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Cheese News 2014 -September

September, 2014 New England Cheesemaking Supply Co.

The staff of New England Cheesemaking Supply Co. wishes you "Happy Cheese Making!"


From left: Sarah, Jen, Baby Jocelyn, Mark, Jeff, Ricki, Jim, Ida, April, Kathy, Angie, Jeri

Bleu d'Auvergne

Jim travels around the globe, visiting the people who make the fabulous artisan cheeses we know and love. When he finds these cheese makers, he samples their cheese and studies their techniques so that we can all benefit from their expertise. (It's a hard job but someone has to do it!)

One of his trips, not too long ago, was to the beautiful Auvergne province of France where there are 80 dormant volcanoes, the last eruption was around 6,000 years ago.

It's one of the least populated regions in Europe (for humans), but the cow population is gigantic. They graze on the rich, volcanic soil, producing milk perfect for the cheeses from the area, including Cantal, Fourme d'Ambert, Saint-Nectaire and, of course, the fabulous Bleu d"Auvergne.

This is a mild and creamy cow's milk cheese with less salt in it than most blues. It's often used in salad dressings and pasta sauces when it isn't the center of a cheese board.

Jim LOVES this cheese, and he highly recommends it. So, if you have some experience under your belt, you may want to give this intermediate level cheese a try. The result will be a stunning addition to your repertoire.

For Jim's recipe - click here

Phil Tillman in Arroyo Grande, CA

Phil with Eclair, Rain's firstborn

Phil Tillman is a retired veterinarian with a much beloved Nubian named Rain (you might remember reading about Rain in Phil's essay for the 35th Anniversary Essay Contest.) Rain gave Phil and his family over a gallon of rich, creamy milk daily for many months after she had her first kid.

So, what could he do but make cheese? He became a cheese maker and now his wife barters (very successfully) with it at the local farmer's market.

Phil wrote to Jim Wallace recently regarding Jim's page, The Whey of the World. There's some good info in his note, so we'll share it with you:

You mention that you tend to use only sweet whey for plants. I suppose this is to be expected in East coast areas where some people even have to add lime to their soil to make it less acid.

In most of the arid regions of the Southwest (I live in California), the biggest single soil problem is alkalinity. Citrus looks sick and yellow, camelias, azaleas and rhododendrons need to be put in raised beds with artificial soil, and hydrangeas can't be made blue no matter how much sulfur one tries to water in around their base. People (futilely) water iron sulfate in around their plants to no avail, because the alkaline soil renders the iron unavailable no matter how much you add.

Jim working in his garden
Farmers often resort to "foliar sprays" (liquid fertilizer) of iron sulfate, so they can bypass the soil. Blueberries won't grow at all. A gallon of acid whey (from chevre in my case - usually after a 24 hour fermentation) near the base of a citrus will turn it from chartreuse to Kelly green in just a few days. Put a gallon anywhere near a hydrangea and it's blue for the rest of it's life. Blueberries prosper, even in straight native soil if they get a gallon of whey on the bed every week or so.

Before I started making cheese, I used sulfur, iron sulfate, chelated iron, aluminum sulfate, special bags of soil for "acid loving plants;" everything I could find, and none of it worked. Whey is magic. I don't think you can overdose it. I use it on every other plant species too; tomatoes, roses, peppers; everything loves it.

Jim's response: Most of what you list are acid loving plants and will not be harmed by acid whey. I would still be careful of the acid sensitive plants such as lettuce and peppers. I do dump even my acid whey on my tomatoes, but I have lost both peppers and lettuce with acid.

For more info about Phil and pictures - click here

Our Junior Essay Challenge

Last month, we invited young cheese makers (18 years and younger) to tell us their ideas for ways to serve their communities using their cheese making skills. We offered $25 gift certificates to the first 10 responders. We received two wonderful essays (below) and our offer continues. Send us your ideas and we will share your essay (and picture) here for everyone to enjoy.

Melody Cramer (17)
Midvale, Utah

The first time I made cheese was an experience that lay unprecedented in my young history of gastronomic adventures. The magic of transforming frothy, raw, milk into something solid and substantial blew me away. To think that all it took were a few added elements was, and still is, incredible to me.

That first bite of the freshest possible mozzarella convinced me that I could not leave this great discovery hidden from my neighborhood friends. And so, the next time that we gathered for our weekly activity, I was prepared to rock their worlds. I guided them through the steps; warming the milk; adding the cultures; letting it coagulate; cutting the curds into little cubes; cooking out more of the whey, and then heating and stretching. Oh the stretching! The amazing, transformative stretching that converted what had previously looked like a newborn's spit up into a glossy rope of pure sensory delight!

I immediately witnessed a change in my peers' countenances as they realized what had just taken place, and all the endless possibilities that lay in store for them. I walked home that evening full of good cheese and the contentment that comes from making the world a better place. Viva el queso!

Kaitlyn Buker (11)
Jefferson City, Missouri

My life is mostly about my family and sports. But something I love more than sports is cheese. And why I love cheese so much is because, when I was a baby I had a heart problem. And from that heart problem it caused me not to be able to have caffeine, and chocolate has caffeine in it, so like most kids chocolate is their favorite thing but I can't have chocolate so I found a new thing that I love now and my favorite food is now cheese.

I love all cheeses. I have no dislikes yet. And from that heart problem which has been fixed I still live a good life and love cheese.

Cheese is a big part of my life because I live around lots of old people in my neighborhood and not only do I like to share my like of cheese with them, I love to cook with cheese - everything I make is usually with cheese. I love to make lasagna, chilli, hamburger, noodles, and much much more. And I even love to eat cheese on the side if it doesn't go good on top of the food.

My mom and dad took a cooking class on how to make cheese. Then my dad taught me how to make cheese and that really helped us bond. And without cheese in the world people would miss out on all the great flavors. And some food that needs cheese to make it taste great - those meals would be gone forever.

So think about your favorite food or your favorite cheeses and think if that cheese or those cheeses were gone from the face of the earth or you could no longer make that cheese or those cheeses. So that is why you need to appreciate what you have and that your favorite cheese was banned from the USA like some cheeses have been. I appreciate cheese so much that every time I go to the grocery store I try a new cheese and I thank and pray for everyone who has made all these different types of cheeses and the variety of cheeses I can chose from even though I do not know the people. And when I am making my own cheese with my dad I thank the farmers in prayer that I have the Ingredients to make the cheese.

So I hope that after you have read this essay that you see the importance of cheese. And just to let you know this essay was not homework or something I had to do it was so I could get my point across the table (because most of the time you do not hear stuff form the kids point of view) and tell everyone out there that cheese is important to the world and I hope that you all can see this whole essay was for all the cheeses here in this world that they have a purpose and maybe none of us know the purpose yet. But one day we will find out that purpose. So let us now everyone near and far people who read this tell your friends and family that you should give a cheer, our thanks, and our prayers to everyone who makes us cheese to enjoy.
For all the cheese makers

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

Welcome Back!

Just wanted to say THANK YOU!!! I have been trying like a mad women to make cheese with my goat's milk (I have 5 milkers) and finally a few years back, I found your site and ordered my first starter kit, made cheese and it worked!!!! Then, I had to grow up and get a full time job, so took a 4 year break. But, today, I am on the road to making cheese again ... just like my mom used to make when I was growing up. (She has since passed away, so I have no experienced help). It was a chevre but she made it in molds, and the longer it sat in her cheese room, the creamier the rounds became (brie type, I would say... just fabulous). So, I hope that I can one day make it like mom used to. Thanks so much for keeping your dream shop alive and mine started.
Sandrine Flament, Preferred Hobbies, Enderby, B.C. Canada

We raise alpine goats. At left is Kerri Alpine, and Mable the Nubine. At right is Oreo, our grand champion alpine doe. She is now 5yrs old and our best milker. She alone gives enough milk to make my cheese.

More Production Coming!

I hope everything is fine and you are all in good health. This summer is busy for me regarding cheese. My new cheese plant is half done and hopefully production will start by October. This plant has a capacity to process 1000 liters (264 gallons) of milk per day. A new vat for 600 liters (158 gallons) is under construction. A lot of purchasing and fixing of things is going on. I hope in September my dream of having a proper cheese factory will come true.

Meanwhile, I have had some great experience regarding a new recipe for cheese. I make some good Brie now. Once I made a small sized Camembert and for an experiment, I took it out of the mold before it was time. As a result, it stretched and became thin. I left it in the fridge to age and forgot about it for 2 months. When I checked, it was hard - even after cutting. To my surprise, it tasted like Parmesan cheese. I tried it with melon and watermelon and believe me, it was simply irresistible. Now I make it regularly and it goes fine with pasta and fruits. Thought to share with you.
Imran Saleh, Lahore, Pakistan

Save the Icelandic Goats

Hey there gang,

I know you make cheese from goats, and that is something I'd like to do as well.

By September this year, 95% of the whole Icelandic goat population will be slaughtered and it will possibly cease to exist in the world.

I want to save the native goat population, so I ask for your help in spreading the message.

The Icelandic goat population is in grave danger due to financial troubles that the _ONLY_ person who cares enough about the Icelandic goat is in.

In 1999, Johanna saved 4 Icelandic goats and started a goat farm to save these beautiful creatures.

Today there are around 820 Icelandic goats in the world, almost all of them alive thanks to Johanna.

These are even world famous goats ... they appeared in an episode of Game of Thrones!

Johanna has a farmland that has a loan, but due to many factors (financial crisis and other things), the loan has skyrocketed to approximately US $400,000. By mid September this year (2014), the bank will put the farm on an auction unless they are paid US $90,000.

Here is an article in English on what's going on ( click here).

To help the Icelandic goat population, outside parties (not Johanna) started a Indiegogo (crowd funding) campaign to save the goat population.

On the campaign website, individuals and companies can donate money in exchange for unique rewards from Johanna.

Here is a link to the crowd funding campaign ( click here).

Can you help Johanna raise awareness and money to save the Icelandic goat population from extinction?

A couple of ways you can help raise awareness:

1. Send an e-mail to your e-mail list, telling the story of Johanna and the Icelandic goats and asking your subscribers to forward the e-mail to all of their friends.

2. Write an article on your website about the Icelandic goat population and Johanna's life mission.

Here is Johanna's e-mail address:

Thank you so much! :) Kindest regards from Iceland,
Sigurour Guobrandsson (Siggy)

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.

Drying Your Cheese

Q I followed the directions in the Basic Cheese Making Kit and I have a question. My instructions said to dry the cheese at room temperature, which I'm doing. It's sitting on the counter, on a cheese mat lightly covered with a paper towel to keep dust and stuff off. It's beginning to develop some mold on the surface, which I will wipe off with salt water, but I'm wondering if it's ruined because it wasn't kept in a cheese cave, which I don't have?

A Drying the cheese is more a matter of where you are drying it - warm temperatures and high moisture make it somewhat problematic. What you need to watch for is the loss of surface moisture and a slight darkening of the surface with no cracking (which would mean it is too dry).

Regarding the cheese cave, it is best to have a cool and moderately moist place to age your cheese. Waxing can help protect the cheese, especially when it is a smaller cheese. Most guidelines for cheese making need to be followed closely to get to the end result desired.

Culturing 30 Gallons

Q I would like to know how much culture I need to make a 30 gallon batch of cheese curds? The recipe online calls for 1 packet / 2 gallons.

A Depending on your milk source, if you are using our small culture packs you will need 10-15. However, with this much milk, you can use the larger culture packs and have 2 options:

1. You could make a low temperature version using MA001, heating the milk initially to 86F then slowly heating to 102F, resulting in a traditional, yet softer curd.

2. In the higher temperature method, you can use TA061, heating the milk initially to 96F and then slowly to 108-116F. This will result in a drier curd and squeakier texture.

The amounts for these large pack cultures will depend on whether you are using pasteurized or raw milk. Use 1.25 tsp of the culture from the larger pack if using raw milk and 30-40% more if using pasteurized milk.

Maintaining Humidity

Q I just made a batch of Jack cheese and I have my refrigerator at 50F. However, I can only get the humidity up to 62 percent. What do I do?

A Pans of water and sometimes damp cloths need to be hung in the fridge to keep the moisture level. It is best to have these storage fridges sized to fit your production. With just a single cheese or two, it is hard to keep the moisture up. Make sure you have a reliable hygrometer.

Better Butter

Q I found your site through a search on how to make homemade butter. I bought heavy cream and put it into a blender. It started to separate, and then suddenly it all just turned to liquid again, and I had to throw it out. What did I do wrong?

A If you used too high a speed, this could cause the butter to break out. You can use a blender, but only on 'stir.' It is also important to make sure the cream is chilled into the mid 50's(F)- too cold or too warm creates problems. Also, ripening the cream with a little buttermilk culture will help the butter form more evenly.

Q Quick question about making cultured butter: I used local farm cream plus your buttermilk enzyme, as per the directions. Problem is, I had to leave on short notice and didn't return until much later - at least 36 hours after I set the covered pot in a quiet place. When I came back it was thick - REALLY thick. I tried to shake it in a mason jar as I had done (successfully) in the past, but rather than separating into butter and buttermilk, I got one very thick product the consistency (almost) of mayonnaise. No buttermilk to be found. Very tasty, but perhaps like a very whipped butter. Not as sweet as a thick whipped cream, but very tasty still. What went wrong? Was it the time I spent away? How much time is the maximum I could give this to work?

A 36 hrs was too long a ripening time ... do it overnight, 8-10 hrs and usually below 60F. Too much acid and you will be well on your way to a very tangy lactic cheese. In that case, the acidity is high enough to pull the proteins together to form a good yogurt-like consistency. At this point, butter making is problematic. Drain it through a double layer of our butter muslin for a nice sour cream.

ChefAlarm (E22)

Sarah's always on the lookout for new products to make your life easier. (Of course, it's a bonus if they look cute and come in a wide variety of colors.) This alarm is a must for multi-taskers. You set it and go back to that other project you have going, only, now you don't have to worry about your pot of milk.

You may be asking yourself - how exactly would I use this? and the answer is right on our website:

Uses for Yogurt Making:

Set the MAX ALARM to know when the temp of milk reaches 185F.
Then, set the TIMER ALARM for 20 minutes to hold it there (the MIN ALARM set to 180F will let you know if heat needs to be increased).
Then, set the MIN ALARM to 115F to avoid over chilling the milk before adding culture.

Uses for Cheese Making:

Set the MAX ALARM to just below target milk temp to avoid overheating the milk.
Use to monitor the temperature of milk during slow heating using the TEMP and TIMER settings.
Set the MIN ALARM once the cheese curd is at temp to know when more heating is needed.
Set the MIN ALARM for cheeses that need to be held at a specific temp while cultures remain active after draining/molding (such as many soft or lightly pressed cheeses).

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 -


Artisan Cheese Making Course in Belize, October 24-27 , taught by Dr. Larry and Linda Faillace of 3 Shepherd's Farm in Vermont. This 4 day cheese making workshop is a hands on learning experience during which the student will make no less than 6 different artisan cheeses. Also offering 3 one day workshops - Introduction to Cheese Making - October 31, 2014, Pickling Workshop - November 1, 2014, Fermented Beverages and Tonics Workshop - November 2, 2014. Ian Anderson's Cave's Branch Adventure Lodge

For Sale


Cheese Press. 2 piston Buizen brand stainless press. Purchased in March 2014. Business has changed to fresh and soft cheeses only so it is no longer needed. Fits in compact space. Able to press 1-6 wheels a a time. New sells for $1550. This one is priced at $1000. Pictures can be requested. Shipping/Delivery can be discussed. 248-930-6172

Individual cheese moulds, ripening racks and mats,
used but in excellent condition. Pont-Levesque Square Molds, Truncated Pyramid molds (Valencay), Faiselle molds (round with bottom and feet), Racks- 20” X 24.75” X 4” (feet), 20” X 24.75” X 5.5 “ (feet), 25” X 26” X 3.5” (feet); Ripening rack stationary base: 22” X 26,” Ripening rack wheel base, Stainless steel drain table. Located in Champaign, Illinois. For photos and more information, e-mail Leslie Cooperband at

700 Liter Round Dutch-style cheese vat:
New in summer 2012, and in excellent condition. Expanding operation and is available right away. $14,000 OBO. Also for sale, single cylinder pneumatic cheese press with 63" stack height. New 2008. $2500 OBO. Contact for photos. E-mail

30 Gallon Butter Churn: Control unit, motor, wiring, drum and paddle all new in 2013 & very well maintained. Variable speed control: forward and reverse, single phase electric with 220V, two drains. Asking $7500 Excellent Condition. Located in southern ME. For pics and more info e-mail

Stainless Steel Cheese Moulds- professional quality- won't rust, near new. 4.25" by 4.25" Tomme Moulds and 4.25" by 8.25" top of the line moulds. E-mail for pics and more info or call 970-306-1599. $40 for smalls, $65 for larges. Located in Copake, NY.

200 Gallon Dairy Batch Pasteurizer, Stainless Steel. Contact for photos, dimensions, pricing and additional info. -, 770-516-8313

2 chart recorders for pasteurizers, asking $550 each. Email - for more info.

80 gallon vat pasteurizer with thermometers, recording chart, leak detect valve and recirculating pump: $7,000, 100 gallon ice-bank bulk tank with compressor: $1,500, 5x7 walk-in cooler with compressor & Bohn condenser $1,500, 9x7 walk-in freezer with compressor & Bohn condenser $2,500. Located in Wisconsin. Contact for more information & photos.


Proven, healthy three-year-old dairy ram, ready to work. $300. We are located in northern CA (Sheridan 95681). 530-633-9456


Jobs & Employment


Looking for advanced, head or assistant cheese making gig from November to April. 2 Years experience as co-head cheese maker, lead affinuer, orderfulfillment, milking Jersey's at Cascadia Creamery in Washington state. Contact me for resume, cover letter and anyother documents you may need at or (509) 637-3767. Willing to travel or move anywhere in the country or abroad.


Internships. Farm in eastern south-central Alabama. You can expect to learn a variety of skills unique to small sustainable farming: milking, milk handling, processing, cattle handling (dairy and beef), beekeeping, food processing. Hard work and beautiful scenery. Interns must able to work well others (humans and livestock). 334-667-6902 Becky

Cheese Maker Wanted. Creamery on beautiful Lake Chelan in Washington state is expanding operations. Additional cheese maker needed. Salary based on experience. Respond by email ( with resume or mail to PO Box 1104, Chelan WA, 98816. Visit our website to learn more about us;


A year ago, I answered an ad for a cheese farm in Utah. I knew then that it was my dream. Unfortunately, I cannot run the cheese farm on my own. Jack Rabbit cheese is known and has a following. I don't want to let them down, so I am looking for a partner. If you want to live the dream and make cheese, please let me know. Coco Parsifal,

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

Ohio Swiss Festival

Sugarcreek, Ohio

September 26-27

Atlanta Cheese Festival

Atlanta, Georgia

October 3

The Wedge

Portland, Oregon

October 4

Apple & Cheese Festival

Canton, Pennsylvania

October 4 & 5

Connecticut Cheese Festival

Coventry, Connecticut

October 5

Watonga Cheese and Wine Festival

Watonga, Oklahoma

October 10-11

Riverbank Cheese and Wine Expo

Riverbank, California

October 11-12

Cheese Festival Lucerne

Lucerne, Switzerland

October 18