Cheese Making Tools

Cheese Genesis – Smoky Valley Artisan Cheese Trip – 27 December 2012

It was a balmy -24C when I met Rick(from Explorations with Sailor Rick and part of Cheesepalooza) at the Tim Horton’s Parking at 5:30 AM on December 27.  We were meeting to head out to Smoky Valley Artisan Cheese (our partner in Cheesepalooza) to help Alex and Leslie make a new cheese for their burgeoning cow milk cheese line.  Originally it was to be a take on a Gouda, but it was decided we would head into the mountain regions for our inspiration for the day’s make.  After loading up on a double-double and some muffins we were off into the dark and certain fun.  We arrived in good time and despite the somewhat slippery highway conditions (sometimes it is a good thing to be stuck behind a semi truck), and after the usual coffee and catching up, we got to work. (more…)

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Cheesepalooza Mozzarella Challenge Favourites – Traditional Mayhem

Once again it is time to announce our favourite posts for this past challenge.  It is getting harder and harder to pick our favourite posts as everyone is rising to the challenge of cheese making.  I am really impressed with the level of success that people have had with this challenge.  A big pat on the back goes out to everyone, now on to the posts (click on the picture to see the post) (more…)

Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking By Gianaclis Caldwell: Perfection in Paperback

I collect information.  Yes I said it I collect information.  I am not a person who collects information to crush my enemies; wait I do try to crush the evil Mozzarella Monkey, but that is another story.  I try to collect information about things that really interest me, nothing quite peaks my interest like the knowing that there is a new Cheese Making book on the shelves of my local library or bookstore.  I usually borrow them, read them, and then decide on whether they are a “buy” or make notes and return.  There have been many in the return group and only a few in the buy.  I have come across my very first “Must Have” and I wanted to share it with you.  The book is called “Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking:  The Ultimate Guide for Home-Scale and Market Producers” by Gianaclis Caldwell (http://gianacliscaldwell.wordpress.com/)and published by Chelsea Green PublishingMastering Artisan Cheese Making cover

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Home Cheese Making Record Version 2.0

I posted an update earlier for the sheet that I use when I make my cheese. Again after using it I noticed another error when using Acrobat 9, so here is Version 2.0.  I hope this will be the last time I have to update this form.  It still does not have spaces for pH, but they can be put in the notes section.

You do need Acrobat Reader for the form, and if you want to use it on an iPad, then you should get the “PDF Forms” app from the app store.  It was worth the money.

Here it is if you would like to use it.  If you have suggestions please let me know.

Cheese Making RecordV2.0

Version 2.0 with some fixes
Click on the link above to download

Cheese School on Craftsy.com – I’m going back to school…at home

One of the books I use the most is “Artisan Cheese Making At Home” by Mary Karlin.  I like her book and it’s companion website.  They both have some tips and good directions on how to make cheese.  I highly recommend her book.  Now Mary Karlin has teamed up with Caftsy.com to offer an online course in making Mozzarella, Chevre and Cheddar.  I have had some success with Cheddar, but Mozzarella and Chevre I have not been able to crack.  I am hoping to get a better handle on these cheeses.

The nice thing about this course is that there is no time limit.  I can go back to the videos at any time.  I will keep an update on how I progress.  Knowledge is power.

Keeping the Record Straight Part II

I posted earlier about the sheet that I use when I make my cheese.  I used it again last month and noticed an error, so I updated it.  It still does not have spaces for pH, but they can be put in the notes section.

You do need Acrobat Reader for the form, and if you want to use it on an iPad, then you should get the “PDF Forms” app from the app store.  It was worth it.

Here it is if you would like to use it.  If you have suggestions please let me know.

Cheese Making Record

Cheese Cave Spelunking!

Before I start I want to let you know these are my opinions and you could take them with a grain of cheese salt or not.  If you have suggestions then please post in the comments because   Knowledge is Power!  Now let’s do some Cheese Cave Spelunking!

I am often asked where I store all the cheese that I make, in my “cave“is the usual answer.  After they are done with the funny looks, they ask me what I mean.  In some places there are cheese makers that still use caves to age their cheese.  By caves I mean actual caves.  In the Roquefort region of France, Roquefort Cheese (the supposed mother of all Blue Cheeses) is still aged in caves in the surrounding mountain sides, as is some Gorgonzola and Taleggio in Italy.  The reason is twofold, first they have a specific temperature that is perfect for ripening cheese year round and secondly they have the right humidity for ripening cheese (anywhere from 80 to 95% RH).  These locations have a micro climate that help to develop the specific moulds and flavors that give us the specific taste, smell and texture of these cheeses.  As a Home Cheese Maker we do realize that we cannot truly duplicate these conditions in our homes, but we can try to get it close.  You need to try to duplicate a temperature and humidity level, which is easier said than done.

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Same Vat Different Cheese or How a Scoop Made My Day.

Well it is that time of the month, where I get to make cheese.  I get to create, try new things, try to not get divorced over the mess I tend to make (my wife tends to stay out of the Kitchen when I am making cheese, this time it was for the best).  I am getting better at cleaning up after myself, and sanitation is the key to cheese that is good to eat and not cheese to make you sick.

First thing I wanted to talk about is my new toy.  I was at a dollar store, I always look for containers that I can turn into moulds, and I saw this “pasta strainer scoop”, and I figured I could use this for cheese making.  Let me tell you it was the bes $1.25 I have spent on cheese making equipment.  It was great in scooping out curd for my experiment (more on that later) and for stirring the curd while I was in the  “cooking” phase of making the Cheddar.  And when I was ladling out the curd to drain it was awesome, and I did not get whey all over the Kitchen.

The Cheese Making Strainer Scoop of Awesomeness

I know what you are thinking, gee doesn’t that look like a scoop for kitty litter…ewww, how could you use that?!?

The Scoop of Cheese Making AwesomenessRest assured it is food safe and the package said pasta strainer scoop, and it was in the aisle that had all the other food prep items.    It really did the trick and I will now use it with all my cheese making.

Now that I have raved about my toy, it is now time to talk about actually making cheese.  I thought that it would be nice to make a Cheddar for my Son, that we will open when he is 8 years old (he turns 7 next week), but I wanted to do something for myself.  I figured I could use 1/4 the curd for me and the rest for  his cheddar.  So from one vat I would get two cheeses.

Here goes the make:

It was a balmy Spring day in Alberta’s Capital City…..ok back to reality.

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Well it is My Birthday

In my twenties my dream job was to own my own Restaurant, now that has morphed into my own Creamery/Artisan Cheese Making place.   I know that this really wont come true for a while or ever, but one could dream.

Here is something that would suit the set-up that  I would do if I was on a farm.  But I have an idea for a store front place too.
I notice they don’t say the price, but I can guess.  You never know it is my Birthday!
I have posted quite a bit today not anything important, but I figured I should post more.  I am working on a post about “Improvised Moulds” and how they can be used versus spending money on commercial ones.  This will have to wait until my trip this weekend.