Happy Cheese Makers Since 1978

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Your Next Big Step in Cheese Making!

If you have taken Ricki's basic class, or have made a cheese or two at home and would really like to improve your craft, Jim will lead you there during this class. This is a two-day weekend workshop and runs 9am-4pm both days.

This workshop is for those who really want to get to the next step in cheese making, learning to make a range of fabulous semi-soft and hard cheeses. Whether you are a home cheese maker, small farmstead, chef, or you just really love cheese and want to know a lot more about it, this is the start-up class for you.

We will begin with the raw materials (milk-culture-rennet), talk about their roles, move on through the individual steps (the How and Why!), and learn how they can be aged to perfection.
At the end of the 2 days, Jim will have taken you through this process making 3 very different cheeses, you will have tasted a lot of really great cheese and generally had a really fun-tabulous time.

From this class you will have the background to move ahead into making many of the delicious cheeses you find at the store and your neighbors will hunger for more when you serve your sumptuous new delights!

The specific types will be:

  • Camembert/Brie ... The secrets of this buttery beauty we all love is really accomplished in the final stages of draining and aging. We will be going into the details of getting that white cover and the silky soft texture we need.
  • Traditional Cheddar ... This is the real deal where we go through the process of cutting the ripening curds into slabs and finish with a cheese either ready to wax or cover with a cloth bandage (traditional English process). We will also discuss the role that moisture variation makes in ripening and flavor development.
  • Vacha Toscano ... The name here is simply cows milk cheese from Tuscany. It is a simple Tomme or Toma style cheese produced by villages throughout the world . This is the cheese I would make if I had to make just one. With variation in process it can be made to be eaten in 10 days or aged for months to years. It takes pepper, herb, and spice additions extremely well and can be made from cow, goat, or ewes (pecorino) milk.
Included in this workshop will be :
.. tasting and discussing various styles of cheese
.. equipment and tools needed for cheese making
.. space requirements for home and small dairies etc.
.. types of milk and how they are different to work with
.. types of cultures, their characteristics, and how to use them
.. monitoring the process by pH and acid titration measurement
.. control of final acidity and moisture content of cheese
.. salt application and how it changes the cheese
.. wax vs natural rinds
.. aging conditions
.. how to set up and maintain a simple cave

Cheese Making 201
'Beyond the Basics'

This is a fantastic class for those who want to go to the next step!

Learn more about the concepts involved in cheesemaking rather than following a fixed recipe.

Learn about the follow up.. such as rind development and cave aging with an emphasis on natural rinds.

You will learn more about:..

.. Equipment and tools needed
.. Space requirements
.. Types of milk and how they differ
.. Types of cultures and
....how to use them
.. Salt and how it changes the cheese
.. Wax vs natural rinds
.. Aging conditions
.. How-to set up and maintain
....a simple cave

and will also learn how to: ...
... Monitor the process by pH and titration
... Control final acidity and moisture of cheese
... The proper point at which to transfer curd to mold
... Details of post process finishing...
... to establish ...
... Smooth surfaces for natural rind formation and aging
... Pressing and salting techniques
... Proper rind development
as well as many other aspects of
natural cave aging


Location: 11 High St, Shelburne Falls, MA 01370

From the North or South: Take I-91 toward Greenfield MA. Take exit 24 (Rt2-A toward MA-2 West, North Adams). Enter the roundabout and take exit onto MA-2 W (Mohawk Trail) for 8.61 miles (just past State Police station). Turn LEFT onto MAPLE ST. Take next LEFT onto BRIDGE ST, then turn RIGHT onto HIGH ST. #11 is on the right-Use driveway to left of house or park on street.

From the East: Take Route 2W to I-91S (or I-90W) to I-91N then follow directions above.

From the West: Follow Rt 2 to Shelburne Falls, so across bridge over Deerfield River and take immediate RIGHT turn onto Mechanic St. Take next left onto Church St., then next right onto High St. #11 is on the left. Use drive to right of house or park on street.

(WORKSHOP IS HELD AT 11 High St, Shelburne Falls MA 01370)


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