The Moos-Letter
November 1st, 2015
Have you ever thought about selling your own homemade cheese? We're researching this subject and would love to hear from you.  Contact
Cheese making recipe of the month
Mountain of Gold (Vacherin Mont d'Or)
This soft, cow's milk cheese is called Mont d'Or when it is made in Switzerland, and Vacherin du Haut Doubs when it is made in France.

It has to be one of the most spectacular cheeses we've ever presented here. You can't see it in the picture, but it is wrapped in bark (technically it's the inside of the bark, called cambium).

Jim has included lots of pictures showing the cutting of the cambium from the trees and mouth-watering descriptions of the woodsy flavors these strips impart. 

Note:  If you want to make this cheese, don't be "barking up the wrong tree!"  We are now selling spruce cambium strips - click here.
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   Drying Blue - I am making a blue cheese from your Shropshire Blue recipe. I have poked the holes in it and am at the stage of letting it age. Should I wash the rind or just let it dry on it's own? 

 A   Be careful - Let it dry down and do not wash. If the mold is too heavy or wet to brush off, scrape the surface mold/slime off with the back of a knife - not too deep though.

Ideally, it should end up with a dry powdery surface that you can just leave alone. If yours is heavy and wet, try to make the curd a bit drier in the next batch.
 Q    Cleaning cheesecloth - With some of the softer cheeses, I find the curd gets embedded in the mesh of the cheese cloth. I don't suppose it's possible to prevent this, but I'm wondering what is the easiest way to clean it out without destroying the cloth?   

 A    Cold rinses - We recommend rinsing the cloth in cold water as soon as possible after removing the cheese. Cold water will rinse the cheese bits off better than hot/warm water, as the hot/warm water will cause the milk proteins to bond and stick together (and to the cloth). Once that happens, it is very hard to get the residue out of the cloth.

We also recommend using a cleaner designed to work with the fats and proteins specific to dairies. You can find these at any store that sells equipment for farm and dairy.  You can also find these in an online search for dairy cleaners.

Alkaline cleaners usually contain basic alkalies, phosphates, wetting agents, and chelating agents. They dissolve milk fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, and loosen and suspend other soil particles so that they can be removed by mechanical action, i.e. by brushing or by circulation cleaning. The alkaline component(s) aids removal of protein deposits and prevents the formation of film.

Cleaning reduces bacterial numbers on surfaces but does not eliminate all types of bacteria. The sanitizing of surfaces within 30 minutes of the next milking destroys nearly all lingering organisms if:
(1) the sanitizing solution used is of the proper strength, and
(2) a thorough cleaning precedes the sanitizing

Improper cleaning results in residual soils that can protect bacteria from the sanitizing action. Some sanitizing compounds lose strength with time in storage chlorine compounds) or increasing pH (chlorine and iodine compounds). Some are unstable at temperatures above 120°F (iodine compounds).    
 Q    Using raw milkI'm interested in trying to make my own buttermilk and am wondering if your buttermilk starter can be used with raw milk? Are there special instructions for that? 

 A   Less is more - This should work fine but you will need to use 20-40% less due to your raw milk already containing its own culture load.
Our Community
Barbara and goats
Barbara Crudale
West Kingston, Rhode Island
Six years ago, Barbara Crudale and her husband were contemplating getting a cow for their hobby farm. Instead, they decided to purchase a goat and now they have a small herd with more on the whey. Barbara and her husband both work full time, so their four sons (ages 14-21) help with the chores.

Barbara began making cheese when her Oberhaslis produced more milk than her family could drink (a familiar story!) Her current favorite is crottin from Jim Wallace's recipe. She made it recently and her son, Thomas took pictures of the process to share with us.

For more about Barbara and her cheese, click here.     
Cheese Making News From our Customers
Cool Draining Bar
Today I made a bar for hanging my bags of cheese to drain, instead of tying up my kitchen sink and faucet for hours at a time. It is very simple, made of 1/2 inch galvanized pipe (a 12 inch piece, an 8 inch piece, an elbow, a cap, and a bracket for mounting to a piece of pine). It took about 10 minutes to assemble, cost less than $20, and can easily be dis-assembled if storage is an issue.

This seems perfect for the little cheese maker who only makes small batches and it can be moved anywhere at any time.
Gary Reeder, Lincoln, California
cheese curds
First Cheese Curds
I am thrilled with my first attempt at making cheese curds, a Wisconsin favorite, yet difficult to find in AZ, unless deep fried.

A few things I learned: My largest pot only holds 8 quarts (2 gallons) so I improvised and used my turkey roasting pan. Sprouts carries cream top milk. A candy thermometer does an excellent job. The flavor improved within hours and by the next day was exactly what I was shooting for!

Having this come out right the first time gives me the confidence to try something more complex. I am hooked!!!
Chryssoula DePuydt, Phoenix, Arizona
pictures of quark
Healthy Quark
This was my first attempt at making quark. I had nowhere to hang it, so found that the cupboard handle works great! I've been making it about every 5 days. I find the best culture for making quark is your Fromage Blanc.

The reason I started making quark is because I had a hard time finding organic cottage cheese, whole fat, around my area, so decided to try and make my own. I'm doing it as an alternative for my cancer. It's called The Budwig Protocol. Johanna Budwig was a doctor in Germany, who cured lots of people by making them eat quark, mixed with linseed (flax seed oil) and freshly ground flax seeds. This is what I do every single morning. It's good for anyone that wants to stay healthy also. You don't have to have cancer. Just might keep it away!! 

I'm going on 5 years now, after being told I wouldn't live 1 year. No chemo or radiation, but did have some surgery, but it had already spread to my liver. I've been on all kinds of natural stuff, to try and fight this. Now I'm strictly all organic, gluten free, and GMO free. Mostly all organic veggies and fruits, except for this cheese.
Virginia Miller, Mohawk, New York
Send news & responses to
Send cheese making questions to 
Fun with Ricki, The Cheese Queen

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
Yogurt machine in good condition.  Purchased new in 2012 for $18,450. Model PTHS-1. Best reasonable offer. Appleton Farms in Ipswich, MA.  978-356-5728, ext. 4110 or e-mail for pictures or to set up an appointment to view.

Small dairy production/processing equipment. Vat pasteurizer, 80 gallon (300 liter) capacity. Cheese press, two stamp. Stainless draining table. Refrigeration/cooling equipment. Milk tank. Portable bucket milking system, compressor. Stanchions for goats, 8-12 head capacity. Much more.  518-727-3046

Bulk tank for cooling milk. Nieros 40 gallon bulk cooling tank 5 years old, imported from Europe. Works great. Located in Paonia, Colorado. $2000 OBO.  Alison Klaus. Bella Farm  970-208-7733 
Jobs & Employment
Looking for committed person as a goat dairy/cheese maker partner in Surprise, AZ.  Licensed for raw milk products, planning on moving north to a bigger place within 2 yrs. Call Connie (602) 618-2955 or e-mail 
Real Estate
One of a kind homestead/farm.  37 private acres, huge 3 story barn, outbuildings, trails right from the house.  Pond.  AGA Cooker. Unique and Magical. Heated milk room. Set up for goats/livestock. Bamboo floors. Mexican tiles. $379,500.  E-mail for photos,   802-763-2929,  Sharon, Vermont  
Cheese Events
Click on one of the event names below for more information

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

 11/28 & 11/29   New Wine & Cheese Festival / Budapest, Hungary

 12/12   Ouray's Wine, Chocolate & Cheese Festival / Ouray, Colorado
 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

 4/15   Macaroni & Cheese Festival / Bakersfield, California
Good Milk List
New England Cheesemaking Supply Company