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GENERAL BOARDS => Introductions => Topic started by: Hansadutta on April 18, 2013, 06:22:25 AM

Title: Introduction
Post by: Hansadutta on April 18, 2013, 06:22:25 AM
Hello Everybody,

Recently I joined the forum and started reading your entertaining stories. I really like the atmosphere of the forum and therefore I decided to write a small introduction. It seemed to be the polite thing to do.
My name is Hans and I live close to Amsterdam in the Netherlands. I started making wine (unfortunately not from grapes because they are not available) about 5 years ago and recently added making beer. The way I make beer is not much more complicated than making lemonade but the end product is still beer.
About a year ago I bought a book about making cheese but I got scared when I realized I would need a cave. My house is full! So I gave up on the idea.
A few months ago however I treated myself to a wine refrigerator. Sometimes you need to buy something you don’t really need to realize why you go to work every day. And I have to say; the snob inside enjoys the fridge every day.
Then, o joy, suddenly I realized that this thing could be my cave. I decided to buy some equipment and go for it. Then I found another treasure. In dutch it is called a melktap. In short it is a machine that a farmer places at the road side and passers by can throw in some money and in return receive raw milk. I never knew that it existed and there is one so close to home that I can pick up milk by bicycle. (Can a person be more dutch?) Just picking up the milk is already a feel good experience.
Until now I made 4 cheeses (2x gouda, caerphilly and tomme de pyrénées) that are resting with the wine bottles and so far everything looks remarkably normal. I really enjoy the process and I think that in some way making wine and cheese have a lot of similarities. Especially working clean. And as somebody has said that grapejuice wants to become wine I have a similar feeling about milk wanting to become cheese.

Regards
Hans
Title: Re: Introduction
Post by: linuxboy on April 18, 2013, 07:51:26 AM
Welcome! Love the vision of you picking up milk on your bicycle and making cheese :)
Title: Re: Introduction
Post by: jwalker on April 18, 2013, 08:08:54 AM
Welcome to the forum Hans.

I too make wine , mostly from fruit other than grapes as well.

I wish our Canada was as relaxed in our milk rules as your country , we can't even buy raw milk anywhere here.

Look forward to your cheese successes.

Cheers , Jim.
Title: Re: Introduction
Post by: Tiarella on April 18, 2013, 09:25:16 AM
Welcome!!  Glad to have you here!!!  Hope you enjoy posting photos of whatever cheese you make because we all REALLY like looking at photos!!   ;D.
Title: Re: Introduction
Post by: Boofer on April 18, 2013, 10:28:27 AM
Wow, welcome the forum, Hans! Very nice introduction.

One thing in your intro really stood out for me:
Sometimes you need to buy something you don’t really need to realize why you go to work every day.
How true. 8)

If you have any pictures or details about your cheeses, we'd love to see them. How fortunate you are to have a "melktap" down the road from you. I can envision you riding home on your bicycle pulling a little trailer with milk cans.  ;)

Good to have you here.

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Introduction
Post by: Hansadutta on April 19, 2013, 01:38:35 AM
Thanks to all for your warm welcome.

I will try to make some nice pictures. Also of the melktap. I realized that I also enjoy watching other peoples' cheeses. Which really is a bit weird when you say it out loud!
Title: Re: Introduction
Post by: meyerandray on April 19, 2013, 02:11:26 AM
Welcome Hans! We have raw milk distributors in my area too, and they are great! I have now bought a 10 liter aluminum milk container thing, and I bring it to the farmer who fills up the machine, I find it easier than filling (and washing) all those 1 liter bottles.
We have another dutch on the forum, Herman, I can't remember his member name right now, but it might be nice for you two to be able to talk about where to buy equipment/cultures ecc.
Congratulations on your makes and your cave!
Celine
Title: Re: Introduction
Post by: Hansadutta on April 19, 2013, 03:17:58 AM
Hello Celine,

Before I started making cheese I never even drank raw milk but now that I have tried it I will not go back to supermarket milk. It's so much nicer! Most of our foods are produced in factories and taste accordingly. It is a bit of a frustration to me. (The Germans have a word for Dutch tomatoes. It is Wasserbombe. Meaning waterbomb! And sadly they are right.)

I use a plastic jerrycan and when I don't use it I leave it with some water and sulphite powder to keep it sterile.
I saw that there is a subforum for dutch. It has 1 post. I love that.

Hans
Title: Re: Introduction
Post by: Tiarella on April 19, 2013, 05:38:14 AM
Hans,
Celine is right.....Herman is a very nice person and makes wonderful beautiful cheese and is helpful and has a great sense of humor.  I see your humor shining through your post so it is a perfect fit for you here!!

How sad about Dutch tomatoes.  We have the same type here in the stores but most people I know grow their own.  Do you have a garden or porch for growing tomatoes?  Tomatoes and cheese are so good together!

Kathrin
Title: Re: Introduction
Post by: hoeklijn on April 19, 2013, 10:09:38 AM
Hi Hans, I already replied your post on the Dutch board and I even got PM's announcing you (apparently the show up of a Dutchman is a big event  ^-^). And so I read in your introduction the answers to all the questions I asked you. I also used to make wine a long time ago, but I don't have the space anymore to stock a bunch of 25 liter bottles with fermenting wine. I once used 75 kilo of "Boskoops Glory" to make wine, but that wasn't a big success. My best results were from vlierbloemen (elderflower), vlierbessen (elderberry), rozebottels (rosehips) and strawberries. After a discussion about making wine (still got grapes in the garden) I read about making cheese on a website where I used to order my stuff for wine. Because I had access to goat milk (a local farmer) I decided to try feta and so it started. I now have access to both raw goat as cow milk. I heard about milktaps before, but I think it's unknown in this neighborhood...
Title: Re: Introduction
Post by: KTownCheese on April 19, 2013, 10:56:03 AM
Great story Hans!  Welcome to the forum.  Keep us appraised of your experiences in the world of cheese.  Pictures of your current cheeses are always appreciated!
Cheers
Al
Title: Re: Introduction
Post by: Hansadutta on April 19, 2013, 12:32:56 PM
Kathryn,

The Dutch are not really famous for having a great cuisine. In fact the old joke is that when you ask a Dutchman for a typical Dutch food he would say "Chinese".

Hello again Herman,

I saw your reply on the well known Dutch section first so I replied some things there already. Vlierbessen are my favourite things to make a red wine. At the moment I am experimenting with dried elderberries but I am afraid it is not the same. Most of the time I am a lazy winemaker with limited resources. I use canned peaches, strawberry jam or juices from the supermarket. White wines and roses and even sparkling whites are simple and very nice but I am afraid that it is not possible to make a good red wine from anything else then good wine grapes. (Which I am trying to buy this year. The plants that is.)

Since pictures are apparently a must, here is the world famous Dutch melktap!

(http://i1332.photobucket.com/albums/w613/hansadutta/DSC00541_zpse7c782d0.jpg)

In its natural surrounding.

(http://i1332.photobucket.com/albums/w613/hansadutta/DSC00543_zps04ce66b9.jpg)

And for all the cheese stalkers. (I am a bit uncomfortable with this) 2x Gouda in wax. (Don't worry there is nothing wrong with your screen, it is a Pisa style Gouda.)

(http://i1332.photobucket.com/albums/w613/hansadutta/DSC00547_zpsf0ac395e.jpg)

The caerphilly and tomme de pyrénées in reverse order. They look a bit wet because I just washed them. They should try to look good right?

(http://i1332.photobucket.com/albums/w613/hansadutta/DSC00545_zps2a30f8ef.jpg)
Title: Re: Introduction
Post by: seemunkee on April 19, 2013, 01:39:52 PM
LOVE the milk station.  Lucky you to have that as a resource. 
Title: Re: Introduction
Post by: hoeklijn on April 20, 2013, 08:22:25 AM
Well, a cheese (a kind of kudo) for your first results! Hope they taste as good as they look.
When you're looking for grapes to make wine, try to find the "Rondo" or "Regent". There are several professionals in Holland using these kind, with good results. Google on "wijnbouw in nederland" for example....
Title: Re: Introduction
Post by: jwalker on April 20, 2013, 09:20:31 AM
I am afraid that it is not possible to make a good red wine from anything else then good wine grapes.

I would disagree with you on that point , my town (Creston BC) is famous for it's cherry crop , and I make a delicious cherry wine , as does our local winery.

It is one of the best homemade wines I have ever tried , but I even surprised myself this last year as I made a red wine from Local Italian plums and it came out just as good , if not better.

There are a lot of so-so wines , but these two fruit make an exceptional wine , I suggest you try either or both if you get a chance.

Cheers Jim.
Title: Re: Introduction
Post by: Al Lewis on April 20, 2013, 11:06:38 AM
Your cheeses look great!!  Welcome to the forum!!
Title: Re: Introduction
Post by: CheeWilly on April 20, 2013, 03:00:12 PM
Hans,
You received a cheese from me (my first cheese award).   I give it to you because Holland is such a cool place in my mind and the Melktap is something I have never heard of until now.  You will love this friendly place, welcome.
Title: Re: Introduction
Post by: Hansadutta on April 22, 2013, 04:26:28 AM
Herman,

I did some googling a few weeks ago and I ordered 2 pinotin and 2 cabertin plants from vitisvino.nl. I read 1 negative story about rondo so I decided to buy something else. I don't have room for 4 plants but that is a problem for the (near) future.

Jim,

Unfortunately I don't have access to a lot of fruits. Only elderberries and blackberries. If I want to make cherry wine it would cost me a fortune. Perhaps I can try to make wine with cherry jam.
I have tried plums and it was a nice wine but this was a rose.

Thanks a lot Al and Cheewilly. I enjoy the stories on the forum a lot. I had no idea it would be so exciting to watch a cheese ripe.  :)
Title: Re: Introduction
Post by: Tiarella on April 22, 2013, 07:14:33 AM
Quote
At the moment I am experimenting with dried elderberries but I am afraid it is not the same.

Hans,  when I read this it made me remember when I was 19 and living in a house with 4 college students.  The bath tub faucet started dripping and I came back home to find that they had called a plumber to fix it on a Sunday!!  The most expensive time to hire an expensive person and it wasn't an emergency.  I told them to call and cancel and then went to the cellar to turn off the water to that part of the house so I could take the faucet apart to replace the washer at the tub.  While in the cellar tracing where the pipes were running I found a mysterious hidden room.  I only found it because pipes disappeared into it and I knew I was still under the house.  I found the hidden door and went in to find a hidden store of homemade wine made when alcohol was prohibited in the US.  I found elderberry wine from 1921, Dandelion wine, apple wine, etc.  The Elderberry wine was SO smooth. This was in 1979 so it was 58 years old!!  Some of the wine tasted more like turpentine but we drank it anyway.  Hey, I was young!   ;D

And I did fix the leak by walking to the hardware store and spending 5 pennies on the rubber washer and walking back to replace it.  We had something to celebrate that with thanks for finding the wine cellar!   ;D
Title: Re: Introduction
Post by: Hansadutta on April 22, 2013, 12:13:48 PM
Ha ha. This is an amazing story. It has everything: poverty, decay, panicking idiots, heroisme, hope, justice, a hidden treasure, suspense, alcoholisme, a happy ending!

I can imagine that this must have been a fantastic wine.
Hans
Title: Re: Introduction
Post by: Tiarella on April 23, 2013, 09:42:38 AM
Ha ha. This is an amazing story. It has everything: poverty, decay, panicking idiots, heroisme, hope, justice, a hidden treasure, suspense, alcoholisme, a happy ending!

I can imagine that this must have been a fantastic wine.
Hans

Well, no alcoholism.  My housemates were young and earnest college students all excited about alternative lifestyles, healthy food, peace, etc which for me was just how I was raised.  They were clueless about running a house but luckily I knew to clean the rain gutters, fix things, etc.  It was an okay time but I moved after a year.

The wine WAS quite nice!!   ;D

it is nice to have you on the forum, Hans!  your humor is appreciated!!!!!  Fits right in!
Title: Re: Introduction
Post by: shotski on April 23, 2013, 05:07:17 PM
Welcome Hansadutta it looks like you have a great start and will fit in well here. I have been making wine for many years and my favorite after 25 years is blueberry wine. I am not sure that they are available there in Holland but I use frozen wild berries that I purchase from a bakery wholesale supply distributor.  I still make lots of grape wines but really like the Blueberry wine. If you need a recipe let me know.

John
Title: Re: Introduction
Post by: Hansadutta on April 26, 2013, 03:19:09 AM
Hi Shotski,

Blueberries are really expensive here. Ingredients for wine making are not available in my area. I make white wines from juices I buy in the supermarket and sometimes from fresh apples. To my surprise I find it pretty easy to make nice wines from the supermarket juices.
Red wines (My favourite according to Murphy's Law) are a different story. Elderberries and blackberries are there but I can never get enough of them. This year I made 70 litres which is drinkable in 2 years.
I tried to make some of the wine kits but so far the results are very disappointing. I am experimenting using a different yeast, adding dried elderberries and some more wood or tannine, sometimes a vanille stick and this usually makes them more interesting but I am not where I want to be. Yet.