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Post  ericam on Mon 7 May 2012 - 21:14

So who's done it before?

My local council runs free classes and I'm going to one on Saturday from 9am-1pm. I'm really excited to learn all about it!
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Post  littlejo on Mon 7 May 2012 - 22:13

That would be so interesting! Let us know how it goes.

Here in SC, a regular person cannot buy from a dairy. All milk products must be homoginized and pasturized before being sold. Only way to get fresh dairy products is to raise your own cows.

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Post  Turan on Mon 7 May 2012 - 22:23

@ericam wrote:So who's done it before?

My local council runs free classes and I'm going to one on Saturday from 9am-1pm. I'm really excited to learn all about it!

A long time ago when I had goats and made cheese. Its fun. I still make yogurt once in a while but have not made cheese in a long long time. I think I still have a press packed away in the basement. You will enjoy it, it is like an extension of gardening but different flora.
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Post  subsonic on Mon 7 May 2012 - 23:52

I think it would be fun to try, but I wonder about the cost per unit, I mean an you make it work out as a hobbist?
then again that depends on how much cheese you consume doesn't it?
I really want to know how it turns out and what special stuff you need, such as curing area etc.
I am also limited on room
so
please
if ya do it
give us a report Cool
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Post  mrwes40 on Tue 8 May 2012 - 2:34

@subsonic wrote:I think it would be fun to try, but I wonder about the cost per unit, I mean an you make it work out as a hobbist?
then again that depends on how much cheese you consume doesn't it?
I really want to know how it turns out and what special stuff you need, such as curing area etc.
I am also limited on room
so
please
if ya do it
give us a report Cool

Here's a web link on cheese making.

http://schmidling.com/making.htm
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Post  rowena___. on Tue 8 May 2012 - 7:47

we make our own yogurt and some cheeses. in TN, you can't buy raw milk but you can invest in a cow and thus the milk belongs to you. thank you ignorant TN legislators for yet another technicality.

anywoo, we don't use raw milk, but we use organic, and it works very well. we don't do it because the cost is less than store-bought products. we do it for the same reason we grow, preserve, and store our own food: because then we can control exactly what goes into the final product.
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Post  kbb964 on Tue 8 May 2012 - 7:51

I thought about making some mozzarella !
Fresh pizza with home grown tomatoes and basil. yum !
As yet I havent had the time. My next project is going to be home cured bacon , English style !
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Post  subsonic on Tue 8 May 2012 - 11:25

@rowena___. wrote:we make our own yogurt and some cheeses. in TN, you can't buy raw milk but you can invest in a cow and thus the milk belongs to you. thank you ignorant TN legislators for yet another technicality.

anywoo, we don't use raw milk, but we use organic, and it works very well. we don't do it because the cost is less than store-bought products. we do it for the same reason we grow, preserve, and store our own food: because then we can control exactly what goes into the final product.
I have to agree with the things you put in your belly, but I can buy organic cheese.
I do not think a person on this site is not concerned about what we put in our bodies. I love you It is part of why we are all friends, common interest.
my questions about this is start up cost

And I commend anyone who does this and I am envious, however IF I need to invest 500 dollars into special pots or containers, create a climate controlled room or storage area, and spend hours in processing, it will not be worth it to me PERSONALLY.

You see, I have enough hobbys, and need to budget time and space
my major interest in this is based with those concerns.

Now seeing those concerns, I think asking for a report from someone who is getting into it for the first time, I can get a honest report on how much it cost, how hard it was to source, and how long it took. Cheesemaking 601593

Information like that is invaluable, and can only be gotten from places like this, not sites who profit from your getting into it.

Raw milk, ok where do I source Raw milk?
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Post  ilvalleygal on Tue 8 May 2012 - 13:31

I've been making cheese for a little over a year. Mozzarella is a very difficult cheese to start with.

I made some fresh, lactic cheese using Fankhauser's Website (google it, it's a long URL) early in my cheese making days. I still think his step-by-step progression and explanation of the science of cheese is the best for any one new to cheesemaking.

For expense, fresh cheeses don't really need a press or any fancy equipment. To get some ideas on costs as your hobby grows, look on the Web for New England Cheesemaker, I don't care for the recipes in her book (Debra Amrein-Boyes is one of my favorites) but the store on her site will give you an idea on prices for getting started. I also like Fias Farm (or something like that) for instructions and recipes. Cheese is sort of like bread -- your own environment will affect the outcome so it helps to shop recipes as well as supply prices.

I buy most of my supplies from thecheesemaker.com in Wisconsin. His prices will initially seem high compared to other sites like Hoegger's, but his shipping is included, he responds quickly and answers all questions promptly and thoroughly.

It's like a lot of hobbies. You can try a little fresh cheese and then start thinking about aged cheeses which mean a press (homemade options available but I ended up buying one off the Web from a guy who posts on cheeseforum.org. I just got tired of trying to make-do. My aging cave is an old cooler with a thermometer and cup of water, some ice when the temp gets too high. It's a pain to constantly manage, but it works (until I score a deal on a wine cooler).

Cultures and rennet aren't really expensive at first, but again, once you start and start wanting to try other cheeses, it can add up.

Cheese making does take time. The milk needs to be warmed, cultured, renneted, cut, drained, etc. and it can take the better part of my Saturday afternoon depending on what I make.

For raw milk sources, those in the U.S. can check realmilk.com -- that's where I found some farmers so I do make cheese from raw milk.

If you have access to raw milk then DO NOT use the calcium chloride called for in almost every recipe I have ever seen. CaCl is a "trick" to try and get the milk fats to stick together again to form curds after the milk has been homogenized.

If using store bought milk, DO NOT use ultra-high pasteurized milk. It has been over-sterilized and will not accept cultures. Your cheese will fail.

Of all the hobbies I've had, this is one of the more satisfying because it's something we can eat too. My M-I-L does cross stitch and really, how many can you hang on any given wall (no disrespect to cross stitching, it is cool but you can't eat it!).

It's relatively cheap to start, easy to end up investing more than you planned but isn't that common with a lot of hobbies?

Hope that helps!
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Post  camprn on Tue 8 May 2012 - 15:22

Ilval, thanks for the tips! very helpful!!! What a Face

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Post  rowena___. on Wed 9 May 2012 - 10:13

@subsonic wrote:
@rowena___. wrote:we make our own yogurt and some cheeses. in TN, you can't buy raw milk but you can invest in a cow and thus the milk belongs to you. thank you ignorant TN legislators for yet another technicality.

anywoo, we don't use raw milk, but we use organic, and it works very well. we don't do it bec.ause the cost is less than store-bought products. we do it for the same reason we grow, preserve, and store our own food: because then we can control exactly what goes into the final product.
I have to agree with the things you put in your belly, but I can buy organic cheese
I do not think a person on this site is not concerned about what we put in our bodies. I love you It is part of why we are all friends, common interest.
my questions about this is start up cost

oh, i'm sorry, i see that i didn't explain myself well. my point is that i can make some cheeses for less than i can buy them, especially organic cheeses. but as for cost: we didn't buy anything when we started making cheese. i make soft cheese in the kitchen with all the same tools i use to cook and can with--i make hard cheeses using the homemade press that i use for pressing flowers. Smile the only thing i spend money for is ingredients.

Raw milk, ok where do I source Raw milk?

i don't know the laws where you live, but in my state you can't buy raw milk anywhere, because it isn't legal to sell it here, nor is it legal to have it shipped to your home. you can only get it buy investing in a milk cow. so i can't answer that question. but it is another reason why i don't use raw milk--the cost for me is so much higher than it is for just using organic from the store.
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Post  subsonic on Wed 9 May 2012 - 10:25

@ilvalleygal wrote:I've been making cheese for a little over a year. Mozzarella is a very difficult cheese to start with.

I made some fresh, lactic cheese using Fankhauser's Website (google it, it's a long URL) early in my cheese making days. I still think his step-by-step progression and explanation of the science of cheese is the best for any one new to cheesemaking.

For expense, fresh cheeses don't really need a press or any fancy equipment. To get some ideas on costs as your hobby grows, look on the Web for New England Cheesemaker, I don't care for the recipes in her book (Debra Amrein-Boyes is one of my favorites) but the store on her site will give you an idea on prices for getting started. I also like Fias Farm (or something like that) for instructions and recipes. Cheese is sort of like bread -- your own environment will affect the outcome so it helps to shop recipes as well as supply prices.

I buy most of my supplies from thecheesemaker.com in Wisconsin. His prices will initially seem high compared to other sites like Hoegger's, but his shipping is included, he responds quickly and answers all questions promptly and thoroughly.

It's like a lot of hobbies. You can try a little fresh cheese and then start thinking about aged cheeses which mean a press (homemade options available but I ended up buying one off the Web from a guy who posts on cheeseforum.org. I just got tired of trying to make-do. My aging cave is an old cooler with a thermometer and cup of water, some ice when the temp gets too high. It's a pain to constantly manage, but it works (until I score a deal on a wine cooler).

Cultures and rennet aren't really expensive at first, but again, once you start and start wanting to try other cheeses, it can add up.

Cheese making does take time. The milk needs to be warmed, cultured, renneted, cut, drained, etc. and it can take the better part of my Saturday afternoon depending on what I make.

For raw milk sources, those in the U.S. can check realmilk.com -- that's where I found some farmers so I do make cheese from raw milk.

If you have access to raw milk then DO NOT use the calcium chloride called for in almost every recipe I have ever seen. CaCl is a "trick" to try and get the milk fats to stick together again to form curds after the milk has been homogenized.

If using store bought milk, DO NOT use ultra-high pasteurized milk. It has been over-sterilized and will not accept cultures. Your cheese will fail.

Of all the hobbies I've had, this is one of the more satisfying because it's something we can eat too. My M-I-L does cross stitch and really, how many can you hang on any given wall (no disrespect to cross stitching, it is cool but you can't eat it!).

It's relatively cheap to start, easy to end up investing more than you planned but isn't that common with a lot of hobbies?

Hope that helps!

thanks a ton
I owe you big time
that is the kind of information I was looking for, it answer a lot of questions
special equipment
storage and aging
time concerns
and cost
are all addressed, also cautions are thrown in, I liked that as it sounds like you have looked at the process and tried to find ways to save money and use stuff around the house already owned.
I know it was brief but it was very nicely put together, information like that should be stickied here somewhere so others can find it at later dates. Cheesemaking 3170584802
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Post  Lindacol on Wed 9 May 2012 - 12:48

@subsonic wrote: Raw milk, ok where do I source Raw milk?

Subsonic,

In California you can not legally buy raw milk for human consumption. Alta Dena used to be the nations largest seller of raw milk but due to lawsuits and new regs they no longer do.

I have goats but can not sell milk for human consumption or even to make cheese because I do not have even a grade B (manufacturing milk license). That would require lots of $$$, more land, proper zoning and USDA inspections which are not feasable in CA on a small scale. Grad A or Certified have even stricter requirements.

Some get around it by doing the goat or cow share program someone else mentioned but the legality of that here is also suspect.

Most cheeses can be made with regular pasteurized milk.
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Post  ericam on Wed 9 May 2012 - 15:05

Lots of good info here guys, thanks!

I have no idea what I'm getting myself into here, I just thought it would be fun to try and since the class was free all it is costing me (at this point!) is my time and a bit of petrol to get there and that's not much because they're holding the class about 5mins drive from my house.

I don't even know what kind of cheese we will be making, I assume soft cheeses but I guess I'll find out on Saturday. Laughing

It's interesting the laws you guys have regarding selling raw milk, no idea what the rules are here so that's something I'll have to investigate if I decided to keep doing this.
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Post  givvmistamps on Wed 9 May 2012 - 16:49

Barbara Kingsolver describes cheese making and a cheese making class her family attended in her book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Her class was taught by one of the people mentioned earlier, and she gives the link for that woman's website (also mentioned earlier): http://www.cheesemaking.com/

Kingsolver's description was so great, I have decided it would make a wonderful project for my family to try together. My boys love making things, and this would give them more hands-on experience with what it takes to make foods they enjoy. Yes, we'll be trying mozzarella, even though you have to pull it like taffy with all that hard work involved. That's my boys' favorite cheese to eat, so I want them to find out what it takes to make that cheese as well as have the fun of trying to help pull it. Thank goodness my husband is finally building the home-made dining table I bought supplies for last November...we're going to need the space since I'll bet some of our friends will want to bring their kids over for the experience. What a Face What a Face What a Face What a Face What a Face What a Face <~~~ At least we'll have that many kids around to take turns. Very Happy
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Post  subsonic on Wed 9 May 2012 - 16:51

@ericam wrote:Lots of good info here guys, thanks!

I have no idea what I'm getting myself into here, I just thought it would be fun to try and since the class was free all it is costing me (at this point!) is my time and a bit of petrol to get there and that's not much because they're holding the class about 5mins drive from my house.

I don't even know what kind of cheese we will be making, I assume soft cheeses but I guess I'll find out on Saturday. Laughing

It's interesting the laws you guys have regarding selling raw milk, no idea what the rules are here so that's something I'll have to investigate if I decided to keep doing this.
good luck with the class and report back
this is one of the best threads I have ever read about making cheese as so many people are giving out personally found information.
what you learn, a what you bring from that class will only improve this thread.
I ant to thank everyone who has posted, this is great as we need more positive true information. So much of the internet is about making money these days. It is nice to have information from guys like us who do stuff because we want to improve our lives and bodies.
thanks guys
Jim
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Post  Daniel9999 on Wed 9 May 2012 - 21:07

The closest I have come to making cheesemaking is the clotted cream I make for my mom's annual Mother's Day Tea.
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Post  ericam on Thu 24 May 2012 - 3:23

Just realised that I have been so busy that I forgot to report back!

It was a great day, the lady who run the class was big into permaculture and was very much into doing/growing it yourself and had lots of great ideas.

We made a feta and a ricotta and she demonstrated a very simple soft cheese, which I then went home and made that afternoon as we had a family dinner that night for Mother's Day. The soft cheese was delicious and it was so quick and easy to make and didn't need any special supplies to make.

Recipe here if you're interested in trying it yourself, it's the Lemon Cheese at the top of the page.
http://www.greenlivingaustralia.com.au/cheeserecipe.html#lemoncheese

All of the cheeses were made from regular milk from the supermarket and I found out that you can't sell raw milk in Australia either. She did say however, that there is a company in Brisbane that sells "Cleopatra milk" which is a raw milk marketed for use as a beauty product and apparently that is fine to use for cheese. Just a bit difficult to get your hands on, I'd be a bit worried about quality with shipping it so far too, since it's not officially food grade I would imagine the regulations are a bit looser than when shipping food products. Not to mention the carbon footprint with shipping things around the countryside!

She has her own goat but she also suggested finding a few friends and buying shares in a cow if you wanted to get serious about making lots of cheese. Not sure I'm ready to go that far at this stage!
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Post  GWN on Thu 24 May 2012 - 7:13

Barbara Kingsolver describes cheese making and a cheese making class her family attended in her book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Her class was taught by one of the people mentioned earlier, and she gives the link for that woman's website (also mentioned earlier): http://www.cheesemaking.com/

The OTHER often missed point about making your own cheese is that often those who are lactose intolerant can eat home made cheese, which is the reason Barbara Kingsolver made it.
Its been awhile since I read the book, but as I recall, the cheeses you buy in the store mass produced, use another process other than fermentation and thus the lactose does not get properly broken down, whereas home made cheese it does.

I recently became lactose intolerant and plan to make it partly for this reason as well as those that Rowena mentioned
What a great thread. Thanks
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