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Old 07-27-2017, 07:18 PM   #21
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Well yes, gruyere is a type of swiss. I'm pretty sure that the strength and the aging of the swiss and the cheddars will have an impact on the flavor. So, I'll wait until my swisses and yellow or white cheddars are strong enough to give some impact to the cheese spread. It's kind of an art really, how many months or years to let them age to get the flavor that is most pleasing. If you were going to make a recipe out of bought cheeses, then, I'd probably choose a year old gruyere and almost a year sharp cheddar, to get the job done. And which company's cheese? It's mind boggling to get it to good. I'm fond of the vermont cheddars, and really there are no domestic swiss types that will do the job due to US regulations.
Ah didn't realize you made your own cheese...good for you. I took a class with Ricki Carrol years ago in her home in MA or PA...don't remember. All the steps in the making and aging of cheddars overwhelmed me and I never attempted them. I do like making goat cheese, mozzarella and ricotta though...much easier for me...I guess I'm one of those instant gratification kinda girls...
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Old 07-27-2017, 07:20 PM   #22
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It's a fun hobby to get into. We love cheese so it's part of our cooking now, more fun.
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Old 07-27-2017, 07:29 PM   #23
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It's a fun hobby to get into. We love cheese so it's part of our cooking now, more fun.
Back when I took the classes, I had no source of raw milk which Ricki feels makes a huge difference. Every once in awhile I think about attempting an aged cheese...and than I remember all the work and time and let it pass....
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Old 07-27-2017, 07:31 PM   #24
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Back when I took the classes, I had no source of raw milk which Ricki feels makes a huge difference. Every once in awhile I think about attempting an aged cheese...and than I remember all the work and time and let it pass....
How long did you find was your learning curve? I heard about a lot more disasters than successes in the beginning.
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Old 07-27-2017, 09:56 PM   #25
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I've just started learning. I jumped in with both feet and fast learning from gavin webber's youtube video recipes and reading like crazy. In the time, this past 6 months I've made 50, approximately 4 gallon batches only using store bought pasteurized and homogenized milk. I haven't thrown away any cheeses that I made so far, though I have favorites and average. I had one batch that foamed and curds floated badly, looking very out of character, and most likely the milk was contaminated, so I tossed that. If you have the equipment, the press, mold, the cheese cave for aging, things don't go bad overnight, if you pay attention, wash the cheese, or wax it, or vac pac it, sterilize everything before beginning each time, you get cheese. Some is just better than others. So a learning curve, I learned as I went. In March I made 12 hard cheeses, April 15, May and June another 11, add soft cheeses, curds, motz, cottage, ricotta. There is a cheese making thread in the dairy area..somewhere, you can read about it. It's awful fun, really.

I took on the headset of doing what dairys and shepherd families have done for thousands of years, using milk in a way to preserve it, to feed their families.
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Old 07-27-2017, 10:30 PM   #26
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I have the pots, thermometer, muslin...beef rennet is out for me but vegetable rennet is okay. I don't have any molds, presses or caves and if I remember back when I was thinking about it...they were quite costly.
Has anything changed in the past 15 years that make novice cheese artisans more successful? Better techniques or some new equipment?
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Old 07-27-2017, 11:25 PM   #27
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Well, yes. We built a press, but they can be made for $50 or just fashion up some weights and you can do that for little money. There are all kinds of designs for presses, check out youtube. I use a food grade bucket ($7), two, drilled holes for draining to use as molds, fashioned followers with cut food grade cutting board pieces. The biggest change is the external thermostats, which used to be expensive, can be bought now for $28 on amazon, and put on any old refrigerator (free to $100). For vegetable rennet you can purchase dry rennet tablets, or liquid which may last a year. ($7) The biggest investment is time.
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Old 07-27-2017, 11:39 PM   #28
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Well, yes. We built a press, but they can be made for $50 or just fashion up some weights and you can do that for little money. There are all kinds of designs for presses, check out youtube. I use a food grade bucket ($7), two, drilled holes for draining to use as molds, fashioned followers with cut food grade cutting board pieces. The biggest change is the external thermostats, which used to be expensive, can be bought now for $28 on amazon, and put on any old refrigerator (free to $100). For vegetable rennet you can purchase dry rennet tablets, or liquid which may last a year. ($7) The biggest investment is time.
I just took a look at one of the youtube videos you referenced...yeah it looked all pretty much the same. I think I'll just keep thinking about it...
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