Month: April 2014

Quality Control Tastings – Amber Crossing Update.

They say that curiosity killed the cat.  Sometimes this can be applied to cheese making too.  I have been curious how the Amber Crossing, my spruce wrapped-amber ale washed, cheeses would turn out.  I know that the cheeses are less than 60 days old, but it was time to try at least the one that did not have a strap, as a quality control measure.  Well that is what I was telling myself to justify opening it early.

unwrapped spruce.

This was the one wheel that I did not wrap in spruce.

This wheel was only washed with the ale for 7 days, I was concerned that the paste was softening too fast so I stopped the wash early.  These were some of the factors I would have to consider while tasting it.  The main question remained…How would it taste? (more…)

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Go North Middle Aged Man & Take Your Cheese Making With You!

 

I have some exciting news to share. I have been asked, and I accepted, to teach two, one day cheese making classes for Grand Prairie Regional College the weekend of June 7 & 8, 2014.

So if you live in Northwest Alberta, or even Northeast British Columbia and fancy learning to make cheese, the you can register here

I think I need to change my motto to “Have Curd Knife. Will Travel”

Home Cheese Making Hack – DIY 30% Solution Calcium Chloride

Have you ever run short your cheese making supplies?  Forgot to order Calcium Chloride or not have it arrive in time for your next batch of cheese?  Here is a hack that can get you through until you order more or if you like you may never order it again.

Here are the ingredients you need.

Here are the ingredients you need.

But how do you turn these into your solution?  That will come next, but first here is my Disclaimer:

This method works for me and may not work for your needs, please read through the directions first before attempting.  If you do use this method then do so at your own risk.

Sounds ominous but just covering all my bases.  Now the formula.

(more…)

Ricotta, Queso, Mozzarella, Oh My! – 2nd Cheese Making Class!

As you may or may not know, I have started to teach a class called “Introduction to Artisan Cheese Making” for Metro Continuing Education here in Edmonton, as part of the Adult Continuing Education section.  Yesterday was the second of four classes that have been scheduled for the spring session.  I had the pleasure of welcoming 11 new people to the ranks of Home Cheese Makers.  It is a six-hour class and we covered the basics of cheese making.  We started with a hands-on Whole Milk Ricotta, then I demonstrated how to make a Queso Fresco, including how to press a cheese in the cheesecloth; and we finished with a hands on Mozzarella make.  It was a fun day with the students taking home lots of cheese.  I provided samples of the Queso Fresco and shared some of my 4 month old YEGmental.01-Class collage

Here is yesterday's Queso Fresco after pressing.

Here is yesterday’s Queso Fresco after pressing.

The Queso Fresco's shape is due to the knot in the cheesecloth.

The Queso Fresco’s shape is due to the knot in the cheesecloth.

As I said I still have two more classes scheduled for this spring, but there will me more offered by Metro Continuing Education in the fall.  Until next time….

Clothbound Cheddar Week 8 – Filling In The Gaps

I last posted about my Clothbound Cheddar just after week 5, there was some life to the mould/flora on the bandaging but it wasn’t where I thought it would be.  What a difference 3 more weeks make.

New fridge, old cheese

The Cheddar is in the bottom ripening box.

I have a new dual zone cheese fridge and the lovely Cheddar has gone into a new ripening box and into the fridge.   So without further ado and such I present to you my Clothbound Cheddar at 8 weeks old. (more…)

Home Cheese Making Hack Of The Day

Washing or cleaning the rinds of cheeses can be a pain. Here is something that I use all the time.

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The brush cost me about $3.00 and holds about 1/4 cup of brine.

Let me know if you would like to see more DIY Cheese Making Hacks/solutions. Or if you have one you would like to share email me and you can do a guest post.

Wrapping the Strapping! – Time to wrap the Amber Crossing.

Almost 21 days and it is time to wrap my Spruce Wrapped Reblochon, that have been dubbed Amber Crossing.  There is a point in a washed rind cheese’s life that you need to stop washing and let the cultures and flora do their thing.  How do I know it is time?  Simple the edges of the cheese were starting to soften and it was starting to spread into the centre of the tops of the cheese too.

The geo had spread to the straps I was wondering to wrap or wash more.

The geo had spread to the straps I was wondering to wrap or wash more.

(more…)