Author Topic: Hello from Albany, NY, USA  (Read 803 times)

Offline AndreasMergner

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Hello from Albany, NY, USA
« on: November 15, 2012, 06:45:18 PM »
Hi, I'm Andreas.  I am the son of immigrant parents (England and Germany) and have a taste for European foods, including cheese.  My wife's family is from the Azores (Portuguese) too.   I like to cook and have way too many hobbies...most relevant here are perhaps making cheese, homebrewing, baking rustic type breads and I have my first batch of grape wine fermenting currently.  I have been making cheese for a little over a year.  I have been reading this site for a little longer than that.  I still consider myself a beginner.

Cheeses I have made so far:
yogurt type cheese
Quark
Mascarpone
Mozz
Camembert -- came out nice, although I have read that it didn't come out quite right.  ;)
Gouda -- tried this with a natural rind and it ended up nothing like Gouda...was still good, but hard.  I still have it after a year and it is a nice grating cheese.
Raclette -- I didn't get any B linens on my first one so it ended up tasting entirely different.  I have a second one in the cave now, but I had some wild mold get to it before I rediscovered containers.  It has a ton of B linens on it now.  I have a thread for this one.
Vacherin Fribourgeois -- I've never even tasted this cheese, but I made the recipe from 200 Cheeses and it is not quite correct.  It is my cave now.  I have a thread for this one too.

My interests in cheese are pretty much any kind.  I'd like to make cheese types that aren't readily available or at a better quality than I can buy.  I discovered Raclette while in Switzerland staying with family friends.  I instantly fell in love with it and my wife (whose favorite cheese used to be "white american"!!!) now loves it too.  We have two Raclette grills.  :) 

I'm here to learn from the best.  You guys are amazing.  I also like to drool over the amazing cheese porn. 


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Offline sigurdur

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Re: Hello from Albany, NY, USA
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2012, 04:06:53 PM »
Hi Andreas.

Welcome to the forum :)

Do you have any cheese pr0n for us? ;)
Listen to my podcast, the Cheese Hacker Podcast.
Looking for cheese making software?-> Cheese Forge <-

Offline H-K-J

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Re: Hello from Albany, NY, USA
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2012, 04:51:11 PM »
Yes welcome to the forum
that said,  Show us yer cheese :P
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Offline AndreasMergner

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Re: Hello from Albany, NY, USA
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2012, 05:42:07 PM »
Ha ha, ok I'll show you my cheese!  I am a beginner so keep that in mind.  ;)

Mozz ready for Caprese salad with homegrown tomatoes



My first pressed cheese: Queso Fresco --> this was ok and I used it in a lot of omelets and quesadillas. 



My first aged cheese: Gouda --> this dried out too much with a natural rind and probably too low of humidity in the mini fridge. I still have a bit of it after a year and cleaning some wild mold off it.  It makes a tasty grating cheese. 



My first bloomy cheese: Camembert --> This came out nice for a first try.  It was mild, but with a mushroomy taste and a good texture.  NOW I read through the Camembert threads and find out it is not quite ideal, but there is always next time!



My first attempt at a washed rind: 4 lbs of Raclette I tried to make last year.  It never grew B linens and the texture wasn't right.  I think it was closer to a cheddar texture.  It doesn't look well knit either since I didn't have a press.



Here's my simple homemade press with a homemade mold.  The pic doesn't show that the lever is an 8 foot long 2x4.  It is just screwed to the post so I can remove it.  It only has a 9:1 ratio but I have at least 100lbs of weight I could put on it...not that I would need to.  I've put 180 lbs on my raclette and VF cheeses with it.  The mold is 8.5" in diameter, I believe.  I use a wood follower.



I have some pics of pizza too!  That has cheese on it.  ;)


Offline H-K-J

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Re: Hello from Albany, NY, USA
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2012, 06:15:11 PM »
Necessity, the mother of invention, Love the cheese pix ;D
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But the ability to cope with it."


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Offline AndreasMergner

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Re: Hello from Albany, NY, USA
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2012, 06:38:57 PM »
H-K-J: I enjoy your cheese pics as well.  I'm excited to try Stilton as one of my next cheeses...not only because it is one of my favorites, but I love the pics of the blue mold cheeses!!  I can't wait to show one to the Mrs.  ;)

The press took about 2 hours to build and only because I couldn't find a tool or two.  (I have a 22 month old.  ;)  ) Time is precious these days.  The mold is just the right size for a 4lb cheese in the containers I have...at least for 3" thick type cheeses.

Offline H-K-J

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Re: Hello from Albany, NY, USA
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2012, 06:48:02 PM »
I don't have a 22 month old, I'm a 60 some odd year old who has a tool in his hand puts it down turn's around, can't find the tool and hunts for it  for a half hour, then goes in the house ask's the wife have you seen what I have done with such and such tool? she says no, I turn around to go back to the shop and she say's what is that in your back pocket :-[
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Offline AndreasMergner

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Re: Hello from Albany, NY, USA
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2012, 06:50:37 PM »
Ha ha, that is a good one.  I have MULTIPLES of tools, because I can't find the one tool I have.  Can't find the wire stripper after an hour....sigh...might as well buy another one for $7.  :-/

Offline H-K-J

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Re: Hello from Albany, NY, USA
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2012, 07:03:18 PM »
I have at least a dozen 9/16" wrenches and sometimes I can't find one :(
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Offline AndreasMergner

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Re: Hello from Albany, NY, USA
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2012, 08:21:07 AM »
Ok, I don't have a dozen of anything.  :)  I have a ton of sockets and I can't find the container for them!  They will show up eventually (?).


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Offline AndreasMergner

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Re: Hello from Albany, NY, USA
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2012, 03:08:41 PM »
We opened up our presents early last night.  I received a vacuum sealer, a pH meter, some cheese knives and a cheese board.  This was the cheesiest Christmas yet!  :)

Offline bbracken677

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Re: Hello from Albany, NY, USA
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2012, 04:22:45 PM »
Very cool!  Merry Christmas!   :)