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PostPosted: Oct 8th, '14, 09:08 
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katmac wrote:
Colum and Azira, do you guys have any tips for me on round 2? I know this lot was a bit overworked, so I'll try and hurry things up next time. Anything else?

You don't need to rush, if anything going slower can be better as you can watch your temperatures and gradually work it. If it's overworked you'll remove too much of the whey, so just work it 'until'.

The type of milk you use can make a difference too, obviously raw is ideal but not easy to come by. un-homogenised or only lightly homogenised can be good if you can find it.

Really though, part of it just comes down to practice and getting a feel for the process. You can still use the firm mozzarella so unless you spectacularly mess it up there's no real harm in practising until you get it right.

Good luck!

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PostPosted: Oct 8th, '14, 09:15 
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Nice work Katmac.
I want to make my own cheeses too Just haven't got around to trying it.
Is it easy enough?
Where did you get your instructions/recipe from?
Think I will look for a cheese making kit to buy.

Cheers
Rob

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PostPosted: Oct 8th, '14, 09:20 
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robduca wrote:
Nice work Katmac.
I want to make my own cheeses too Just haven't got around to trying it.
Is it easy enough?
Where did you get your instructions/recipe from?
Think I will look for a cheese making kit to buy.

Cheers
Rob

It can be one of those things that is easy to learn but takes practise to master, but really, it isn't hard to do. Rather than buying a cheese making kit, buy a book on cheese making, you'll get more out of it long term (I still need to get one myself).

It's fun to do, my favourite part has to be cutting the curd, there is something about slicing cleanly into that smooth surface that is so rewarding, lol.

If you google making mozzarella you'll find a heap of recipes, there are actually a few good ones on the Instructables website so have a look through there.

Give it a go, it's great fun and so rewarding!

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PostPosted: Oct 8th, '14, 11:17 
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I watched a bunch of YouTube videos Rob, and also read a few different recipes. They all looked rather similar. I would opt for one that doesn't use a microwave next time though.
I bought a cheese kit from The Cheesemaker in the Swan Valley and am going to pick I to today I hope (p/u from Stirling which is easy enough from work), but 'kit' is a loose term.
I chose this option because postage from the East Coast was going to be $30, which makes cheaper kits a lot more expensive! I will log back into my comp and show what I got.
I do think that with a little practice, it is indeed an easy process. Working the cheese into the mozzarella shape is really the only hard part. Oh, and use gloves! Hot cheese is hot!!!



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PostPosted: Oct 8th, '14, 12:01 
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This is the kit I bought. Nothing exciting, and no fancy or unnecessary extras, it just had most of what I wanted for a reasonable price - $42.
I chose it over another similar one because I am also keen to have a go at making my own yoghurt as well.


Classic Delights Starter Kit


Plus I also ordered:
-White Mould Spores - $5
-Farmhouse Hard Cheese Culture - $7
-Round Hoop (just for making round wheels instead of squares)- $3
Total cost was $57 which I thought was quite reasonable to make a fair quantity of cheese and be left with 5 hoops that will last the entirety of my cheese-making journey I'm guessing.
The only thing I need to still buy is a proper thermometer, as the one I used last night had a limited range and left me guessing for the higher temps.

Because I was feeling impulsive, I used Junket rennet tablets which you can buy in Coles (About $2 for 12 tabs) which aren't as concentrated (they are mainly used for ice cream etc), so I used a full crushed tablet to 3.8L (US gallon) of milk, and 1.25 teaspoons of citric acid.
Bannister Downs was a good choice, they do the bare minimum to their milk, and it tasted deliciously creamy. It's about $2.10 per litre. So not exactly cheap. I also saw Margaret River organic un-homogenised milk which I would give a go too. I think it was roughly the same price.

Basic recipe I used is as follows:

Crush one Junket rennet tab and add to 1/4 cup unchlorinated water. Set this aside to dissolve.

3.8L milk heated to 32 degrees (C)
add citric acid (mixed with 1/4 cup unchlorinated water) and stir through.

Add dissolved rennet and stir through to combine for no more than about 10-20 seconds.

Leave it to sit between 20-40 minutes for curd to develop until you get a clean break (where a knife drawn through the curd separates the curd from the whey cleanly). Don't stir or poke it while it sits.

Use a long knife to cut the curd into 1in cubes, do not stir, and slooowly increase the temp to 40 degrees (C). This will firm up the curds. once the temp reaches 40, gently stir the cubes for a few minutes to stop them matting together, and to check that they're firming up. do not overheat.

in hindsight, this is where i would have added (non-iodised) salt.

Gently scoop into a colander over a pot (to collect the whey if you want to make ricotta) and push the curds around a little to separate more of the whey.

Now, some recipes said to microwave the curd to get rid of the rest of the whey, but I would (again in hindsight) stick to pushing it around to remove most of the whey.

To reheat the curd, I would instead dunk it back into the whey (I did this for one of the mozzarellas quite successfully), and then knead in your hands using a folding motion to get the stretchy character and a nice shiny ball.

I am storing mine in a whey/brine 50/50 solution in the fridge, which has firmed it up further. It was partly to add a little salt, and partly for convenience.

And now, I'm having a toasted turkish sammich with mozzarella slices, salt, pepper, and fresh diced chillies - yum :)

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PostPosted: Oct 8th, '14, 12:16 
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After more searching today, I've decided that I think this bloke is pretty good.
My search for a good haloumi recipe led me to him, and the whole site is great.

Little Green Cheese

I think I will purchase the book he's recommended. The one with pictures - obviously :)

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PostPosted: Oct 8th, '14, 13:17 
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That's a better price than I've seen some kits go for. I want to try a white mould cheese some time, or if I was really brave a blue vein. But you do miss out on so much character without being able to use unpasteurised milk.

Yoghurt making is easy peasy. I've got one of the Easiyo makers, you can use the sachets to get you started but it's just as easy using a few spoonfuls of a previous batch of natural yoghurt. I do like adding a teeny bit of gelatine, it makes the yoghurt all smooth and silky, I do prefer a silky firmer yoghurt.

The best thing about making your own yoghurt is finding out just how mild fresh natural yoghurt is. It is no way near as tangy and sharp as store bought, that happens as it ages and the good bacteria die off.

How has your ricotta turned out?

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PostPosted: Oct 8th, '14, 13:31 
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Thanks for all the info :) Will definitely give it a go soon.

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Italian-Chee ... 27ed206041

I was looking at this kit as a start

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PostPosted: Oct 8th, '14, 14:03 
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I looked at that kit too Rob, but then worked out that I can buy citric acid in Coles for next to nix, calcium chloride from The Cheesemaker for $4, and Junket tablets for about $2 in Coles, or Vegetarian Rennet (which I would prefer) from The Cheesemaker for $8. Vegetarian rennet tablets online are even cheaper, but depends on postage.

The rest of it is just extras that you can do without, or get from Spotlight :-) If I was getting a Mad Millie kit I would go with one of the hard cheese kits because they have the extra cultures in there, but still have the things you need for making Mozzarella and Ricotta etc, which don't need anything special (no extra cultures). Just personal opinion though. Having a good thermometer may well make the kit worth it though anyway! It's not a bad price now that I think about it like that.

Not sure about the ricotta Azira, I left it at my girlfriend's house last night draining, and am going back tonight for margherita pizzas and to add some herbs and spices to our ricotta. It wasn't a huge amount, but I don't know if we left it on the heat for long enough, we were distracted with the mozzarella by that stage :)

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PostPosted: Oct 8th, '14, 14:27 
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Oh also, Azira, I've found a sneaky way to get unpasteurized milk...
Here we have a few whole foods shops that sell raw 'cosmetic milk', which is unpasteurized and non-homogenized. It can't be {legally} sold for human consumption, but by all accounts is treated as though it is. Bit sneaky, but plenty of cheese-makers swear by it.

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PostPosted: Oct 8th, '14, 15:28 
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katmac wrote:
Oh also, Azira, I've found a sneaky way to get unpasteurized milk...
Here we have a few whole foods shops that sell raw 'cosmetic milk', which is unpasteurized and non-homogenized. It can't be {legally} sold for human consumption, but by all accounts is treated as though it is. Bit sneaky, but plenty of cheese-makers swear by it.

Oh yeah, 'bath milk' is another term that gets used. A forum I was on a few years ago used to do group bulk buys of it to keep costs down, it was around the same time that either a store or a raw milk company got in big trouble because people were buying it to drink even though it 'wasn't fit for human consumption'.

I did at one stage look for store locally that sold it but either they didn't or it was too expensive or something. I have pondered seeing if there are any small dairy farms around me that I could get some from but as yet I've been too lazy to do it.

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PostPosted: Oct 9th, '14, 01:00 
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It is so bizarre, Louis Pasteur was looked at like he was crazy in his day, now it is illegal in some places to buy unpasteurized milk.

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PostPosted: Oct 31st, '14, 13:27 
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I ended up buying some gear from cheeselinks and made feta on the weekend.
Relatively easy and very tasty. I used an Organic Margaret River pasteurised, non homogenised milk. $5 for 2L so a bit pricey but being my first time making cheese I didnt really want to be pasteurising my milk.

Next will be a Camembert. :D

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