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mrtr33

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Hi.

My fiancee and I would like to start making cheese. I have located a few recipes online, and am ordering rennet, but wanted to join a forum for a more personal experience. From what research we've done, we think we are ready to go here in a week or so. I've located fresh dairy both goat and cow, does anyone have a suggestion as to which one to start with? Any beginner recipes to suggest? Is there somewhere or something I should be reading?

Thanks for the help!
 

MikeFlynn74

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I've located fresh dairy both goat and cow,
I hate you- State of Alaska doesnt allow us to buy fresh milk. ugh

also you can buy books or even complete kits at Leeners.com
 

CBBaron

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MikeFlynn74 said:
I hate you- State of Alaska doesnt allow us to buy fresh milk. ugh

also you can buy books or even complete kits at Leeners.com
Most states don't allow unpasteurized milk to be retailed but if you are friends with a dairy farmer you can still get it. You just can't actually "buy" it from them.
I grew up drinking fresh milk, first from my grandfathers farm, then later from the farm down the road after we moved. I still to this day shake the milk jug before pouring milk even though I have been buying homogenized milk for over a decade.

Even without fresh milk I have seen several recipes that tell you how to make it using cream and other milk sources from retail.

Craig
 
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mrtr33

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MikeFlynn74 said:
I hate you- State of Alaska doesnt allow us to buy fresh milk.
Yikes! Technically, I have to sign a waiver, releasing the owner from any liability. He sells it to me as "pet" milk. Similarly, many beer people informed me about the fresh milk people. While I only personally know 2 people who make cheese (one commercially, one for personal use), and they use fresh milk, many others have informed me that using the freshest milk possible from the store works great as well. Any other input on this? The local farmers sell both pasteurized and non-pasteurized. The non is cheaper (by almost half!), I figure I'm going to pasteurize it during the cheese making process, right?

I have retrieved much of my information from http://biology.clc.uc.edu/fankhauser/cheese/cheese.html, it's good to know that I'm on the right track! I will also check out print references.

I once worked on a dairy farm in Wisconsin for a week while visiting a friend back in college. It was good times, but hard work! The milk was never ever better. I actually just got over a nasty little heavy whipping cream addiction - almost a pint a day - but haven't done that in a while now. I'm even down to regularly drinking 2% now.
 

FSR402

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My wife has a friend that bought a "share of a cow". It's a $100 to buy into it and $25 a month. This money goes to take care of the cow and harvest the milk from the cow. They then bottle it and you pick up your "share" once a week. It works out to be about $5/gal. But because you "own" the cow they can not tell you that you can't have the milk.

My wife is now looking at doing this also so that she can start making her own cheese. I hate milk and feel that humans should NOT drink it. But whatever.
 

andrew.wilder

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I've been having some great success making cheese with store-bought pasteurized milk. The important thing is that it's not "ultra-pasteurized"--just "pasteurized."

I've used Trader Joe's Organic Whole Milk as well as another brand of Organic Whole Milk that I found at Whole Foods. Both have worked well, without requiring the addition of cream, powdered milk, or calcium chloride.

Also, if you're going to make cheese with unpasteurized milk (without pasteurizing it yourself), please make sure you age it at least 60 days to make sure any nasties die off.

Case in point: Recently homemade Queso Fresco in California has been causing rare TB infections!

More info on that:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24954041

Hope that helps!
 

zoebisch01

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Fankhauser's page is pretty good, but I don't agree with using Junket. It just doesn't give you the same results. Plus he doesn't (unless he's added more) get into the more detailed aspects of the pH and using various thermo/mesophilic cultures, nor humidity requirements, etc. A great place to start would be to check out or buy Ricki Carrol's book for beginners. Although, she doesn't get terribly technical in the book it does offer some very good traditional recipes and she touches on pH, humidity, aging, waxing, and washing to name a few.
 

CBBaron

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My wife has a friend that bought a "share of a cow". It's a $100 to buy into it and $25 a month. This money goes to take care of the cow and harvest the milk from the cow. They then bottle it and you pick up your "share" once a week. It works out to be about $5/gal. But because you "own" the cow they can not tell you that you can't have the milk.

My wife is now looking at doing this also so that she can start making her own cheese. I hate milk and feel that humans should NOT drink it. But whatever.
This seems to be not uncommon. My coworker also does this. It seems there are a number of people who believe raw milk either tastes better and/or has health benefits.

I grew up on raw milk as my family were dairy farmers but switched to skim milk as an adult. I still like to drink plenty of milk but I can no longer afford the fat calories from whole milk. To this day I still shake the milk when i pull it out of the fridge. :D

Craig
 

impulsoren

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Fankhauser's page is pretty good, but I don't agree with using Junket. It just doesn't give you the same results. Plus he doesn't (unless he's added more) get into the more detailed aspects of the pH and using various thermo/mesophilic cultures, nor humidity requirements, etc. A great place to start would be to check out or buy Ricki Carrol's book for beginners. Although, she doesn't get terribly technical in the book it does offer some very good traditional recipes and she touches on pH, humidity, aging, waxing, and washing to name a few.
I agree with the rennet issues, you need to buy real rennet and cheese culture, don't use yogurt and pudding supplies.
However, just like brewing beer, you can make a fine cheese without getting too technical. I've made awesome cheddars with no more equipment than a thermometer, a big pot, some tin cans, and some weights.
 
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mrtr33

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Fankhauser's page is pretty good, but I don't agree with using Junket.
Not knowing anything about this hobby, and just having the Frankhauser site, I did go ahead and buy some Junket. I have yet, however, had time to make cheese. I'm so lame.

Hopefully, this is the week. I was going to get some Trader Joe's Organic whole milk as suggested, and give it a go. I realized quickly after doing more research that Junket isn't the way to go, but I gotta start somewhere, right?

A buddy of mine who brews his own beer here went over to Eugene this past weekend. I guess the place he goes to get supplies and products to brew also sells a few cheesemaking supplies. He picked me up some risone (sic - pronounced RY-zone). Not knowing how to spell this, it's been hard for me to look anything up online. What is it? He says it needs to stay refrigerated - leading me to believe that it is possibly a higher quality rennet-like substance.

Thanks! I will keep more in touch!
 

zoebisch01

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Hopefully, this is the week. I was going to get some Trader Joe's Organic whole milk as suggested, and give it a go. I realized quickly after doing more research that Junket isn't the way to go, but I gotta start somewhere, right?
Not saying it won't form a curd, but you'll get much better results with a superior form of cheese rennet. Get to it and report back to us :D!
 
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