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GENERAL BOARDS => Introductions => Topic started by: KatKooks on February 08, 2014, 07:17:00 PM

Title: Hello from Ontario, Canada
Post by: KatKooks on February 08, 2014, 07:17:00 PM
Hello everyone!  I'm new to the board and have done a lot of reading here already....this is a great resource.  I have just started making cheese in my home and have successfully made Halloumi, Cheddar, Parmesan, and something called Caerphilly.  ....and when I say successful, I mean that they look like cheese in my cave but I haven't tasted them yet and hope they are edible.  Thank you in advance for your insight!  Cheers! 
Title: Re: Hello from Ontario, Canada
Post by: jwalker on February 09, 2014, 09:46:34 AM
Sounds like you're already off to a good start.

Always nice to have another "Cheese Head" here.

How old are your current cheeses ?

Welcome Kat.
Title: Re: Hello from Ontario, Canada
Post by: KatKooks on February 09, 2014, 03:12:27 PM
Hi jwalker,  thanks for the welcome!  I am a complete newbie having cheeses that are only 2 & 3 weeks old means that I won't be tasting for a while.  The curds from my cheddar tasted pretty good but the Halloumi today was waaaay too salty....I need to step the brine back a bit.
Cheers
Title: Re: Hello from Ontario, Canada
Post by: John@PC on February 10, 2014, 04:39:57 PM
Assuming that's your cave and the cheese in it are yours it looks like you're off to a great start.  Sounds like you weren't familiar with Caerphilly - I had never heard of it before either but it's now my favorite cheese to make!  Good luck.
Title: Re: Hello from Ontario, Canada
Post by: KatKooks on February 10, 2014, 05:58:49 PM
Assuming that's your cave and the cheese in it are yours it looks like you're off to a great start.  Sounds like you weren't familiar with Caerphilly - I had never heard of it before either but it's now my favorite cheese to make!  Good luck.

Thanks John, that's actually hilarious because my first 2 batches went down the toilet!  Yes, the cave and cheese are mine but I have yet to taste any of my creations beyond the Halloumi and am excited to taste some success.

I bought this great book and the description of Caerphilly sounded awesome, so I jumped on that.  However, having no frame of reference as a comparison might make judging my success hard!

Cheers!
Title: Re: Hello from Ontario, Canada
Post by: John@PC on February 10, 2014, 06:38:24 PM
Thanks John, that's actually hilarious because my first 2 batches went down the toilet!  Yes, the cave and cheese are mine but I have yet to taste any of my creations beyond the Halloumi and am excited to taste some success.
  I've had to toss a bunch of makes too but most if not all I could trace back to a distinct mistake I made.   If you can't wait for your cheese to hit it's aging target you may want to purchase a cheese trier so you can sample a portion with minimum damage to the cheese.   As for Caerphilly, I personally like it fairly young (6 weeks or so) because it's SO good and being the impatient person I am I can't wait ^-^!
Title: Re: Hello from Ontario, Canada
Post by: JimSteel on February 10, 2014, 10:00:59 PM
Welcome Kat.  Nice to see another fellow Canadian on the boards.

Caerphilly is a good starter cheese because it can be eaten young, so you can try a variety of techniques with relatively quick feedback.  The others types are quite adventurous for starter cheeses.  I tried a whole lot of different cheeses out when I started(been making for a year), but have narrowed it down to 3 or 4 types that I can make fairly well and am trying to perfect.

Have fun and let us know how things turn out.
Title: Re: Hello from Ontario, Canada
Post by: Spoons on February 12, 2014, 10:31:45 PM
Welcome to the boards, Kat! Caerphilly is quite popular here. I particularly like it melted, it melts so well! almost like a gooey mozz.

Kat, I don't know if you have access to raw milk, but whenever I see an Ontarian join, I refer them to Harmony milk. It's a great source of non-homogenized milk here in Ontario. Their 35% cream is non-homogenized. What I do is I buy 0% Neilson milk and mix it with 35% Harmony cream. I've had nothing but great results.
Title: Re: Hello from Ontario, Canada
Post by: KatKooks on February 19, 2014, 06:29:42 PM
Thanks for the warm welcome and words of advice, guys. 

John, even 6 weeks is agony at this point!  It seems like making any more cheese before I've tried what I've created so far is kinda backwards but I'm gonna go ahead anyways.  I will look for a cheese trier on my next order.  TIA!

I figure I might as well try many different types, Jim, because everything I like to eat are blended cheeses.  I'm trying different ones to see if I can find the sweetness and texture that I'm aiming for in my target cheese and then make my own blend.  May or may not work!  lol.

That's a fabulous idea Eric!  Any idea where I could look for Harmony cream?  I like the idea of mixing milks to get closer to whole milk and hopefully make a tasty base in the process.

I'm doing my best to study and learn as quickly as possible but there are some concepts that are escaping me.  I am cautiously optimistic and hopefully I will have a tasty cheese soon to spur me on soon!

Cheers!



Title: Re: Hello from Ontario, Canada
Post by: Spoons on February 19, 2014, 07:31:46 PM
Any idea where I could look for Harmony cream?  I like the idea of mixing milks to get closer to whole milk and hopefully make a tasty base in the process.


Just use their Store Location function here: http://www.harmonyorganic.on.ca/store-locations/ (http://www.harmonyorganic.on.ca/store-locations/)

I really like like mixing cream and milk. It's an easy way to standardize milk to the appropriate P:F ratio (protein-to-fat ratio) depending on the cheese you want to make.

I'm doing my best to study and learn as quickly as possible but there are some concepts that are escaping me.  I am cautiously optimistic and hopefully I will have a tasty cheese soon to spur me on soon!


Sounds like you're having fun with this hobby. You can always ask around if you have questions. I learned more here than any other book resources. Hope to hear from more of your cheese adventures soon!
Title: Re: Hello from Ontario, Canada
Post by: shotski on February 20, 2014, 09:04:26 PM
Welcome to the  board KatKooks

Welcome to the boards, Kat! Caerphilly is quite popular here. I particularly like it melted, it melts so well! almost like a gooey mozz.

Kat, I don't know if you have access to raw milk, but whenever I see an Ontarian join, I refer them to Harmony milk. It's a great source of non-homogenized milk here in Ontario. Their 35% cream is non-homogenized. What I do is I buy 0% Neilson milk and mix it with 35% Harmony cream. I've had nothing but great results.

is the 0% powder or liquid milk and how much 0% to 35% cream do you use?

Thanks.
Title: Re: Hello from Ontario, Canada
Post by: Spoons on February 20, 2014, 10:32:05 PM
Hi Shotski,

You're from Ontario too so I'll share my exact milk concoctions:

16L of 0% Neilson skim Milk (the regular kind, not the "Trutaste" one)

Then I add Harmony's 35% unhomogenized whipping cream (it's also low pasteurized). The quantity I add depends on the cheese I'm making. keeping track of Protein:Fat ratio. So here it is:

Gouda/Havarti : 1.7L for a P:F of about 1.08
Jack cheese/Caerphilly : 1.8L for a P:F of about 1.02
Cheddar : 2L for a P:F of about 0.92

1.7L of cream for 16L of skim is a good place to start if you don't want to pay attention to P:F ratios. This is for the "Neilson-Harmony" mix only. Other brands may not have the same fat or protein content.

Hope this helps.
Title: Re: Hello from Ontario, Canada
Post by: KatKooks on February 21, 2014, 06:32:14 AM
That's fantastic information Eric, thanks!  I looked up harmony and we do have it locally so I'm going to give it a shot.

Title: Re: Hello from Ontario, Canada
Post by: shotski on February 22, 2014, 07:51:35 AM
Hi Shotski,

You're from Ontario too so I'll share my exact milk concoctions:

16L of 0% Neilson skim Milk (the regular kind, not the "Trutaste" one)

Then I add Harmony's 35% unhomogenized whipping cream (it's also low pasteurized). The quantity I add depends on the cheese I'm making. keeping track of Protein:Fat ratio. So here it is:

Gouda/Havarti : 1.7L for a P:F of about 1.08
Jack cheese/Caerphilly : 1.8L for a P:F of about 1.02
Cheddar : 2L for a P:F of about 0.92

1.7L of cream for 16L of skim is a good place to start if you don't want to pay attention to P:F ratios. This is for the "Neilson-Harmony" mix only. Other brands may not have the same fat or protein content.

Hope this helps.

Thanks Eric, I have not followed the p:f ratio I have only watched the % of milk fat ie the whole unhomogenized milk I get is 3.8% mf. Is this the same thing or do I need to do some reading on protein fat.
Thanks  John
Title: Re: Hello from Ontario, Canada
Post by: Spoons on February 22, 2014, 09:15:49 AM
Thanks Eric, I have not followed the p:f ratio I have only watched the % of milk fat ie the whole unhomogenized milk I get is 3.8% mf. Is this the same thing or do I need to do some reading on protein fat.
Thanks  John

Making cheese with whole milk, whether it's 3.25% or 3.8%, is perfectly fine. Using unhomogenized milk is already a big upgrade from regular store-bought milk. Paying attention to P:F ratios is just fine tuning (for a hobbyist anyway).

So, paying attention to P:F ratios is really not a necessity for a hobbyist, as long as you have a good source of fresh milk. It's just one of those things you decide to tackle if you want to step it up a notch.
Title: Re: Hello from Ontario, Canada
Post by: shotski on February 22, 2014, 09:45:36 AM
Thanks for the clarification Eric
Title: Re: Hello from Ontario, Canada
Post by: Flound on February 22, 2014, 04:41:10 PM
Thanks for the warm welcome and words of advice, guys. 

John, even 6 weeks is agony at this point!  It seems like making any more cheese before I've tried what I've created so far is kinda backwards but I'm gonna go ahead anyways.  I will look for a cheese trier on my next order.  TIA!

I figure I might as well try many different types, Jim, because everything I like to eat are blended cheeses.  I'm trying different ones to see if I can find the sweetness and texture that I'm aiming for in my target cheese and then make my own blend.  May or may not work!  lol.

That's a fabulous idea Eric!  Any idea where I could look for Harmony cream?  I like the idea of mixing milks to get closer to whole milk and hopefully make a tasty base in the process.

I'm doing my best to study and learn as quickly as possible but there are some concepts that are escaping me.  I am cautiously optimistic and hopefully I will have a tasty cheese soon to spur me on soon!

Cheers!

Welcome from a fellow noob.

I've got 3 Caerphillies under my belt and under direction of the good Doctor Hamm, I've tried two at just over 3 weeks. Granted, I'm aging halfwheels of both out a bit farther, but maybe it's just luck, but both have been quite delicious at 3-4 weeks. Downright yummy, actually.

Vive la cheese
Title: Re: Hello from Ontario, Canada
Post by: KatKooks on March 03, 2014, 01:39:46 PM


I've got 3 Caerphillies under my belt and under direction of the good Doctor Hamm, I've tried two at just over 3 weeks. Granted, I'm aging halfwheels of both out a bit farther, but maybe it's just luck, but both have been quite delicious at 3-4 weeks. Downright yummy, actually.

Vive la cheese

I am so afraid to try my cheese.  Don't get me wrong...I am excited, but all of my curds taste the same...bland and boring.  I sincerely hope that some serious flavour develops over time because if not, I'll have to post all my makes individually and get advice from you on what I'm doing wrong.  YIKES!  ...crossing my fingers!
Title: Re: Hello from Ontario, Canada
Post by: Flound on March 03, 2014, 02:46:30 PM
Meh, you couldn't have been more worried than I as my curds were just as flavourless and uninteresting as you say yours are.

Yet so far, the two I've tried have been delicious. And everyone that's had a piece has echoed that sentiment. Fyi, I make sure they try it in my presence and you can see the interest and/or skepticism turn instantly in wonder. Too hard to fake that.

To be clear, I'm not saying that as a boast, because really, I didn't know what I was doing except following the great advice and hard lessons by the great group of folks here. On the shoulders of giants, I am.

Which is funny, in a sense, because I feel like I know them, having read all their stories and interactions, but to them I'm a relative stranger.

To cheese!
Title: Re: Hello from Ontario, Canada
Post by: John@PC on March 05, 2014, 04:36:42 PM
I am excited, but all of my curds taste the same...bland and boring.
  That does raise an interesting question: are all fresh curds (i.e. the ones that drop on the mat when you're packing your mold) bland and boring?  I've never really tasted much difference - they're good, but compared to the end aged product they are rather bland.
Title: Re: Hello from Ontario, Canada
Post by: KatKooks on March 05, 2014, 08:09:33 PM
That's reassuring Flound!  I will let you know when I finally taste....my first should be ready at the end of the month.

My curds are definitely nothing to write home about, John.  Honestly I would never eat them typically because they are really so very bland.  Time will tell.
Title: Re: Hello from Ontario, Canada
Post by: Spoons on March 05, 2014, 08:46:51 PM
My curds are definitely nothing to write home about, John.  Honestly I would never eat them typically because they are really so very bland.  Time will tell.

Don't worry about the taste of the curd. It's not supposed to taste anything. It's unsalted and the cultures haven't had the time to acidify and develop taste yet. They practically all taste the same but they do have a difference in texture depending on the type of cheese you're making (firmer for a hard cheese for instance). So don't worry about it. Tasting a curd will NOT tell you how your cheese will turn out.
Title: Re: Hello from Ontario, Canada
Post by: KatKooks on March 06, 2014, 04:47:23 PM

Don't worry about the taste of the curd. It's not supposed to taste anything. It's unsalted and the cultures haven't had the time to acidify and develop taste yet. They practically all taste the same but they do have a difference in texture depending on the type of cheese you're making (firmer for a hard cheese for instance). So don't worry about it. Tasting a curd will NOT tell you how your cheese will turn out.

That is very reassuring...Thanks Eric!!
Cheers