Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I am a cheesemaker - Yes I am

Heating 10l of milk
A few weeks back I attended a Farmhouse Cheesemaking Course in Teagasc and was bitten by the cheesemaking bug ever since. I am also very lucky to have a dairy farmer down the road from me and he promised me some milk. As I don't have the facilities (at the moment - plans are in the pipeline) I asked him for 10 litres of raw milk.
Cutting the curd

The first Mr T and I did was drink a glass. The last time I was able to drink 'proper' milk was when I was a child and my mum send me down to the corner shop with our little 1l pewter can to get the fresh milk. I hated it as a kid. The creamy thick milk and when my mum warmed it, it formed a thick skin on it - gosh how I missed it.

Removing the whey
My notes from the course were a bit damaged in transit so I was more working from memory than actually a recipe. Heating the milk to 30 degree in a 10l pot over a domestic cooker with a plate that was too small wasn't easy and it took ages. I used joghurt as a starter and got vegetarian rennet from Quay Coop (was too lazy to drive to Millstreet to get proper rennet - but will do it for next time).

The milk started to set and I left it to stand for an hour and was then able to cut the curd. Replacing the whey (I kept it, have to research what to do with it) and stirring my curd. There was somethign very relaxing in stirring the curd and seeing it changing.

My cheese moulds
Mr T made me some cheese moulds out of rainpipes and drilled some holes in it (got the tip from Maja Binder in Dingle) and it worked perfectly. Poured the curd into the moulds, draining the whey off. I turned the cheese a few times and it is left to rest now. When I get home today, I have to put them into a brine and then they are left to ripen. Watch this space for updares on how my cheese is doing.
Welcome to my frist cheese

I am still looking for a name for the cheese - email me any suggestions to biasasta@hotmail.com

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