Author Topic: Just wondering what were the first cheeses you tried making, and looking back...  (Read 505 times)

Offline meyerandray

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Which cheeses would you advise a brand-newbie to start off with?
I am brand brand new at cheesemaking, and so far have made an acid-coagulated fresh cheese, rennet coagulated fresh cheese (here they call them tomini freschi) a pepper jack (which seems to be causing some problems, and has just been unwaxed and is currently re-drying) and a cheddar. 
The two fresh cheeses came out wonderfully, and it was great because we could enjoy them right away, and it felt like an immediate success, although I have to say they are the most exciting cheeses out there, but we all have to start somewhere. 
As far as the cheddar goes, it looks like everything is in order, I am just impatient for it to age!!  I guess I would have liked some quicker results, to know if I am on the right track or not, but I guess patience is a virtue, especially in cheesemaking!!
Please share your first cheese experiences and any hindsight wisdom that may accompany them!!


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Offline bbracken677

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I was goofy...my first cheese was a triple cream camembert and I cannot rightly call it a success, although I learned a ton during that first make. Since then, applying what I learned, al l my cams have turned out great, although I dont think I will try another triple cream for a while.

I would recommend something a bit simpler such as a Caerphilly (Jeffham has this one down pat..read his threads on Caerphilly for recipe, methodology etc) which will also help you hone your cheddar making skills, since Caerphilly is basically a short aged cheddar.

Gouda would also be a nice early cheese as well as an introduction to washed curd cheeses or a Colby.

Offline meyerandray

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Oh thank you!  I am trying a Caerphilly today, found JeffHamm's recipe and the docs he posted.  I'll let you know how it comes out!

Offline High Altitude

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So you have already ventured to jack and cheddar...that's great!  I started with a gruyere, but don't think I really treated it right and it got an influx of molds that I battled for a couple of weeks.  The molds stopped with regular saltwater washings.

I made a farmhouse cheddar and colby after that, and they seemed to come out great (haven't tasted yet though).  I made a traditional cheddar that I found challenging to press into a good knit (but I made it work!). 

Also made a couple of pepperjacks that I have yet to taste.  The first one didn't knit great but it is successfully hiding under black wax!  The second one seemed to have a lot of whey inside and sunk down to half its height before it was ready to wax....so we'll see on those two.

I'm also very new to cheesemaking, but have tried quite a few others as well (incl. gouda, edam, manchego, fontina, and jarlsberg), and am now waiting until next month when I can start cracking them open...woo hoo.

Parmesans are among my favorite to make...easy & very consistent results...but the wait time is killing me!  Cannot try them for 7 months minimum  ???.

I look forward to seeing some of your makes in the future.  Have fun!
Have some (homemade) wine with that cheese!

Offline meyerandray

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I just made a gorgonzola-style recipe from "Mastering Artisan Cheesmaking" G. Caldwell, went in the cave (I just bought a new to me wine fridge I found used online) yesterday.  My father-in-law goes crazy for gorgonzola and I wanted to try a blue so I thought I would give it a try.  There is a local procuder here (his animals pasture in the Alps) whi makes the most delicious toma blu that I have ever tried (blue tomme) and now that the weather is warming up and he'll start heading back up the mountains, I want to track him down and get a recipe from him! 
I also can't wait for the goat's milk!!  Should be another month and then I plan to venture whole-heartedly into the making of various and delicious chèvres!!
High Altitude, I saw your pepper jack pics in another post, and it did sink down a lot, but even you have to admit that was one beautiful cheese straigh out of the press.  I bet it will be delicious!!  I should try a grating cheese (that is what we call a non parmeggiano reggiano in Italy) too. 
Let me know how your first tastes go!! I am eager to see if I failed/succeeded etc.


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Offline Tiarella

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Oh thank you!  I am trying a Caerphilly today, found JeffHamm's recipe and the docs he posted.  I'll let you know how it comes out!


Caerphilly IS a great and easy cheese since it can be eaten after 3 weeks or aged longer.  I've made quite a few and it was my first hard cheese.  There are 3 blog posts with photos and/or videos on this website page: http://www.littlegreencheese.com/search/label/Caerphilly

You can spice it up and add variety smearing it with a Smoked Paprika and olive oil mix like I did here:
http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,11175.0.html

A plus, most people will like this cheese.....it's not a stinky one with worries about texture and lots of after care.   :D