Our Fabulous Moosletter
March, 2016
The 2016 Cheese Give-A-Whey_
Step right up and place your order!
Starting this month, when you order from us (anything at all) you'll be entered into a drawing for one pound of cave-aged cheese from Murray's, an amazing cheese shop that was founded in New York City in 1940. The winner of this month's drawing will be announced April 1st right here. All you do is place your order and we do the rest - it's easy!

And, if (heaven forbid) you don't win, there's still hope! We will keep your name in our end-of-year Grand Prize Drawing for a special cheese basket from Murray's.

Now, let us introduce you to Marc Freshman, who's the in-house cheesemonger at Murray's. Marc will be selecting a fabulous cheese for us each month and this month he's selected the most award-winning cheese in the U.S. - Pleasant Ridge Reserve Extra Aged from Uplands Cheese in Wisconsin.

Marc's thoughts on this wonderful cheese:
"Pleasant Ridge was the first cheese I ever fell in love with. In many ways it's a love letter to Beaufort, complete with all the hearty Alpine flavors you'd expect - brown butter and caramel, chocolate and figs, hazelnuts and flowers, the broth from an exquisite bowl of onion soup.

But there's something about Pleasant Ridge that's so unquestionably American in its flavor. It's super tropical and fruity, like a bite of juicy pineapple.

The paste is smooth and firm, crunchy and meaty. The taste of excellent milk comes through with full force. Super creamy and nutty on the finish. There is a depth of flavor here that continues to challenge my senses, which is why I love it so much."

Recipe of The Month
Dry Curd Cottage Cheese
Lactose intolerant?  No problem.  This versatile cheese could be just what you've been looking for.

It's an easy cheese to make, requiring only our chevre culture or a combination of our buttermilk culture and a few drops of rennet.  Salt is optional, for taste only.

One of the most common ways to use dry curd cottage cheese is to press it so it becomes a block of Farmer's cheese. (You might recognize this as one of the few cheeses allowed in many low-carb diets.)  Not to worry if you don't have a press -   this can be done with one of our basket molds.

You will find millions of recipes online for using Farmer's cheese in everything you can imagine - grilled cheese sandwiches, cheesecakes, pancakes, macaroni & cheese and on and on.  What more could you want from a low-lactose, low-carb, low-salt cheese?!!!

Beginner Cheese Maker
Cheese Making 1,2,3
Learn all about the ingredients, equipment and process for making cheese at home. This beginner's guide will walk you through the process from start to finish.

Click Here to Start Learning

Beginner FAQ's
Learn all about the ingredients, equipment and process for making cheese at home. This beginner's guide will walk you through the process from start to finish.

Click Here to Start Learning

Cheese Making How-To's
Learn how to wax cheese, make a brine solution or even your own cheese cave plus much, much more. Please let us know if you'd like to see a new tutorial.

Click Here to Start Learning

Learn to Make Cheese with Sarah Carroll
A Five Star Thank You!
This past month we had a drawing for a $175 gift certificate where anyone who left a product review was automatically entered.

Before we announce the winner, we want to say THANK YOU!! We were completely blown away by all of the reviews that came pouring in and can't even tell you how grateful we are that you took the time to share your thoughts, suggestions and love with us. The sheer number of reviews was impressive, but as we read through them, that's when we had to sit down. These reviews are so thoughtful and sincere, we are so humbled to be a part of this wonderful community of cheese makers! You are all TRULY AMAZING!!

The Winner of a $175 Shopping Spree is: 
K.Pho, who reviewed our Creme Fraiche culture: "Works with ultra pasteurized half and half. The local market only had ultra pasteurized half and half, so I gave it a try, though the site recommended otherwise. After 12 hours next to the radiator, it thickened up nicely (I could tip the mason jar completely horizontal with no runoff) and the taste was divine."

With so many great reviews we couldn't stop at just one winner...
$50 Shopping Spree:

Gayle, who reviewed Ricki's Basic Cheese Making Kit: "This kit is awesome! I have Nubian goats and have made simple farmhouse cheese but wanted to expand my horizons. The directions in the kit were very easy to follow. I will be ordering more starters, wax and other ingredients to make more this year!"
$25 Shopping Spree:

Dovely, who reviewed our Butter Muslin: "By far the best cheesecloth on the market. I've purchased cheesecloth from several other companies. None of them come close to this product. The fine weave keeps bugs out of my sauerkraut crock. I vent my dryer hose into the laundry room in the winter. Used an old piece of this to cover the end of the hose. It traps all the lint! Plus, it's wonderful to bandage wrap Cheddar."

Thank you all for sharing so much love!! XOXO
Winners were randomly selected using random.org
Questions and Answers Questions
 Q    Too much Camembert - We have made your Camembert recipe several times now. There is no way we can fit the curds from 2 gallons of milk into 4 of your molds.  What are we doing wrong? Also, one of our cheeses got very soupy very quick. What did we do wrong?

 A   Cut the curds - The runny/soupy consistency is normally caused by a cheese that goes to aging when not drained/dried well. The high moisture increases the rate of change in the cheese and hence the accelerated ripening.

If the curds do not fit, you either need to wait for the molds to drain down a bit and refill or (better yet) cut the curds large (1"x1") and stir slightly to release more whey into the pot before filling the molds.

The process originally involved not cutting but slicing (from the whole curd mass) thin layers and transferring them to the molds.  However, that was too time consuming for the industry, so they began doing the cut and drain before filling. The molds available now are a bit low for the traditional process, so we need to adapt.

 Q    Slimy Feta - I am having some trouble with Feta and hope you can help.  Once the cheese is out of the mold, I use a light brine for 2 days and the result is a slimy soft exterior.  

 A   Salt well - Feta needs to be stabilized by dry salting it before it is placed in a storage brine.  Excess moisture in the cheese will cause a rapid flow of calcium out of the cheese.  Because the calcium is the bonding agent for the proteins, the cheese surface begins to break down.  

 Q    Taleggio substitution - Today I am making Jim's Taleggio, following his procedure as closely as I can. However, I did not have any yogurt made from the Bulgarian culture.

I have numerous other mesophilic and thermophilic cultures, but Jim specified a made-up yogurt culture and I wanted to follow his lead. What I did have was a brand new fresh, unopened quart of yogurt from the same local creamery which provides my wonderful creamline, low-temp-pasturized Jersey cow milk. It's a good traditional tangy yogurt, so I used 3.6 oz as my starter.

Sitting here several hours into the process (turning my Taleggio mold every hour now), I find I'm baffled as to why use this culture? It is all thermophilic bacteria, I believe, and yet we are ripening, coagulating, and beginning draining at 93F.  Why not use a mesophilic culture, as is pretty typically the case for washed rind cheeses in my limited experience?

My second question is- what have I done?  I am using an unknown culture. My pH meter is not working. Can I be sure I am developing proper acidity with another yogurt? Like I said, it's a wonderful traditionally tangy yogurt, so I assume the culture is the same as or similar to the Bulgarian. 

 A   Not the same -  The yogurt Jim specifies in his recipe is a true Bulgarian style with a 50:50 split between the two working cultures. Most yogurts are made with a much weaker blend of the Bulgaricus and will probably not work as well.  Even 'tangy' does not qualify for this one. We sell a tangy yogurt culture ourselves and it doesn't work as well as the Bulgarian.

Mesophilic vs thermophilic is all about the cheese being made. There are many washed rinds made with the thermophilic program even though the temperature is at the low end of the range. These are almost all alpine style influenced and work at the low end of the thermophilic range for a long slow acid production.

If you want Taleggio, this is the way it is done. This program is all about the texture and flavor of the finished cheese. This is not a cooked curd cheese.
Do You Have a Question About Cheese Making?
Send it to info@cheesemaking.com 
In the Spotlight
Jack Aldridge
Oxford, Iowa
Jack is a retired veterinarian who moved from California to a farm outside Iowa City three years ago.

He and his wife, also a veterinarian, built "a huge kitchen with the rest of the house attached."  It's the perfect place to make cheese with fresh milk from their Jersey cow.

Jack (shown here with his grand-daughter, Jadzia) is doing more in his retirement than most of us do in our 20's!  Who knew Iowa was so fun?! 
Cheese Making News
Malaysian Milk
Hi. I just wanted to update you on the result of my 2nd attempt at making Mozzarella. It turned out fabulous!

Thanks to Jim for providing guidance on pasteurizing my Malaysian cow's raw milk and the information you provided on your website was a great help.  (I overheated the milk the first time as I didn't know the proper way of pasteurizing raw milk.)

 Also, I didn't know how to use the thermometer properly when executing the steps in making the cheese. I put the pot over the stove over low fire and occasionally dipped the thermometer into the mixture. The heat would rise over or drop down below what it was supposed to be. On my second attempt, I tied a string to it and kept the thermometer in the liquid instead.

I guess this step should be an obvious thing for anyone who is experienced in using a thermometer while cooking...but it was my first time, so I fumbled at it.
Susan Lim, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Raw Milk
I want to get into cheese making and, after researching, I have found a real stumbling block to getting the best cheese materials to start. I want to express my concern to you since you have a website with information and I want to add to that for you. 

Here is some important information on milk quality in the USA ( click here). There are references in the series of articles referring to other studies and you may want to research them more. Since the main ingredient in cheese is milk, you may want to advise your readers through your blog as to the truth about milk in this country. 

By doing that, we show the FDA we know the truth and all their stupidity toward trying to give raw milk a bad name, so they can impose stricter rules in using it for making anything. I believe we have to fight back against the ever restrictive food and drug administration and these articles are a good place to start.
Robert Harvey, Logan, Ohio
We'd Love to Hear From You
Please send news & photos to moosletter@cheesemaking.com 
Fun with Ricki
Family Vacation
Ricki's on vacation in Culebra, having fun in the sun. That includes many games of Scrabble with her brother, Peter, who flew from Oregon to join her for a few days. 

The Cheese Queen is highly competitive (and an excellent Scrabble player).  She claims she won most of their games, but we haven't heard Peter's side yet ...
Visit Our Blog
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 460 posts (so far). Includes recipes, tutorials, interviews and all kinds of useful cheese making information (click here) 
For Sale
Loads of cheese making supplies for sale in Metrowest Boston: Custom-made brine tank, commercial 2-door fridge, screw-top 5 gallon buckets, molds (from Fromagex) and followers, EZ-up tent, electric countertop cold display unit, rough-hewn ash boards, dairy boots in various sizes, plastic stackable storage containers, large coolers, etc. Sue: 978-930-4135.
Anatolian puppies-great livestock guardians. Southern Colorado. AKC.   jch@myzionacovenantplace.com  
Fundraising needed. We did a blog article 2 years ago about Baker Muwonge in Uganda who built a dairy in Kampala on the strength of a large order which was subsequently cancelled. He needs to raise money to continue operating. Is there anyone who can set up a fundraising site for him in the US? Contact Baker- seasonsdairy@gmail.com
Real Estate 
Raw milk dairy with pastured pork and chickens business for sale. Livestock, equipment and market for sale located in Eastern Idaho. 150+ customers, Michael at 435-770-9262 or michael@desertwindfarms.com  
Workshops & Classes 
The Art of Cheese presents a Tips, Tools & Techniques home cheese making workshop for beginner to intermediate cheese makers, March 5 - 6, 2016. In April- cheese making workshops with guest instructors, Larry & Linda Faillace from Three Shepherds Cheese, Vermont! Both one day (4/21) and three day workshops (4/22 - 4/24) are available. Class size is limited. Registration is required at www.theartofcheese.com 
Cheese Events
Click on one of the event names below for more information
 3/2   Countdown CheeseFest / Auckland, New Zealand

 3/13   Huntsville Cheese Festival / Huntsville, Alabama

 3/18-19   Oregon Cheese Festival / Central Point, Oregon

 3/18-20    California's Artisan Cheese Festival / Petaluma, California

 4/16   Florida Cheese Festival / DeLand, Florida

 4/23   Dairy State Cheese & Beer Festival / Kenosha, Wisconsin

 4/24   Carolina Mountain Cheese Fest / Asheville, North Carolina

 4/30-5/2   South African Cheese Festival / Sandringham, South Africa

 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

 7/23   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

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