Author Topic: Introduction  (Read 1557 times)

Offline Hansadutta

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Introduction
« on: April 18, 2013, 06:22:25 AM »
Hello Everybody,

Recently I joined the forum and started reading your entertaining stories. I really like the atmosphere of the forum and therefore I decided to write a small introduction. It seemed to be the polite thing to do.
My name is Hans and I live close to Amsterdam in the Netherlands. I started making wine (unfortunately not from grapes because they are not available) about 5 years ago and recently added making beer. The way I make beer is not much more complicated than making lemonade but the end product is still beer.
About a year ago I bought a book about making cheese but I got scared when I realized I would need a cave. My house is full! So I gave up on the idea.
A few months ago however I treated myself to a wine refrigerator. Sometimes you need to buy something you don’t really need to realize why you go to work every day. And I have to say; the snob inside enjoys the fridge every day.
Then, o joy, suddenly I realized that this thing could be my cave. I decided to buy some equipment and go for it. Then I found another treasure. In dutch it is called a melktap. In short it is a machine that a farmer places at the road side and passers by can throw in some money and in return receive raw milk. I never knew that it existed and there is one so close to home that I can pick up milk by bicycle. (Can a person be more dutch?) Just picking up the milk is already a feel good experience.
Until now I made 4 cheeses (2x gouda, caerphilly and tomme de pyrénées) that are resting with the wine bottles and so far everything looks remarkably normal. I really enjoy the process and I think that in some way making wine and cheese have a lot of similarities. Especially working clean. And as somebody has said that grapejuice wants to become wine I have a similar feeling about milk wanting to become cheese.

Regards
Hans


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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2013, 07:51:26 AM »
Welcome! Love the vision of you picking up milk on your bicycle and making cheese :)
Taking an extended leave (until 2015) from the forums to build out my farm and dairy. Please e-mail or PM if you need anything.

Offline jwalker

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2013, 08:08:54 AM »
Welcome to the forum Hans.

I too make wine , mostly from fruit other than grapes as well.

I wish our Canada was as relaxed in our milk rules as your country , we can't even buy raw milk anywhere here.

Look forward to your cheese successes.

Cheers , Jim.
No..........I'm not a professional CheeseMaker , but I play one on TV.

Offline Tiarella

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2013, 09:25:16 AM »
Welcome!!  Glad to have you here!!!  Hope you enjoy posting photos of whatever cheese you make because we all REALLY like looking at photos!!   ;D.

Offline Boofer

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2013, 10:28:27 AM »
Wow, welcome the forum, Hans! Very nice introduction.

One thing in your intro really stood out for me:
Sometimes you need to buy something you don’t really need to realize why you go to work every day.
How true. 8)

If you have any pictures or details about your cheeses, we'd love to see them. How fortunate you are to have a "melktap" down the road from you. I can envision you riding home on your bicycle pulling a little trailer with milk cans.  ;)

Good to have you here.

-Boofer-
Let's ferment something!
Bread, beer, wine, cheese...it's all good.


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Offline Hansadutta

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2013, 01:38:35 AM »
Thanks to all for your warm welcome.

I will try to make some nice pictures. Also of the melktap. I realized that I also enjoy watching other peoples' cheeses. Which really is a bit weird when you say it out loud!

Offline meyerandray

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2013, 02:11:26 AM »
Welcome Hans! We have raw milk distributors in my area too, and they are great! I have now bought a 10 liter aluminum milk container thing, and I bring it to the farmer who fills up the machine, I find it easier than filling (and washing) all those 1 liter bottles.
We have another dutch on the forum, Herman, I can't remember his member name right now, but it might be nice for you two to be able to talk about where to buy equipment/cultures ecc.
Congratulations on your makes and your cave!
Celine

Offline Hansadutta

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2013, 03:17:58 AM »
Hello Celine,

Before I started making cheese I never even drank raw milk but now that I have tried it I will not go back to supermarket milk. It's so much nicer! Most of our foods are produced in factories and taste accordingly. It is a bit of a frustration to me. (The Germans have a word for Dutch tomatoes. It is Wasserbombe. Meaning waterbomb! And sadly they are right.)

I use a plastic jerrycan and when I don't use it I leave it with some water and sulphite powder to keep it sterile.
I saw that there is a subforum for dutch. It has 1 post. I love that.

Hans

Offline Tiarella

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2013, 05:38:14 AM »
Hans,
Celine is right.....Herman is a very nice person and makes wonderful beautiful cheese and is helpful and has a great sense of humor.  I see your humor shining through your post so it is a perfect fit for you here!!

How sad about Dutch tomatoes.  We have the same type here in the stores but most people I know grow their own.  Do you have a garden or porch for growing tomatoes?  Tomatoes and cheese are so good together!

Kathrin

Offline hoeklijn

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2013, 10:09:38 AM »
Hi Hans, I already replied your post on the Dutch board and I even got PM's announcing you (apparently the show up of a Dutchman is a big event  ^-^). And so I read in your introduction the answers to all the questions I asked you. I also used to make wine a long time ago, but I don't have the space anymore to stock a bunch of 25 liter bottles with fermenting wine. I once used 75 kilo of "Boskoops Glory" to make wine, but that wasn't a big success. My best results were from vlierbloemen (elderflower), vlierbessen (elderberry), rozebottels (rosehips) and strawberries. After a discussion about making wine (still got grapes in the garden) I read about making cheese on a website where I used to order my stuff for wine. Because I had access to goat milk (a local farmer) I decided to try feta and so it started. I now have access to both raw goat as cow milk. I heard about milktaps before, but I think it's unknown in this neighborhood...
- Herman -


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Offline KTownCheese

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2013, 10:56:03 AM »
Great story Hans!  Welcome to the forum.  Keep us appraised of your experiences in the world of cheese.  Pictures of your current cheeses are always appreciated!
Cheers
Al

Offline Hansadutta

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2013, 12:32:56 PM »
Kathryn,

The Dutch are not really famous for having a great cuisine. In fact the old joke is that when you ask a Dutchman for a typical Dutch food he would say "Chinese".

Hello again Herman,

I saw your reply on the well known Dutch section first so I replied some things there already. Vlierbessen are my favourite things to make a red wine. At the moment I am experimenting with dried elderberries but I am afraid it is not the same. Most of the time I am a lazy winemaker with limited resources. I use canned peaches, strawberry jam or juices from the supermarket. White wines and roses and even sparkling whites are simple and very nice but I am afraid that it is not possible to make a good red wine from anything else then good wine grapes. (Which I am trying to buy this year. The plants that is.)

Since pictures are apparently a must, here is the world famous Dutch melktap!



In its natural surrounding.



And for all the cheese stalkers. (I am a bit uncomfortable with this) 2x Gouda in wax. (Don't worry there is nothing wrong with your screen, it is a Pisa style Gouda.)



The caerphilly and tomme de pyrénées in reverse order. They look a bit wet because I just washed them. They should try to look good right?


Offline seemunkee

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2013, 01:39:52 PM »
LOVE the milk station.  Lucky you to have that as a resource. 

Offline hoeklijn

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2013, 08:22:25 AM »
Well, a cheese (a kind of kudo) for your first results! Hope they taste as good as they look.
When you're looking for grapes to make wine, try to find the "Rondo" or "Regent". There are several professionals in Holland using these kind, with good results. Google on "wijnbouw in nederland" for example....
- Herman -

Offline jwalker

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2013, 09:20:31 AM »
I am afraid that it is not possible to make a good red wine from anything else then good wine grapes.

I would disagree with you on that point , my town (Creston BC) is famous for it's cherry crop , and I make a delicious cherry wine , as does our local winery.

It is one of the best homemade wines I have ever tried , but I even surprised myself this last year as I made a red wine from Local Italian plums and it came out just as good , if not better.

There are a lot of so-so wines , but these two fruit make an exceptional wine , I suggest you try either or both if you get a chance.

Cheers Jim.
No..........I'm not a professional CheeseMaker , but I play one on TV.