Author Topic: Well, hello  (Read 696 times)

Offline Geo

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Well, hello
« on: August 29, 2013, 06:59:23 PM »
Hi all,

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.

Cheers,
Tara


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Offline Tiarella

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Re: Well, hello
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2013, 09:54:50 AM »
Welcome!  So nice to have you here.  Look forward to many stories and photos of your cheese makes!!!  Do you have Gianaclis Caldwell's book?  I highly recommend it.  Lots of good theory there.....and she has a good sense of humor as well.  I still chuckle when I think of her working name for a cheese she was developing that was wrapped in a fig leaf.  The working name was " Adam's Package"!   ;D

I've been on a tomme making kick, mostly natural rinds.  They all come out so unique that each one needs it's own name. 

Glad to have you here!

Offline Geo

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Re: Well, hello
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2013, 03:53:01 PM »
Thanks for your welcome Tiarella! I've been reading about what you've been doing with your Tommes, and they do look fabulous.

I don't have Caldwell's book as yet, although my local book store carries it so I had a flick through it the other day. I've been working mostly from Kathy Bliss's "Practical Cheesemaking", historical texts on Cheshire cheese and an Australian book so far. I may have to indulge and treat myself to Caldwell's book. If only for the story of Adam's Package!  ;)

Offline Geo

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Re: Well, hello
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2013, 07:16:49 PM »
I caved yesterday and treated myself to Caldwell's book. The lady behind the counter in the bookstore had watched me walk in 10 seconds before and said "it didn't take you long to choose that!"

She musn't have seen me cruising past it in odd lunch breaks for the past month...

Offline Tiarella

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Re: Well, hello
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2013, 06:25:29 AM »
You'll like it.  The only issue for me is the recipes are hard for me to sort through.  She'll say in text that someone is sharing their recipe for a certain type of cheese and then it's hard to know which recipe that is because she's calling it by a generic name.  I've taken to writing in my book which is extremely rare for me.   Have lots of fun with it!!!


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Offline Geo

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Re: Well, hello
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2013, 03:50:31 PM »
Yes, that's one of the things that made me pause before buying it, along with the way that approach makes the book seem as though it focuses more on the softer, milder cheeses which aren't my primary focus. But I'm very pleased I bought it and look forward to absorbing its information.

Having said that, I've not had much chance as yet. Work is a bit all-absorbing this week.

Offline Tiarella

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Re: Well, hello
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2013, 04:12:29 PM »
There are plenty of hard cheese recipes and endless ways to vary them so I think you'll be satisfied with it.  I too am mostly making hard cheeses.  I have been creating a tomme "make sheet" that has directions as well as space to write in how that particular batch goes.  This makes cheese notes easy.  I haven't finished tweaking it yet and it's based on what I need to do for raw Nigerian Dwarf goat milk so it's not for everyone but I do recommend creating your own make notes for the recipes you like.  I put a grid on the back for affinage notes with lots of easy ways to fill in whatever it was I did on whatever date.   Happy cheesing!   ;D

Offline Boofer

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Re: Well, hello
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2013, 08:18:16 AM »
Welcome to the forum, Tara. Good to have you here. :)

I'll be watching your Cheshire with a keen interest. It's a style I have contemplated for a while now.

-Boofer-
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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Well, hello
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2013, 09:10:39 AM »
You should go for it :)
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 Geo

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Re: Well, hello
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2013, 03:49:16 PM »
Hah! If you're all mad, I'll fit *right* in!

Boofer, thanks. I actually made two Cheshires last weekend, to compare two different recipes. One's in its final day in the press, the other is air-drying (but cracking at the moment for predictable reasons). I plan to make a post and share over the next day or so. I've had a busy week, and seem to keep finding myself with the cable to download the photos at work, and the book with my notes at home. Eventually I have to remember one or the other at the right time.


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Offline Boofer

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Re: Well, hello
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2013, 06:02:13 PM »
One's in its final day in the press,
How many weeks has it been? ;)

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Offline Geo

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Re: Well, hello
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2013, 08:41:35 PM »
Excellent point!  ;)

0.57, to be precise. This recipe called for three days of pressing after the initial 24-hour press.

Offline Boofer

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Re: Well, hello
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2013, 05:12:03 PM »
Whose recipe is it? That seems like a very long time in the press. :o

Most times, my pressing only lasts for hours or overnight at most. I'm watching for the pH to drop to the 5.3-5.4 range.

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Offline Geo

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Re: Well, hello
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2013, 05:26:37 PM »
It struck me as a long time as well but I thought I'd give it a try and see what result it gave.

The recipe is that of Kathy Bliss, in "Practical Cheesemaking". Her recipe calls for an initial overnight press at 48 Nm2, then a 3-day press. One day one, no weight in the press. Day 2, press at 24 Nm2, and at 49 Nm2 on day 3.

Offline Boofer

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Re: Well, hello
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2013, 08:55:30 AM »
The recipe is that of Kathy Bliss, in "Practical Cheesemaking". Her recipe calls for an initial overnight press at 48 Nm2, then a 3-day press. One day one, no weight in the press. Day 2, press at 24 Nm2, and at 49 Nm2 on day 3.
I'm not familiar with that book or author. I had to Google "Nm2".

For those interested folks, here's the link: "http://www.translatorscafe.com/cafe/units-converter/pressure/calculator/newton-per-square-meter-[N/m%5E2]-to-psi-[psi]/" The brackets inside the link cause problems displaying it. Grab everything inside the quote marks.

Here's another converter link to confirm the results: "http://www.endmemo.com/sconvert/n_m2psi.php" It gives a slightly different conversion: 0.006961824

I must be doing something wrong. I'm looking at 48 N/m2 and seeing 0.006961811 psi. Is that correct? If so, I don't understand what the author, Kathy Bliss, is trying to achieve.

Here are several examples of Cheshire recipes:
-Boofer-
« Last Edit: September 06, 2013, 07:23:23 PM by Boofer »
Let's ferment something!
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