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Anyone make cheese?
Old 09-08-2013, 02:32 PM   #1
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Anyone make cheese?

I got a cheesemaking kit last year for my birthday and have made several batches of mozzarella, but have not had time or energy to explore further. The batch I tried to make yesterday would not quite finish, so either the milk was too pasteurized or my rennet is too old (about a year). I will buy some fresh rennet and switch milk brands, and in the meantime I am trying to turn my failed mozzarella into something like ricotta salata. Next up will be to get my hands on a cheese press and try my hand at things like traditional cheddar.

Anyone else fooling around with this? Seems like a pretty inexpensive hobby and my kids go through cheese so fast that I always have an eager audience for my efforts. With milk at 2 bucks and change turning out about a pound of fresh mozzarella I think I come out ahead pretty well, too.

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Old 09-08-2013, 03:52 PM   #2
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I've made cheese at home for about 15 years. I used to be able to get raw milk from a local dairy farmer, but it's no longer cost effective for me.

If you're really interested, I have a good cheese press that I no longer use (my taste runs to the types that don't need a press). Since I'll be in your neighborhood next month, just let me know and I can bring some of my surplus and no longer used equipment with me.

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Old 09-08-2013, 03:52 PM   #3
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I've made the fresh moz, it was good but that's as far as I got. Some guys in the brewing club have made other aged cheeses, and they were good.

But it seems you need a 'cave' for most cheeses. Temperature is warmer than normal fridge temps, and humidity must be controlled for weeks/months. Since I'd have to make/buy something just for that, I just never went further, though it keeps nagging at me to try it.

Here's a link I had bookmarked - sounds like an easy Manchego that had a lot of latitude for aging:

Making Manchego - The Barefoot Kitchen Witch

Slacker Manchego - The Barefoot Kitchen Witch

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Old 09-08-2013, 05:34 PM   #4
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DW makes indian "paneer" cheese to put into the Indian dishes she makes at home. Very nice and fresh. Better than the paneer you get in most restaurants.
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Old 09-08-2013, 07:24 PM   #5
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I've made "farmers cheese" which is even more basic than mozzarella IIRC. It was decent. I've always wanted to try my hand at a homemade hard cheese, but I'd be afraid I'd be disappointed after waiting for it to age. It'd be my luck it would pick up some funky household flavor like laundry detergent...
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