Cheese Making Book Review – “200 Easy Homemade Cheese Recipes, 2nd Edition”

Most people I have come across in the cheese making world have heard of Debra Amrein-Boyes’ book “200 Easy Homemade Cheese Recipes”, it was one of the first books I read when I started making cheese.   In September of this year an updated second edition was released with some new information including a new trouble shooting guide and a few more.  It was a freezing night when the courier dropped off my package and I could not wait to start reading this new book.IMG_1795 (more…)


Sorry For My Abesence, But I’m Back & I Brought Cheese.

I am sorry that I have not been posting much of anything lately. I have several half written posts, that I am still working on. I have been making cheese when I can and I tried my hand at making thistle rennet. This and a great deal more should be up on the site in the next week or so. Until then here is a Caerphilly I made yesterday, to tide you over.


A Caerphilly Before Its Time

It has been a little over a month since I made my latest Caerphilly, it was for my Mother’s visit this weekend and the time was upon us to open it up to see the results.  I did make some changes from the last one that I had made, type of milk being the main thing.  I use cream line milk, rather than homogenized milk and I measured the pH this time too.   So I took it out of the vacuum bag and opened it up for a tasting.

It was firm, yet springy when I cut it in half.

It was firm, yet springy when I cut it in half.


The Would Be Cheese Plate – Update on various cheeses

I was debating about creating a separate post for each of these cheeses, but I figured it would be easier to combine the post and give you something to look at.  Besides nothing is really ready to open, except….

Reblochon at 71 Days

Now at this point you would expect the cheese to be orange soup, I was hoping for more of a pudding than soup.  I was quite surprised to see that the cheese was still quite solid, but at room temperature it was semi-soft and almost to the point where I probably could have spread it.  My only complaint was it seemed to lack a bit of salt in the flavour.

After unwrapping the cheese I was actually happy to see that some of the rind/flora stuck to the wrapping paper.  I have had this happen to me with commercial washed rind cheeses.

After unwrapping the cheese I was actually happy to see that some of the rind/flora stuck to the wrapping paper. I have had this happen to me with commercial washed rind cheeses.


Getting Back To My Cheese Making Roots with Caerphilly #6

I have made several types of cheese that have been out of my “wheel house” so to speak, I felt that it was time to get back to my cheese making roots so to speak.  It was time to make Caerphilly again.  It did not hurt that I had a request from my mother to make one and have it ready for October, it was the push I needed to make it.  It was time to dust off the my recipe that I created, which I haven’t used since I left Smoky Valley Goat/Artisan Cheese, and get 16 litres of good quality milk and begin.

Time to get things started.

Time to get things started.


First Official Weekend as a Cheese Maker at Smoky Valley Artisan Cheese!

This past weekend I took my first steps on my journey as a “Professional” Cheese Maker, and spent two days making cheese an hour outside of Edmonton at Smoky Valley Artisan Cheese.  Saturday was a semi-firm cheese day and Sunday was a Brie day (thankfully I was not the lead on that make).  All my pictures are from the make on Saturday and a few from Sunday, unfortunately I did not get any pictures from the Brie make as I was the student and I was more focused on learning the Smoky Valley way of making the Brie.  Here is how my weekend went: (more…)

Cheddar vs Caerphilly – Round 1…Fight! December Challenge Favourites

Once again life got in the way of posting this on time, but after pouring though several different posts, we have come up with our favourite posts for Caerphilly/Farmhouse Cheddar Challenge. (more…)

Cheesepalooza Challenge #5 or These are the Caerphilly of our lives

We have all reached the point in Cheesepalooza where we have entered the land of making Aged Cheeses. Some of them will take several months to age before you will get a decent cheese, but others will be ready in a matter of weeks.  One of those cheeses that I like to make that is ready sooner than later is the Caerphilly.

“Caerphilly is a hard, white cheese that originates in the area around the town of Caerphilly in Wales, although it is now also made in England, particularly in the South West and on the English border with Wales. It was not originally made in Caerphilly, but was sold at the market there, hence taking the town’s name.

Caerphilly is a light-coloured (almost white), crumbly cheese made from cow’s milk, and generally has a fat content of around 48%. It has a mild taste, with its most noticeable feature being a not unpleasant slightly sour tang.”      – Source:

Now I have made several Caerphilly over the past 3 years, I was integral in the development of a new cheese coming from Smoky Valley Artisan Cheese called Callingwood that is a Caerphilly style cheese that I help to create with Leslie and Alex this past Thanksgiving, it was done with raw milk so it should be ready in December 2012 for sale.  They are doing another version of the cheese called Redwater that they are using ARN (Surface ripening blend that includes B. Linens)wash on the rind and it should be ready in December as well.

There are several ways to make Caerphilly, ones that include cheddaring (stacking the curd in slabs) others that don’t.  I have tried several of them and I have written about them too.  So in a similar stage of Valerie’s Round-ups for the cheeses here is my round up for my Caerphilly makes, well the ones I wrote about any way.

Caerphilly #1  – This was the first Caerphilly I had made; I was using the recipe from Gavin Webber of Little Green Cheese, it was done with 3.25% Homogenized milk and was my first time Cheddaring.  I described the make briefly in Teacher’s Convention Project.  This is a cheese that can be eaten at 3 weeks so I did open it up at 3 weeks to see how things went, they were glorious and delicious.  The results were done in Caerphilly of my Dreams.

My First Caerphilly, I made this one with my Son


Smoky Valley Thanksgiving Cheese Adventure

Our Smoky Valley Cheese Making Group with Alex

Well better late than never should be the title of this post or Ian gets to play cheese maker part II, but in reality it is Addie, Diana and my Excellent Cheese Adventure or bringing Callingwood into existence.  It was a cool morning when the three of us met to head out to Smoky Valley to help Leslie and Alex with a day of cheese making and for Diana it was her first time coming out with us so we were excited for her too.  Smoky Valley Artisan Cheese/Goat Cheese is about an hour and 15 minutes from Edmonton and it is a nice drive with some great farm/agriculture scenery along the way. (more…)

The Caerphilly Caper

If I was asked what my favorite cheese is, about 5 years ago I would have to say Cheddar.  I know how pedestrian! Well now I have several cheeses that rank in my top 5 cheeses.  Right near the top has to be Caerphilly, a lovely welsh cheese that is ready in 3 weeks, but has its peak flavour at about 6 weeks.  In a previous post I made my Caerphilly and now it is time to talk taste.  I used a different method to make this one and even though it is good, I don’t know if I will make it this way again.  The major difference was that I did not cheddar the curds.  I did salt the curds and I pressed under the whey

Caerphilly resting comfortably