Author Topic: Opinions: WSU Basic--Plus Cheese Making Short Course  (Read 1463 times)

Offline Mike Richards

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: colorado springs, co
  • Posts: 446
  • Cheeses: 19
Opinions: WSU Basic--Plus Cheese Making Short Course
« on: September 17, 2012, 09:18:06 PM »
I have been trying to find a cheese making class that works with my schedule, and, if the stars align, there's a chance that I might be able to make it to this one.

Has anyone taken this course?

Does anyone know the people involved in this course? (the draft agenda shows Marc Bates, teaching a number of segments and Dave Potter, from Dairy Connection, teaching a few as well)

General thoughts on taking a course versus just learning through trial and error?
If only I could make cheese as well as I grow a mustache...

Offline linuxboy

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Ukiah, CA
  • Posts: 3,986
  • Cheeses: 199
  • www.wacheese.com
    • Washington Cheese Guild
Re: Opinions: WSU Basic--Plus Cheese Making Short Course
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2012, 11:51:54 PM »
Marc and Dave are both pretty cool guys, and are very knowledgeable. It's a good course as far as shortcourses go, but it is geared toward commercial production, so you will get quite a bit about food safety. As for course vs not, it depends on your style of learning. If you like to read the manual first, then buy some books and read. If you like someone explaining the manual to you, take the course. And if you like to try first, then read the manual, then start making a tomme or similar prototypical cheese and go from there.

Personal recommendation is to find a local mentor.
Taking an extended leave (until 2015) from the forums to build out my farm and dairy. Please e-mail or PM if you need anything.

Offline dbudge55

  • Medium Cheese
  • ***
  • Location: Missoula, MT
  • Posts: 98
  • Cheeses: 9
    • Cultures of Corruption
Re: Opinions: WSU Basic--Plus Cheese Making Short Course
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2012, 10:31:38 AM »
Linuxboy, I was initially intrigued by this event but less so now that you point out the commercial slant. That said, I'm interested in what you think might be the best book for someone, like me, who is really just getting started with cheese making. I've done about 50 makes since I started this year and I'm starting to understand the basics well enough that I haven't had to toss any cheeses in a while. But I'm really interested in the science behind the process and how different cultures affect flavor. What would you recommend?
Laissez le rouleau grand fromage - Dave Budge

Offline linuxboy

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Ukiah, CA
  • Posts: 3,986
  • Cheeses: 199
  • www.wacheese.com
    • Washington Cheese Guild
Re: Opinions: WSU Basic--Plus Cheese Making Short Course
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2012, 10:36:06 AM »
Quote
how different cultures affect flavor
How much biochemistry background do you have?
Taking an extended leave (until 2015) from the forums to build out my farm and dairy. Please e-mail or PM if you need anything.

Offline dbudge55

  • Medium Cheese
  • ***
  • Location: Missoula, MT
  • Posts: 98
  • Cheeses: 9
    • Cultures of Corruption
Re: Opinions: WSU Basic--Plus Cheese Making Short Course
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2012, 10:37:36 AM »
Uhh, none?
Laissez le rouleau grand fromage - Dave Budge

Offline Mike Richards

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: colorado springs, co
  • Posts: 446
  • Cheeses: 19
Re: Opinions: WSU Basic--Plus Cheese Making Short Course
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2012, 03:12:13 PM »
Thanks for the thoughts, Pav.  I would like to make cheese commercially at some point, but that is in the distant future (12 years, perhaps).  I do prefer learning by reading and trying, but with the cheeses I've made I can see the benefit that I might derive from actually participating with someone else who knows what they are doing.  I think your suggestion to find a mentor is a good idea.  I've emailed the only two other people on this forum that claim to be from Colorado Springs and neither of them seem to know more than I do.  I found a single person in Denver who teaches classes, but he only teaches when I'm not available...so,

Does anyone know any experienced cheesemakers in the Colorado Springs/Denver area?
If only I could make cheese as well as I grow a mustache...

Offline Chris_Abrahamson

  • Medium Cheese
  • ***
  • Location: Colorado
  • Posts: 57
  • Cheeses: 1
  • Default personal text
Re: Opinions: WSU Basic--Plus Cheese Making Short Course
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2012, 02:37:21 PM »
Mike

Are you talking about the Colorado Free University courses in Denver?

Offline Mike Richards

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: colorado springs, co
  • Posts: 446
  • Cheeses: 19
Re: Opinions: WSU Basic--Plus Cheese Making Short Course
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2012, 05:28:58 PM »
Chris--Yeah, last time I checked I couldn't make any of the classes, though it's been a while since I last looked.  Are you familiar with them?
If only I could make cheese as well as I grow a mustache...

Offline Chris_Abrahamson

  • Medium Cheese
  • ***
  • Location: Colorado
  • Posts: 57
  • Cheeses: 1
  • Default personal text
Re: Opinions: WSU Basic--Plus Cheese Making Short Course
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2012, 10:45:56 AM »
Mike

I did the Cheddar and the Brie courses about 4 years ago when I was first starting out.   They provided good basic beginning knowledge but if you've made several types already you're probably beyond the courses in knowledge and technique.

This forum has been extremely helpful.   Many others on this forum have suggested starting with the basics by focusing on one particular type, becoming proficient with it, and develop an intuitive understanding how all the factors interact before moving on to another type.

I only do 3-4 different types primarily with goat's milk and I'm happy with obtaining consistent quality and flavor profiles.   I've looked at doing some of the more technical short courses but have found that most (as linuxboy as pointed out) are geared towards commercial output.

If you're thinking about going commercial, have you looked at the Vermont Institute of Artisan Cheese program?

Good luck   

Offline Mike Richards

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: colorado springs, co
  • Posts: 446
  • Cheeses: 19
Re: Opinions: WSU Basic--Plus Cheese Making Short Course
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2012, 09:24:10 PM »
Chris,

Thanks for the info.  After rereading through the course descriptions, and looking at the book the teacher has, I didn't think I'd get a as much out of the course as I'd like.  Your feedback helped confirm that.

I have thought about selling cheese sometime in the future, but if that ever happens, it won't be for a number of years.  I think I'll wait until I'm closer before I attend one of these courses.  I haven't looked into the program you mentioned; I'll be sure and do so.

Do you know or interact with any other cheese makers in the area?  I only know 1 other person, and he comes to me with all his questions.  :-\   I told him about the forum, and I think he's using it now, too.  I agree, this place is a great resource, but I'd be happy to find a mentor, like Pav mentioned.
If only I could make cheese as well as I grow a mustache...