Author Topic: Basic stuff to buy?  (Read 2699 times)

Offline Tiarella

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Re: Basic stuff to buy?
« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2012, 07:28:07 AM »
You can make a Brie style cheese with most of those molds but traditionally they are more like your second choice having smaller amount of drainage holes and straight sides.  How many you'll want depends upon how many gallons will be made into Brie at a time and what type of milk it is since different milk produce different amounts of curds.  Most molds are plastic, not steel.  Steel would be needed for cheeses with huge pressure required but I can't think of any cheese that doesn't have a correspondingly sturdy plastic mold available.  Maybe someone else will chime in on this. 

I think  MM100 is nice for a Brie culture choice also.  Or Meso lll by Abiosa       I don't think MA4000 series is suggested for Brie but I could be wrong on this. 

you can see a very simple mold solution here at this "how to" post on a blog:
http://makingsenseofthings.info/2010/12/how-to-make-brie-cheese-at-home/
I think the details were added into notes when this post appeared as a guest post on Rikki's blog.  See here and also see all the cheese varieties listed down the right hand side of the page.  These are all links to different recipes by different folks.
http://cheesemakinghelp.blogspot.com/search/label/Brie

They do a very simple version that some cheese experts will surely turn their noses up at but I started with it and thought it was tasty.  There are missing details in the post but I think they are answered in the comments below.  (things such as rennet amount, etc.) 

Also, there is a forum member  (screen name is iratherfly) who sells all cheesemaking supplies and ships worldwide.  He is helpful and can get you stuff if you can't find it there in the UK.

Don't by mats by the roll on eBay unless they are specifically for cheese.  You want food grade and also, the needlepoint matting that some folks use doesn't drain as well because it's not a "woven" style grid so the whey just sits in the little square holes rather than draining away.


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Offline mightyMouse.tar.gz

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Re: Basic stuff to buy?
« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2012, 11:49:38 AM »
MM100 would be good too. It is sometimes suggested (by vendors at least) for cheeses like brie. It has the same bacteria in it as MA 4001/4002 (though I would imagine in different ratios) but does not have S. thermophilus.

I don't think MA4000 series is suggested for Brie but I could be wrong on this.

Where did you hear that? Would you mind suggesting a resource because to my knowledge the MA4000 series is a general starter that works fine for semi-softs. At least that is what all of my sources say. In fact, at least one vendor even explicitly states on their web page (in the description for MA4001/4002) that:

"Used for a variety of hard and semi-hard cheeses including Roquefort, Cambozola, Castello Blue, Colby, Cheddar, Gouda and Brick cheeses with all types of milk. Can be used to make Camembert & Brie."

This person is a beginner. Just about any meso culture will work just fine for starting out. IMO, it's better to start simple with a good versatile starter rather than choose the "ideal" starter for each individual cheese of interest  which can get very confusing and in the end is really more the subject of personal opinion then it is real hard science(Granted I did mention FD/AB for brie- I probably should have made clear that I was not nessasarily suggesting it for other cheeses. FD/AB does seem to acidify differently than other mesos. Might be better to start with the typical case). If Ava's fiance then wants to get very specific, they can do so then but it is better right now to focus on the process and worry less about the fine tuning with absolute specific bacteria starters. MA 4001/4002 will be more than acceptable (IMO), I imagine MM 100 would be as well (even for cheeses besides brie).

Then again, we could always call in the experts on this one, eh Tiarella  ;)
// bad cheese exception handling
try { Cheese myCheese = new Gouda(); } catch (NastyCheeseException e) { throw new CultureContaminationException(); }

Offline ukdavid

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Re: Basic stuff to buy?
« Reply #17 on: November 14, 2012, 08:43:55 AM »
Hi Ava

I am also in the UK and am new to cheese making,so cannot be of much help there. However, If your  fiance is serious about cooking I should think about also getting him Culinary Artistry by a friends of mine Andrew Dornenhburg and Karen Page. you may have to get it on Amazon as I have not seen it for sale over here, but my ancient stained copy is a permanent fixture in my kitchen. It is not a recipe book as such, but, I an sure he will, like me never let it leave his side.

Good luck with the cheese making

Regards

David 
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Offline Ava

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Re: Basic stuff to buy?
« Reply #18 on: November 16, 2012, 07:58:49 AM »
Sorry about the delayed reply.

Tiarella, thank you for the links, going to take a look at them now.

I will have another think about the starter culture. I did eventually find Flora Danica on Ebay, but the shipping was a bit expensive. May get some another time, though. Just to check, buttermilk culture wouldn't give the cheese a more buttery taste, like Flora Danica, would it? I was also thinking that it might be a good idea to get a culture he could also use for the other cheeses he wants to make. That said, I don't want the taste to suffer.

David, that book looks interesting, I'll have a think about getting it  :D

Offline ukdavid

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Re: Basic stuff to buy?
« Reply #19 on: November 16, 2012, 09:36:31 AM »
Best of luck with your search
Regards David
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Offline mightyMouse.tar.gz

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Re: Basic stuff to buy?
« Reply #20 on: November 16, 2012, 10:04:31 AM »
Sorry about the delayed reply.

Tiarella, thank you for the links, going to take a look at them now.

I will have another think about the starter culture. I did eventually find Flora Danica on Ebay, but the shipping was a bit expensive. May get some another time, though. Just to check, buttermilk culture wouldn't give the cheese a more buttery taste, like Flora Danica, would it? I was also thinking that it might be a good idea to get a culture he could also use for the other cheeses he wants to make. That said, I don't want the taste to suffer.

David, that book looks interesting, I'll have a think about getting it  :D

If you want Flora Danica but cannot find it- keep an eye out for 'Aroma B' they are essentially the same. Pepsi vs. Coke
// bad cheese exception handling
try { Cheese myCheese = new Gouda(); } catch (NastyCheeseException e) { throw new CultureContaminationException(); }

Offline Spellogue

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Re: Basic stuff to buy?
« Reply #21 on: November 16, 2012, 12:05:08 PM »
Here are my thoughts:

I was very happy with the kits that I bought.  My wife first bought me a simple goat cheese kit through Hoeger's (the quintessential goat husbandry supply company). It was sourced from New England cheese supply.  It was rudimentary, but got me started on a shoestring.  I still use the  cup shaped  chèvre molds with regularity and some of the other supplies on occassion. As my Cheesemaking interest advanced I bought the larger Camembert/blue cheese kit from thecheesemaker.com (Steve Shapson).  I searched online supply stores quite a bit before making the purchase.  It turned out to be the best value for me.  I added a few other things to the order that I wanted to be able to make a wider variety of cheeses, e.g. A tomme mold, some pyramid molds, some thermophillic culture, b. linens, cheese wax ...   The larger order  at the time got me free shipping.  If you look around you might find a kit that suits the two of you.

I find MM100 to be the best "all-purpose" meso starter, if there is such a thing.  Flora Danica/Aroma B ismoore specific in its application.  It's often used as an addition to other starters.  I might have ordered a straight sided (rather than tapered) tomme mold as I make smaller cheeses and the tapered mold requires at least a 2-1/2 gallon batch or the follower will stop short of your desired press completion.  The Camembert molds are handy for lots of styles.  I'll probably add more.  I still use large yogurt tubs that I perforate with a hot nail in a pinch.

Cheese presses are a near necessity for true cheddars, but they are expensive, and you can improvise with weights for most other cheeses.  I have been getting very good results using lighter pressures than Mary Karlin's book suggests.  (I use mostly raw goats milk).  Many delightful cheese require no pressing at all.

Great to see your active support of your  boyfriend's interests.  I'm sure you'll enjoy the results.
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Offline BobE102330

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Re: Basic stuff to buy?
« Reply #22 on: November 17, 2012, 06:25:59 AM »
Ava, nobody seems to have addressed your salt question. Do not use sea salt. You want pure sodium chloride which sea salt is not.

On this side of the pond kosher salt also has an anti-caking agent which makes it unsuitable for cheese use. If you can find pickling salt it is pure salt at least Morton brand in the US is. Cheese salt is flaked and dissolves more easily if you can find it.

Offline Ava

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Re: Basic stuff to buy?
« Reply #23 on: November 17, 2012, 09:49:26 AM »
Spellogue - thanks for the advice; when I looked at the kits, though, it seemed that you get less for the price you could get all the individual stuff for. I'm a bit fussy about this sort of thing too, so want control over every single thing I'm buying  :P

Did you mean the mould I linked to is tapered?  :-\ It looks quite straight to me...

You want pure sodium chloride which sea salt is not.
Why?

Offline BobE102330

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Re: Basic stuff to buy?
« Reply #24 on: November 17, 2012, 03:07:17 PM »
Sea salt includes a number of different salts and other trace minerals.  That's why it tastes different than table salt. 
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sea_salt-e_hg.svg


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Offline Tiarella

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Re: Basic stuff to buy?
« Reply #25 on: November 17, 2012, 05:00:32 PM »
I have only used sea salt so far in over 40 cheeses and I haven't noticed any problems.  I haven't done a controlled experiment to contrast the two.

Offline Spellogue

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Re: Basic stuff to buy?
« Reply #26 on: November 19, 2012, 11:16:53 PM »
The kit I bought from thecheesemaker.com was cheaper than the sum of it's parts by about $35 not counting the free shipping, at the time.  I'm particular about getting a good deal as well.  As much as I already had a cheese thermometer the one included in the kit was a better one, and having two can be handy.  My total order was a little over $300USD if I recall.  It included enough rennet, starter culture, and mold spore to make about 75 lbs of cheese by my estimates.  I was skeptical of the value of the ripening box it included, but it included fitted draining mats and is really quite handy. I ended up saving myself more than 50 bucks.  But I'll agree that with many retailers the kits may be more expensive than buying a la carte, and many other kits I looked at included products that were not what I really wanted.

The taper on my tomme mold is very slight, hardly noticeable on casual inspection but enough to stop the progress of the follower just beyond the halfway point.  He sells the straight-sided and tapered one each labeled as such.  By the dimensions provided one the ones I viewed on the moorland's site, they look to be straight sided.

I use sea salt for almost all of my brines and dry salting.  It's what I regularly have on hand.  I haven't had any problems using it either.  I run the coarse sea salt through a grinder.  I'm not using fluer de sel or mined himalayan pink here, I use a relatively inexpensive variety that I buy at the grocery next to the table salt.  It contains no anticaking agents. The commercial grade sea salt certainly has some other trace elements in it, but not nearly to the level that many of those pricey grey sea salts contain.  (Of course all those elements in the high end salts are what make them such wonderfully complex condiments, yet rather bad choices for cheesemaking.).
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Offline ukdavid

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Re: Basic stuff to buy?
« Reply #27 on: November 20, 2012, 03:34:31 AM »
Hi again Ava

The sea salt we use is from Tesco (I think) it is Saxa coarse sea salt 100% natural. It is also pretty cheap. For cooking I use Malden sea salt, but that would be prohibitively expensive for making up brine.

Also this page may be helpful for an American/UK starter comparison. It explains it here http://www.artisancheesekitchen.com/2012/homemade-cheese-diary/book-review-artisan-cheese-making-at-home

 :)

We have now got 7 one pound cheese in out cheese cave. and having fun making it.

 It took a bit of searching around to find all the kit we needed here in the UK (I say that but we only started making Hard cheeses on the 8th October) and are hooked. We have now ordered a 27 liter milk pasteurizer with an automatic temperature control, that can also be used for cheese making. It means that we will not be stuck with just our two gallon stock pot that can only produce two pounds at a time. It (IMHO)will  take almost the same amount of time to make double with the new pot.

Hope that helps.

Regards David
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Offline mightyMouse.tar.gz

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Re: Basic stuff to buy?
« Reply #28 on: November 20, 2012, 10:22:55 AM »
Not sure where to find aroma B or Flora Danica in the US, but this company has a bunch of the MM and MA series:
http://www.orchard-dairy.co.uk/item/Cultures-for-Soft-%26-Mould-Ripened-Cheese/MM.htm

I find it interesting that you guys have a harder time finding the same cheese cultures over there. Particularly given that Danisco (manufacture MM/MA/TA series) and Chr Hansen (manufacture Flora Danica) are both based in Europe. Any idea why? Are they just not as widely available to the home cheese maker or are the commercial cheese makers using different cultures perhaps? I am curious now....

Have you seen this page:
http://cheeseforum.org/articles/links/links-supply-stores/

I also ran into this a little bit ago doing a manic google search:
http://ribblesdalecheese.wordpress.com/2010/07/16/where-to-buy-cheese-making-supplies/

Hopefully this helps you!

Best of luck, I look forward to hearing how it goes
// bad cheese exception handling
try { Cheese myCheese = new Gouda(); } catch (NastyCheeseException e) { throw new CultureContaminationException(); }

Offline BobE102330

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Re: Basic stuff to buy?
« Reply #29 on: November 20, 2012, 11:31:46 PM »
Be sure to ask Iratherfly (Yoav) about cultures you need.  He carries most everything and has very good pricing.  Not to mention he is super helpful on the forum and privately.  I'm a happy customer, no relation.