The Moos-Letter
October 1st, 2015
Cheese making recipe of the month
The word "Raclette" comes from the French verb "to scrape."  Traditionally, one side of the cheese was held over an open flame and the melted surface was scraped onto potatoes, vegetables and dried meats.

Today, in European countries where this cheese is very popular, a tabletop grill is commonly used to melt the cheese. The grill is placed in the center of the table and becomes the focus of a leisurely eating and socializing experience. Grills are sold in European supermarkets, but you can easily order them by Googling "raclette grills."

Jim's recipe for this washed rind, Alpine cheese is as thorough a "how-to" as any you will find anywhere, and it includes over 50 pictures. Imagine how much fun it will be to have a raclette party with your own, homemade cheese!  Have fun!
Cheese making resources for beginners
Cheese Making 1,2,3
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
Cheese Making FAQ's
Beginner FAQ's

Got a question? We've got an answer. From milk and cream to rennet and aging, our FAQ section is filled with answers to all your home cheese making questions.

Click Here for Helpful FAQ's
Cheese Making Questions and Answers
 Q    Is Waxing Important? - I am a new cheese maker with access to raw goat's milk (about 3 gallons/day). I'm making fairly large cheeses, but I don't like using wax. How necessary is it? 

 A    Consider Natural Rinds - The process is certainly more time intensive, but the result ends with a much more complex flavored cheese. If you are putting the energy into great quality milk and a hand made cheese, this is the way to go. (It does require more precise temperature and moisture control than waxing.)

Bloomy - developing a natural or commercially prepared mix of yeast/bacteria/mold on the cheese surface to grow a natural protective rind.

Washed rinds - washing with a light salt wash with added surface growing cultures. This takes regular attention because it has to be repeated on a regular basis every few days at first.

Wild things - allowing natural molds to take over. This produces a rather rustic rind which is very protective.

Dry brushed - brushing the molds away as they grow. These are rinds that require your attention every few days and more often early on.  As the rind dries down over time, the brushing become less frequent. I have seen cheese at 6-10 years kept like this and some go decades!

Bandaged - applying a cloth bandage with a thin coat of lard and pressing it into the cheese. A natural mosaic of molds is then allowed to grow over this.

 Q    Making Blue - l made the Bleu d'Auvergne style cheese from your recipe. The cheese is tasty, but it has the consistency of brie. Is that the way it should be, or did I do something wrong?

 A   Can be TrickyIt sounds like you left too much moisture in the curds before draining. As the recipe mentions, this is a bit tricky to get right. The curd needs to be moist, but not as moist as brie, and it needs to develop a tough skin to keep the openings between curds for the blue to grow. This is a bit of a tough concept to follow because it goes against what you are supposed to do in most cheeses - get them to compact into a continuous mass with no holes.  
 Q    Pinholes in Wax - I waxed some cheese for the first time this weekend. Unfortunately, pinholes within the wax are leaking oil/butter fat. Is this a problem? 

 A   May be a two-fold problem - The pinhole problem is quite common and can be easily resolved by doing two coats of wax. The small holes are caused by air bubbles during the waxing process, and by applying the second coat, they get covered as well. Apply the first coat when the wax is at about 125 to 130F, and then apply the second coat after the wax has cooled to about 100 to 110F.

Your real problem, though, is in what is leaking through the wax. Unless you have the cheese sitting in a warm area and it truly is butterfat, the problem is most likely that the cheese is leaking moisture caused by late fermentation. This is normally the result of excessive whey containing lactose being left behind in the curds when molding. 

This can be corrected in future batches by stirring longer, increasing the temperature by a few degrees, and making sure you have added enough culture to the milk and ripened long enough to convert the lactose to lactic acid.

Our Community
Tim Bisson
Siletz, Oregon
You might remember Tim from our July issue's "News From Our Customers" section.  He sent us his recipe for Chocolate Chili Provolone (yum!).  After he makes the curds, he soaks them in chocolate, salt and cayenne pepper.

We followed through with an interview and Tim told us about his cheese making hobby and his business making collars and leather goods (Trog La Dogs).  

For more info about Tim, including his recipe, click here
Cheese Making News From our Customers
Grey Cheese
Recipe Anyone?
I love Sudtyrol's Graukase (grey cheese), a very lean and mean cheese (very lean and very smelly but great) and was hoping you could help me develop a recipe, since I am new to cheese making but cannot get this cheese in the U.S.- would you be so kind? Any help will be welcome.

There is a website that describes it's making, but it doesn't provide specific instructions (click here).  A home version of this recipe would be great, hopefully one that doesn't require special equipment like a wooden barrel or maturing box.
Mary W., San Diego, California
First Crottin
I LOVE ordering from NECS! My order came today. You are all so fast and efficient. 

This picture is my latest endeavor this summer. I am following the crottin recipe from your website and the ingredients are either from NECS or my goats - hence the need for more chèvre starter.  Thanks so much!
Barbara Crudale, West Kingston, Rhode island
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Fun with Ricki, The Cheese Queen
Ron, Ike and Ricki
It's been a long time since the good ole days, but Ron, Ike and Ricki got together at Ricki's house last week for a mini high school reunion.

They all graduated from Dwight Morrow High School in Englewood, New Jersey in 1969. A few weeks ago, 46 years later, Ricki showed them around the beautiful village of Ashfield -  the Ashfield Lake, the Shelburne Falls Bridge of Flowers and Glacial Potholes. Ashfield's Chapel Falls and Goshen's Three Sisters Sanctuary.

They cooked together, played Farkle and chess and, of course, reminisced about old times. They're looking forward to getting together again sometime soon - at least sometime within the next 46 years!
Cheese Making Classifieds
Place Free Ads Here! Send copy to 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 and at Jim Wallace's home in Shelburne Falls, MA - (click here) 

Check out our fabulous blog with over 460 posts (so far).  Includes recipes, tutorials, interviews and all kinds of useful information about cheese and more - (click here)  
For Sale
Have a nice 5000 gallon stainless steel tank. Sitting in Wisconsin. $4800 loaded. 
Cheese Events
Click on one of the event names below for more information

 10/2   Autumn Leaves Artisan Cheese Festival / Long Valley, NJ

 10/3 & 10/4    Pennsylvania Apple & Cheese Festival / Canton, PA

 10/9    Atlanta Cheese Festival / Atlanta, GA

 10/11    Massachusetts Cheese Festival / Boston, MA

 10/23 -10/25    CheeseFest 2015 / Adelaide, South Australia

 10/25    Williamstown Wine & Cheese Festival / Williamstown, Australia

 10/31    World Cheese Dip Championship / Little Rock, Arkansas

 11/21 & 11/22    Cheese & Chocolate Weekend / Stillwater, Minnesota

 11/29 & 11/30    New Wine & Cheese Festival / Budapest, Hungary

 1/16    Isthmus Beer & Cheese Fest / Madison, Wisconsin

 3/2    CheeseFest / Auckland, New Zealand

 3/18 - 3/20    California's Artisan Cheese Festival / Petaluma, California
Good Milk List
New England Cheesemaking Supply Company