Cheese Making Recipe of the Month
A Sweeter Alpine Cheese
This wonderful recipe goes above and beyond traditional Alpine style cheese, by introducing new and unique cultures for a modern flavor profile. With an ability to balance tradition with the most recent knowledge that science can provide, this recipe is perfect for a truly modern day cheese maker.
If you're familiar with Sartori's BellaVitano or the new generations of cheese like Paradiso, Parrano, or Prima Donna, you know something new and exciting is happening in the world of cheese making. This recipe opens a window into the world of modern day cheese making and we're thrilled to share it with you today.
Cheese Making Questions & Answers
When would be the best time to add the beer?
Q. Adding Beer - I made squeaky cheese curds and I would love to somehow incorporate our homemade beer into them. When would be the best time to add the beer?
A. After Draining - Just add the beer to the curds once they are fully drained and before you salt them. Stir them periodically until they have absorbed enough beer, then drain and salt as usual.
I just want to try a coconut flavor in the cheese.
Q. Coconut Flavor - Can I make cheese with milk, like a manchego or gouda, and add a can of coconut milk? Will the rennet still work? I just want to try a coconut flavor in the cheese.
A. Shredded Coconut - Coconut milk could be problematic in forming a good curd. Instead, think about infusing the milk with shredded coconut, preferably fresh but dry could be used.
Warm the milk to your target temperature, add the coconut and stir for about 15 minutes. Then, add your culture and ripen for the required time. Stir about every 10 minutes to keep the coconut suspended, then, strain the coconut out.
Your coconut flavored milk should now have the bacteria working and a nice coconut flavor - ready for adding the rennet.
When using store-bought milk, is there a way to test the acid level?
Q. Testing the Milk - When using store-bought milk, is there a way to test the acid level in it to make sure it will work before I try to make cheese? I am afraid to use raw milk because I don't know how much culture to add.
A. Useful when Raw - Acid testing will not really tell you all that much about the potential of the milk for cheese making in regards to the pasteurizing process.
It will, however, tell you a great deal about raw milk if it is over a day old. Since raw milk has plenty of bacteria in it, the milk will undergo some acid development over time.
Normally, milk should come from milking at .16 - .18% titratable acidity. If the milk has a high natural culture load, it will become higher than this. When it reaches a level of .19 - .20%, it should be considered only good for some higher acid curd production like cottage cheese. If you have a good pH meter and know how to properly calibrate it, the the pH for cold fresh milk should be about 6.7.
The other factor with raw milk is the natural enzymes which begin changing the protein and fat components shortly after the milking. Our rule of thumb with raw milk is to use it within 48 hours.
With raw milk, if you can get it fresh and settle on a source, you should be able to determine the right culture and rennet amounts with a few small trials. Usually, we start with about 30% less culture than in a pasteurized milk cheese.
Have a cheese making question, we're here for you: firstname.lastname@example.org
Meet a Fellow Cheese Maker
Terry Dinnan in Charlotte, VT
It seems there is absolutely nothing Terry Dinnan can't make himself - stonework, furniture, utensils, cheese making equipment and, of course, cheese.
He makes all kinds of cheese, but his chevre with wildflowers and ground herbs on the inside (instead of ash) is the most beautiful we have ever seen. If you missed the blog article about it prepare to be dazzled!
After the first article, we thought making cheese was his talent. But, when we did this interview, we realized that everything he makes is gorgeous. To coin a phrase, until you see the pictures, "You ain't seen nothin yet!"
News From Fellow Cheese Makers
Terry Dinnan in Charlotte, VT
A year ago, we did an interview with Tatiana Thomas in Eastern Russia (click here). Tatiana raises goats in her back yard and makes cheese.
Now, she would like to correspond with other home cheese makers in the US to exchange experiences.
She told us she is very interested in the "simple joy of American country life."
You can contact Tatiana
A Busy Cheese Maker
Here's some fabulous photos and a lovely note from a very busy cheese maker who's enjoying our online recipes.
"The proof is in the pudding. Unfortunately, I can't taste the pudding for another four months, therefore I can't brag yet.
At 72 years old, I find this to be very addictive and what a great hobby! Thanx for all your input and all your recipes."
Russ Deery, Royersford, PA
I have found two great uses for acidic whey left over after making whole milk ricotta and chèvre.
I have used it to make cold beet borscht (shown at left, made with roasted golden beets) and also schav, a cold soup made with sorrel or spinach.
Both are popular Russian-style cold summer soups. Whey works great as a base for either. I add some yogurt to the whey to make it more substantial.
The other use is doogh - a Middle-Eastern yogurt beverage. Blend whey, yogurt, mint and a little bit of salt. Chill thoroughly. Very refreshing.
Zora M. Alderfer, Edgecomb, ME
The farm was delightful, the goats friendly, and Jóhanna talked with us about the farm's newest development - cheese! She primarily sells soaps, lotions, meat, and delicious syrups/jams from local fruit.
Jóhanna is working on the cheese in collaboration with the nearby farm Erpsstadir, that offers amazing ice cream, cheese, and skyr from their dairy cows.
We definitely recommend that fans of cheese, goats, and Game of Thrones take the time to visit these farms for a treat!
Marla Greenwald, Brooklyn, NY
Please send your cheese making news & photos to: email@example.com