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Old 01-02-2011, 12:00 AM   #1
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Anyone making homemade cheese?

Recently, I've been watching videos on youtube about how to make homemade cheese (many have called it "farmer's cheese" - it's meant to be consumed immediately or very soon after making...not aged).
I finally made my first batch tonight - the recipe was 1/2 gal. pasture-raised, raw cows milk, 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar, plus salt and herbs for seasoning.

I followed the directions - cooking the milk just to about 190f and then adding the vinegar, stirring until the curds separated and then straining in a colander with cheesecloth. The taste is pretty bland, which I guess I expected, since I did not add cultures, but...the curds seem quite tough. I've never tried this before, so I have no experience to draw on, but I expected something much softer like ricotta or cottage cheese.

any tips? is the toughness of the curds a sign of overcooking or some other user error, or is this just normal?

I have the cheese hanging in cheese cloth suspended from a rack in my refrigerator. I plan on letting it sit overnight and then having cheese and crackers tomorrow. :-) Hopefully it's not inedible.

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Old 01-02-2011, 12:06 AM   #2
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To be honest, the thought to make cheese curdles my mind, so, hats off to you!! It sounds pretty neat though - Hope that cheese is yummy for you tomorrow!
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Old 01-02-2011, 12:08 AM   #3
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To be honest, the thought to make cheese curdles my mind, so, hats off to you!! It sounds pretty neat though - Hope that cheese is yummy for you tomorrow!
Haha! After smelling the cooked whey left over, I'm a little squicked out myself...but, onward and upward. This is all part of my New Year's attempt at becoming more of a pioneer woman. I've been making homemade breads, homemade ice creams, now homemade cheese...soon I'm on to sourdough and yogurt...I hope. :-)
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Old 01-02-2011, 12:13 AM   #4
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Yogurt is pretty easy, there are a bunch of ways to do it but the easiest for me was always the heating pad method. You can probably find it on you tube. I am envious about the cheesemaking. I have been dying to try it myself. By the way, if you make yogurt and hang it like you do the cheese you get what used to be called yogurt cheese or shevre. But it also is a good sub for Greek yogurt.
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Old 01-02-2011, 12:26 AM   #5
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U-go-gurt-gurl!! HAHAHA...:) I am just being silly! I will have to google yogurt making. I adore the stuff, but, never thought to make it either.... &, to think...a long time ago, I pitched-in at a dairy farm??...I sound kinda "dairy dumb" actually!
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Old 01-02-2011, 01:50 AM   #6
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Hi
I have made cheese before, never with vinegar can't
get fresh unprocessed milk. If you want creamy cheese
to use Make it from yogurt. I don't remember where
I got the recipie. But if you Google Yogurt Cheese I bet
you can find it. I make my own Butter milk and can't tell
any difference from what you buy in the Grocery store.
I make my own corned beef and Pastrami and bread I have
been accused of trying to reinvent the wheel
Welcome to DC
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Old 01-02-2011, 01:55 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Josie1945 View Post
Hi
I have made cheese before, never with vinegar can't
get fresh unprocessed milk. If you want creamy cheese
to use Make it from yogurt. I don't remember where
I got the recipie. But if you Google Yogurt Cheese I bet
you can find it. I make my own Butter milk and can't tell
any difference from what you buy in the Grocery store.
I make my own corned beef and Pastrami and bread I have
been accused of trying to reinvent the wheel
Welcome to DC
Josie
I don't eat (store-bought) pasteurized dairy, so yogurt-making is going to be a bit of a challenge. Most of the recipes I've found so far call for using some kind of starter...so I have to start by making the starter. I think...

how do you make your buttermilk? Also...homemade pastrami and corned beef? yum! sometime in the near future, my little family plans on relocating to farmland of some kind and I'm hoping to find a nice place to buy grass-fed beef. I haven't eaten beef in years, but if I can find a source I'm comfortable with, I would love to make stuff like corned beef and pastrami (my husband would love it too!). :-)
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Old 01-02-2011, 02:35 AM   #8
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I will look up recipies tomorow and see what I can find for you.

Josie
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Old 01-02-2011, 03:12 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cookingmama View Post
I don't eat (store-bought) pasteurized dairy, so yogurt-making is going to be a bit of a challenge. Most of the recipes I've found so far call for using some kind of starter...so I have to start by making the starter. I think...

how do you make your buttermilk? Also...homemade pastrami and corned beef? yum! sometime in the near future, my little family plans on relocating to farmland of some kind and I'm hoping to find a nice place to buy grass-fed beef. I haven't eaten beef in years, but if I can find a source I'm comfortable with, I would love to make stuff like corned beef and pastrami (my husband would love it too!). :-)
I'm pretty sure you can get packaged yoghurt starter. I think I saw it at the health food store. I just buy a small container of organic yoghurt. If you do decide to start with yoghurt, make sure it is one with live bacillus. Once you start making yoghurt, you can use your own yoghurt to start the next batch.

Corned beef is easy in a zip lock bag. It takes about eight days.

You could also make quark, which is a lot like cream cheese. It's cultured with the same bacillus as for sour cream or cultured buttermilk. It's even easier than yoghurt. If you have raw milk, the bacillus may already be in the milk.

I think you may have overcooked the curds. I have made vinegar cottage cheese and the curds were not hard. For flavour, add a little bit of salt. It's amazing the difference it makes.
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Old 01-02-2011, 10:30 PM   #10
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I'm pretty sure you can get packaged yoghurt starter. I think I saw it at the health food store. I just buy a small container of organic yoghurt. If you do decide to start with yoghurt, make sure it is one with live bacillus. Once you start making yoghurt, you can use your own yoghurt to start the next batch.

Corned beef is easy in a zip lock bag. It takes about eight days.

You could also make quark, which is a lot like cream cheese. It's cultured with the same bacillus as for sour cream or cultured buttermilk. It's even easier than yoghurt. If you have raw milk, the bacillus may already be in the milk.

I think you may have overcooked the curds. I have made vinegar cottage cheese and the curds were not hard. For flavour, add a little bit of salt. It's amazing the difference it makes.
I think you're right about overcooking the curds. I heated to 190 or 200 and I think that's just way too high. It completely defeats the purpose of using raw milk too. :-) Next time i'm going to try letting it just simmer (around 145?) and then adding the acid and taking it off the stove immediately.

We tried the cheese today and it's hard like cheddar...but pretty tasty all things considered. I salted it before letting it hang last night and added some fresh thyme, basil, rosemary and sage (chopped very finely) - tonight we're having our own little caprese salad. The REAL victory will be when I can make caprese salad with homemade cheese and homegrown tomatoes and basil...sigh...a girl can dream, right?
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Old 01-03-2011, 06:39 AM   #11
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I don't know what to tell you if you don't want to use starter
from the Grocery store.This corned beef recipie came from the board here I don't remember who posted it but it is awesome.
Sorry it took so long but I have the Flu and feel awful

I used eye of round instead of venison

Corned Beef.
I cooked my corned venison roast that I started 2 weeks ago. It was delicious and my whole family loved it. I got comments that they liked it better than corned beef, mainly because it is so lean.

Preparing venison roasts this way is awesome and I don't think I will prepare another one any other way.

Foodsavers hate liquid in the bags so I came up with a method to brine the roast and at the same time use the Foodsaver.

One venison roast up to 5 lbs
3/4 cup Morton Tender Quick salt (this has the potassium nitrate and nitrite all ready in it)
1/4 cup brown sugar
6-8 whole cloves
1 stick cinnamon
3-4 bay leaves
1 tablespoon pickling spice
enough ice cubes to make 1 quart of water (mine were 3/4 ounce cubes so I used 40)
The trick is using the ice cubes. I layered all of this into a custom sized foodsaver bag. I only have 8" bags and wish I had the 11" bags. You can measure it up to your roast and add about 6-10 inches for the ice. Better to be long than short.

Put this in the refrigerator for 2 weeks while turning it every couple of days. There will be a small amount of air in the bag due to air in the ice and some air pockets but it will not be excessive enough to worry about. After 2 weeks cook it just like corned beef. Don't invite my kids over or all 7 of them will clean it up in a moment.


Buttermilk

For making buttermilk
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Old 01-03-2011, 08:56 AM   #12
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I hope you feel better soon, Josie. Being sick is so NOT fun.

I did notice when I had my recent cold, that I didn't really notice my discomfort while online with my DC friends.
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:19 AM   #13
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Buttermilk

For making buttermilk
That buttermilk link was very interesting. I make butter all of the time and am now thinking about making the buttermilk.
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Old 01-03-2011, 11:05 AM   #14
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Buttermilk

Quote:
Originally Posted by joesfolk View Post
That buttermilk link was very interesting. I make butter all of the time and am now thinking about making the buttermilk.
I make buttermilk all the time There is no difference in the taste of it
and that you buy in the grocery store. I use 2 % milk . It is a lot cheaper.

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Old 01-03-2011, 04:05 PM   #15
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That buttermilk link was very interesting. I make butter all of the time and am now thinking about making the buttermilk.
I'm confused. Real buttermilk is the whey leftover from making butter. That buttermilk link is for "cultured buttermilk", which is all I ever see in stores nowadays.
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Old 01-05-2011, 12:36 AM   #16
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I'm confused. Real buttermilk is the whey leftover from making butter. That buttermilk link is for "cultured buttermilk", which is all I ever see in stores nowadays.
The notes above the recipe from that link clarify that "cultured buttermilk" is not the same as traditional buttermilk which is, as you said, the liquid left over from making butter.
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Old 01-05-2011, 01:15 AM   #17
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The notes above the recipe from that link clarify that "cultured buttermilk" is not the same as traditional buttermilk which is, as you said, the liquid left over from making butter.
I don't understand why someone who churns butter and gets real buttermilk would want the other stuff. Well, if they wanted to make quark...
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Old 01-05-2011, 01:35 AM   #18
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I don't understand why someone who churns butter and gets real buttermilk would want the other stuff. Well, if they wanted to make quark...
I had to google "quark" :-)

Cultured buttermilk has all sorts of uses...pancakes, scones, biscuits...in the Southern US, people drink it (to which I say: "Ew" - but to each his own). Plus, the cultures present are quite beneficial for health.

That said, old fashioned "real" buttermilk is yummy too. My mom used to make homemade butter with me and my siblings for school projects (mostly because we were all obsessed with the Little House books - I still love them - and there were so many fantastic passages about food preparation in those books)...we'd put cream in a jar with a few cleaned marbles and take turns shaking it until our arms ached. These days though, I don't think many people churn their own butter. It made sense back when it was your own cow you were milking and you did all the processing of the milk yourself (eg - letting the milk sit out in pans overnight to separate the cream, etc), but now, you'd have to buy pre-processed cream from the store and most people wouldn't dream of taking the time to make their own. Sad, I guess, but...that's the reality these days.
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Old 01-05-2011, 02:17 AM   #19
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I had to google "quark" :-)

Cultured buttermilk has all sorts of uses...pancakes, scones, biscuits...in the Southern US, people drink it (to which I say: "Ew" - but to each his own). Plus, the cultures present are quite beneficial for health.

That said, old fashioned "real" buttermilk is yummy too. My mom used to make homemade butter with me and my siblings for school projects (mostly because we were all obsessed with the Little House books - I still love them - and there were so many fantastic passages about food preparation in those books)...we'd put cream in a jar with a few cleaned marbles and take turns shaking it until our arms ached. These days though, I don't think many people churn their own butter. It made sense back when it was your own cow you were milking and you did all the processing of the milk yourself (eg - letting the milk sit out in pans overnight to separate the cream, etc), but now, you'd have to buy pre-processed cream from the store and most people wouldn't dream of taking the time to make their own. Sad, I guess, but...that's the reality these days.
But my point was that Joesfolk had just posted that she makes butter.

Old fashioned butter would have been made from raw cream that was naturally cultured. Then the "real" buttermilk would have had all those lovely micro-organisms. I think that is why one finds buttermilk in old recipes before anyone invented a way to turn sweet milk into "buttermilk".
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Old 01-05-2011, 07:54 AM   #20
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I usually make my own Paneer cheese, when making Indian food. Ive tried making my own home made mozzarella cheese from a kit, but didnt quite work out the way i had hoped. Supposed to make a pound of cheese, but by the time i finished kneading it, it was about the size of one of those little mozzarella cheese balls you get at the salad bar ( even smaller )
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