Author Topic: Hello and help from Northern California!  (Read 861 times)

Offline thegregger

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Hello and help from Northern California!
« on: February 22, 2009, 03:56:19 PM »
Hello from San Francisco.  I'm  a home cheesemaker.  Is there any easier way to heat the milk/curd, etc., other than running around with a bunch of hot water?

Thanks.

Offline John (CH)

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Re: Hello and help from Northern California!
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2009, 04:26:04 PM »
Hello thegregger and welcome to the forum!

Several members here from California, there's even several posts in the Geographic > USA > California Board in case you have any local type questions.

Several of our more experienced and knowledgeable members use water via double stockpot boiler etc to warm their milk and claim better curd set etc. Me I've always been lazy and just place my stockpot directly on the stove/cooker and stir to avoid hot spots.

Offline chilipepper

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Re: Hello and help from Northern California!
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2009, 04:38:13 PM »
Welcome to the forum.  I for one use a laundry sink in my 'cheeserie' (I think that is a new work Carter made up and I really like it).  My tap water gets to about 145 degrees and so I found that I can pretty much cover the needs I have in cheesemaking.  I use it as a double boiler of sorts and then place my 5 gallons stock pot in the sink with the milk.   You can get carried away with temp controls and such but this is really simple and will suffice for the batches that I'm doing for now.  :)

Once again, Welcome!

Ryan

Offline Captain Caprine

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Re: Hello and help from Northern California!
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2009, 10:07:06 PM »
Gregger,
Hello and welcome to the forum.  The double boiler is nice but I have to admit to sometimes cheesing out and heating directly.  The tradeoff is having to watch and stir more to avoid scalding the milk.
CC
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Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Hello and help from Northern California!
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2009, 03:03:24 AM »
In my opinioin direct heating is not the way to go. If you do you'll have to stir the entire time.

First off a few questions, what are the biggest batches you'll make and how handy are you? I can give you options that are somewhat easy to build.
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Offline thegregger

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Re: Hello and help from Northern California!
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2009, 09:32:16 AM »
Hey all:

Thanks for your responses.  Thanks also to the creator of this forum--so needed!

Right now I'm making the following cheeses:

1:  Blue-I love it, relatively easy to make, and I age for 3-4 months for a milder flavor.
2:  Swiss-Still a work in progress, but my last batch turned out really good.
3:  Parm-I've had good luck, and age it for a year.  8 pounds aging at the moment.

I make all cheeses in 4-5 gallon batches.  I just double my 2 gallon recipes.

Here are my three biggest challenges:

1:  Acidity.  How do I measure?  I feel like I'm "flying blind" when I only have a recipe to follow, and no way of knowing if I'm off track.
2:  Curd formation.  I'm using supermarket milk and Calcium Chloride, and I get a very weak set.  I want good milk!!!
3:  Temp regulation during cheesemaking process.  I know this comes with experience.

Finally, I bought a commercial food warmer on EBay for $100, the type that holds food warming pans.  I'm afraid this might bee to harsh/hot for the milk.

Thanks,

Greg




Offline John (CH)

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Re: Hello and help from Northern California!
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2009, 01:40:52 PM »
thegregger

Great to hear that you are making so many great cheeses, on your 3 new questions, there is quite a few topics and discussion on each of them in this forum if you use the Search tool or look primarily in the bottom Discussion. Whatever you don't find please start new topic.

Probably better that way than in this Introduction Board, just my 2 cents.

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Hello and help from Northern California!
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2009, 02:16:29 PM »
As far as the food warmer, can you post a link?
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.