Our Fabulous Moosletter
June, 2016
Recipe of The Month

Livarot from Normandy 
livarot cheese
The name doesn't sound too appetizing, does it?!  But, that's in English, and Livarot is a fabulously pungent washed-rind cheese from Normandy.

It comes beautifully wrapped in reed strips. These thin strips hold it together, because at room temperature it can become quite runny.

When Jim makes it, he uses raffia, boiled and soaked in brine instead of reed strips.  The effect is still the same - a soft, nutty cheese, perfect for serving with beer or cider.   
Congratulations to our May winner: Andrew MacDonald from Northford, CT!

Want to enter? It's easy...
Anytime you place an order with us, you'll be automatically entered to win one pound of cave-aged cheese from Murray's in NYC. The next lucky winner will be announced July 1st.

If you don't win this month, there's still hope! We'll keep your name in our end-of-year Grand Prize Drawing for an extra special cheese basket!

Cheese of the Month for June:  Hudson Flower  
Marc Freshman, our official cheesemonger from Murray's, told us why he chose this cheese:
Hudson Flower is exclusive to Murray's. We start with one of our favorite cheeses, Kinderhook Creek from Old Chatham, then we coat it with an aromatic blend of rosemary, lemon thyme, elderberries, hop flowers and more, to create a floral explosion on the tongue, immense flavor, bright and piney, lemony and citrusy, hoppy and grassy, woodsy and rustic. Inside, the paste is snow white and fudgy, milky and rich, sheepy and smooth, soft like a pillow, complex yet approachable.   
Hudson Flower is available in whole rounds that fit in the palm of your hand, so it's easily transportable, ready to take to any party, gathering or tasting. For the sweet tooth, I personally recommend a dollop of Murray's strawberry jam right on top. Or, for those who prefer some tartness, I recommend a dollop of We Love Jam , which is a cherry and apricot jam we sell, it's breathtakingly delicious - it's like eating the inside of a freshly-baked cherry pie that just finished cooling on the window sill. Hudson Flower is truly a one-of-a-kind cheese, it's one of my favorites!    

Beginner Cheese Maker
This guide will walk you through the process from start to finish.
  Beginner FAQ's
From milk and cream to rennet and aging, the answers are all here.
Learn how to make a brine, your own cheese cave and more. 
  Cheese Making Workshops
The path to great cheese making. Beyond the Basics, June 11-12. 
Questions and Answers Questions
 Q    Smooth waxing -  How do you manage to create that smooth, commercial look with waxed cheeses? I have tried various methods of brushing and dipping, and I have even experimented with varying my wax temperature, but my waxed cheeses always end up with creases, ridges, seams, fingerprints and/or areas of inconsistent and uneven thickness.

 A   Slow and steady Bring the wax up to temperature (225-230F), but be super careful of this. Always dip in 2-3 passes.

First, hold it firmly by one edge (the narrower part) and dip and hold for 6-10 seconds (this is the time needed to flash any mold spores that could grow under the wax). You may rock it back and forth in the wax to get coverage, but never touch the bottom of the pot.

Then, pull it out, allowing the last drips to fall from the edge. Flip the cheese so that the waxed edge is up and hold it there until it cools. Then, carefully set it on the un-waxed side so that it does not roll and do not touch the newly waxed surface. Allow it to sit until cool and you can handle the newly waxed surface without leaving marks or peeling wax.

Repeat with the other un-waxed side as above. Sometimes, you might repeat this one more time if the wheel is too large in diameter. Let this all cool till firm and easily handled.

Allow the wax to cool to about 190-200F and repeat all of the above for another full coat. This will be a slightly thicker coat and it will fill in any bubbles or pin holes in the first coat.

 Q   Expired culturesI have cultures in my freezer which are over a year past the "Best by..." date.  What will happen if I use them to make my cheese?

 A   Not recommended - Cultures definitely have a working life. When a culture gets old, especially with multiple openings and closings of the larger packs, some of the culture becomes weak or dies off completely.

The weak older cultures will work very slowly and will not do the same work as a fresh culture would. This leaves the milk open to other, not-so-healthy bacteria that may be riding along in the same milk and they may win out over the bacteria you intended to do the job.

Also, when the cultures are weak, you may not convert all of the lactose before forming and pressing the cheese. The result is a cheese that did not drain well and will most likely be problematic in the aging room at some point.

In general, old and weak cultures should never be used in healthy cheese making, whether it's for you and your family or in commercial cheese making.   

 Q    Differences with goat's milk - Do the recipes in your e-book work with fresh goat's milk as well -  Paneer, Quark, Cream Cheese, Colby, Baby Swiss?

 A   Not the same - Goat's milk is not standardized like cow's milk from the store and it is very different from cow's milk. You may find that you need to make some changes after the first batch.

A lot depends on the particular herd, but here are some general considerations:
  • Goat's milk takes less rennet, about 25-50% less. 
  • Raw milk is far more active, of course, and so it needs less culture.  This will be true of raw goat's and raw cow's milk.
  • Goat's milk may require a lower temperature than cow's milk in many cases.
The content of milk changes dramatically during the milking season. After all, the purpose of milk is to feed a baby animal, and as this baby grows, it's nutritional needs change, and Mamma knows best.  Summer milk is relatively low in fat content, which shoots up dramatically in the fall. This summer milk is superior to fall milk if you are making hard cheeses meant to last because high fat content can lead to spoilage issues.  Generally, more culture is needed as the solids increase.
Do you have a question about cheese making?
Send it to info@cheesemaking.com 
In the Spotlight
Pedro and his goat_ Rosie
Pedro Collins

Oxfordshire, UK
A few months ago, we posted a blog article about Pedro's wine cooler "cave" (click here).  He has installed a mister in it to control the humidity, and, as he says, "It works a treat!"

There's much more to Pedro's story than his cave, of course.  He's making all kinds of fabulous cheeses from Rosie's milk. (That's Rosie at right, looking spiffy.)  Rosie gives him over a gallon of milk every day.

Pedro is also a mushroom enthusiast who does fungal surveys for a wildlife trust, and he has been playing the guitar since he was 12 years old.   
Cheese Making News
hand with Mozzarella in it
Tip for Making 30 Minute Mozzarella

I would like to share a quick tip on making Mozzarella easier to make. I use your 30 minute recipe with the citric acid.  Instead of taking all the curd out of the whey after it has melded together, I just leave it in the pot and slowly heat the whey and curd and stretch and work it until it is just right. This takes about 10-15 minutes. No more mess of in and out of the microwave or splashing whey from one pot to another in order to cook the curd - that is, if you don't like to use the microwave, which I really don't!

Thanks for you wonderful website. I grew up on a small farm and used your products about 30 years ago when you had your mail catalog. We have two dairy cows and make lots of cheese with your dairy products.
Maria Serafin, Emmett, Kansas
Retired in Thailand 
Growing up in the UK, one of my primary sources of delight was cheese, and I grew to love the various UK cheeses such as Wensleydale, Caerphilly, Lancashire and Cheshire. (Cheddar was only for cooking not for sitting and eating.)

I started to work abroad (Instrumentation Engineer) and I could not get the cheese I liked.  Eventually, after finding " Home Cheese Making," I decided that this was worth a try.

I made various cheeses whilst I was in Kuwait where I could get reasonable milk, but what I classed as decent cheeses were very expensive. Eventually, I retired to Thailand where I had been based for 30 years and with time on my hands decided to try cheese production again.

I started using supermarket milk, as the temperature where I live is very high and cows do not adapt well to this area. My first attempt ended when I could not get a clean break in the curd. I drained the result and pressed it and it gave a reasonable result. I then tried increasing the calcium chloride and rennet tablet up to 1 tsp. calcium chloride and 1 full rennet tablet for 6 litres of milk (1.5 gallons). Still, no clean break. 

I then changed brands of milk each week until eventually I got a milk with a clean break, but the curds are so fragile that they start to break up as soon as they are stirred, no matter how careful I am.

Still, I put the resulting liquid into cheese cloth and hang them until they are thick enough to transfer to a cheese press.  After pressing, I end up with about ¾ kilos of cheese (1.6 pounds) which I then air-dry in the fridge because of the high ambient temperature and then either bandage or vacuum pack.

The results are very edible and save me a fortune on bought cheese. The major drawback is that the whey cannot be made into ricotta and the cheese does not melt when heated. (Mozzarella is off the menu).
R&D is ongoing for various flavors by changing acidification and handling.

I have decided that the milk is probably pasteurized at a high temperature, but unless I am prepared to move my house to a place much further north, I do not hold out hopes of finding raw milk where I live.  Still, it has not stopped the pleasure I get from making my own.
Rodger Atkin, Pattaya, Thailand
We'd love to hear from you!
Please send news & photos to moosletter@cheesemaking.com 
Fun with Ricki
It's Time to Create Again!
Ricki_s barn
Spring is here and Ricki is back to her summer hobbies- working in her fabulous gardens ( click here) and filling her "barn" with her fabulous artwork.

We did a blog article last year about the barn, and it's a spectacular work-in-progress. Now we have an update on her progress with it...
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Cheese Classifieds
Place Free Ads Here! Send copy to ads@cheesemaking.com Your ad will be promptly placed in the classified section of our website. If received by the 15th it will also appear in the following month's Moos-Letter (like the ads below). To see full classifieds - click here
Beginner and advanced cheese making workshops (and singing workshops) at the cheese queen's palace in Ashfield, MA, Sarah Carroll's home in Williamsburg, MA and Jim Wallace's home in Shelburne Falls, MA - (click here) 

Check out our fabulous blog with 498 posts (so far). Includes recipes, tutorials, interviews and all kinds of useful cheese making information (click here) 
For Sale
Looking for a used Dutch-Style cheese press.  On a budget, so cost of shipping could be an issue.  Located in Sonora, CA. Contact  paulstovall96@yahoo.com  
Cheese Events
Click on one of the event names below for more information
 6/2-5   Pine Island Cheese Fest / Pine Island, Minnesota

 6/3-5   Great Wisconsin Cheese Festival / Little Chute, Wisconsin

 6/11   Beer Cheese Festival / Winchester, Kentucky

 6/11   Virginia Cheese Festival / Blacksburg, Virginia

 6/11-12   Cheese & Chilli Cheese Festival / Christchurch, England

 6/17-18   Pinconning Cheese Town Festival / Pinconning, Minnesota

 6/25   Canton Wine & Cheese Festival / Canton, Pennsylvania

 7/2-3   Cheese & Chilli Festival / Basingstoke, England

 7/9   Little Falls Cheese Festival / Little Falls, New York

 7/9   Cheddar Cheese Festival / Adams, New York

 7/19   Vermont Cheesemakers Festival / Shelburne Farms, Vermont

 7/23   Finger Lakes Cheese Festival / Odessa, New York

 7/23-24   Cheese & Chilli Festival / Guildford, England

 7/27-30   American Cheese Society Conference / Des Moines, Iowa

 8/20-21   Cheese & Chilli Festival / Winchester, England

 9/10   Monroe Cheese Festival / Monroe, New York

 9/10-11   Sturminster Newton Cheese Festival / England

 9/16-18   Green County Cheese Days / Monroe, Wisconsin

 9/17   SF Cheese Fest / San Francisco, California

 9/30   The Cheese Fest / Atlanta, Georgia

 10/1   Apple & Cheese Festival / Canton, Pennsylvania

 10/8-9   Riverbank Cheese & Wine Exposition / Riverbank, California

 10/14-15   Watonga Cheese & Wine Festival / Watonga, Oklahoma

 11/5   Mac & Cheese Festival / Chicago, Illinois

 11/7   Mac & Cheese Festival / San Diego, California

 11/28-29   New Wine & Cheese Festival / Vajdahunyadvár, Budapest

Good Milk List Milk
New England Cheese Making Supply
(413) 397-2012