Author Topic: First Post, and some general equipment advise.  (Read 250 times)

Offline Scuba_Steve

  • New Cheese
  • *
  • Location: Pooler, GA
  • Posts: 4
  • Cheeses: 0
  • Default personal text
First Post, and some general equipment advise.
« on: December 29, 2015, 11:25:19 PM »
Hello everyone,

I have been a long time lover of cheeses, and decided to look into the art of producing my own.

I want to make a variety of cheeses.  Here is what I purchased so far:

Basic Meso, Thermo, and Rennet Package
Cheese Salt 8oz
Citric Acid 8oz
Calcium Chloride 2oz
Soft Cheese Mold
Hard Cheese Mold 2lb
Cheese Wax 1lb
Boar Hair Brush 2in
Fine Cheese Cloth

I already had from other hobbies:
Star San
Cheap pH Meter

First of all, did I miss anything other than standard kitchen utensils such as a knife, ladle, and thermometer?

Second, I wanted to start out only making 2lb batches.  How large of a stainless pot should I get for ideal usage?  About 12qt?  16qt?

Would I be better off using 2, 6" Half sized SS Steam pans stacked to make a double broiler?
Steam Pan

Will I be happy with a small waxing pot for now?  I was looking at this:
Melting Pot 2lb

Thanks!
« Last Edit: December 30, 2015, 12:15:09 AM by Scuba_Steve »

Offline Raw Prawn

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: South Australia
  • Posts: 320
  • Cheeses: 45
  • Default personal text
Re: First Post, and some general equipment advise.
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2015, 01:18:51 AM »
Hi Steve, welcome to the forum.
If you are looking to make cheese in 2 lb batches, about 1 kg, you will be wanting about 8-10 litres of milk. I think that's around 2 -2 1/2 gallons, so you will need something which hold that at the least. The double boiler idea may work but I don't know if it would give you enough water in the bath to provide optimum temperature control.
The other piece of equipment which you may find that you need fairly soon is a press. There are a number of presses available and a lot of cheesemakers make their own. You will find plenty of information and ideas about both options on this forum.
One other thing you might like to know about concerns rennet. I see that you are using rennet tablets. These work well but you need to be careful working out quantities for different recipes. Many recipes give quantities for liquid rennet which means that you then have to work out the equivalent for your tablets. This becomes more confusing when you realise that not all tablets are the same strength (nor are all liquids for that matter).
When I started making cheese I used tablets and found that the dosage I started with was way off. My advice would be, in the first instance, to use the dosage rate stated by the manufacturer of the tablets rather than the dosage indicated in recipes. Once you get more experience you will come to understand which cheeses might benefit from a higher or lower dosage. (By that time you'll probably be using liquid rennet anyway.)
Good luck.
- Andrew

Offline qdog1955

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: York, Pa. USA
  • Posts: 541
  • Cheeses: 46
  • Just because we can----doesn't mean we should
Re: First Post, and some general equipment advise.
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2015, 03:17:41 AM »
Hi Steve, welcome to the forum.
  In receiving answers to your questions----bare in mind, that you may receive answers that seem contradictory. Lots of us have developed different methods that work best for our particular situations and different experiences.
  You can figure roughly 1 lb. of cheese per gallon of milk----this will very some, depending on types of milk and different cheese recipes.
 Always go bigger on your vats then you actually need----you need room to stir without slopping all over the place. I originally started with round vats, but mostly use rectangular steam pans now----up to 6 gallons, over that and I am back to my round vats.
 I very seldom wax cheese any more-----I prefer vac bagging----but if you insist on waxing-----skip the cold waxing and brushing, and go to hot wax dipping-----I dip at 230 degrees, using a candy thermometer and an old fashioned heavy aluminum pan on a hot plate----this is somewhat more dangerous then a double boiler----with a little caution, all is good. My pan is 10 in. diameter--8 in. deep-----5/16 in. wall----can easily do 8 in. cheese.
Qdog
Worrying----is like sitting in a rocking chair---- a lot of motion-----but it gets you no where.

Offline Scuba_Steve

  • New Cheese
  • *
  • Location: Pooler, GA
  • Posts: 4
  • Cheeses: 0
  • Default personal text
Re: First Post, and some general equipment advise.
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2015, 10:54:37 AM »
Ok, thank you for the advise.

I originally planned on using liquid rennet. Really I just wanted to save a few bucks to start out. I am sure when i repurchase I will use liquid and multiply my own cultures of molds as well.

I think I really like the idea of using steam pans. I like the diy curd cutters that accommodate them if anything. I went ahead and purchased a couple 6in half pans.  Should hold about 3g.

Offline Al Lewis

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Port Orchard Washington
  • Posts: 2,409
  • Cheeses: 122
Re: First Post, and some general equipment advise.
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2015, 01:25:38 PM »
I use an old deep fryer the wife had for waxing.  You can set the temp at 200° F and it works great.  I can dip 4 pound cheeses in it.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2015, 02:27:44 PM by Al Lewis »
Making the World a Safer Place, One Cheese at a Time!  http://alewis64.blogspot.com/

Online Stinky

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: California
  • Posts: 1,005
  • Cheeses: 77
Re: First Post, and some general equipment advise.
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2015, 02:32:54 PM »
Hopefully you already have things like colanders and turkey basters already lying around...?
It's probably a pathogen.

Offline Boofer

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Parkland, Washington
  • Posts: 4,511
  • Cheeses: 267
  • Contemplating cheese
Re: First Post, and some general equipment advise.
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2016, 11:33:02 AM »
Hopefully you already have things like colanders and turkey basters already lying around...?
Turkey blasters? ???  :o

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

Offline Al Lewis

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Port Orchard Washington
  • Posts: 2,409
  • Cheeses: 122
Re: First Post, and some general equipment advise.
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2016, 11:34:05 AM »
Hopefully you already have things like colanders and turkey basters already lying around...?
Turkey blasters? ???  :o

-Boofer-

??? ??? :o
Making the World a Safer Place, One Cheese at a Time!  http://alewis64.blogspot.com/

Online Stinky

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: California
  • Posts: 1,005
  • Cheeses: 77
Re: First Post, and some general equipment advise.
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2016, 01:55:39 PM »
Hm?

Turkey basters come in handy surprisingly often. For example, if I'm pressing something on a pan to catch the whey, and i get up in the morning and the why is about to overflow. I've used it a lot here and there.
It's probably a pathogen.