Happy Cheese Makers Since 1978

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Beginning Questions

QHi! Where do I start? I read a magazine article and found out about you folks. I'm interested in making goat cheese with my left over milk (about 8 gallons a day). But I really don't know where to start. I hope you can advise me.

AI suggest you get Ricki Caroll's book 'Home Cheese Making' it contains all of the needed basic information to get started plus many great recipes.. it is available at our website .. cheesemaking.com
also order the 30 minute mozzarella kit to get a feel for what it is all about. This is our easiest kit and one of the most fun to work with. After you get an idea of it all order one of our other kits.....

Warning this might become addictive...
8 gallons of goats milk a day will be making a lot of cheese .. ~8 lbs @ day

Q My husband bought me Ricki Carolls book, "Home Cheese Making" and now I seem to be making cheese for the whole neighborhood.(We have an organic dairy farm.)
My husband wants me to make Kefir for him and I have never made any kind of cheese before.

What would you suggest I do now? I'm not sure what to buy or what to do.
Thank you for you help in this matter. p.s. I just love your web site.

AThe plan of attack might be to get everyone together and do the 30 min mozz.. after that you can try lots of other soft and semi soft varieties.. and that should get the energy level up... if you are serious about making cheese for your friends the next step would be to move up to 5-10 gallon milk batches at which point you need a good cool place to store it all..
These are all of the things we have fun helping people out with because our attitude is if it's not fun it's not worth doing it..
Just let us know what we can do to help you

QHow warm does the milk have to get in order to make: basic hard cheese?

A The temperature will vary from 86-98 .. It all depends on your milk, the time of year, and what kind of cheese you would like to make

QBefore I order, what other ingredients/equipment might I regret not having ordered in my first order?

AYou should get and read our book "Home Cheese Making" available from our website
A proper pot to heat your milk in (stainless steel is best)
A long blade knife to cut the curd and a slotted spoon to stir
an accurate thermometer
adequate draining cloth
salt and proper molds for the cheese you would like to make.

QI would like to make different cheeses at home.. mozzarella and so on. How can I do these things without buying all the some equipment. I would like to make parmesan, queso blanco. sour cream. can you help?

AA minimal amount of equipment is needed if you read Ricki Caroll's book 'Home Cheese Making' it contains all of the needed basic information to get started plus many great recipes.. it is available at our website .. cheesemaking.com
Once you have started reading you will find that you can use most of the same equipment for all of your cheeses.

QWhat is a cheese press used for?

AThe Press is used to form the curd into the final compact mass and to drive off that last bit of whey, especially for those longer aged cheeses.
Without a proper press It will be hard to consolidate the lower moisture curd properly and the whey left behind will ferment and form a sour cheese in time

QFrom reading Ricki Carroll's Home Cheese Making I would like to add heavy cream to my milk. I am using Grade A pasteurized milk, but can only find Ultra Pasteurized cream is this a problem?.

AThe UP cream will be OK because your your primary source of calcium here is your milk. Perhaps try bringing the cream up to 90-100F before adding into milk for a better mix.

QWhat type of Salt can I use in my cheese?

AIt is best to use a good quality Flake Salt in cheesemaking. Due to the slightly larger granules it can be destributed more evenly then table salt into your cheese. I also prefer a salt which contains no iodine in it. We carry S1-Cheese Salt in the ingredients section, if you are purchacing your salt from the grocery store look for Kosher Salt and buy the one without iodine, it comes in a large box

QWhat type of cheese wax do you recommend and why?
What is the difference between paraffin and cheese wax and can I use bees wax to cover my cheese?

AWhen I started off making cheese 26 years ago all that was available was paraffin, so that is what we used. However we were dissapointed with the results, paraffin is very brittle and does not easily come off of the cheese when ready to eat. It cracks and leaves little pieces all over the surface which have to be cut away.
Next we tried to mix it with vegetable oil in a 50/50 mixture. This was a bit better but it was still very crumbly. Then we got a hold of some cheese wax from a professional and WOW...what a difference.
The real thing is soft and pliable and may be pealed off the finished cheeses, melted, strained and reused over and over again. So now when I wax a cheese this is what I use.
As for beeswax, yes you can use that if you have you have bees in your backyard. The drawback to beeswax is the price, but it is a very good pliable wax and will cover your cheeses well.
Note: All wax is highly flamable, read instructions well and never walk away from the pot when it is over the flame.

QDo I need a Yogotherm to make my yogurt?

AAlthough you do not need a Yogotherm for making yogurt, people have been making it for centuries simply stored in a warm place, it is certainly a convenience. The Yogotherm is an insulated thermos which contains an inside bucket to keep your milk warm in during the incubation period, and have a handy pail to store it in the fridge afterwards. I also like my Yogotherm because it is not electric and I like to make large amounts of yogurt.
The Yogotherm is also an ideal place to make something like the Creme Fraiche, Buttermilk, Sour Cream or any other cultured dairy products when using 2qts of milk or less.

QCan I use the cheesecloth I find in the grocery store?

AThis is a good question and the answer is emphatically no! Do not buy the open weave cloth in a grocery store, because after all that good work you have put into your cheesemaking you will loose it throught the large holes in that type of cloth.
We make sure that all of our cloths for draining cheese are finely woven and will protect your curds from going down the drain. Our (U1)Cheesecloth is used for lining your molds and for draining curds during hard cheesemaking. Our (U2)Buttermuslin is used for draining all of your soft cheese curds....

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