Draining mats.

Equipment and ingredients suppliers and plans for home made cheese making equipment.

Draining mats.

Postby Wohoki » Thu Apr 27, 2006 3:20 pm

I ordered a bunch of the required kit to start making cheese from Ascott, but I forgot to order any mat to go under the cheese while it drains. We don't buy in pizza, so I can't use the stuff you get under ready-to-cook pizza (see, I do read some of your posts Rik :D ).

Anyone got any thoughts?


I did think that a handful of bamboo skewers would work if I boiled, or soaked and then baked them them first (110C). Would they be clean enough? Maybe some very dilute Milton solution on them first? Rik?
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Postby Rik vonTrense » Thu Apr 27, 2006 3:46 pm

Yes just boil them or scald them with boiling water........but you do not need cheesmatting.

If you have a good surface like a plastic cutting board then just stand your open ended mould on there and put a follower wrapped in a cheesecloth on top with a weight on it. You will find that the whey finds it's "whey" out :shock: :oops: anywhey :shock: :oops:

it will run under the edge of the mould easily enough because the pressure on the cheese tends to lift the mould anyway.
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Postby Wohoki » Thu Apr 27, 2006 3:57 pm

Cheers.

I thought the skewers would be fine, but it's always worth checking with someone who knows the right whey to do these things :shock: :oops: .
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Postby jenny_haddow » Thu Apr 27, 2006 4:30 pm

I looked around for anything made of plastc meshing. I cut the base out of a plastic basket, cut up a draining mat I had in a tuppa ware box and they all seem to work well. This morning I just couldn't resisit any longer and cut into my first cheese. Its about 4 weeks old and already has a great flavour and a good creamy texture. Well worth the time and effort, and today I rationalised the garage to accomodate a cheese maturing area. Who needs tools and bikes!

Cheers

Jen
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Postby Rik vonTrense » Thu Apr 27, 2006 6:56 pm

How was the veining Jen had it developed yet ?

It sometimes doesn't develop until after the sixth week but sometime before
it all depends on the amount of cracks in the curd and if air can get into the cheese....this is why we needle it,

.
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Postby markh » Thu Apr 27, 2006 7:01 pm

Asda do a 'smart-price' dish draining mat for about 70p, a matrix of 20mm diameter plastic rings held off the surface by lots of little studs.

Its about 14" by 12" - I picked it up thinking I curd chop it into 4. :shock: :oops: Only problem is it is a vile silver grey colour...
Before the Roman came to Rye or out to Severn strode, the rolling English Drunkard made the rolling English road... G.K.Chesterton
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Postby jenny_haddow » Fri Apr 28, 2006 7:34 am

Hi Rik,
Yes I have veining developing through to the centre, so everything seems to be working according to your instructions. I think my garage is a good environment for cheese, it's on the cool side of the house and reminds me of my Brazilian mother-in-law's cheese store. She made a fabulous cheese from an old family recipe brought over from Italy when the family emigrated to Brazil back end of the 19th century. Wish I'd jotted it down.

Cheers

Jen
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Postby Rik vonTrense » Fri Apr 28, 2006 7:51 am

Here is another tip....

If you have a jellied eel stall outside your local pub get friendly with the stall holder or just approach him direct with an offer.

The eels come in a plastic basin, like a hand basin, with a close fitting waterproof lid. .... these are non returnable and usually the stallholder dumps them in the rubbish.

They make ideal maturing caves for your small cheeses and you can stack them and they take up less room. They keep a nice humidity and if you want a bit of air circulation then the lid need not be pressed down fully. In all honesty they are well worth 50p each if he saves them for you and 50p is better than just chucking them away some good stalls get through half a dozen a week.

I made a deal with mine and gave him a stilton which he still raves about.


.Another freebee tip....

in the supermarket milk section the small milk containers like the pints are separated by a white piece of stiff fluted plastic that they stand on....;this is thrown away in the rubbish and you will usually find them stacked besides the cages of milk until the are collect with the empties rubbish.

Cut up they make ideal cheese mats and for protection to your working surfaces......I use them for all sorts.


;
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Postby Wohoki » Fri Apr 28, 2006 9:53 am

Cheers Rik, I know the milk carton separator thingies, and I'll grab some next time I'm buying milk (which will be tomorrow, 1 gallon for my first cheese :D )

I think I have a couple of the snap-lid buckets you describe, so I'll be following that tip as well.

Wish me luck!
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Postby jenny_haddow » Fri Apr 28, 2006 1:07 pm

Well, I've sent off for some moulds and mats and some penicillium roqueforti(sp). I'd be grateful for some advice on the best way to use that. Also, cheese presses, pro's and cons. I dithered as to whether to get one, still might do as I am obviously going to be making cheese regularly.

Just set off another collander stilton, I like the shape and they are so easy to handle.

Good luck Wohoki, you'll enjoy the whole process I'm sure, and, maybe it's a girly thing, but turning the curds is really good for the skin on your hands!

Cheers

Jen
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Postby Wohoki » Fri Apr 28, 2006 1:38 pm

Hi Jen, it isn't a girly thing at all: I spend all day up to my arse/elbow (never could tell the difference :D ) in washing-up and laundry, so anything that stops my hands from turning into rhinocerus-hide is a good thing. There's nothing like washing your hands 75 times a day to 'improve' your skin.

Have a good weekend!
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Postby Rik vonTrense » Fri Apr 28, 2006 8:33 pm

Jen.... there are two types of Pen Roqueforti one is in suspension and the other is freeze dried...if you are getting them from Ascott they will come with instructions......you need very little for two gallons I use an egg spoon for the PR and dried just a a half tsp barely. that is a quarter of a 5ml tsp. and with the suspension ....shake very well and half an egg spoon or qtr 5 ml tsp.

MA400 use about the same freeze dried on the end of a tsp....... don''t forget
to dilute the rennet in 15 parts of water and tip in slowly whilst stirring the milk...the rennet is the last additive to go into the milk...... that rennet can coagulate the milk instantly and you cannot stir it after the rennet is in except to mix it,


.
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Postby jenny_haddow » Fri Apr 28, 2006 11:16 pm

Thanks for that Rik. It's the kind of info I need.

Jen
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