Wednesday, March 7, 2012

full moon cheesemaking

Today as the moon was reaching it's fullness I was making my first ever goats milk chevre cheese, and the other good beginner cheese, mozzarella.  Several days ago I pulled out all the frozen milk I had been saving from when I was milking Joon  and thawed it all out.  I used 2 gallons of milk for the chevre and one gallon of milk for the mozzarella, and I have plenty more for more cheese making tomorrow.  Cheese making doesn't take much equipment to start with, a good thermometer is essential because you will be taking the temperature of the milk a lot, Rennet is a key ingredient, as well as good cultured starter, like buttermilk, you'll need a couple stainless steel pots and glass bowls, along with a good book that tells exactly what you need to do. 

I was so happy working at making cheeses today, the sun was streaming through the windows and  it almost felt like Spring, except looking out the windows there is snow all over the ground.  I have been patiently waiting to order a few items that I needed through Hoegger goat supply, namely rennet and a few starters and cultures.  Chevre is the first beginner cheese, it takes about 12 hours of culturing, and 7-8 hours of draining.  Mozzarella is much more focused and timing and temperature are important, in between times when I was timing procedures I was reading all about making hard cheeses and Parmesan, of course I have to want to do the harder cheeses first, but I made myself do as the book said and start with a few simpler cheeses. 

Once several years ago I spent some time working at learning to make a few basic cheeses.  I was using a local jersey cow farms raw organic milk.  It was cost prohibitive to buy the milk for cheese making at four dollars per half gallon, yet I did practise making butter, cottage cheese, and mozzarella.  Cheese making needs good fresh milk, the better the milk the better the cheese.  I'm planning to make a brick cheese tomorrow and will have to improvise and make a cheese press.  I also will be making more chevre and ricotta.  Today I took pictures and will post more of each one of the cheeses I'm making over the next week or two.  I'm also looking forward to trying them both tomorrow to see how they taste.


pilgrimscottage said...

I would love to get to the point of making my own cheese, especially goat cheese. It sounds like your having great fun with cheese making.

Simply Scaife Family said...

I look forward to a productive milking season and the return of home made cheeses to our kitchen!

Snooks said...

All of it sounds yummy. I am a cheese lover! Glad you had a good day of making it.

Jewel said...

I've been dreaming about having my own fresh raw milk to make dairy products with for years. Now the reward... fresh chevre!! so delicious I think I've already eaten half of it, and I never want to live without it.

Pilgrimscottage, I hope you can get to the point of making cheese too, and Simply Scaife family you're lucky to have a milk season returning. And Snooks, it is yummy, wish I could share it with you all!