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First foray into cheese making(kind of long)

PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 7:18 pm
by BBQer
Well, I gave it a go this weekend. And proceeded to do most everything wrong.

I ordered some ingedients and supplies, but got excited and tried making cheese before they arrived.

It was supposed to be Cheddar, but I used store bought milk and didn't have any calcium cloride. Added butter milk because I had no starter culture. Used the Junket brand rennet for custard and ice cream that I found in a store.

Planned on using 2 gallons of milk, but changed to 1 in case it didn't turn out. Forgot about that when adding the rennet and added twice the correct amount. It still took 3 hours to get a "clean break" on the curds so maybe that wasn't so bad.

Cooked the curds, drained them, cooked them some more as per the recipe. Added salt. Again forgot the change to 1 gallon and added twice the salt. After that the curds, which were still very fragile, kind of fell apart and matted into one big mass in spite of my gently stirring them.

Put the curds into the mold with store bought cheesecloth - (looked like gauze) and into the homemade press (that worked okay). Pressed it at increasing weight, flipping it at each increase.

Took it out of the mold this morning. The cheese cloth was embedded in the cheese and wouldn't come out without crumbling some of the surface.

Now it's drying. Haven't tried it yet. I'm supposed to wait 3-5 days and then wax it and age it 2-6 months. I think I'll try it after it dries in a few days.

Questions about milk. If I can only get store-bought milk, what kind should I get? If I could get any kind of milk, would raw milk straight from the cow be best? and, if so, would I use it cream and all or skim it first?

PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:31 pm
by saucisson
Sounds like you did fine :lol:


PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 9:45 pm
by BlueCheese
Did u write it all down for your notes so u dont repeat the mistakes if their were any ;)
Just see this as added experience. As for cream, go with what u would like, lots people just use regular store bought that I wave read, I use 3.5% homo then add some cream to it.
Practice makes perfect :D

PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 3:08 am
by BBQer
Thanks Dave. Like Jenny said in another post - her grandmothers were making cheese without all the gadgets and such, so hopefully it's a forgiving art. We'll see in a few days.

BlueCheese, I bought some heavy whipping cream and then didn't think to add it in. Well, chalk it up to experience. Yes I took notes of the many mistakes.

(Experience-the thing you only get at the end, that you really needed at the beginning.)

PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 4:00 pm
by vinner
Good post, BBQer, it gives me hope to try it now. I have a local guy who will sell me raw cow or goat milk, but it is dear at $11/gallon USD. A friend uses powdered dry milk, takes out a quart then adds back a quart of whipping cream, all to good efect.

PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 5:32 pm
by BBQer
Thanks Vinner. Jump right in and give it a go.

I've read about people using powdered milk. One thought it was the best way to go. I just think that I'm trying to recreate something that is hard to find in these days of overprocessed foods so to me the powdered milk seems the wrong direction, but I'm just a beginner, so what do I know?

PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 6:47 pm
by BlueCheese
I thingk people that dont have proper access to milk might do ok with powder milk, but why use even more procesed ingredients. So if u have access to real milk then probably best to use it to get a better quality product.
11$/gal, ??? what a rip!!! find someone else.