Friday, August 26, 2011

Cheese making link round up

I've been on a bit of a cheese making break recently.  Some of the cheese making madness has settled, but I've also just been very busy outside the home and haven't had the same blocks of time to make cheese.  I am though really pleased to learn that the Mad Millie Cheese Press comes out next week (you need these to make hard cheeses) and I'm really keen to have a go.  I might just have to search out someone with a beer fridge/ spare fridge at a suitable temperature for cheese making - it is getting a bit too warm around here!

I've come across all kinds of cheese making links recently.  For myself, and for anyone interested, here are some:

Some of the above links take you to recipes that look simple, until you get to the bit about buying the culture.  You can quite easily buy these cultures by mail order through Mad Millie (or other local suppliers).  And to make ricotta or marscapone you need nothing except milk, citric acid, salt and heat.  There are dozens of online recipes to make these yourself at home.


  1. Mozarella you just need rennet and citric acid and milk, which you can get at the supermarket. Rennet is often hiding near the yogurt sachets/ instand pudding mixes etc.

  2. Yeah you can get rennet at the supermarket but it is really really dilute. If you are going to make cheese on any scale a good quality rennet is essential. I use Hannilase and I only need 0.7ml for 10L of milk for most cheeses. I made blue vein last weekend, so exciting that I get to stab holes in it on Monday!!

    In order to make this economically feasible I get my milk whole and raw from a local farm. At $1/L this is viable. I also make cheese which would be considerably more expensive to purchase, like gouda, cheddar, camembert, blue vein and feta. And nothing tastes as good as your own cheese! I did a workshop with Jean Masefield to learn the basics and it was really helpful to learn all the little tricks that the books don't tell you about.

  3. @giffy - good point. I always think mozarella is more complicated to make than it actually is!

    @pipee - I was just checking out the supermarket rennet at the weekend and thought that you needed a lot. I had a go at blue vein a couple of months ago - I really enjoyed stabbing it too! I had some problem with the wrong kind of mould forming on the outside of the cheese (inconsistent temperatures I think) so I never got to try it! By the time I got to a farm from my house the petrol costs would have negated the price benefit!! I can usually get silver top milk for $2.40 a litre, it would be lovely to get it cheaper!

  4. So far the blue vein is looking good. Few patches of blue mould on the outside and plenty of white mould. One thing I learnt was that you cannot be hygenic and sterile enough. I use bleach solution to sterilise everything and then hand sanitiser on my hands before I touch the cheese. If any patches of black mould (the only one you don't want on your cheese, every other is ok!) appear then I cut it off and wipe the surface of the cheese down with a saline solution (brine) and keep going. I agree that keeping the temperatures consistent is the hardest thing to do without a dedicated humidified room or cooler (wine fridge or fridge with temp turned right up). I keep reminding myself that cheese has been made for years without fancy equipment though!

  5. Oh - I had orangy-mould which freaked me out. Didn't realise that only black was a problem. I might have another go as I have developed a recent fondness for blue cheese on pizza!!!

    I too am a fan of sterigel - I became a prolific user of it during pregnancy and think it is great for cheese making. I've been using idopher for sterilising. I wonder if parents who have had to sterilise bottles/ breast pumps are naturally attuned to sterilising?? I am completely anal when sterilising my equipment (and resterilising when using).

    I think I've found my cool room too! My husband rents a dark garage that is cut into a bank for his car. I think the temperature in there would be reasonable constant. I'm going to send the thermometer when he goes to work for the next couple of days. Finger's crossed for the magic ten degrees!

  6. Oh that sounds like a perfect place! The blue vein is all done and tastes really good (if I do say so myself!). I thought it would take longer but it was starting to ooze like it was really ripe already so we thought we should try it. I've wrapped up the other 3 and we will eat them over the next few weeks. Camembert tomorrow, 10L milk sitting in the garage ready to go! I can't make soft cheese over summer, its just too warm but my hard cheeses are fine to make then.