Thursday, August 15, 2013

Cheese Making Adventures

For my birthday, Ryan took me to BrewHaHa to pick out cheese-making supplies. I don't know how I missed this store - it's been open since December. Most of their stock has to do with beer and wine making but they have a whole section on cheese. The owner, Mac, told us he thinks he and I are going to become good friends!

So far, I've made two types - farmhouse cheddar and mozzarella. The milk came from a doctor at UMC - he has a cow that was producing extra milk. The cheese kit and wax came from BrewHaHa. I used the directions in the box and the book Home Cheese Making by Ricki Carroll. The milk was unpasteurized so my first step was to pasteurize it. After that, I just followed the directions.

The supplies turned into this after much heating and straining
The cheese was then pressed overnight with 20 pounds (notice my make-do cheese press of Ryan's weights):

The cheese mold came in the kit. Next it had to "air" on a wooden board for about four days to develop a rind. Then, I waxed it.

After the second coat, I waxed in a label with the date. It'll be ready to sample in two months!

I've also tried making mozzarella cheese - it was a lot easier and took a lot less time. Plus, you can eat it right away!

This looks disgusting, but it turns out good in the end! I will say I do not like the way it smells. This is after the milk reaches a certain point - it starts to separate from the whey.

After several rounds of heating and straining, the cheese goes from this:
To this:

Then you just add a little cheese salt and it's ready to eat! I've used it on pizza and tomato and cheese sandwiches. If you get a kit, I really recommend getting a book as well - the kit came from the same company that does the book. Brewhaha has the book and everything you need to get started if you're in the Jackson area!

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