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April 2009 Newsletter


by Jim Wallace


Well we've done it, we have been in "O" magazine. What a few years this has been for all of us here at New England Cheesemaking.  Our goal is to help you become Happy Cheesemakers, we take a lot of pride in being able to help our customers have happy cheesemaking experiences. And we love to share what we do.
Take a look at our website for more details on recipes, cheesemaking around the world, 
cheesemaking advise, great supplies and much more. 


French experts in Vermont 
share their knowledge of great cheeses

In November of 2008, two of the top experts from Poligny France came to the University of Vermont to present a workshop on Alpine style cheeses of France. This was an intensive three day course, taught by the finest experts on the subject, focusing on different types of technologies used for centuries in the Alpine region to elaborate hard and semi-hard mountain cheeses. During this course we learned how to make three styles of Alpine cheeses: a hard cooked cheese (Comte type), a semi-hard half-cooked cheese (Abondance style) and an uncooked type like the Morbier cheese. The material presented ranged from technical process topics, functionality and quality aspects of these cheeses, to affinage and chemistry of the final product.

Click HERE for more details on this workshop


This recipe targets the style of Beaufort
from the Alps of Savoie France

Francoise moves this wheel from the makeroom to the cave underneath it at this Alpine Chalet high above the town of Aime in Savoie.

High in the Alps, from May to September, the herds are moved to the mountains and this cheese is made in the primitive chalets each morning and afternoon. This cheese recipe is a scaled down version of these huge mountain style cheeses and can easily be made at home following the directions.

Click HERE for the details of this recipe


A drop of rennet? Selecting cultures? Wax Clean-Up?

Q. One recipe calls for a drop of liquid rennet and I only have tablets. How do I figure out what one drop is equal to?

A. Tablets do not equate to drops very well since 1/4 tsp equals 1/4 tablet and it would be difficult to cut much smaller. However, here is an approach: 1 tsp/tablet equals 20 drops, therefore 1/4 tablet would be 5 drops. If you dissolve 1 tablet in 5 tbsp of water each tbsp would equal 1 drop. You will need to toss the remainder since it will not keep.


Q. What is the difference in size and use between a large culture pack and the smaller packs?  I notice some differences in bacteria, but in general, the packs make the same cheeses.  I was wondering what options or benefits the large packs may offer.

AMA011is equal to C101 and TA061 equals C201. The C101 and C201 are direct set cultures, intended for adding directly to your milk for making cheese, They are very convenient to use. They work in up to 2 to 4 gallons of milk each depending. The Larger packs are intended for much larger batches of 25 to 100 gallons and some home cheese makers are using them successfully for smaller batches.
The other large packs are more complex cultures as stated on the web page. The mother cultures C1 and C2 need to be first made up as a mother culture and then re-cultured for making cheese. This is fine when you are making cheese 2 or 3 times a week but much more labor intensive if only you are making cheese at home occasionally.

QI just waxed my first Gouda. It went great, except cleaning the equipment after waxing seems like a nightmare. Do you have any tips for cleaning up? Or did I just sacrifice my double boiler and brush to cheese wax forever?

A. Wax is messy, no way around that. The easiest way to clean is to reheat the pot and wipe up the liquid wax with paper towels. The final residue will clean up with very hot water and detergent. I use an old electric fry-pan (tag-sale cheap!!!). Tape the control where your wax melting temperature is good  (I use a candy thermometer to measure this). Use this to dip the cheese into. There is no need for a brush with this method but be careful of splashing the wax is very hot. This will now be your permanant wax pan. Just cover and let harden until the next time.


Cheesemaking 101

Ricki has been teaching cheese making classes for 30 years, her class is fun for all ages. This is an introductory class, a full day of Hands-On Cheese Making for beginners. Farmhouse Cheddar, Fromage Blanc, Creme Fraiche, Queso Blanco, Mascarpone, Whole Milk & Whey Ricottas and a 30 Minute Mozzarella!

Jim Wallace has been with us now a number of years teaching and answering our technical questions. Jim is an expert photographer, a great teacher and a wealth of knowledge. You will be delighted with his classes, although more technical in scope they are fine for the cheese maker who is starting out to learn more details of the process. Smaller than our 101 class which gives more time for individualized instructions.



We are keeping a list of Milks which have proven to be great for cheese making and where you can find them in your area. Click here to view the listing and please feel free to let us know of any additions you have, thank you and enjoy.


Thomas Organic Creamery

 20 gallon val pasteurizer



Bradley Steinke sent us this photo of a press he has made for his cheesemaking at home. As you can see there is no need to get complicated with the design but perhaps a bit handy with tools.



We all live in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, Africa.  The only cheese that you can find abundantly here is Gouda.  There is a German butchery that imports a few other kinds of cheese, but it is extremely expensive!!  Kay, second from the right, started us all on making mozzarella from your kits, making pizza here a favorite.  We also make our own cream cheese and sour cream, as they are scarce here.  And I have tried some hard cheeses, and several recipes from your book for spreads. 
One of the best things that has come from your website has been the knowledge we have gained about pasteurizing and separating the milk.  Several families here now have the ability to have skim milk from a fresh dairy cow.  It tastes so good!  Plus, we then have plenty of cream to make other fabulous recipes. Thank you for having such a fun and informative website for us.  God Bless, Marie Platt


Got your kits a few months ago and was so frustrated until you sent out that recent newsletter talking about high heat but not ultra pasteurized milk. Decided to make another attempt with the cheapest milk at the grocery store and had big success.  
Susan Hammond Toronto ON



We made the Farmhouse Cheddar yesterday.  I was going to use bricks that are in our back yard to press the cheese but when I dug them out of the snow, they were frozen to the ground and I couldn't budge them!  So, my kids (aged 2 and 4) and I searched the house for heavy things and this picture shows what we came up with to make 20 lbs. of pressure.  From bottom to top we have:
-A hard covered cookbook
-glass bowl
-two free weights (one 2 lbs and one 3 lbs)
-A 1/2 gallon sized mason jar filled with water
-A pewter cup filled with change
-A large bottle of conditioner
This made me laugh and wanted to share it with you.  Needless to say, I ordered your press plans this morning! Gaea Meola

Keep those Photos and Stories coming

We are very excited about our online Newsletter and love input from our readers. 
Keep sharing your stories and photos with us, we will post as many of them as we can.
Please send to Ricki
.  If you have anything special you would like to see in future editions feel free to let us know, we will try our best to help you find what you need.