January, 2016
Recipe of The Month
Adding Peppers to Your Cheese
Drum roll, please!  This is our exciting whey of opening a new year for your cheese making adventures.

Jim calls it "A Tale of 2 Peppas" and it is, indeed, an epic recipe. 

This is absolutely the "final word" with everything you need to know about adding either black peppers or hot peppers to your cheese.

We double-dare you to find this quality of information anywhere else on the web!

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
Great news! This spring, I'll be teaching hands-on home cheese making workshops for beginners.

In these daylong workshops, you'll learn the basic principles of home cheese making while making (and sampling) Colby, Cream Cheese, whole milk and whey Ricottas, Fromage Blanc, Creme Fraiche, Paneer, Mascarpone and 3 different yogurts.

I'm so excited to begin sharing the joy of home cheese making in these dynamic classes and hope to see you soon.

Cheese Making Workshops
Questions and Answers Questions
 Q    pH for Blue - I love your recipe for blue cheese in this month's newsletter. Do you know what the pH of either the whey or the curds should be when ready to put in the mold?

 A    Learn to taste the acid - As useful as pH can be for monitoring acid development, we always warn folks not to take it as written in stone. We usually do not bring pH targets into our recipes because of this.

Traditional cheese makers rarely focus on the pH. Instead, they are paying close attention to the changes in milk to curd and into the final cheese. They do as their grandparents did -  evaluating the process with the touch, smell and feel as they go.

That said, we expect the targets to reach about 6.2 at 4 hours and 5.3 when draining at 6 hrs.

For us, the pH meter and titration are for when things go wrong to clue us in to what is happening. When we do use these tools, we have pretty much already made our physical evaluations.

 Q    Waxing Parmesan - I'm making a parmesan cheese wheel and want to age it for 10 years.  Can I wax this cheese?  When I age cheese for such a long time, it is too hard to even use.  I rub olive oil on them but that doesn't seem to help.  I waxed a swiss wheel and it came out great!

 A   Be careful - At 10 years it will take an axe to cut it!  Hopefully you have made this cheese before, but if not, we would not try aging this long - it's a long time to wait for disappointment.

Make sure you reduce the fat if aging more than 18 months because it goes rancid otherwise. 

If your cheese is smaller than 12-15 lbs, we would not recommend aging anything this long.

 Q    Stilton with more - Do you have a recipe for making stilton with dried fruits? I have tried to make it using the regular stilton recipe, but it wasn't good at all - too strong.

 A    Last step - You would skip the blue addition and add the fruit as the final curds are put into the mold.  

 Q    Mold on Blue - My first blue has developed blue mold but I am concerned it is too much mold. The color is only blue, not black or green, but the entirety of the cheese is densely covered. Is this normal? If not, will it be safe to eat?

 A   Moisture is the issueThe amount of blue that forms on the surface will depend on the dryness of the final curd when formed. High moisture produces a lot of blue. Sometimes other molds settle in. You may even find a sticky slime layer developing. If your aging area is too moist, the surface remains moist and the mold becomes a problem. Blue is difficult to get the right amount of moisture, but after a few tries most folks figure it out.
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In the Spotlight
connie paris and goat
Connie Marie Paris
Surprise, Arizona
We apologize for torturing those of you who are spending the winter in colder climates.  (It was actually hard for us to interview Connie because our jealousy kept rearing it's ugly head.)  And speaking about rearing, Connie has two horses on her cool ranch in the desert north of Phoenix and she is fully licensed to make cheese (Madgoat) in her own home.  Oh, this is hard...
Cheese Making News
Camembert Adventure
Thought you might be interested in these photos of my first camembert made from my goat's milk and your cultures, etc. I had almost finished ladling the curds in the moulds when I turned my back to check the recipe and heard a bang.

My yells of dismay brought the other member of the household running to see what was wrong - it looked like a disaster but, incredibly, all turned out well in the end! I was astounded.  Important lesson - use a firm base for the cheese!!

perfect Camembert
I have a couple of questions that I hope you can help me with. When I tried the cheese, the texture was great but it had an ammonia smell which wasn't very nice. I have noticed this with some camembert I bought at a farmer's market too, but not my favourite brand from Denmark.

Is there anything I can do to avoid this ammonia smell from occurring? Also my cheese was too salty for my taste. Can I reduce the amount of salt without having an adverse affect on the cheese?
Fiona Matthews, Cottles Bridge, Australia

jim_s pic
Jim's* answer:
The first curds from a cam are VERY unstable and a slight jiggle is all they need to run out. I always ladle with one hand on the form when adding and make sure that the base is stable and level.

You mention the ammoniated curds when ripe. This is usually from having issues with draining or drying before going into the aging space. If this is not done well, the aging cheese is too moist and the protein changes produced by the enzymes in the cheese become very aggressive, especially towards the outer surface. This results in a more liquidy paste when cut, along with a higher level of ammonia.

The issue is due to excessive moisture in the curd. Pay attention to draining temperatures and the moisture/temp in the drying space to make sure you have reduced the moisture before aging. Also, you might want to drop the temperature into the low to mid 40sF to slow the protein conversion so that it develops more evenly towards the center of the cheese.

I'm not sure how much salt you are using, but too little salt can increase the moisture problems. It can also cause unwanted molds to develop.

*You can always submit your questions to Jim Wallace at

We'd Love to Hear From You
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Fun with Ricki
We had a Very Royal Birthday!
With wand in hand, Jocelyn put on a beautiful cape and fantastic sunglasses from her great-grand mother and then proclaimed that dancing should commence throughout the kingdom.

Dancing and laughter filled the night and a great time was had by all...

party scene
By Royal Decree, Jocelyn had invited her great- grandmothers, grandmothers, grandfather, aunts, great uncle and cousin to attend her festivities.

To her delight, the house had been decorated with farmyard themed accessories, including plates with cows, cups with horses, napkins with sheep and a cow and pig balloon which are still traveling around the house...

There was also play dough - lots and lots of play dough.
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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, 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
Jaybee 15 gallon pasteurizer vat.  New, never used.  Asking $14,500 obo. Located in Bedford, PA. Call for more info 814-979-0070 
 100 gallon Damrow cheese vat.  Rectangular shape, 100% stainless, excellent condition. Bought it from Tillamook. Can use steam or hot water. $4,000. You can e-mail at or call/text 602-770-0780

Emory Thompson CB350 ice cream machine.  My phone is 540-460-4161 and e-mail is  Asking $7,300.
Cheese Events
Click on one of the event names below for more information
 1/16    Isthmus Beer & Cheese Fest / Madison, Wisconsin

 2/13 - 2/14   Jungle Jim's Big Cheese Festival / Fairfield, Ohio

 3/2    CheeseFest / Auckland, New Zealand

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

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

 4/15   Macaroni & Cheese Festival / Bakersfield, California

 4/23   Between the Bluffs Beer, Wine & Cheese Festival / La Crosse, Wisconsin

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

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

 6/18   Macaroni & Cheese Festival / Avila Beach, California

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