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Anyone here Making Cheese?

Please share your favorites that you cook with your spirits or commercial stuff. We love alcohol flavored food.

Re: Anyone here Making Cheese?

Postby Tracker » Mon Mar 16, 2015 6:32 pm

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Re: Anyone here Making Cheese?

Postby vb » Wed Mar 18, 2015 10:58 pm

2 pork bellies in cure, one will be smoked for bacon the other air dried for Pancetta.
wheel of cheese in the press overnight for a nice hard white cheddar.
and tomorrow I will begin curing of a pork leg for Prosciutto.
better get my sour dough culture going, so it'll be ready to make sandwiches in several months time.
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Re: Anyone here Making Cheese?

Postby Zymurgy Bob » Wed Mar 18, 2015 11:38 pm

Tracker wrote:https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=-xLUEMj6cwA


Cheers.

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Re: Anyone here Making Cheese?

Postby zedzedtop » Thu Mar 19, 2015 2:43 am

Used to quite a bit for a couple of years. Mozzarella is quite tricky to get right, despite it being placed in so many beginner books. The only thing easy about it is that it's ready in a day. Want easy? Chevre is easy. So is feta if you can get sheep's milk (Kiwi?).

Cheddar is tricky owing to the cheddaring step.

Gouda is what I was really going for but never nailed it. Same for the rich blued like stilton and gorgonzola.

The more depth I discovered in the literature, the more I realized how important it is to use fresh (same day or one day at most) raw milk. That's tough for me to source. I can get raw milk at the shops, but it is several days old by the time it's on the shelf. There are plenty of milk co-ops around, but you'd be getting a blend of a few days of milk, and you have to get a weekly subscription. I'd rather get ten gallons or so every couple of months, all less-then-day old. That doesn't work out on the suppliers' end. I'm very convinced that it makes a huge difference in not only consistency and quality, but the actual ease of the process. Milk is very fragile stuff. Undue agitation irreversibly damages it in terms of use for a lot of cheese making.

Don't get me wrong, I did make several passable cheeses. A parmesian and a swiss-type were probably the most true-to-type. But I also attribute a lot of the failures to sub-par milk. I was only using un-homogenized whole organic stuff too. I aged the hard cheeses in my empty keg fridge with added humidity.

Very small changes in time, temperature, salinity and pH largely define the cheeses within a given category.

It's all a very interesting process with lots of stuff to be learned. That and my love of good cheese got me into the hobby. Probably the largest determining factor in my lost interest was cost. I figure that my crafting hobbies should at least save $$ when you ignore equipment costs. Didn't work out that way with cheese. Raw milk at the shop or co-op is close to $20/gallon. That will make a pound of hard cheese, and the premium hard cheeses around here go for $18-28/lb.

BTW my favourite cheeses right now are aged gouda, Bleu d'Auvergne, and cambozola black label. The BdA is especially good with a bit of honey as a dessert.

I might entertain trying again at some point, especially if I can get some fresh milk in quantity. Mozz. worked pretty well a few times, just could predict when it would or wouldn't.

Don't forget to add CaCl if you're trying to use pasteurized milk....
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Re: Anyone here Making Cheese?

Postby vb » Thu Mar 19, 2015 9:59 am

3kg white cheddar from 24L of milk.
used storebought milk, working on a lead for bulk raw milk, but that will require an upgrade in equipment to handle making 5-6 such wheels in a go.
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20150319_085042[1].jpg
fresh off the press
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Re: Anyone here Making Cheese?

Postby Mud » Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:30 pm

My wife and I decided to goof off for the afternoon and went to a small small cheese factory in Bradford County, PA. The head cheesemaker is an Amish gentleman of some considerable experience. Thinking of this thread I asked him about his milk source. He said they aren't allowed to use raw milk anymore due to sanitary laws. So it's all a few days old and has been flash pasteurized. His original method was to use the day's milk for cheese and butter. Now it tastes faintly of chlorine in his opinion.

Couldn't get a tour and they were just packaging today anyway. :( We left with a lb of 6 year old cheddar and a lb of horseradish cheddar. So good.
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Re: Anyone here Making Cheese?

Postby vb » Thu Mar 19, 2015 11:04 pm

you make cider dont you Mud?
if you got a cider press, then you have the most expensive bit of cheese making equipment covered.
get a big old pot, some inexpensive cheese moulds from ebay, rennet and culture and you're ready to go.
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Re: Anyone here Making Cheese?

Postby Mud » Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:03 am

:/ no press. Things on that front didn't work out so well.
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Re: Anyone here Making Cheese?

Postby Tracker » Fri Mar 20, 2015 5:44 pm

Mud wrote::/ no press. Things on that front didn't work out so well.


Put a board on top of the cheese and sit on it while you study up on maple syrup collection. 2 birds, one stone type of thing :8)


Cheers :roll:
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Bok 2" slant plate for neutral and cleaning up mistakes.

Re: Anyone here Making Cheese?

Postby vb » Tue Mar 24, 2015 11:22 pm

cheese got 2 coats of wax, bacon got smoked and Ham is ready to smoke tomorrow.
ordered some smaller moulds so I can do some smaller wheels to try making smoked gouda.
i figure by breaking the batch down into 4 smaller wheels, I can try some with added herbs, peppers or whatever else I felt like doing.
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Re: Anyone here Making Cheese?

Postby punkin » Wed Mar 25, 2015 1:03 pm

How about some pictures?
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Re: Anyone here Making Cheese?

Postby vb » Thu Mar 26, 2015 9:58 am

as requested.
bellies for the bacon were a little on the lean side, but they ought to shrink less while cooking
Ham was a 20lb pigs leg. cooked up one of the hocks for pea soup last night.
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ham and hocks.jpg
bacon.jpg
cheese under wax.jpg
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Re: Anyone here Making Cheese?

Postby punkin » Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:31 pm

Pork bellies look great.
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Re: Anyone here Making Cheese?

Postby vb » Thu Mar 26, 2015 7:18 pm

last couple batches of bacon I've used a dry cure, I like it better than the wet cure I did before.
pulls lots of moisture from the meat and intensifies the flavor.
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Re: Anyone here Making Cheese?

Postby Mud » Thu Mar 26, 2015 8:42 pm

That bacon looks stellar.
:mg: :D :roflmao: :doh: :rkn: :barf: :) :( :o :shock: :? :8) :lol: :x :P :oops: :cry: :evil: :roll: :wink: :!: :idea: :arrow: :| :screwy: :ranting: :soapbox: :beer: :offtopic:

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