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Moos-Letter October, 2011

Moos-Letter October, 2011

Cheese Making Recipe of the Month

Camembert. Who doesn't love it?!

You know you want to make it, if only for the thrill of serving your dinner guests your own magnificent Camembert and watching their mouths fall open while they exclaim, "What?! You made it yourself?!! You couldn't have ..."

It's not that hard, really. And with Jim's thorough directions, you can do it in no time.

There are 2 extra ingredients in Camembert and they may sound intimidating to those of you who aren't bio-chemists- Penicillium Candidum and Geotrichum.

Think of them as friendly molds which, when added to your milk, cause the final cheese to have that delicious soft white rind. Yum!

Meet a Fellow Cheese Maker

All Purpose Lactic Cheese

Life is busy these days at Chickens in the Road and nobody wants to wait for anything! Suzanne has her hands full with running her farm, so a cheese that offers almost instant gratification is welcome any time.

When you make it, you can age it for several weeks, or you can eat it within a couple of days. Suzanne actually freezes hers in 8 oz bags. (In our RECIPE section. you will find Jim Wallace's description of how to add various herbs and flavorings and even ash to your lactic cheese.)

Suzanne begins her post this month about lactic cheese by listing 10 ways to use it. Then, she gives you 3 great recipes with this cheese in it. In fact, you can make all 3 recipes from the cheese you get when you make it once!

News From Fellow Cheese Makers

He is addressing "pressing" matters in his retirement!

Recently retired and making my first cheeses, I thought the presses I was seeing were a bit over complicated, so I made one in less than a day.

Note the drip tray set into the bottom slightly - the front slot is 1/8" deeper to make the tray drain. Purchase all pipes at any hardware store: 1/2 pipe X 12"

1/2" pipe flange to contact follower
1/2" pipe union to hold weights
1/2" pipe X 8" through weights

The pipe assemby is 2 1/2 lbs and I have a 2 1/2 lb weight to make five. One 5, two 10's, and a 25 let me do any thing I need.

You can purchase the weights from any sporting goods outlet (mine came from Sears about 40 years ago).

Glenn Arnold in Houston, TX


Straining yogurt in a coffee maker

I am a new subscriber to the Moosletter, and a very inexperienced beginning cheesemaker. I have, however, been making yogurt cheese for some years. I found that parts of an old coffee maker can be repurposed to make yogurt cheese.

I located my "yogurt cheese maker," consisting of carafe, filter holder, and permanent filter, at a thrift shop. Without the filter, its holder can be draped with the butter muslin. I am sharing this idea for folks who don't want to have the bag hanging over the sink.   This can be on table, counter or shelf, and moved around if need be. Liquid is captured for later use.

Sue Gabbay


Smoke-Free Smoking!

It might work for you ...

I've used lots of mesophilic & thermophilic cultures, and have never been dissatisfied. I decided to try something very different, since I wanted the smoky flavor of a smoked cheese without having a smoker.

I added 2 tsp liquid smoke with the starter cultures, and ended up with a manchego cheese that has a delightful smoky flavor! No problems with "off" curdling, no real difference in the heating & pressing!

Irene Jordan in Hotchkiss, CO


Recipe Requests - Manouri

I was hoping you or one of your readers might have a recipe for Manouri, a Greek soft cheese made with feta whey. I had some in a restaurant and have googled it but haven't found enough detail.

I know it's usually made with sheep whey and sheep cream is added. I have goats and make feta, and I tried to recreate it using a ricotta-type process and adding half and half (since I don't separate my goat's milk I don't have goat cream). It was good, but not as I remembered it. Any hints?

Laura Buxbaum

Note: Jim Wallace usually fields our recipe searches, but, in this case, he was unable find one. He replied to Laura:

"You will need a very high fat milk to produce the whey for this cheese. It is made much like ricotta from whey but the higher cream makes a much richer high cream product. Also the whey you use must be very sweet with a pH of about 6.0

I am not sure the whey from feta is the best for this.

Trying to create regional cheese is very difficult without the milk they use there. This is mostly made from ewes milk."


The Cheese Nun

You may have heard of Sister Noella, but now you can see her life's work and what it means for cheese makers.

She was the first person to study and categorize the fungi that develop on artisan cheeses as they age. (Only Sister Noella could make this seem like fun!)

In the course of her research on the cheeses of France, she learned that totally different micro-organisms have developed on dairy farms less than 10 miles apart. These organisms give the cheeses their distinct flavors and textures.

In the course of this movie, she demonstrates why these diverse organisms need to be supported and preserved. We're just beginning in this country to develop our own cheese heritage, but with the help of scientists like Sister Noella, we have a great future ahead of us.


Please send your cheese making news & photos to: moosletter@cheesemaking.com