Author Topic: Hi from South Carolina  (Read 316 times)

Offline bobbymac29649

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Hi from South Carolina
« on: July 19, 2013, 03:55:38 PM »
Hi everyone!  My name is Bobby and I live in South Carolina.  I'm thrilled beyond believe to have found this forum.  I've always questioned things and constantly asking why and how things work.  With cheese making there are tons of questions.
I made my first mozzarella over 10 years ago.  However, I didn't progress past this and ricotta.  I've been in the culinary world for over 30 years so I'm quite comfortable in the kitchen and am not intimidated in the least.
I think the reason for my not moving beyond mozzarella and ricotta is that when I first read a recipe for a cheese and saw "increase temp by 2.134 degrees over a 5 1/2 minute period, hold temp at 90.75 degrees for 13 minutes, increase temp by 1 degree every 3 1/2 minutes blah blah blah...Press and age for 9 months".  I did not have the patience nor the time to spend an entire day on something and then wait months to see if I did it right.
Now that I'm older I guess I've mellowed.  Either that or through my travels I've had so many incredible cheeses that I'm willing to do anything to produce them.
Living in South Carolina we have heat issues and I have no place cool enough to age anything.  I found some great plans for a cave using a mini fridge and a reptile terrarium humidifier.  I'll be looking for a used mini fridge shortly so that I can begin.  Until then I'll be making non aged ones.
I made a Queso Fresco last week per Ricki Carroll's book.  I added 1/2 t of Lipase to see if it would give it a little more cheesy flavor.  It did give it a nice cheesy aroma and it does have a little bite to it. 
It was supposed to be under 35 pounds of weight for six hours.  The grand kids came, time got away and I fell asleep.  The cheese was pressed for 14 hours.  The texture is great.  It slices nicely but doesn't crumble like Queso Fresco usually does.  If I were to age it it might turn out quite nice (???)  I was going to brine it and then dry for a few days then age.   But, since I don't have anyplace at 55 degrees I thought it would be silly to waste it so I've been eating it in salads or just to munch on. 
The Ricotta made from the whey was the best I've ever tasted in my life.  I added a quart of whole milk to it.  Could the Lipase that was added in the beginning have anything to do with the flavor?  It's a very rich, buttery taste.  Not your usual bland Ricotta.  From the two gallons of milk I got 2 lbs of Queso Fresco and with the extra quart of milk added to the whey I got 1 lb 1/2 oz of Ricotta.  I need to make some cheese tomorrow just to get the whey for the Ricotta!
I have a nice pH meter that I use with my aquariums.  I see where pH is mentioned a lot in cheese making so I'll start using it.  Is there a chart or anything that tells you what the various pH readings should be during the various stages?
Ok, I've gone on and on for long enough.  Sorry about that!
I'm so looking forward to being a part of this group.  Thanks!
 


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Online John@PC

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Re: Hi from South Carolina
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2013, 08:17:04 PM »
Great to hear from a fellow sandlapper.  I'm in Hartsville, about 2.5 hrs. from you and I use Hickory Hill low temp. pasturized / non homogenized milk from Edgefield (just south of you) for my cheesemaking.  I can buy it at McLeod Farms in McBee for less than $5 and have had good success using it.  Sounds like you've got a good experience with basic cheesemaking and you really seem to have a passion for learning but are confused with the nuances and details. I had the same problems and had to trash my share of "cheeses" over the course of my learning curve.  The best thing for me (as I hope it will be for you as well) is finding this forum.

Offline bobbymac29649

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Re: Hi from South Carolina
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2013, 11:44:10 PM »
Thanks for the welcome John.  I appreciate it. 
There's a Mennonite store here in town and they sell raw milk so I'm going to check it out and give it a try.  It will probably only add to my confusion as to how much, how long, etc....but, it will be fun learning.
I was just thinking about the 55 degree cave thing and thought of the cheeses in Egypt.  I lived there for several years and they have some delicious cheeses.  Believe me, they do not have any 55 degree caves !  I'm going to find out how they make them...
Again, I'm thrilled to have found this forum.  If you find me confused about something please feel free to set me straight.  It's the only way to learn...Take care..

Offline Tiarella

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Re: Hi from South Carolina
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2013, 05:41:12 AM »
Welcome, Bobby!  I think you'll enjoy yourself here and no need to apologize for long posts....it's a good thing.  As someone who bought a small (55bottle) wine cooler and outgrew it immediately I'd like to encourage you to consider getting an upright freezer (forced air rather than racks with cooling tubing shelves that will create condensation that will drip all over your cheeses) and a Johnson Controller so that you have more room.  Just a thought.  Especially if you will be aging cheeses for months. 

Also recommend that you have fun making Caerphilly cheese because it's a hard cheese that cen be eaten after three weeks so it's good for practicing on as well as being welcomed by most taste buds and offering a variety of ways to make a pnd age it for variety.  There are a number of forum threads on it and there are plenty of recipes online.  Www.littlegreencheese.com has video tutorials on a version.   Www.cheesemakinghelp.blogspot.com also has several versions with photos.  You can wax it, rub with coconut oil or let it create a natural mold rind.  Slathering with a smoked paprika and olive oil paste will also produce an amazing and tasty version.

Offline bobbymac29649

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Re: Hi from South Carolina
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2013, 10:09:42 AM »
Thanks for the warm welcome!
You read my mind!  I started looking into Caerphilly yesterday and spent the evening reading all I could about it.  I am amazed at the various techniques used by different people to produce the same type of cheese!  I'm realizing that cheese making is a lot like baking.  You have to be fairly exact in the key "ingredients" but there is a little wiggle room in the technique...
I found the following variations -
Mesophilic vs Themophilic
Warming the curds vs not warming the curds
Brining vs rubbed with salt
15 lbs max pressing weight vs 50 pounds

No matter what the variation the author claims the cheese to be delicious!

I had the same thought regarding the size of my cave.  I can definitely see myself filling a mini fridge within weeks.  But, if I want to live another year I can't bring in yet another large "object".  I already have a freezer that I converted to a smoker.  I have two IBC container Aquaponic systems in the driveway (growing vegies using nutrient rich water circulated from the fish tank) and multiple fish tanks inside the house.
I'll be starting my first Caerphilly this afternoon but first I have to go pick tomatoes, peppers & cukes from the garden.
Take care..


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