Author Topic: Cheesemaking Supplies in Japan  (Read 1241 times)

Offline cweinhofer

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Cheesemaking Supplies in Japan
« on: October 06, 2012, 01:02:56 AM »
I recently moved to Northeast Japan and would like to continue with my hobby of cheesemaking. Does anyone know of places in Japan where the supplies can be ordered?

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Re: Cheesemaking Supplies in Japan
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2012, 02:44:00 AM »
Googling on "cheese making japan" I found this article http://foodspring.com/content/artisanal-cheesemaking-in-japan/. Apparently there are artisan cheesemakers in Japan. My advise would be to find one of them and inform where they get there stuff. Because a lot of Asians do have some level of lactose intolerance it will not be as common as in the "western" part of the world I suppose...
- Herman -

Offline cweinhofer

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Re: Cheesemaking Supplies in Japan
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2013, 01:16:37 AM »
Just an update on this topic. I have tried making cheese a number of times this spring. I never was able to find proper supplies here and so just ended up ordering them from New England Cheesemaking like I had in the US. Their international shipping was fairly reasonable if you ordered enough stuff. I did also find a few basic things like rennet on Amazon Japan.

Anyway, all of my batches were failures in some sense. Even though I was using the same supplies I used in the US, I couldn't get the curd to a clean break. One time I got something very close, but I don't remember doing anything special. I made multiple attempts, always being sure to follow my book (200 Easy Homemade Cheese Recipes) as closely as I could. I even tried two different brands of milk and also tried adding extra calcium chloride and / or rennet. My results always came out somewhere between true clean-break curds and yogurt*.

I suspect that it has something to do with how they pasteurize or homogenize the milk here (I am guessing homogenization since the shelf life of the milk would not seem to indicate UHT pasturization - however, if anyone with more knowledge would care to comment, I would appreciate it). I am going to try again with additional brands of milk and even see if I can try and track down a local dairy farm. Thankfully I live far enough north, that that is a possibility.

Anybody have other advice on what might be wrong?

* Just a note for anyone else that may end up with semi-curds like this. If you are careful, you can hang these in a cheesecloth with the corners pulled up and drain off the majority of the whey and then transfer them to a mold and press them (starting light and increasing the pressure gradually). It's a lot more work and the resultant product isn't really suitable for aging, but you do end up with something that is at least usable.

Offline shotski

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Re: Cheesemaking Supplies in Japan
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2013, 08:44:28 AM »
Wow that is a bummer!!! I can only go by what I have read and I would guess UHP is the culprit. I have used Homogenized many times with CalClor and never had a problem getting a clean break. I hope you find a source for fresh milk.

John

Offline shotski

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Re: Cheesemaking Supplies in Japan
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2013, 08:48:51 AM »

Offline Denise

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Re: Cheesemaking Supplies in Japan
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2013, 03:38:01 AM »
Hi, cweinhofer-san! I'm in Japan and recently started making cheese. Like you I found my rennet on Amazon Japan, but no luck with cultures; I ordered some from Moreland Cheese in the UK, and persuaded my sister-in-law to bring me back more supplies when she went on a trip to America.

Tracking down a dairy farm that will sell you raw milk is of course the best bet (is it legal to sell raw milk to the public in Japan? I haven't been able to find anyone that can give me a clear answer...), but if you look around, you should be able to find good milk in the shops, though it will cost you a bit more than the common or garden variety. Most milk here seems to be pasturised at 130 degrees C (it's written on the side of the carton), but larger/better supermarkets have milk that is pasturised at 72 degrees C. If you have a Coop near you, you may be able to find 66 degree C, non-homogenised milk, which is what I use, no problem at all in getting a good clean break in the curd.

Offline cweinhofer

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Re: Cheesemaking Supplies in Japan
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2013, 03:40:05 AM »
Denise, thanks for your post. I, too, had recently made the discovery that they list the pasteurization temperature right on the package here. It's very unusual in the US, so I never thought to look. As a few have suggested, the UHT was definitely the culprit.

Since my discovery, I scoured all the supermarkets here in our town and the best I could find is 85 C for 15 min. That is still too high, but does make a better curd than what I have used before. It's good to know that more appropriately pasteurized milk does exist in Japan. We live in a small city and although I would love to have a Coop, the nearest is 90 min away. I know they do home delivery as well, so I may look into that.

I am also going to see if I can track down a local dairy when I get time. I should be able to get an answer on raw milk from the staff there and I will try to post when I do. However, I am assuming that even if it is legal, it may be to much of a bother to them to sell outside their normal channels.

BTW, for the sake of any other cheese makers finding themselves in Japan, I have attached a photo of the milk carton label so you can know where to look for the pasteurization information. Just to note, not all milk lists this information, but most do. The kanji are 殺菌 (sakkin, lit. kill-bacteria) but you can pretty easily pick it out because of the large ℃ next to the number. The time is listed next with 秒間 (byoukan) for seconds or 分間 (funkan) for minutes.

Offline Chiizu

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Re: Cheesemaking Supplies in Japan
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2014, 08:06:06 PM »
Hi cweinhofer,

I've recently started making cheese here in Japan as well.  I think the main problem is the milk.  Most if not all, like you say is high temp pasteurized ,  there is however low temp pasteurized.   

http://item.rakuten.co.jp/iimono-1/10000522#10000522

I'm lucky enough that's it's available locally.  Search for 低温殺菌   

Haven't had a problem with curd formation yet,  cheese however is another story haha.
Am I doing this right?