Author Topic: Cheese Molds - Whey Weep Hole Density & Size > Straw Mats Discussion  (Read 3553 times)

Offline milkybar kid

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Re: Cheese Molds - Whey Weep Hole Density & Size > Straw Mats Discussion
« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2011, 05:36:47 PM »
Thanks for your offer,if aiming at me. I may of found a supplier of moulds, as i said things are changing slowly (me as well!)

Only just found out that sea salt will do what cheese salt does, which i can't find over here,cheese salt,(naive me). I thank that person, and everyone for their help.

Britain is always at the back of the que for certain things.



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Offline iratherfly

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Re: Cheese Molds - Whey Weep Hole Density & Size > Straw Mats Discussion
« Reply #16 on: December 06, 2011, 06:06:37 PM »
That's funny, you live on a massive Island on the European side of the Atlantic, yet sea salt is in short supply. huh?

I suspect some sea salt has iodine in it which kills of some of your desired cheese molds and bacterium. The best salt to use is no-additive kosher salt. Fine flake size is better than coarse/rock salt

Glad you found local moulds in decent prices. Where? (a friend in the UK with some goats and a land in the middle of nowhere wants to try making some cheese)

Offline milkybar kid

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Re: Cheese Molds - Whey Weep Hole Density & Size > Straw Mats Discussion
« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2011, 07:18:23 AM »
I must of put that across wrong, plenty of sea salt,but have only just found out that this is acceptable for cheese making, i have wrote to the shop that supplies it, as you cannot e-mail, bit sad with todays technologey (sp). it's LIDL.
I cannot find kosher salt for sale here. but been advised that sea salt is okay, as long as it's fine. Will let you know when/if  i get a reply.

The moulds, GN Supplies, (Goat Nutrition), i need to order, but have to try and find a mould or two that will do a few different cheeses. not just a specific cheese, i know that may not be possible. Thanks.

http://stores.ebay.co.uk/small-farm-supplies?_trksid=p4340.l2563

Offline Cloversmilker

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Re: Cheese Molds - Whey Weep Hole Density & Size > Straw Mats Discussion
« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2011, 10:38:00 PM »
Here in the US pickling salt seems to be a feasible option to use in cheesemaking. 

Iratherfly, please tell how you use hay and straw for aging cheese.  Any particular types?  What stage do you use at? 

Offline iratherfly

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Re: Cheese Molds - Whey Weep Hole Density & Size > Straw Mats Discussion
« Reply #19 on: December 08, 2011, 01:15:06 AM »
I use the Diamond Crystal brand of kosher salt. This brand also makes fine kosher salt which is otherwise rare. This is the ultimate cheese salt. This is a Cargill brand so depending where you are around the country it may be sold under a different name such as Red Cross. They also have a brand for flake salts for food production (cheese, meat curing) called Alberger.

Straw and hay - I put them in the ripening container on top of the elevated platform (so they don't "swim" in the whey or transfer it back to the cheese). It doesn't need to be very dense (should allow some air flow) so don't use much. I put it in the box when the cheese has dried enough so that it isn't really wet to the touch, but before the rind fully blooms.  The hay give the cheese really nice grassy aroma as well as random yellowish color streaks on the rind. The best results I have gotten so far were with mixed variety that included buckwheat straw. The straw also helps wick out excess moisture and redistribute it in the air -that balances the cheese beautifully. (less need to turn and worry about moisture and rind control so much).  It's also a great way to build up some rind bacteria and let it help the next cheese, so I don't wash them with salt. If they get moldy or present some contamination to the cheese (such as unwanted color of rind or yeast) than I just steam them for 10-20 minutes and wipe them while they are still warm.  If they begin to smell I replace them. It's inexpensive.

I just pulled some stuff out of the cave for this post and snapped some quick photos. The photo name explains it:


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Offline Cloversmilker

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Re: Cheese Molds - Whey Weep Hole Density & Size > Straw Mats Discussion
« Reply #20 on: December 08, 2011, 02:01:26 PM »
Hmmm.  Wheat straw, orchard grass, and alfalfa are easily accessible here.  I may try the wheat straw and orchard grass.  Somehow, the alfalfa seems less likely to result in a positive outcome.

Didn't mean to take the thread off at a tangent.  Fied, I really appreciate hearing about your family's dairy practices.  My grandfather and uncles were dairymen here in the PNW.  However, there isn't the continuity of dairy practices (such as cheesemaking) in the US.  I grew up with a family milk cow, but cottage cheese was the only cultured product made at home.  It was a marvelous revelation when I realized a wide variety of cheeses could be made at home.

Offline kateskitchen

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Re: Cheese Molds - Whey Weep Hole Density & Size > Straw Mats Discussion
« Reply #21 on: November 17, 2012, 01:43:05 PM »
For what it's worth, I'm one of those people who doesn't want to spend money on professional-grade equipment until I'm sure I'll stick with the hobby or do it often enough to justify the expenditure. If there's a cheaper/free alternative, I'll give it a try. Today I'm making fromage blanc (no goat milk, but using a chevre starter) and I want to compare the difference between draining in butter muslin vs. a mold. No time to order a specialty mold, so here's what I did...

The measurement for the chevre molds sold at New England Cheesemaking is about 3.5" in diameter (at the top) and about 3.75" tall. I discovered that this is almost exactly the same size as the containers in which a pint of sour cream and other supermarket dairy products comes in.

After looking at photos of the professional molds, I determined that (a) there should not be holes on the bottom, and (b) the holes on the sides of the container should start about 1/2" from the base and be spaced one on top of the other about 1.125" or so apart (in rows). Skew the placement of the holes in alternate rows so that you have sort of a checkerboard effect.

To make the holes, I used a stainless steel kebab skewer and heated it on my gas stove burner. The skewer made a neat, clean hole with almost no ragged edges. (Every now and then, I wiped the skewer to remove excess build-up of plastic.)

In the long run, I'm sure I will want to purchase professional grade molds because they will hold up to sterilization and washing much better. Can't imagine my re-purposed sour cream container lasting longer than a couple of uses. But as a stop-gap solution I am hoping this will do the trick.