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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Cheesemaking round two

This last weekend I gave another shot at making cheese. The first attempt was less than stellar but it was a great learning experience.

Friday night I started a batch of feta using my homemade starter and a bottle of vegetable rennet I found at the local health food store (it seems seriously over priced at $8 an oz). The recipe came together like a 4 piece puzzle, no problems and a perfect response every step of the way.

By noon on Saturday I decided I had to try another recipe, so I tried a basic hard cheese recipe. It came together pretty well but I won't be able to let it age very long as I screwed up and didn't get it in the press soon enough while it was still warm.

I cheated on the feta and tasted it after two days; I'll never need or want to buy it from the store again. I can't believe the difference, it was a little salty I guess, but they do suggest you rinse it :).

The hard cheese is already drying out well but it has too many deep cracks that would have been pressed out if I had got it in the press earlier and/or actually had a little more weight on the press (it's a jar of nickles and pennies coming in at about 5 lbs). I think I'll just slice it up and enjoy it.

I tried to make ricotta from the whey but I let it boil while I was working on a computer problem for the kids. The curds ended up so small I didn't want to clog my cheese cloth with it.

As always your comments and suggestions are welcome.



Kymber said...

Hey buddy...my advice - go talk to MMPaints over at Illinois Preppers Network...she's our network cheese making Queen!

Rick said...

MMPaints has had some great posts, I must have missed the cheesy ones! Heading over there now.

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