I'm getting kind of worried that I am starting threads where people are going to think I am some kind of expert. I am not. Mind you, I am not a complete dill - I do know some things about, well, some things! While I am sharing my alcohol recipes (and causing havoc), my greater love is my cheese making. But, I am no expert here folks! I hope this becomes an unfolding thread where people feel free to add their own knowledge. (I hope that for both threads actually.)
Post number 1:
My beginners advice on how best to start: buy a kit. It will get you the basic equipment to start - crazy little measuring spoons, a couple of molds, a few cheese starters etc. What I like about the kits is that you get some instructions that are pretty simple. I started on a Fresh Cheese Kit that cost me around $90. Really simple, and I was producing feta in a day or two. Yes, you can use shop bought whole milk. Most of the equipment can be found in every kitchen, but you still need to start with a kit.
Where can I get a starter kit? Most home brew places have them. Brewers Choice are a certainty but you can get them on line, green living at Underwood do kits and are also on line - a kit is as far away as a google search.
I confess to a degree of impatience. So, I didn't start with really soft cheeses. I went straight to feta. I confess that I am also not a genius. From cheese number one, it worked out fine. Um... it's follow the recipe guys. Best of all, almost no ageing time. You make, you eat. And it is damn fine cheese.
Next post, I'll talk about huge improvements to the base recipe, especially for feta. Umm.. I will if anyone is interested. I don't know this community very well as yet, but I figure if nobody comments, this thread is a loser (that's how most forums work). I'm no expert, and you don't have to be either.
Actually - after a quick re-consider, the next post will be an explanation of the basic process to make something like feta. It's a good mid-ground complexity that will help you decide if you want to bother.
It was several litres of milk to make a kilo of cheddar-type. How many litres to the kilo of Fetta and Camembert?
I make 2 blocks about the size of a slice of bread and about 2 cm thick from 4 liters in feta. Jarlsberg is much less giving. I'll let Vicki answer for the camenbert.
Morning all!! I used 2 litres of non homogonized pasturised organic( because that was what was reccommended) but I will try it with the supermarket milk next time. This gave me 2 rounds of camembert about 10 cm. But they are only thin compared to shop bought about 1 cm. This is my first attempt so I'll keep experimenting
That's the way to do it.
Vicki, we started a group for this if you are interested. Check the "groups" tab.
It's wonderful that you are posting and sharing Andy. We all appreciate it very much. Noone here is an expert at anything - we're all just giving it a go.
I can't afford $90 for a kit at the moment, so will just watch and learn but VERY excited to think you make all those different cheeses including Jarlsburg which I love.
Someone else mentioned that the kits contain a lot of preservative - correct?
I can't really see how it could be with the cheese to be honest. The only organic thing they could add it to is the bacterial starter, and frankly, I'd rather they did! But, you only add 1/8 teaspoon so it shouldn't be a worry. Now I can see that would be the case with sausage kits.
In the next little while I will try to set up a demonstration day. I'll do both the cheese and the alcohol for those who want a look. I'm just busy with photography courses right at the moment (and they earn some of my keep).
I'll just have to have a look at the kits for myself and read the ingredients.
There is a home brew shop down at Strathpine that I walk past when I visit one of the offices that I work for (near Dept of Transport). Will have to pop in one day when I have more time.
We would LOVE a demo day! When you're ready of course.
That was part of the reason I posted the feta recipe. You don't need a kit. You'll need mesophillic culture, rennet, and some feta moulds. I presume you have a thermometer and a big pot. An oven rack would work as a cheese rack (just put cheese cloth on it). And filtered water. If you have nobody to show you, then get a kit. Otherwise, I'm happy to show you what I do and how I used everyday kitchen items to do it.
You could either post pics of the process or nominate a day if you feel up to it Andy.
Any attempts at cheese making will be later for me rather than sooner, but I'll be better prepard and more inclined if I've seen it done.
I'll nominate a day. I'm not in a rush either. Need to finish the year's photo lessons.