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Cheese News 2014 -August

August, 2014 New England Cheesemaking Supply Co.

Throwing It Out? No Whey!!

You've made your fabulous homemade cheese, and now your milk is giving you even more to work with - that nutrient-rich whey! It's absolutely loaded with protein, which explains why the grocery stores are filled with all kinds of whey protein powders.

There are many wheys to use it - making ricotta, drinking it, fertilizing your garden, feeding it to your pets, substituting it for milk in baked goods. You can even use it in the process of making cheeses like Halloumi and Mozzarella. Putting it to good use is definitely the whey to go!

For Jim's page about whey - click here

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Luigi Stranges

Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

We don't know very many home cheese makers who produce their own 20 pound Parmesans! Luigi Stranges does it regularly and he imprints them by using wooden letters he buys at craft stores. As you can see in the picture above, they are absolutely beautiful!

He sterilizes the letters in boiling water for 30 seconds the first time he uses them. Then, he dips them in water and coats them with either pepper (black) or paprika (red), and presses them into his cheeses for 4-6 hours during the last turn.

Luigi's mother first taught him to make basket cheese on their farm in Italy. Now, he has brought his skills to a whole new level. He makes Parmesan, Romano, Provolone, Blue, Caciocavallo, Tomme au Marc, Gouda, Swiss, Cheddar, Asiago, Carpa Briaca (The Drunken Goat), Pepato Toscano and Dry Jack. It is truly amazing how far Luigi has come and he is most certainly a grand master of home cheese making!

For more about Luigi - click here

We are working on a page for young cheese makers for our website. To start it up, we are holding a Junior Essay Contest!

We are focusing our efforts this year on the concept of community. We want to encourage you to think about how you can help others. Let your imagination run wild and think of ways as cheese makers you can broaden someone's horizons by reaching out. Even if you have yet to make cheese, think of some wild ideas of how cheese making can help others.

Think of a project you and/or your parents might organize that would benefit someone else in the community. We think it's possible and who knows? Someone might read about your idea and be truly inspired.

If you're 18 years old or younger, send us a 175+ word essay (think of it as a writing project) at along with a picture of yourself. In exchange, the first 10 people we receive essays from will get a $25.00 gift certificate to spend at, and we will share all your ideas in our new kids section online.

If you think this is a crazy idea, you're right. The Queen is truly crazy about it and here are a few of her thoughts:

Get to know your neighbors by inviting them over to make cheese!

If you're growing a garden, pick some ripe tomatoes, make and slice some Mozzarella, add basil and invite your friends to share a meal. Perhaps you could give a little talk about where Mozzarella was first made.

You could purchase 12 Mozzarella & Ricotta Kits for half price, sell them and raise money for your favorite charity.

You could find a cheese pen-pal somewhere in the world, start writing to them, and find out how they do it and how it might be different than what you do.

That's it for now! Start writing and send us your essays! We are excitedly looking forward to hearing from as many of you as possible! Enjoy.

This is a new section we have added as part of our mission to encourage young people to learn the art of cheese making. If you are 18 or less, we would love to hear from you about your experiences and your goals for the future. Send to

Going to Italy in October!

I just thought I would update y'all with what is going on with me.

I was just accepted as a delegate to the Terra Madre World Food Conference and Salone del Gusto, 2014 this fall in Turin, Italy! Very exciting and an honor.

And to think it all started with a Mozzarella Kit from New England Cheese Making Supply Co.!

I have started a fundraising page to help pay for the travel expenses: click here.

In a subsequent e-mail, Shawn explained:

I had to apply to be considered as one of the 240 US delegates.

There are many cheese related events that I am excited about:
Shawn Saindon and friend
Talks on such topics as Ancient Cheese Traditions of the Mediterranean, Cheeses and Wines of Turkey, Cheeses from Canada and Mountain Pasture Cheeses from Carso and Slovenia.

While Slow Food is able to provide housing, ground transportation and meals to delegates, each delegate is responsible for paying their own airfare. That's why I'm doing a fundraiser.
Shawn Saindon, Portland, Maine

(Note: We did a blog article about Shawn in May. He is a cheese maker interning at a local farm, a lobster salesman, a song writer and a full-time student. One of the perks of contributing $50 or more to his fundraising campaign is a cheese making class to be given September 6th and an advanced class September 13th. A $150 contribution wins you a personal cheese class at your own home!)

Jackie Clower with her ribbons

She's a Butterkase Winner!

Your Moosletters inspire me to try the cheese of the month you feature. This time it was your Butterkase Cheese.

I made it with ease following Jim's instructions, thinking I would enter it into the San Diego Fair's Homemade Cheese Competition.

YES! I took First Place, along with Best of Class! The Judges and President of Queso Diego (the San Diego Cheese Club) commented my rind was spot on for the Butterkase, and I was correct to say it was a smooth cheese!

Big "oops" on my part, as I accidentally entered my Blue Gouda into the wrong class. It went in as a flavored cheese, yet did take second place, nonetheless. Lesson learned on my part.

I find making cheese relaxing and mysterious; always wondering if it will turn out correct. But thanks to your monthly Moosletter I know the recipes have been professionally tested and will produce great cheese.
Jackie Clower, San Diego, California

Send your news & responses to Jeri at
(Note: Questions about making cheese go to

A few questions and answers, chosen by Ricki, the cheese queen from the many we receive each month.

Creamy Sheep's Milk

Q. Every time I make sheep's milk cheese, I seem to lose large amounts of fat from the curds. I usually lose some fat with cow's milk, and I think this is normal, but with sheep's milk I lose what seems to be huge amounts. Often when I am making cheese with sheep's milk, my hands and utensils are coated with grease. While this is nice for dry skin, I can't help but wonder if I am doing something wrong.

A. This is not surprising considering the high solids of sheep's milk. There is a lot of fat and the proteins have a hard time holding it. It is essential to cut and rest before stirring the ewe's milk curds. You need enough whey released to float the curd slightly, otherwise your stirring just continues to cut the curd smaller and releases more whey. Slow and gentle on the stir for sheep's milk cheese and make sure you develop enough acid before adding the rennet and forming the curds.

Re-Culturing Yogurt

Last month I ordered both the Sweet (Y5) and Creamy (Y3) yogurt cultures from your website. I'm in the process of making my first batch and I am wondering if it is re-culturable.

A. Both of them will work for a generation or so. However, since they are both complex cultures, they will quickly begin to lose their blend balance and produce very different yogurts. The Bulgarian Yogurt (Y1) is the one to use for re-culturing. Take the following precautions: do not allow excess acid during ripening, chill as soon as possible when fermented and re-culture every 10-14 days, if possible.

Using Fresh Milk

If I plan a 2 gallon recipe, and use 1 gallon of milk from today and mix it with 1 gallon from yesterday, should the milk sit a day or two? I gave up pasteurizing because I thought it might be the initial problem. Plus, it's extra work for failed curd.

A. If you are collecting multiple milkings for your cheese, make sure you do not add the warm milk to a chilled milk. This will definitely have you starting with too high an acidity level when making your cheese and the real problem is you will not know what those bacteria were.

Q. I would like to pasteurize and then make Mozzarella in the same pot. Is that possible? Does the fresh from the cow, then pasteurized milk need to be cooled to less than 90F to add citric acid? I thought I had read it was possible, but it has been hit or miss for me. Now I'm worried there is such a thing as milk being too fresh.

A. Pasteurizing is not needed with a milk you know to be health safe. The key is getting the good bacteria strong enough to out-compete the natural bacteria that came in the raw milk. This is easy to do with normal culture additions.
If you still want to pasteurize, do it in one pot, then chill to cheese making temperature and begin the process. Many small producers must pasteurize their milk using a vat pasteurizer, which means it's a dual process; the vat pasteurizes and then makes the cheese without moving the milk.

Substituting Mesophilics

I read that Flora Danica will give cheese a buttery flavor and is usually used for the softer cheeses. I ran out of the mesophilic (C101). So I substituted Flora Danica (C11). I know it is a mesophilic starter. I am making Pepper Jack and Cheddar. How will this affect the outcome of my cheese?

A. Flora Danica is a mesophilic culture just like our C101 except it will produce the buttery flavor you are referring to and a more open texture with small holes. It is not typically used for the Jack cheese but will be okay in a pinch.

Measuring Pressing Weight

In what I have seen for pressing cheese, I have not found any information on how the weight is measured. If your mold is 4" diameter and mine is 6" diameter, your area would be roughly 12 square inches and mine would be 28. If I use a 20lb weight, your pounds per square inch would be 1.67 and mine would be .71 psi. You would be applying more than twice the force on your cheese than I would. As the mold diameter increases, the force drops dramatically. Are there any calculations or numbers that would compensate for mold size?

A. The pressing in our book, Home Cheese Making is by total weight on the surface, not pressure and usually using a 2lb mold. When using a different size mold, the weight needs to be changed according to the surface area of the mold. If you use the same diameter mold but are adding more curds, the weight will not change. If you use a larger or smaller diameter mold, compensate the weight proportionate to mold surface area. Here is the math:

The area is calculated using the formula pi x r squared
where: r is the radius (r squared is r x r) and pi is a constant of 3.1416.

If the recipe molds have a radius of ~ 2 inches:
2 squared = 4 x 3.1416 = 12.56 square inches surface area.

The weight applied to our larger M2 mold with a 7.5 inch diameter is about 3 times greater than our M3 mold which is about 4.25 inches.

Foiled Again!

Here's a frequently asked question: How can I keep my cheese in the best shape possible during the time between making it and serving it?

Answer: You took the time to make your own fabulous cheese, so we know you want to present it to your family and friends at it's absolute peak of perfection.

The way you wrap it depends on the cheese. If your cheese is surface ripened (like blue cheese) or semi-hard (like Monterey Jack) or hard (like Parmesan), your goal is to keep the moisture in the cheese.

Our newest wrap (CWF) does exactly that. It has a paper cheese wrap on the inside (to let the cheese breathe), and a foil wrap on the outside to hold the moisture in.

Tip of the Month: We have also found these foil sheets useful for freezing burritos, tamales, breakfast sandwiches and all kinds of wraps.

For more info - click here

Place Your Free Ads Here!

Send your copy to, and your ad will be promptly placed in the classified section of our website. It will also appear in the next month's Moosletter (like the ads below).

To see the 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 439 posts (so far).
Includes recipes, tutorials, interviews and all kinds of useful cheese making information -


See the results of the Los Angeles International Dairy Competition! The judging is August 9th at the Los Angeles County Fair, August 29th-September 28th. For more info - click here

Jobs & Employment

Silvery Moon Creamery is an award-winning maker of artisanal cheeses & other dairy products and is located at Smiling Hill Farm in Westbrook, Maine. We are looking for an associate cheese maker (full-time). This person will be involved in all aspects of the cheese making process including production, affinage, packaging, and marketing. Please email a resume or description of your work history, including references, to

Larson Farm is a 40 cow grass-fed Jersey herd in Southwest Vermont.
We wish to set up a small processing plant to produce pasture butter and perhaps skyr or soft low-fat cheese, or other products. We are looking for a person or couple who are passionate about small-scale dairy processing and diversified food production and who may also wish to start his/her/their own complimentary enterprise.


Help send Shawn Saindon, an aspiring cheese maker to the Terra Madre and Salone del Gusto 2014 this fall in Turin, Italy! He was selected to be a US delegate, but he needs to raise the airfare to Italy. To check out his campaign - click here. (Perks of contributing include cheese making classes in Portland, Maine!)

Have cheese plant will travel.
Looking for your extra cow's, goat's, sheep's, buffalo's, or camel's milk to make cheese on my farm or yours. Health food stores - keep only fresh raw milk on your shelf and turn the rest into farmstead cheese. 100% grass dairy farmers - turn some of your milk to cheese. Buying clubs and food co-ops - hands on cheese making classes - Florida, South Georgia, South Alabama.
Contact at Gone Organic Dairy Products

See and share with a vet you may know. As veterans help work the land, they will experience healing as well as gain an education that has the potential to lead to them being farmers, ranchers, cheese makers! Don’t know a veteran but believe in helping - the web site has great donation opportunities just for you. Bring back small farms, help veterans and see more real food. Contact Nancy Falster - 903-629-3034

Washington County Cheese Tour

Washington County, New York

September 6 & 7

Monroe Cheese Festival

Monroe, New York

September 13

Green County Cheese Days

Monroe, Wisconsin

September 19-21

Apple & Cheese Festival

Canton, Pennsylvania

October 4 & 5