has anyone tried to make cheese? - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 12 Old 07-12-2006, 08:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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How exciting! I never thought about making cheese! I checked out www.cheesemaking.com and they have some kits that have everything you need to get started! Has anyone ever tried it? How difficult was it? And timewise how long did it take? I ask this because I seen how some chedders are aged 18 mo. and so on and so on. I would never be able to wait a year to taste my cheese! But maybe others don't have to be aged for so long? I would love to try, although I have to admit it would be something else that I would have to add to my already super busy day and long to do list. But maybe some day....

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#2 of 12 Old 07-12-2006, 10:08 PM
 
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I want to try too. I found rennet tablets at walmart: I used one to make ice cream since it had an easy recipe without an ice cream maker. I want to try to make feta that seemed pretty easy.
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#3 of 12 Old 07-12-2006, 10:48 PM
 
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It's been my goal for the summer and the summer is half over, so we'll see how I do on that one.

Amanda Rose, author, Rebuild From Depression: A Nutrient Guide. Don't miss this opportunity to build a business telling friends about probiotic foods and grass fed meats: Beyond Organic Review.

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#4 of 12 Old 07-12-2006, 11:49 PM
 
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I've made cream cheese. Does that count? It was yummy.
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#5 of 12 Old 07-13-2006, 12:20 PM
 
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I make Fromage Blanc, Quark, and Creme Fraiche for work several times per week. I know that Creme Fraiche isn't cheese per se, but I thought I would include that too.
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#6 of 12 Old 07-13-2006, 12:25 PM
 
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Well go to the same site that I posted for making buttermilk... David's site is wonderful.

http://biology.clc.uc.edu/fankhauser/Cheese/CHEESE.HTML

He tells you how to make several different kinds of cheese... there is also a link to obtain rennet tablets that are extremely cheap compared to what I've seen in the supply stores.

If your looking for molds or cheesemaking kits check out Leener's a Cleveland based company but they are online and do ship.
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#7 of 12 Old 07-13-2006, 01:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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how long will creme fraiche last in the fridge? A lot of the recipes for this kind of stuff in the NT book do not say how long they will stay good for.

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#8 of 12 Old 07-13-2006, 04:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccasanova
How exciting! I never thought about making cheese! I checked out www.cheesemaking.com and they have some kits that have everything you need to get started! Has anyone ever tried it? How difficult was it? And timewise how long did it take? I ask this because I seen how some chedders are aged 18 mo. and so on and so on. I would never be able to wait a year to taste my cheese! But maybe others don't have to be aged for so long? I would love to try, although I have to admit it would be something else that I would have to add to my already super busy day and long to do list. But maybe some day....
That's my project this summer. My cowshare provider is teaching me to make cheese. It's not hard. I have been getting two extra gallons of milk which results in about 2 pounds of cheddar. It takes me about 6 hours to get it going. You warm the milk to about 90 degress, then add the cheese culture (which can be a powder, or some buttermilk you have let ripen for several hours.) It sits for an hour, then you add the rennet and stir very thoroughly. It sits for an hour, then you cut it in cubes. You drain it, and let it hang for an hour, then add salt and mix it in and let it sit for more whey to come out. Then you wrap it in cheesecloth and put it in a cheese press. I use a Farberware steamer, it's stainless steel and flat-bottomed with holes in the bottom, with a pot it sits in, and I pile on a water-filled 1 gallon jar plus bricks to equal 20 pounds. You turn it over after an hour, then leave it with the weight for 12 hours, then turn over again for another 12 hours. Then you unwrap it and let it dry for a few days, and then you can age it letting a rind develop, or wax it. I wax it with beeswax. First I cut the two pound wheel into four 1/2 pound wedges then wax. It can age for anywhere from two months to two years. My friend said you should date it and try one wedge at two months, one at six, and one at a year to see what you like best.

I have also made Gouda, which is a similar process. Mozzarella is easier. Next I want to make feta, and Parmesan.

The recipes are on the New England cheesemaking site, and also there are good recipes on the Cheese Wizard site (just google it.) I hardly bought anything special -- my friend gave me the cheesecloth (which is actually the butter muslin on the cheesemaker site.)

It's fun! The gouda will be ready in only 25 days, and the mozzarella is really good after only a couple of days, so I have those to eat until the cheddar is aged.

Ann
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#9 of 12 Old 07-13-2006, 05:24 PM
 
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I went on a cheese making course last month. It was very good. The woman teaching us said the single most important thing with making cheeses was hygeine. You need to sterilise everything that touches the milk. She used baby bottle sterilising pills. She kept a separate dish which she put all her utensils in when she wasn't using them so they did not touch the bench. She was very pro-raw milk as well.

Unfortunately it is winter here & the farm I get my milk from has stopped for the winter so I didn't get much time to practise. I made some feta & some haloumi but I need to organise a better press. I used a culture I have which we think is villi instead of freeze dried culture as well & it worked very nicely.

She also taught us to make mascarpone which is really easy & so nice. All you do is heat up 3litres of milk & 500ml of cream ( I used 4 pts of raw jersey milk ) to above 80deg C. Then add the juice of 2 lemons. It should curdle. Once it has cooled down, hang it up to drain for a few hours in a cheesecloth. The longer you hang it the drier the cheese gets.
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#10 of 12 Old 07-13-2006, 08:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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so if I'm making chedder, I can figure I'll get a lb of cheese for every gallon of milk? It doesn't have to be raw does it? I would definitely want to do raw but my raw milk is super expensive! Do you think that you end up spending more in making it? Or do you save by making it? And can you use the rest of the milk byproduct for anything?

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#11 of 12 Old 07-14-2006, 01:07 PM
 
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You usually get about 1 lb of cheese for a gallon of milk.

Both buttermilk and yogurt can be used for starters in cheese depending on what type of cheese you are making..

One is a thermophilic starter and the other a mesophilic starter....

David Fankhauser's website that I posted the link for in an earlier posting tells about using these as well as culturing your own buttermilk and yogurt. He also has the directions and recipes for making quite a few cheeses.. He is a biology professor so you can rest assured that his methods are safe. Fermenting foods is all just a change in the biological format of the food.

Butter milk and yogurt can both be frozen and later used for starter cultures too. I freeze mine in ice cube trays and one cube is equal to about 1 oz.
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#12 of 12 Old 07-14-2006, 02:09 PM
 
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When I make fresh dairy items for work, I use....

Equal parts cultured buttermilk to whole milk (gallon for gallon) to make Quark.
And I use 2 cups cultured buttermilk for every gallon of heavy cream to make Creme Fraiche.

Unfortunately I am making this for retail in a state where raw milk products can't be sold in that fashion so I use Organic Valley products. At least it's organic and not from Horizon or Aurora dairies...

-Marc
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