I've been lurking for a month or so as I start playing with the wonderful world of making cheese. This forum has been a wealth of information for me and I wanted to say thankyou and introduce myself. I'm an Australian who's moved to Tasmania, Australia for work, after many years of living in the UK (the usual story: went for what was to be a two year contract, liked my job, met a charming Brit, promised to hate the French and stayed). Australia has a lot to offer but falls down for us with two of our passions: good ale and English cheeses. We are very fond of Cheshire cheese and stilton. It's almost impossible to buy Cheshire in Australia, and decent stilton goes for $80+/kilo.
I've been brewing, sourdough baking and making my own tofu for years so cheesemaking is the logical next step. I have local friends who make cheese and have mainly been waiting until joined by DH to start as although I love cheese I can't eat very much of it myself. I've made baby steps so far, starting with feta and halloumi (which were all scoffed immediately) and I was hooked. I made a Caerphilly a few weeks ago, to test my hard-cheesemaking abilities. I've judged the Caerphilly a success for a first hard cheese as it's matured well, waxed in a 14C hall cupboard and even melts when heated. This week I've made myself a rough cheese press and will be attempting a 10-litre batch of Cheshire this weekend. My interest is with the long-maturing hard cheeses. Over the next few weeks I'd like to play with making stilton, cheddar and parmesan as well.
We're very fortunate in Tasmania as a local dairy and cheese maker on the north of the island (Pyengana) sell a whole-milk which is pasteurised but unhomogenised and is ideal for making cheese. My local cheesemaking friends and I are also discussing trying to co-operatively buy a bulk lot of raw milk in the spring, which I'm excited about.
Nice to meet you all.