so know lots about human milk making! hahaha!
I'm glad to see you are looking into the A1-A2 controversy since you are now lactose-intolerant. Interesting link you posted, Thanks.
I'm getting closer all the time to believing that most of our diseases result from adulterated foods in one form or another. I recently lost a dear, dear friend to cancer, and she was addicted to Frappuccino, which is made with high fructose corn syrup. Cancer cells grow 7 times faster on high fructose corn syrup than sugar. Go figure.
my cheese pressesd well, and is very well "together" -- when I got to the stage where I was suposed to "break it up into walnut size pieces and mix in the salt," [after hanging for an hr to drain,]--- it was very dificult to break up , --and I have strong hands, as I milk 2x/day- it was allmost like tearing up a rubber ball -- but time will tell, -- it is sitting on the counter and the outside it about dry, --
-wanted to add--- I made new followers from a plastic cutting bord from walmart, got 3 ,6 inch and 2 ,8 inch for $12 cutting board, -- I also got a piece of 6 inch pvc pipe for $5, -- and made some cheese molds, -- about ready to try again, -- got lots of milk in the frig, --
lol@ sewing, that's ok, Janet, I still like you. Just don't ask me to mend anything.lol
Without details it's hard to assume why the dairy doesn't have cream available, but this year has been very hard on all cattle in Texas. My girls haven't had much fresh grass in over a year :0(
Oh, I see, Micheal. What you describe is a tough curd. The result will be a dryer, crumbly texture. Which I happen to like :0)
This is most likely caused by the ph being too high. Short of buying a ph meter, you can add less culture or shorten the ripening time. If using flocc method, try raising your multiplication time to 3.5.
Well, today I cut the first 2 goat milk Caerphilly makes from early August... and NO bitterness! That pretty much tells me it probably was the P/H milk I was using. BUT as I recall, those earlier makes with bovine P/H milk were not bitter on the first cutting either. So... only time will really tell.
today after work we [my daughter and I] made the washed curd cheese listed above, it worked out well, and was much easier to break up after draining, -- it is in the press, - we will see how it tastes in about 3 months, --
I have a ? -this has been bugging me--- the books I have with recipies give a press weight, -- say 50 lb for 12 hrs, -- but --no mention of the diameter of the cheese to be pressed, -- 50 lb weight on a 4 inch dia cheese would be 3.9 lb per sq inch, -- the same 50 lb weight on a 6 inch diameter cheese would be only 1.7 lb per sq inch, when I press the 8 inch cheese, a 50 lb weight is less then 1 lb per sq inch, --so-- there is almost 400% diference in the pressure being put on the cheese, --- there must be some weight compensation info, to know how much to press diferent diameters of cheese molds?? --what am I missing?
LOL, that's a much discussed question Michael. There are many threads on the topic on cheeseforum.org. Best bet is to determine the appropriate psi per cheese type. Some of their threads have charts to determine those readings.
Finally getting around to making my yogurt today but I have a question. When do I add the fruit? I want to make strawberry. Do I sweeten the fruit first the way I like to eat it and add it to the finished yogurt?
Caj, when I make yogurt (I make it in half pint jars), I keep it all plain. That way I can add any fruit I want just before eating it... and find many other uses for the plain yogurt in cooking where I wouldn't want to use a sweet, fruity yogurt.
Looks yummy Darius! I bet it tastes exquisite too. I'm confused about this cheese. Has it been aged? You said it slipped in the mold overnight so does that mean you poured it into a mold yesterday and it looks like this today (or whenever...)?
My cheesemaking has come to a halt as well as everything else at the moment. I'm having very painful lower back issues. I do a little bit of whatever I can in between sitting with a heating pad on or just resting or gentle stretching. I went to the MD yesterday because it was not getting better. I start on steroids today, and wean down over 6 days. I really hope that helps since we are going on vacation Saturday. Luckily, it will be in Destin and I can lounge on the beach! CAN'T WAIT!
Janet, sorry about your back. Can't think of anything better for it than warm sand!
I made the curds 5 days ago, molded them overnight, and then air-dried the cheese at room temp, turning 2X a day for 4 days. Now it's ready to go in the cave to age, 55ºF and 95% RH. I'll pierce it all over in about a week to 10 days so the interior gets enough oxygen to grow the blue (penicillin roqueforti) inside. Total aging time is 60 days, more or less. Aging it for 90 days would produce a stronger-tasting blue cheese; this is the mild version.
Darius, that is a good idea to keep it plain. I may do that. It did jell which is just a miracle with all the problems I had. I need to recalibrate my new thermometer. I tried to put it in a holder I had from an old thermometer and inadvertently turned the calibration nut. I think because of that I got the milk too hot. Then I forgot to add the culture and had to unpack it all from the ice chest and add it. I put a 1/2 cup of culture with 1/2 cup of the warm milk and warmed it a bit, maybe too warm, and added it all back to the warm milk and put it all back in the ice chest. It was jelled on top this morning but still pretty runny in the bottom. I made 2 quarts. So now I have 1 quart draining in my cheesecloth strainer combo I use for my cheese but it all seems to be running out. Should I strain it through a paper towel instead or just give up on this batch and try again? I hate the thought of losing a half gallon of milk. Especially now that the girls are giving less.
Bariolio, hate to hear you are having back problems. Sure hope the meds fix you up for vacation. If you are like me you don't get away often.
Caj, try a clean, tightly woven pillowslip for straining.
Rather than waste it if it doesn't fully jell, add some plain gelatin to it. You'll have to research how to add gelatin (whether to cook it in the runny yogurt, or what?) I don't know, and haven't used Know gelatin in a gazillion years.
The first batch strained pretty good. A good amount of whey strained out and what was left was good. I have the other quart straining now. I added some of the strained yogurt to some strawberries and sugar I had in a bowl and it was so good.
How long does fresh mozzarella and feta last in the fridge? I opened some about 3 weeks ago. I also found a small package of goat cheese to try, which I haven't yet. But if I'm considering making homemade cheese, I figured I better see if I liked these 3 cheeses first.
I keep the feta I make in a 16% brine in the fridge (in a half gallon canning jar). It will last for months but I usually eat it all before it can go bad so I really don't know how long it might keep. I make batches using 2 gallons of milk, so it makes a lot for just one person.
Hrumph. I started another cheese today, 2 gallons of whole P/H milk, choosing the Caerphilly recipe since it's edible sooner. I have a get-together mid-November with a few DG friends fora house party and have been asked to bring cheese. None of them like goat cheese, so a quick Caerphilly is about my best choice.
I decided to add half a pint of cream, thinking it would bring the milkfat up about to raw Jersey milk. So far, it's NOT making nice, firm curds. I have to persevere anyway, or throw out $12 in milk. Yuck.
To be fair, I ran out of basic meso culture and used MA4001. Don't know if that made any difference or not.
I love the goat cheese I make. Right now I don't have any desire to make hard cheeses. I think it's because I don't feel capable and I don't want to waste milk. I may change my mind later but right now I am very happy making soft goat cheese.
My girls are giving less milk so I am only milking once a day now. Getting about 8 ounces on a bad day and up to 14 or so on a good day from each doe. I am putting it in the freezer to have for winter. It's the only milk I use now. We have not bought milk since the first kids turned 2 weeks old. It's been nice.
Hahaha! I can just picture your face, Cajun, asking those questions about the "moldy" cheese!! Yes, it's supposed to look like that and the taste is great! Although, some blue cheese can be a bit strong for some, just like other cheeses--some are mild and some are piquant!
Joyous1, I think you will really enjoy your class. I don't make hard cheese either because a. I don't have a controlled environment (temp and humidity) and b. I am having loads of troubles right now. Back problems. Had MRI and Xray today and need another MRI with contrast tomorrow. That means it doesn't look so good :( Say a little prayer for me, okay?
Love following cheese and yogurt adventures--keep 'em coming! Janet
my little cheese "frig" is full -of farm house chedar, and washed curd,-- used several diferent recipies, -- will see how it turns out soon, -need to buy a big frig to make a real cheese cave, -- cow gives 6 gal/day, -- but it is sure good, -- [I need to sell some more milk,] ---
I don't know what's going to happen here. My production is way down form lack of hay and pasture. I've got some hay coming this week, but at 95 a bale, there is no way the cows are going to get it free choice. I plan to get them preg checked next month and may need to dry them off early to conserve energy. I still have plenty of cheese left, but woefully low on butter :0(
How much is butter in the store these days?
Cajun, get your library to order it for you. That way you can look through it and see what appeals to you. 90 percent of the recipes for goat milk in that book are going to require a culture. Instead of paying for the book, save up for some cultures. That's what I did starting out, picking a few recipes that required the same culture. It help save money. Cultures will last for years in the freezer.
I like having the books for reference and getting ideas, they are also great at explaining the basics. But once you have the foundation of the basics, everything else (like recipes) you can find on the web.
The closest library is in the same town as the book. The price of gas to the library would pay for the book. :) I will look on Amazon and see if I can get it cheaper there then it would be delivered to the house. Thanks for the info on the cultures. It is all foreign to me still.
The majority of cheeses, but not all, are made with three ingredients. Milk, culture and rennet.
1)The basics of milk is that it's made of: water, protein (caesin), milk sugar (lactose), and fat (butterfat).The last three are "milk solids". With cheese making, we are simply controling these ingredients.
2) A "starter" or "culture", is a lactic acid producting bacteria that helps produce texture, aroma, and or flavor to a cheese. It consumes milk sugar (lactose) and converts it into lactic acid. With aging the sugar continues to be converted to acid...inparting an "aged" flavor. The acidity is also necessary for renet to work.
Lactic acid cultures fall into two catagories, mesophilic (meso) and thermophellic (thermo).
Meso cultures thrive and grow under cooler temps, 75-85 degrees. Such as butter, buttermilk, cottage cheese, Feta, blue cheeses...
Themo cultures are used in cooking curds, or heating milk to a high temp, 95-105 degrees. Such as Swiss, yogurt, parmesan...
3) Rennet: is an enzyme that makes milk coagulate.
Chlorine kills this enzyme. If a recipes calls for diluting your rennet with water, make sure the water has been boiled and cooled first.
It can be confusing, because there are so many different cultures, additives, molds, times, pressings, ect. But it doesn't have to be.
The basics are the same: Raise the acidity, and separate milk solids from water...it's cheese.
I hope this helps, maybe you can dive without feeling like you have to have a book first. Tho, a book will go into greater detail and probably explain it better :0)
Good morning! Darius and I have spoken several times earlier about cheese making, and he just invited me to join y'all here.
I have Nubians and a few dairy sheep that I milk and make cheese from. This is my third year of cheesemaking and I make a lot of hard cheeses. Gouda, Cotswold, Gruyere, Parmesan, Swiss, Cheddar, Jack and several variations, Brick, Mozz, Feta, Ricotta and of course the ever present Chevre. I currently use a small wine cooler for my cave, temp is right at 55, and I vacuum seal my cheeses to control humidity and unwanted nasties. I brine some, mill and salt some, and flavor anything that sits still long enough. gg I am way overdue for milking, I got caught up in reading all the posts from the beginning. I know some answers to some of the questions posted a while ago, but I don't know if they are still in limbo.
One thing I will say right now is that Amazon.com and Ebay are great sources for cheese books that aren't full price. Our town library was a wash for getting any titles in, never could get them to do it. I also use Google to compare recipes and have found that there are as many versions of any type of cheese as there are versions of soap recipes.
I have been making cheese all year and now am down to one goat I am milking. So glad for the respite, even though I enjoy it immensely.
I am excited to see cheesemaking on DG, I am a huge fan and spend way too much time exploring here, but the people are totally awesome and I can always find help when I need it.
Yep, guilty as charged. We are up to 22 Sebastopols and are working to thin our flock this winter. Who would have thought that in the worst drought ever they would have raised 13 goslings to adulthood.
That little doeling is named Gimp (broke her leg at 3 days) although she doesn't. She freshened this year for the first time with twins and she is one of my favorites.
Sorry Darius, being blonde is such a tremendous challenge, but one I am totally in control of, now where did I put that door?
Ah good, I was hoping you were the same...and would attach a photo of the geese.lol Love those babies!
You mentioned some of the unanswered questions. I don't really have a question, but need an easy to access conversion chart, for hoop size and weight. Michael had asked about this earlier. I use the cheese forum to find this info each time I need it. However, whatever files they are using makes it impossible for me to print or link the info. Do you happen to have one handy?
Are you referring to pressing? I don't have a conversion table, sorry. Most of the recipes I use talk about time, more importantly than weight. I will ask some cheesy friends and see if they can get something usable for you.
Yes, pressing, the conversion of psi per size of hoop...sorry, I don't know what the proper term would be..it all makes sense in my head.lol
Darius made me nervous about the high cost of butter, so I'm getting off my duff and getting some made. I'm using the skimmed milk to ripen some buttermilk, then going to try a recipe in an old Foxfire book for fried buttermilk curds.
1-2 gallons clabbered milk
Heat clabber, just hot enough to keep hands in clabber. Once heated through, strain with cheese cloth and using hands press out remaining whey. There is no mention of curds separating from whey, but I'm guessing they will.
Mill in 1 1/2 tsp salt and 1 egg.
Then take a large hen egg size of butter ( love this description) melt in a large skillet, add curds and stir until melted, then pour mixture into cake pan to cool.
"go to eating on it"
I've got lots of fresh greens right now. Thinking of crumbling this over a salad :0) mmm
Great recipe, never heard of fried buttermilk curds but they sound interesting!
I just ordered some butter from pastured cows... $8 pound. Not incl. s/h. The cost of the local heavy cream I buy has gone up to almost $2/pint. It's pasteurized but not UP. Still cheaper to make my own cultured butter.
That is the way to make ricotta, I realize you heat the whey hotter, but I get a separation long before the temp gets up there. I believe it is acid precipitation? Like using citric acid or vinegar to separate out the solids. The solids will be daintier than normal cheese, but it is bound to be fabulous! Come on, cheese in butter? What's not to like? I'll be there to help you eat it.
Has anyone tried making ricotta in the microwave? I found a recipe but just haven't tried it yet.
I make ricotta from the whey after making cheese, -- I get about 2 lbs from the 5 to 6 gal of milk I started with, --I just heat it to 200 deg dump in apple cider vinegar and stirr for about 30 seconds, -- then I let it set for about 10 min, then scoop off the cheese that has formed a mat on the top, - I hate to be wasteful --so-- I get lots of ricotta, --I have it frozen in zip loc bags, --
I am trying my first cottage cheese tonight -- will see how it turns out--- started with 2 gal of milk--
Michael, that's another thing I haven't tried to make... cottage cheese, even though I used to love it. (Not saying I don't still love it, just that I quit buying it from the grocer several years ago.)
I have made some other fresh cheese, notably the fromage blanc that I used to make Coeur å la crème on Valentine's Day.
No, I don't particularly like Italian food. I don't dislike it either, I just don't cook/eat much of it.
Now that Dyson has wired my PID temp controller for me to use with the new vat I bought (Oster 22 lb. turkey roaster), I need to get some milk and try it out! IIRC, it will hold 4 gallons, but I don't have any mold that large.
In fact my only 'real' mold just barely holds the curds from one gallon of milk. The mold I've been using for 2 gallon batches is a soft plastic berry bucket that I drilled holes into... The 'follower' is another berry bucket I fill with water. It won't hold much weight on top of the water-filled berry bucket, so I don't have well-pressed cheese yet.
Considering that I started out the year with nothing but an interest, I've come a long way. I now have 2 aging caves, which includes the tiny mini-fridge for blues, several kinds of cultures in the freezer, and now a temp. controlled vat. Next year I hope to be able to swing materials for a dutch-style press, and some adequate molds. Life is good!
Michael, thanks so much for the tip on the ricotta. I have been worrying what to do with the whey too because I hate to waste anything. I have been using some of it to make bread with but that only takes 9oz per loaf. I won't use the ricotta but I have a friend who makes lots of lasagna and I'm sure she'd be glad to have it.
I have an experiment going --I added the ricotta back into the farmhouse cheese before I salted and pressed it, [a few weeks ago]--it looks kind of spotted, -- I will find out in a few weeks if it is any good-- any way it made a lot more cheese from the milk then usual, --about 2 lbs more from 5 gal, --and that is a bunch, -- I am sure it wont melt worth a darn, -- but it might have a good flavor for sandwiches and salads, etc.--
Michael, trying new things is fun. Be sure to let us know how it turns out!
On impulse, I altered my last Caerphilly with the addition of cream. Will know mid-Nov. what I actually made. I just saw a couple of recipes for cheddar with a layer of blue cheese. Would that be a Bludder?
I went looking for cranberries in the stores today... apparently it's too early. Instead I brought home a small piece of White Stilton with cranberries to try. Interesting cheese, but without the blue it doesn't have the Stilton taste.
I had a gallon of goat milk in the fridge for cheese and yogurt. I was going to use a hald gallon for each. Did the yogurt first and something went wrong. It started to curdle on the heat long before it got up to the right temp and before I added anything to it. I brought it up to temp and added the plain yogurt for culture. It acted like cheese. I left it to frain while I made the cheese. It did the same thing. I brought it up to temp then added the lemon juice. The two batches looked and tasted just alike except the yougurt was just a tad creamier. I put them together and they are still draining. What did I make and why did it curdle. The milk smelled fresh but I did not taste it.
I have not been milking the girls for a week or so but the kids are still nursing. I latched the kids tonight so I can milk tomorrow. I am out of yogurt and want some fresh milk to try making some more again. The homemade is so much better than store bought.
Knock on wood I have never had any milk refuse to do what was intended, well once I forgot rennet, but that doesn't count. I assume you didn't add anything to your milk while you were heating? What temp were you going for?
My first inclination is that the milk might have been close to souring on its own, and the heat just finished it.
We have used our milk 5 days out, but it never lasts more than that. Right now with us down to one goat milking, it definitely stays in the refrigerator longer.
I am always adapting my cajeta but here are two recipes that use the crockpot, and they are the ones I first started with.
Crockpot Honey Cajeta
The slow cooker allows milk to caramelize to a delicate golden brown with little monitoring. The result is Cajeta, the South American milk caramel sauce also known as dulce de leche. Pour it over fruit or a slice of pound cake, or stir it into vanilla ice cream. Adapted from Country Living magazine.
1½ day | 10 min prep
4 cups goat's milk
1 cup raw honey
1/4tsp baking soda
1 tsp cornstarch
all goat milk
• 4 cups whole milk
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 1 vanilla bean, seed separated (I used vanilla extract)
• 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon cornstarch
1. Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Stir well, and cook
on high for 10 hours with the lid ajar.
2. Stir occasionally throughout the cook and several times the last hour.
3. Strain through a fine strainer and then store in the
refrigerator for up to three weeks.
4. Serve at room temperature. Good over cake, fruit, and ice
I don’t strain it and it is gone WAY before three weeks. Be careful of scorching toward the end. My crockpot must cook hotter because I have to turn it down or it will scorch. My new one will boil food on low so I start it on high and switch.
Maxine, I don't know the temp range of your electric roaster, but most of them have their lowest setting just above 140ºF, the minimum safe low temp for cooking foods according to the USDA. I have no idea if that's too high to cook down whey for the caramel cheese or not, but it's certainly too high to make most regular cheese.
I finally got a large turkey roaster converted to a vat where I can control temps for cooking cheese curds. Dyson kindly wired the PID (which I bought earlier this year) into a separate control box that has the temp. probe for the milk, a solid state relay, and the PID with a low setting of 86ºF. The roaster plugs into the box, and the box to the wall. The PID lets me raise temp by as little as 1º increments.
I just had a bit of good news... a friend is sending me some p. Roqueforti culture since he has enough to share. :) The tiny amount I bought in May for around $25 made just 4 batches (2 gallons each) of blue cheese. I need to learn how to propagate that mold on my own!!!!
I always thought I didn't like blue cheese, until recently as I've been sampling some varieties to have an idea of whether the blues I'm making are decent or not. Turns out I really like blue cheese, at least the ones I've sampled. I only ate blue cheese occasionally before now, in a salad dressing my mother used to make. Back in those days, I doubt the selections available were anything like we have now, so who knows what my mother used.
Of course I haven't made an edible blue cheese so far. The first 3 Stiltons were trashed (2 due to contamination and 1 to milk quality), but I have hopes for the gorgonzola now in the cave. I'm ready to try some more!!
Yesterday I started some Feta from half a gallon of goat milk I had in the freezer, and today I'll start some Feta with cow's milk. (These will be Greek-themed snacks along with an olive tray, homemade hummus, etc. for a party in November.)
Oh, meant to add: I started some Gjetost this morning in the crockpot with the whey from the goat milk. The recipe says the whey should not be older than 2 hours, but mine had drained overnight. Who knows how it will turn out to taste, LOL.
It’s a pasta filata. Or pulled curd. Sicilian gourd shaped cheeses, made of raw cows’ milk curds, which are stretched and pulled like taffy and wound into their unique shape. After a period of three months this cheese can be eaten as a table cheese; after two years it is used for grating. There are also smoked versions of this cheese.
Cacciocavalo translates as “cheese on horseback”… after months of aging draped from cellar beams they look a bit like weathered saddle bags. The texture and flavor are similar to a mature provolone: pervasive sharpness wrapped up in toothsome peel-able layers. Ideal for grating, serving sliced with salumi, and pairing with those big Italian reds.
In Italian, the expression "to end up like Caciocavallo" means to be hanged.
Gjetost update. When you add the heavy cream and it comes to a boil, it really DOES make a foam layer (that gets scooped off and refrigerated to add back in when the whey has cooked down 80%.
It took all day to cook down in the crock pot, and is now in the fridge chilling. The whey from half a gallon of milk, plus half a cup of heavy cream, cooked down to less than a cup of Gjetost. I did taste it last night as I was putting it in a cup to chill. It wasn't terribly bad, but not great either. I thought tasting it today chilled would give it a better chance... but remember, my whey wasn't fresh, more like12-15 hours old when the recipe says not more than 2 hours old.
If I don't like the taste, I will try a batch again with fresh whey before I decide if I like it or not.
Anyway, I didn't like it much. For one thing I don't think I cooked it down quite enough as it wasn't caramel-taffy like. It was also pretty sour, which may have been because the whey was not fresh. Almost half a gallon of whey cooked down to about one cup.
I will try it again when I have more whey, but start it while the whey is fresh!
I tried it-- I cooked down whey from a 5 gal batch of Farmhouse chedar, -- I added a half galon of whole [raw] milk, and a qt of cream, and then coked it down, -- I did not take enought of the foam stuff off the top and it sort of crystalized, and mixed in with the rest --it took a day and 1/2 to cook down, at the end I got in a hurry and turned the heat up, [and scorched it on the bottom] but-- I cooked it down to a paste, and whipped it a lot as it cooled, [it was still a little grainy] and then put it in a bowl in the frig, -- it cuts like a american cheese, but it is much dryer, -- I like the flavor, it is sort of like eating a cross between cheese and some sort of meat, --it is very filling,a thin slice is enough, ---and have been experimenting with other things to eat it with, --so far my fav. is on egg sandwich's but it was good on pancakes, and omelets -- and not too bad mixed in a salad, -
I think it was a lot of work, -- it will be a while before I try it again, --[and I have almost 5 lbs in the freezer]
I hear you on the scorching... that's why I didn't cook mine down enough, fear of scorching. I probably should have transferred it to a double-boiler after half the liquid had boiled away!
Yesterday I brought my gorgonzola out of the cave, washed the surface with salt and vinegar to get rid of the fuzzies, and vacuum-sealed it before putting it in the big cave. So far it is looking much better than 3 previous attempts with blue (Stilton's) and will get cut in 2-3 more weeks.
The only cheese I have made lately is feta. Dyson wired a control box for my new cheese vat but it's not programmed so not usable. Plus I need to replace the power cord on it with a heavier cord... it gets too hot for safety. The best feature of the vat is that it will hold 5 gallons of milk. It's a new Oster electric turkey roaster with a removable pan inside the fixed pan; I can put 2 quarts of water in the bottom pan to even out the heat on the inner pan. Once I get it programmed, it will heat with 1/10 degree control.
Wow, lookin' delish, Darius! Your homemade cheese vat sounds nice. I have one too but the controller Mark got doesn't seem very precise (probably because it isn't the highest quality). But I use it to incubate the yogurt in a water bath, which works okay.
I haven't made any dairy products in about 2 months because of my herniated disk. No bending, no lifting. Really has been frustrating but I'm not in awful pain like 6 weeks ago...I want to get back to making dairy goodies soon. Maybe the cows are happier now that it has cooled off a bit and the dairy will have extra cream for sale :)
Keep those dairy and cheese projects going everyone. I love reading about your experiments! Janet
I did an experiment last month, --I mixed the ricotta from the whey back into the farmhouse chedar, and then pressed it, [ called it Porter-house chedar]--it has aged for a month, and I had a bunch of company ,-so I cut some off and gave out taste tests, -- everyone liked it, -- suprise-- I will have to make more of that,
What an interesting mix/concept Michael! Something to consider when I get back to cheesemaking.
I bought a piece of Saga blue while I was over in NC today so I could do a taste-test; it's a blue brie. Unfortunately when I got home (75 miles one way) and opened it, it is terribly ammoniated. Not worth all the gas to take it back.
Oh, how disappointing. And a waste of money. I'm glad I read about that ammonia smell. I just thought I hated those types of cheeses until I tasted a fresh one. I tasted a Saint Andre at a party the other night; a triple cream from France. Heavenly!!
I'm back after being away at a 4 day food fest culminating in a TG dinner Saturday night. Our group took a couple of cars and went over to the Blue Ridge Parkway on Saturday to a winery and a cidery I've wanted to visit for 2-3 years. The winery (Château Morrisette, http://www.thedogs.com/ ) wine tasting was really quite lovely, and very entertaining thanks to our bartender. Other than the omission of any palate cleansers (for 12 different wines including 2 ice wines), it was great fun. One wine I would have normally have skipped surprised me by being quite tasty; it was made from Scuppernongs, aka Fox Grapes.
The Foggy Ridge Cidery (hard ciders) tasting was disappointing. Same cost to taste 5 hard ciders as 12 wines, but the cider samples were barely a teaspoonful and the bartender not fully educated on the products... nor very personable. I did like the Pippin Black, a brandy-fortified cider made with Arkansas Black apples and Newtown Pippins. The Thos. Jefferson / American style cider was tart but not dry. I liked the English-style cider better as it was dry but not too tart. I wouldn't even taste the sweet cider one; the fresh raw cider I bought and fermented last fall was too sweet for my taste (fresh cider made from eating apples) but otherwise good. I just don't like sweet drinks as a rule.
Then back at the cabin, we had our cheese tasting afternoon with wines we had brought along for the weekend. All three of my homemade cheeses I brought were tasty and well-received, plus about 8-9 cheeses our friends had ordered from vendio.com. I have to brag a tiny bit and say I finally made an edible blue cheese... the gorgonzola dolce [photo below] I've been working on, which the blue cheese lovers deemed a success. (Remember I had to toss my first 3 attempts at making a blue cheese?)
The imported cheese varieties (which I had helped choose from their short list of cheese special deals) were tasty and interesting (except the very stinky and well past it's prime Tomme Crayeuse we had to re-wrap quickly!), but none great enough that I think any of us would particularly order again except possibly the 2 year old Extra Sharp raw milk Cheddar from Canada (very crumbly because of the age, but would be lovely grated on certain dishes).
Mummm, mummm, mummm, that looks so good! Sounds like you had a great time! Thanks for sharing your adventures. The dairy train has come to a complete halt here. What little I can do has been put to gardening but it's making me very happy :) Once I can get to my raw milk source again, I'd love to start up some yogurt and make a new soft cheese.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone in America!!
well my Porter house cheese experiment is getting a little bitter after 2 months of ageing, --so --we will see, -- but the Jalapino farmhouse chedar after 3 months, -is probly the best pepper cheese I have ever tasted, -- so-- will do that again
it is still good on sandwiches, and melted on / in food, -- but it does not taste good un melted, --so --will not be making any more of that, -- the farmhouse chedar from the cheese making book i have is better and better with ageing
--so is the same recipe with jalapinos, --just keeps getting better, --
I am back to farm house Chedar, and the same with jalapinos, --
it is always good, and everyone loves it, -- and-- it just gets better with age, -- made a 5 gal batch of Jalapino on Sat, --and a 6 gal batch of Farm house, on Sunday-- I am always out of it-- when ever some one wants to buy some--
Do you use fresh jalapenos or canned in your cheddar? When I make Pepper Jack I use a combination of dried peppers and fresh jalapenos but it never lasts long. Since you age yours I thought I would ask. What temp do you age?
I need to get back to making cheese! I have made a decent farmhouse cheddar, in small sizes... but have no clue what happened to the recipe I used! When I get my new temp controller working, I will be able to do up to 4 gallons.
Joy, -- I use pickled Jalapinos, -- as they are stable, [and salty enough] for ageing, I just sprinkle them in as I add the cheese curd into the cheese mould, so I don't get so many on the edges, to fall off during brine time, --- i have my cheese frig set at about 47 [it varies between, 45 and 50] -it is just an old frig I use for my cheese, --I do have a thermostat, to put in it that would keep it exactly at what ever temp i set, -- but-- it is working fine the way it is, so haven't "fixed it" yet, - I also use the frig to hold milk over flow before cheese making , so-- the little bit low temps help the milk stay good for a few days until I get around to cheese making, and -use the freezer part to freeze water bottles to keep milk cold for market, --
- I have had great results with all but my "porter house" experiment-[mixing the riccota back in before pressing] - with the exception of a cheese I pressed too wet ,[tried making a cheese from the net] it came out sour and nasty, sort of like some of those expensive smelly cheeses, [that I do not like]-- but-- I just put it in the brine tank for a week and repackaged it, and am ageing it longer, [probly won't help. but-- I hate to toss anything-]
--my farm house chedar is simplified, [sort of]-- just heat milk to 90, add meso, wait an hour, add rennent, -wait till curd can be cut, afer cutting curd heat slowly to 100[while stiring] let it set for 10 or 15 min, -- drain it for an hour, --add salt [and /or Jalapinos] press with low weight for 1/2 hr, remove from cheese cloth, and re-wrap, press at medium weight for an hr or 2, then re wrapp and press at heavy weight [a 5 gal bucket full of concrete 2 feet from cheese press] for a day [or 2]--then I brine it, then hang it up in a nylon paint filter bag, till the outside it dry [a few days to a week] then i vaccume seal it in a bag and toss in the frig to age.
Thanks, like I said earlier, I have used both fresh and pickled, love the flavor of the fresh and the color. It has helped the look now that I use some dehydrated peppers, probably bell, in the cheese. I use a cheesemaker for my hard cheeses, a converted rice cooker with programmable thermostat. I had a problem (?) last year with my cheddars being too dry it I pressed really heavy. That and for some reason I began to lose melting ability about the same time when grated. Don't have a good pH meter, but I really think it was "cooking" before it could soak up enough liquid to melt.
Just put together a candied jalapeno, onion and chive chevre that I really like. I rehydrate the dried onion and chives in the jalapeno liquid. Next I will try the mix in a pressed cheese, either jack or cheddar. Want to try an olive pressed cheese this spring as well. Just got to figure out how much pressing is too much or not enough.
I use a wine cooler a friend gave me and vacuum seal my cheeses. It runs at a perfect 50 degrees.
Mine is a simple spring loaded press, the problem is that there is no gauge to determine actual pressure. We intend on building a simple press using filled buckets/bottles/jugs/etc. but haven't gotten there yet.
Wow, I was just thinking I hadn't heard anything from the cheesemakers lately! I made a batch of ricotta for some low carb lasagna Friday. I haven't even been making my own yogurt because we are involved in repainting and reflooring the entire house! Just finished picking out all the colors, types of flooring and such, and now need to meet with the flooring people to let them know what we want. What a process! Now the "fun" begins soon when I'll have to pick up all the knick knacks, take down pictures, etc. etc. Then the workmen come... Yeah, I won't be making cheeses or yogurt for a while!
Happy B-day, MichaelP and I hope all is well with everyone. Have a great day!
All I have been making is chevre this year. Haven't broken out the cheesemaker at all. DH is complaining that we are out of Swiss so I guess I will be making a couple wheels in the next two weeks. Good news is that my cherry chevre is getting awesome reviews, who doesn't like dark cherries and creamy cheese!