Cheese

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Cheese

Postposted on Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:03 am

I have the need and desire to begin making my own cheese. Can anyone give me a recommendation on a book to get me started on this adventure? It's tough to make a decision based on Amazon reviews. So many books are rated highly.

Any recommendations and other tips for starting out in this hobby are much appreciated!
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Re: Cheese

Postposted on Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:20 am

FireGryphon wrote:I have the need and desire to begin making my own cheese. Can anyone give me a recommendation on a book to get me started on this adventure? It's tough to make a decision based on Amazon reviews. So many books are rated highly.

Any recommendations and other tips for starting out in this hobby are much appreciated!


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Re: Cheese

Postposted on Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:54 am

Here's all I know: You can't really use human breast milk for cheese because it doesn't curdle. You can try adding lemon or something as a curdling agent but even then it doesn't really work out well.

Good luck.
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Re: Cheese

Postposted on Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:04 am

I don't make cheese (yet), but my wife has made fresh mozzarella a few times. That may be a good place to start since it does not need to age at all (i.e. instant gratification).
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Re: Cheese

Postposted on Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:48 am

I thought it was aged for 6mo's in brine?

I can go ask some of the Amish around here who make their own farm house cheddar.
(But then they have their own goats and cows, and already know what the hell they are doing with it... :D)
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Re: Cheese

Postposted on Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:56 am

Aranarth wrote:I thought it was aged for 6mo's in brine?

I can go ask some of the Amish around here who make their own farm house cheddar.
(But then they have their own goats and cows, and already know what the hell they are doing with it... :D)

Fresh mozzarella is a very different thing from farmhouse cheddar. Cheddar does indeed need to be aged.
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Re: Cheese

Postposted on Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:13 am

My wife came from an "Amish lite" community and has made cheese. I asked her to make some since that sounded exciting but she wanted unpasteurized milk, which is hard to get in Illinois unless you know a milk farmer.

Now she has 2 small children to work with, so fun projects like making our own bread and cheese are not happening right now. Lots of work from what she said, to do it right.
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Re: Cheese

Postposted on Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:48 pm

No cows, goats, or sheep yet.
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Re: Cheese

Postposted on Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:51 pm

FireGryphon wrote:No cows, goats, or sheep yet.

Well, for proper Mozzarella you need a water buffalo. For any cheese you really do need to start with raw milk. The acidification/rennet stage combined with the aging will take care of any nasties, but you need the full fat of raw milk to have a proper curds/whey ratio.
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Re: Cheese

Postposted on Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:00 pm

Captain Ned wrote:Well, for proper Mozzarella you need a water buffalo. For any cheese you really do need to start with raw milk. The acidification/rennet stage combined with the aging will take care of any nasties, but you need the full fat of raw milk to have a proper curds/whey ratio.

Pasteurization removes some of the fat?
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Re: Cheese

Postposted on Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:01 pm

My bad. I thought I was quoting a post (it was in response to breastie cheese) and was actually editing it. It didn't look right so I clicked delete, which killed the follow-up post to Scrotos' statement. Again, my bad, and I apologize.

[/bad mod day]
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Re: Cheese

Postposted on Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:09 pm

just brew it! wrote:
Captain Ned wrote:Well, for proper Mozzarella you need a water buffalo. For any cheese you really do need to start with raw milk. The acidification/rennet stage combined with the aging will take care of any nasties, but you need the full fat of raw milk to have a proper curds/whey ratio.
Pasteurization removes some of the fat?

Nope. For cheese, the raw milk goes straight from farm to cheesemaker (Blessed are the Cheesemakers). Drinking milk first goes to a stage where fat content above that of whole milk (3.7% IIRC) is removed as milkfat is the most valuable part of cow squeezings. After fat removal it goes to pasteurization (rapid heat/cool cycle) to kill the buggers. Then it's homogenized (whipped into a fully-emulsified mix) and is packaged as whole milk. Lower grades of milk are further "processed", as in there ain't no such thing as a skim, 1%, or 2% cow.

I knew living in Vermont would come in handy some day.

EDIT: A review of the literature says that most modern cheeses are made from pasteurized milk (heated to 72C for 15 seconds and rapidly cooled to 4C), and that US raw-milk cheeses must be aged for 60 days before sale. No fat is lost in pasteurization, just buggers. If you want raw-milk cheese, hit up your local hippie farmers'-market cheesemonger.
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Re: Cheese

Postposted on Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:36 pm

Ahh, OK. I think the point of confusion is the phrase "raw milk". I equated it with "pasteurized" "unpasteurized" but it seems there's another implication, namely "full fat".

Congrats on your accidental mod edit-delete faux pas, now please go stand in the corner. (I think it has been at least a couple of years since I've done something like that... :oops:)
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Re: Cheese

Postposted on Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:57 pm

Scrotos wrote:Here's all I know: You can't really use human breast milk for cheese because it doesn't curdle. You can try adding lemon or something as a curdling agent but even then it doesn't really work out well.

Good luck.

No need for a lemon, but you can use something like rennet for that. Here's a basic recipe using human breast milk:

Step-by Step
My Spouse’s Mommy Milk Cheese Making Experiment
(basic recipe using 8 cups of any milk - yields about ½ pound cheese)

2 cups mother’s milk
2 cups milk (just about any animal milk will work)
1½-teaspoon yogurt (must be active cultured yogurt)
1/8-tablet rennet (buy from supermarket, usually located in pudding section)
1 teaspoon sea salt such as Baline

1. Inoculate milks by heating (68 degree Fahrenheit) then introduce starter bacteria (active yogurt) then let stand for 6 – 8 hours at room temperature, 68ºF covered with a lid. Bacteria will grow in this way and convert milk sugar (lactose) to lactic acid. You can detect its presence by the tart/sour taste.
2. After inoculating the milk heat to 86 degrees Fahrenheit then add rennet (I use tablets which I dissolve in water) and stir throughout. Cover pot and don’t disturb for an hour until “clean break stage” is achieved, meaning with a clean spoon lift a small piece of curd out of the milk - if it is still soft and gel-like let pot stand for an hour longer. If curds “break clean” cut with a knife into a squares (cut inside the pot a ½-inch cube pattern).
3. Raise temperature slowly continuously stirring with a pastry spatula (this will prevent clumping of cut curd). This is what I call the “ricotta stage” if you like this kind of fresh cheese – here it is. For cheese with a little bit more of texture heat curds to 92 degree Fahrenheit - for soft curd cheese, or as high 102oF for very firm cheese. The heating of the curd makes all the difference in the consistency of the cheese. When heated the curd looks almost like scrambled eggs at this point (curd should be at bottom of pot in whey liquid).
4. Pour curd through a fine strainer (this will separate curd from whey) then transfer into a bowl and add salt and mix with a pastry spatula (this will prevent curd from spoiling). Whey can be drank - it is quite healthy and its protein is very efficiently absorbed into the blood stream making it a sought-after product in shakes for bodybuilders.
5. Give curd shape by lining a container with cheese cloth (allow any excess of cheese cloth to hang over edges of container). Transfer drained, warm curd in the cheese cloth lined container (I used a large plastic quart containers like a large Chinese take- out soup container and cut 4 holes in the bottom with the tip of my knife). Fold excess cheese cloth over top of cheese then weight curd down (with second container filled with water or such) then store in refrigerator (14 hours or so – put container into a second larger container – this will catch draining whey liquid).
6. Take pressed curd out of container (flip container upside-down then unwrap carefully not to damage structure of pressed curd). Rewrap pressed curd with new cheese cloth then age in refrigerator for several weeks (cheese will form a light brown skin around week two – this is normal). Age cheese longer for a more pronounced/sharper cheese flavor.

...no, it's not mine, I just copy-pasted it. But I wouldn't mind trying teh end results :wink:
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Re: Cheese

Postposted on Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:13 pm

just brew it! wrote:Ahh, OK. I think the point of confusion is the phrase "raw milk". I equated it with "pasteurized" but it seems there's another implication, namely "full fat".

Raw milk = straight from the cow/sheep/goat/water buffalo/I don't really want to know.

EDIT: I was wrong above in the order of the processes. Pasteurization (bugger killing) happens before homogenization/fat separation. Damn, time for a remedial factory tour at the St. Albans CoOp Creamery.

There's a few places in VT where you can get raw milk, though it tends to be on the down-low as our Ag & Health Departments really don't like the practice despite the utter lack of bad health outcomes.
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Re: Cheese

Postposted on Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:18 pm

I've made cottage cheese at home. Actually, it was Paneer - which is basically just compressed cottage cheese as far as I can tell.

This is the simplest cheese to make and you're done in like half an hour. Basically, you bring milk to a slow boil to as not to burn it, add some sort of acid (usually lemon juice) to get it to curdle, strain in cheesecloth, compress, wrap and let sit in the fridge until it cools.

"Real" cheese is too complicated for me. :P
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Re: Cheese

Postposted on Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:21 pm

Captain Ned wrote:milk from the cow/sheep/goat/water buffalo/I don't really want to know.
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Re: Cheese

Postposted on Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:25 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:
Captain Ned wrote:milk from the cow/sheep/goat/water buffalo/I don't really want to know.
http://animsci.agrenv.mcgill.ca/courses ... 2/text.pdf

McGill?!?! Never thought a snooty Montreal-based university would teach a course on cow squeezins.
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Re: Cheese

Postposted on Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:41 pm

A sizable percentage of all of the cow's milk from the entire state of Wisconsin goes into making mozarella cheese for pizza. It's far and away the largest use of cheese in the U.S.

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How It's Made (5 minutes):
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Re: Cheese

Postposted on Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:52 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:A sizable percentage of all of the cow's milk from the entire state of Wisconsin goes into making mozarella cheese for pizza. It's far and away the largest use of cheese in the U.S.

Can't remember how many 10lb blocks of half-fat mozz I ground up back in my pizza delivery days. If I had 5-10 minutes between delivery runs I was expected to grind cheese or do any other type or prep work.

Cheese, though (to me) means Cheddar. New York takes itself out of the running thinking that Cheddar is yellow. Wisconsin is a tough competitor, but our VT cheesemakers (Cabot & Grafton) usually win out. Cabot's Hunters' Seriously Sharp is our daily go-to cheese. If it don't have the hunters' flannel pattern, it ain't cheese.
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Re: Cheese

Postposted on Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:54 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
just brew it! wrote:Ahh, OK. I think the point of confusion is the phrase "raw milk". I equated it with "pasteurized" but it seems there's another implication, namely "full fat".

Raw milk = straight from the cow/sheep/goat/water buffalo/I don't really want to know.

EDIT: I was wrong above in the order of the processes. Pasteurization (bugger killing) happens before homogenization/fat separation. Damn, time for a remedial factory tour at the St. Albans CoOp Creamery.

There's a few places in VT where you can get raw milk, though it tends to be on the down-low as our Ag & Health Departments really don't like the practice despite the utter lack of bad health outcomes.

...and of course I meant "unpasteurized" in the post you quoted. :oops:
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