Author Topic: Cheesemaking  (Read 43986 times)

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Offline Bamawing

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Re: Cheesemaking
« Reply #20 on: Sunday March 11, 2007, 02:40:32 PM »
My cats can handle a small amount of cow's milk, and I provide that on occasion. Tamyra especially loves it.

My school is located in a 100-plus-year-old house with an extension, and had a small problem with mice. As a result, we adopted a cat. I don't know if he eats any rodents, or if his presence is enough, but I do know that the mouse scat seems to have vanished from our teacher's lounge. :up:
I'm more confused than a mood ring on a paranoid bipolar schizophrenic chameleon in a bag of skittles!

Offline LIGA girl

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Re: Cheesemaking
« Reply #21 on: Monday March 12, 2007, 10:10:01 AM »
I have a bit of a problem. I have realised that the yoghurt based goats cheese  is nicer with better flavour and texture than the rennet stuff, but it is much more messy and tricky to make and to store. Now I dont know what to do with my next batch of goats milk that I get tomorrow..... I think I need better equipment for storing the cheese so it can continue to drain more efficiently. The yoghurt based cheese will also be two weeks old tomorrow and is still ageing nicely.

Offline anthropositor

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Re: Cheesemaking
« Reply #22 on: Monday March 12, 2007, 01:41:47 PM »
If it is solid enough to put it under some weight, rather than just custardlike, gently pressing it, maybe on a fresh brown paper bag will get a lot of the additional moisture out.
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Offline itchychick

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Re: Cheesemaking
« Reply #23 on: Monday March 12, 2007, 03:20:33 PM »
LG, I don't know if it is similar, but when I thicken yogurt for making tzatziki, I set it in a sieve lined with a coffee filter, put it over a bowl and allow it to drain.  It works beautifully.

Offline LIGA girl

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Re: Cheesemaking
« Reply #24 on: Monday March 12, 2007, 05:10:08 PM »
Thanks a lot for that tip itchy, I'll give it a try ....

Offline LIGA girl

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Re: Cheesemaking
« Reply #25 on: Wednesday March 14, 2007, 07:30:05 PM »
My last batches of cheese I forgot to put the yoghurt into, I only used rennet. It didnt seem to affect things however. I also found that the fresher milk curdled much faster and produced a floating rather than a sinking curd.

Offline LIGA girl

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Re: Cheesemaking
« Reply #26 on: Saturday March 17, 2007, 09:15:18 AM »
I have devised a new way of storing and ageing my goats cheese. After it has curdled, I put it into a cloth for a day or so to drain, then take it out and put into a plastic container with a draining rack in it and leave for a few more days, where it continues to drain. Then I take it out and put thru the food processor with a bit of salt (About half a teaspoon per kilo). I process it long enough to get rid of all the lumpy bits. This time I didnt add any herbs as it is raining and I didnt want to get wet going to the garden .... ;D

I then piled it back into the freshly washed container onto the draining rack, no paper or cloth, just placed on the plastic rack. It will continue to leak whey which will drain off. I have labelled each cheese (day of milking, whether fresh or chilled when rennet added) and will taste daily to determine which amount of ageing is best. I suspect it will be somewhere between 1 & 2 weeks.

Itchy, I tried your method with the coffee filters, but the milk hadnt cultured enough and I lost the whole batch - it just drained right through, but I may try it again next week.... how do you support the filters upright?

Offline anthropositor

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Re: Cheesemaking
« Reply #27 on: Saturday March 17, 2007, 02:14:32 PM »
When I make coffee I use a reusable plastic mesh strainer inside the carrier to hold the grounds.  I put the paper filter inside this so that if the paper filter collapses around the edges as it sometimes does, I don't get grounds in the final coffee.  They are $1 at the Dollar Store.  This same filter is quite useful to drain cheese with or without a paper filter as well, depending on the solidity of the cheese I am working.

I myself have never diced the curd during cheesemaking.  I can see that it might speed up getting the moisture a little bit but I'm not too sure about that.

I form balls out of my cheese with no kneading or other mixing.  Then later, I can cut the ball through the middle and determine the natural homogeneity (the level of uniformity) throughout the curd.

I have found little detectable evidence of layering, and the middle part does not seem to be more moist than the cheese near the outside.  That indicates to me that drainage seems to go on just fine without the dicing. 

The plastic mesh is very fine, much finer than the standard mesh of a household strainer.  If the cheese curd is pretty stiff you could get by without using a paper filter too.
"The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it." Chinese Proverb.

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Offline itchychick

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Re: Cheesemaking
« Reply #28 on: Saturday March 17, 2007, 08:54:12 PM »
I set the paper filter in a metal sieve, Vicki, (my sieve is almost the same size as the basket type filters we use).  Anthro's plastic filter sounds perfect - I have seen permanent metal filters, too, but not plastis as he describes.  Yes, I can see that if it milk hasn't cultured enough that it would drain through - remeber, I'm starting with yogurt.

Offline LIGA girl

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Re: Cheesemaking
« Reply #29 on: Saturday March 17, 2007, 11:52:37 PM »
Thanks for the suggestions, both of you ....

The plastic basket that Anthro suggest is similar to the sort of baskets that they use for professional cheesemaking. I am doing so much of it at the moment that it might be worth getting something like that. i will look at the local stores though, as I know they sell things cheaper than the cheesemakers do .... In fact I have seen identical products at both places and at quite different prices.

Anthro, how long do you leave your curd before you can form balls from it without any kneading or such?

The failure of the yoghurt method last week was disappointing, Itchy. I had had it in the oven for about 12 hours and it looked firm and smelt the way it should, so I poured some of it into a coffee thing and the rest into a cloth, and then watched it all just disappear down the drain!

Offline anthropositor

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Re: Cheesemaking
« Reply #30 on: Tuesday March 20, 2007, 06:07:49 AM »
I use rennet so things go pretty fast.  Seems like you can pour a lot of the whey off after a day.  Then let it drain for a day or so.  Then it ought to hold its' form pretty well.  I just sort of play it by ear.  Temperature plays a part.  things take longer if the weather is cold.

I haven't generally been mixing salt into the curd but if the outside is a bit moist I might dust it with a bit of salt and rub it into the surface.  One could also use dried or fresh herbs like dill weed or cracked pepper or caraway seed or poppy seed.  Seasonings on the outside tend to act as preservatives and reduce the likelihood that invading organisms will gain a foothold on the outer face of the cheese while the cheese within has not been slowed in its' activity.
"The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it." Chinese Proverb.

"What all men speak well of, look critically into; what all men condemn examine first before you decide"-- Confucius

Pray to the Gods, for the Gods are not unless you pray to them.--Don Marquis

Offline LIGA girl

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Re: Cheesemaking
« Reply #31 on: Tuesday March 20, 2007, 09:43:46 AM »
I play it by ear too, anthro. I find that temperature and milk freshness both play a part in how long it takes to curdle. I am using rennet too and will abandon the yoghurt method as it is too hit & miss.

My new storage method is working well and I read on a cheesemaking site that they let the curds drain under their own weight so I am doing the same. I didnt put any alcohol in to it to stop the curdling process either, so the cheeses continue to drain for days, which I found they did with alcohol anyway. I found that the milk that has been pre refrigerated before cheesemaking actually has a smoother texture, while the fresh milk one has a stronger flavour. I will try leaving out the salt too and compare flavours. I really like adding fresh herbs to the cheese, too, as it has a very distinctive, fresh flavour. I use oregano, parsley and basil.

Offline LIGA girl

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Re: Cheesemaking
« Reply #32 on: Wednesday March 28, 2007, 04:37:15 AM »
 8) I have exciting news to add to this thread ...as you all know I have been perfecting my goat cheese recipes, for no other reason than that it was fun to do ... I decided to ring  a few restaurants to see if they were interested in buying some of my home made cheese and one is! Goat cheese has apparently become a bit of a gourmet product here.... So tomorrow I go in there with my little samples for them try and maybe buy ... only trouble is that my milk supplier dries up after next week. ... so I may have to wait till next season to make a motza on the cheese, unfortunately .... :-\

I tried some store bought stuff to compare and it is rubbish compared to mine  ;D

I must make accurate records of the technique though, so that next season I can pick it up where I left off.


Offline itchychick

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Re: Cheesemaking
« Reply #33 on: Wednesday March 28, 2007, 07:53:25 PM »
That's fantastic, Vicki!  A burgeoning home businesss, then!

Offline LIGA girl

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Re: Cheesemaking
« Reply #34 on: Wednesday March 28, 2007, 08:11:41 PM »
A burgeoning home businesss, then!
That would be good, Itchy! I  like to be doing something and making cheese is more fun and less stressful than teaching or lawyering!

Offline totalfolly

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Re: Cheesemaking
« Reply #35 on: Wednesday March 28, 2007, 09:13:44 PM »
Sounds marvellous, LG!  :up:

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Offline LIGA girl

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Re: Cheesemaking
« Reply #36 on: Wednesday March 28, 2007, 09:19:30 PM »
Thanks TF, will keep you posted how it goes ...  ;D

Offline LIGA girl

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Re: Cheesemaking
« Reply #37 on: Thursday March 29, 2007, 01:17:39 AM »
Well I went in there and they loved the cheese, said it is nothing like what they currently get. They cant put in an order till after Easter they said, which gives me a bit of time to find an alternative milk supplier. I said I would sell it for $30 / kilo, which they seemed to think was OK, they are now paying $23 for crap. They also asked me if I had a card or pricelist or anything, which I had though of doing but hadnt actually done, so I have learnt something for next time. I will post again later with my marketing plan and secret recipe!  ;D

Offline totalfolly

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Re: Cheesemaking
« Reply #38 on: Thursday March 29, 2007, 02:05:43 AM »
LG, that's SUPER!  It's so exciting when you can make a little money doing something you love.  :hugs:

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Offline LIGA girl

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Re: Cheesemaking
« Reply #39 on: Thursday March 29, 2007, 05:15:46 AM »
Thanks, TF  :hugs:. I agree, it is very rewarding and satisfying. Or it will be if I manage to get it all together...

So here is the method: (You need fresh goats milk for this, I havent tried it using commercially sold milk, but I will and compare.)

1. Add rennet and 1 teaspoon acidophilus yoghurt per 4 litres to fresh goats milk and let stand till fully curdled, draining regularly. This takes up to 36 hours depending on freshness of milk and room temp.

2. Drain through a cloth in fridge for a further few hours till curd is quite dry, no visible liquid and most of the run off has occurred. I dont press it at all. It can be taken from the cloth moved to a covered rack once it is dry enough.This takes a minimum of 6 hours but it can be left there for 1-2 days. This forms the curd which can be eaten as is or further processed.

3. Process the cheese in the food processor for at least 1 minute, the longer the better. Add 1 teaspoon salt per kilo of cheese (and either fresh herbs - I use parsley, oregano and basil - or black pepper if flavouring is desired.)

4. Store the cheese in a covered container in the fridge on a draining rack as it will continue to leak whey slowly. It is best eaten within 2 weeks from Step 1. The flavour will continue to develop over that time.