Author Topic: New artisan cheese factory is born!  (Read 4447 times)

Offline elkato

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New artisan cheese factory is born!
« on: June 20, 2012, 10:05:23 AM »
Some photos of how the creamery is going. We began our sheep herd just last year, at the moment we are milking 40 head and plan to increase to around 200 over time, we also have unlimited access to fresh Holstein milk as we are surrounded by dairies  have not passed inspection yet, the brand name and logo are registered and we have begun the production of several blue cheeses.
the set up is: 150 Lt pasteurizer, 200 Lt vat both connected to a 2hp steam generator, working area, and a 130 sq ft cold room with 2 hp compressor diffuser
best wishes to all!
Luis.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2012, 11:03:02 AM by elkato »


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Offline H-K-J

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Re: New artisan cheese factory is born!
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2012, 10:14:23 AM »
Nice setup Luis,  ^-^
although I only make cheese 1 at a time, I get excited when I see someone do this and wonder to myself how cool it would be to do it
then I think of the work involved and fergettuhboutit ;)
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Offline elkato

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Re: New artisan cheese factory is born!
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2012, 11:14:38 AM »
Thanks H-K-J
before I was making one at a time in my stove top and it was harder. Now with the steam vats is really fun, we make very small batches so it is not  that much work.

Offline Boofer

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Re: New artisan cheese factory is born!
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2012, 02:25:53 PM »
Looks great, Luis! Nice little creamery.

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Let's ferment something!
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Re: New artisan cheese factory is born!
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2012, 04:41:28 PM »
congratulations.  Plan on making any half cow half sheep tommes?  a cheese fully merited


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Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: New artisan cheese factory is born!
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2012, 04:59:20 PM »
Luis,

I'm surprised that you started with a blue cheese. I have never encountered a blue cheese anywhere in Mexico.
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Offline Boofer

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Re: New artisan cheese factory is born!
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2012, 06:55:25 PM »
I have never encountered a blue cheese anywhere in Mexico.
Seems like he found a market niche.

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Offline elkato

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Re: New artisan cheese factory is born!
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2012, 08:24:36 PM »
 Yes Sailor, there is no blue cheese traditional to Mexico, but it is well known and reaches good prices for the imported commercial blue, and very high price for anything artisan. From all my cheese making friends in my area none is making a blue (only one Italian who makes a really good Gorgonzola) so I think there is a good niche, now I just have to keep learning to improve mine and do it constantly. Since I'm working with sheep milk I was thinking something on the Roquefort side (Yoav was very kind to pass me a recipe, but what really interest me is to arrive at a blue cheese (probably by accident) that has a somewhat unique character any advice Sailor? since you are the stillton ace? I am planing on taking a course with Peter Dixon this fall! (looking forward to that!) meanwhile just experimenting on the variations.
thanks a lot for the words of encouragement
Luis.

Offline smilingcalico

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Re: New artisan cheese factory is born!
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2012, 12:45:23 AM »
I envy your great little setup.  I hope it supports you well.  Congratulations on making your dream come true!
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Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: New artisan cheese factory is born!
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2012, 08:04:21 AM »
Luis,

I have start-up cheesemakers contact me pretty often and there is one piece of advice that I always give them. "Do your marketing FIRST." With a little time and motivation, most people can learn to make decent cheese, but very few have the ability or personality for good marketing.

A new artisan cheesemaker cannot expect to be successful making cheddar or Gouda, or Parmesan. There are thousands of companies making those cheeses and the market is flooded with inexpensive cheese. You have to develop your own styles and flavors to stand out.

The fact that there is little or no domestic blue in Mexico is great for you. There are many styles of blue from dry and crumbly to soft and creamy. Some with strong blue flavor. Some very mild. You need to quickly figure our what your customers want and then how to produce it consistently. How are you going to sell? Direct to consumers? Restaurants? Grocery stores? Farmers Markets?

Your setup looks great and you seem to have a good game plan. Good luck.
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Offline elkato

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Re: New artisan cheese factory is born!
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2012, 09:29:13 AM »
Sailor
I plan to market at first trough a couple of artisan and imported cheese brokers that I have contacted, one of them from Mexico City was the one that pointed out the existence of a niche in sheep milk blue cheese, and was very optimistic about moving the wheels(which are not so many) So on paper it sounds good, now we will see how it works out for real. I am also contacting directly speciality stores in my area  and in the future even a small retail space. In general the preference here is for milder flavor cheeses, and my cheese buddies have really liked the flavor of the first tryouts (with a couple of failures, as this type of cheese is way trickyer than I thought)

Smillingcalico thank you! I really like your blog, your video on what is an "artisan cheese" is great way to teach people the great difference between commercial mediocre cheese and a unique Artisan product

Boofer thank a lot!

Frotte la Tomme that is a very good idea, I have some pure sheep milk tomme that came out very decent

Offline Tomer1

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Re: New artisan cheese factory is born!
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2012, 10:18:35 AM »
You should try to design a cheese which features mexican vannila as I know mexicans are trying to rise awareness for the fact that vannila originates from mexico, not madagascar and save the local industry.
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Offline linuxboy

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Re: New artisan cheese factory is born!
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2012, 10:34:50 AM »
I've had some good results using the bean as fuel and cold smoking it for a savory cheese, or rubbing a vanilla/spice paste (almost like a mole) on a tomme. For sweet cheeses, it's easier.
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Offline Tomer1

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Re: New artisan cheese factory is born!
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2012, 03:18:43 PM »
Perhaps washing with a dry Vannila mead.  Or injecting a creamy blue cheee with a sweet vannilla mead.
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Offline elkato

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Re: New artisan cheese factory is born!
« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2012, 08:27:48 PM »
Tomer1    that is a great idea, even though vanilla doesn't grow in my area I can easily get fresh beans and as you point it can add a Mexican side to the flavor, I will look into the possibilities.

Thank you Linux the "vanilla mole" and the smoking sounds really good!