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Author Topic: Cheesemaking  (Read 22988 times)

mutti

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Cheesemaking
« on: December 23, 2008, 09:27:54 am »

I decided that perhaps myself and others who have made cheese could answer questions about the process/history/storing here.

For the first question - Parmesan.  For Wiki explanation on Parmesan, one can look here.

Some Parmesan purchased in stores has fillers. The main filler, to the best of my knowledge, is a sawdust. Not being a termite, I have started making ours. Also used: rice flour and tiny exploded granite. Yum!

It takes anywhere from 10 - 20 months to properly age a Parmesan. Ours will be done in March. We use DCI Supreme Vegetable Rennet vs animal rennet. Next year we will have Cardoon and hopefully be less dependant for making hard cheeses. See info here. Cow milk does not seem to be a good candidate for the Cardoon - maybe we will have more luck with goat milk.

I can put the Recipe here that I use - or you can borrow this book from the Library.

mutti
***fixed link - Thanks for the heads up****
« Last Edit: December 23, 2008, 10:28:46 am by mutti »
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“Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.”  Jefferson

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Jebur27

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Re: Cheesemaking
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2008, 09:59:14 am »

DCI Supreme Vegetable Rennet
The above link isn't right (as far as I can tell).  It is the same as the Parmesan link.   :rolleyes:
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MamaLiberty

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Re: Cheesemaking
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2008, 12:50:58 pm »

The only cheese I made was a soft one, somewhat like jack cheese, and cottage cheese, all from goat's milk. I used an ordinary rennet tablet. Why would one want a vegetarian type? I can't imagine, but then I'm not a vegetarian. :)

Cottage cheese is very easy to make and is a great first step for anyone who wants to learn how to make cheese. Sure wish I had a source of fresh milk so I could make some.  :laugh:
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mutti

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Re: Cheesemaking
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2008, 10:14:38 pm »

Quote
I used an ordinary rennet tablet. Why would one want a vegetarian type?

Rennet tablets are created using the stomach lining of commercial Veal Calves. I am opposed to using them for 3 reasons:
1- Most veal calves have a crappy very small square footage life - I think it is cruel and don't support it.
2. Most veal calves have a hormone implant at 3 days - don't want any of that either.
3. If I become more able to use veggie rennet - when I grow and use it then our family will be used to the taste/digestive properties.

The 4th reason - I use rennet to stop scours and diarrhea in critters (I have tried it on myself and it works in humans also). As long as I can use something I can/will eventually be able to make - I try it.

mutti
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“Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.”  Jefferson

"The universe never did make sense; I suspect it was built on government contract." Heinlein

Jebur27

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Re: Cheesemaking
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2008, 04:50:02 am »

I don't know if I'm quite ready to start making cheese, but a few recipes to peruse would be nice. 

What sort of cheeses do you generally make? 
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There's no joke we can tell about the fedgov that they can't turn into an even more absurd truth about themselves.
-Claire Wolfe

"Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest". -- Denis Diderot

MamaLiberty

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Re: Cheesemaking
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2008, 07:15:07 am »

3. If I become more able to use veggie rennet - when I grow and use it then our family will be used to the taste/digestive properties.

The 4th reason - I use rennet to stop scours and diarrhea in critters (I have tried it on myself and it works in humans also). As long as I can use something I can/will eventually be able to make - I try it.

Never heard of vegetable rennet before. I found this page: http://www.cheesemaking.com/cheeserennets.html
Very interesting. The veg stuff costs half. That works for me. Now, it would be interesting to know how you plan to manufacture it yourself.

And yes, I used to use rennet for diarrhea too, but never had too much of that problem, thank the Lord. :)
« Last Edit: December 28, 2008, 09:30:35 am by MamaLiberty »
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Canadian Mamma

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Re: Cheesemaking
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2008, 08:48:36 am »

O.K.

Now I know this place is just plain evil....I just spent an hour on that site pocking around,which then mutated to youtube watching a "few" short videos on how to make homemade simple cheeses....

CD just ran away screaming in horror when I answered his question on what I was looking at..... :rolleyes:

Now to find a Canadian distributor for cultures and rennet...Hi ho...hi ho it's off to cheese making we go....


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mutti

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Re: Cheesemaking
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2008, 09:22:36 am »

Cardoon blossoms (related to thistle) dried can be used to set cheese. It is not commonly used in cow milk - mainly sheep or goat. We have the plants in a sheltered area and next year they will produce.

I'll get some links/advice together from several areas if you like later.

mutti
(jack, cheddar, sharp cheddar, mozzarella, sour cream, cream cheese, cottage cheese, farmers cheese, fromagina, feta, blue (still working on this), pepper jack, panir - I think I forgot a few!)
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“Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.”  Jefferson

"The universe never did make sense; I suspect it was built on government contract." Heinlein

Jebur27

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Re: Cheesemaking
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2008, 09:26:26 am »

I think I'd like to first try cheddar/sharp cheddar. 

Have you ever tried with low-fat (2%) milk? 
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There is only one thing that remains to us, that cannot be taken away: To act with courage and dignity and to stick to the ideals that have given meaning to life.
-Jawaharlal Nehru


There's no joke we can tell about the fedgov that they can't turn into an even more absurd truth about themselves.
-Claire Wolfe

"Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest". -- Denis Diderot

MamaLiberty

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Re: Cheesemaking
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2008, 09:35:17 am »

Jebur27, I'd strongly suggest you start with something simple and work up to cheddar. Making cheddar is a much more complex process, from what I've read, which is one reason I never even tried it. And, you can make cheese from any sort of milk, but the flavor might well not be anything like you expect from 2% milk. Whatever you do, start with very SMALL batches so you won't have too much of the failures to eat in other ways.

Lots of good ways to use the failures! I should know, since I had enough of them. LOL 
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mutti

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Re: Cheesemaking
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2008, 10:24:58 am »

I think I'd like to first try cheddar/sharp cheddar. 
Have you ever tried with low-fat (2%) milk? 

No. We use whole goat milk only (about 6.2 - 8%). I have used milk after seperation, about 4%. If you do try - let me know. mutti
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“Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.”  Jefferson

"The universe never did make sense; I suspect it was built on government contract." Heinlein

mutti

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Re: Cheesemaking
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2008, 10:40:32 am »

Now to find a Canadian distributor for cultures and rennet...Hi ho...hi ho it's off to cheese making we go....
I have never used this site but you could call around.

Glengarry Cheesemaking, molds, ingredients, and Dairy Supplies
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“Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.”  Jefferson

"The universe never did make sense; I suspect it was built on government contract." Heinlein

coloradohermit

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Re: Cheesemaking
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2008, 12:26:25 pm »

Cardoon blossoms (related to thistle) .....We have the plants in a sheltered area and next year they will produce.
Looked this up on wikipedia and it looks identical to our local thistle, except our flowers are pink rather than blue. I'll tell you, from hard experience with a couple of thistle plants that looked so pretty, that you will want to keep them far away and well coralled.  A few little thistle plants will overnight turn into hundreds of thistle plants that are virtually impossible to eradicate.  They do make every effort to try to kill you if you try to exterminate them.  :brood:
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Claire

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Re: Cheesemaking
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2008, 01:33:23 pm »

Okay ... now you have even my non-domestic-goddess self interested, mutti.

I put a library hold on the book you recommended and was surprised to fine a long line of holds ahead of me. Wonder if this is another sign of people recognizing hard times, or if there are really just that many homemade gourmets around?

Question: I mentioned in another thread that a friend had sent me a gift box containing Trappist cheeses from Gethsemani Abbey in Kentucky (Thomas Merton's old stomping grounds). I tried the first of them the other day and was just blown away. Had to stop myself from pigging out, it was so good.

I'd like to try making something like that. They're semi-soft white cheeses. The one I tried had a mild, but in no way bland, flavor. The others, which I haven't opened yet, seem to be variations on the same theme (e.g. a more aged version, a version with spices in it).

Since they're identified only as "Trappist cheeses" (not jack or havarti or anything I'm familiar with), I'm not sure how (or whether) to proceed. Sites say that Trappist cheeses are something like Port du Salut cheeses from France. But that doesn't tell me a lot, either. Never had, or even heard of Port du Salut cheese.

Any thoughts?

Or should I just start out with ricotta or cottage cheese, so my first attempt is less likely to be a complete disaster?

Claire
« Last Edit: December 28, 2008, 01:36:29 pm by Claire »
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MamaLiberty

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Re: Cheesemaking
« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2008, 03:25:34 pm »

Just my 2 cents worth... since the temperatures, and much of the mechanical operations are similar with cottage cheese and any other - at least in the beginning - it makes sense to start with the simple and progress to the more complex as you get the feel of it. Making cheese at home is as much art as science, and some mistakes are not easily forgiven... so it helps to really know what you are doing before you get to the more involved processes.

Part of this is the fact that if you succeed in making the cottage cheese, you will both learn and be encouraged to work toward more complex cheeses. If you try to start with a cheddar, for instance, and fail miserably, you may not be willing to put in the time, effort and ingredients to try again.

Each to his/her own on this, of course, but that was my experience. :)  (With lots of things. <G>)
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