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TexasMadness Profile
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New cheese being made at the farm


I took a cheese making class from Homestead Heritage a million years ago. We learned to make all sorts of things but when it got down to actually doing it, I stuck with a few simple ones. In the beginning, I made all sorts of things but I didn't have a good enough cheese cave to really age things properly so I gave up on that stuff. I stuck with mozzarella, feta and chevre for the most part.

FINALLY a few months ago we got the cheese cave properly regulated (you have to monitor temperature and humidity). It was during a time when I wasn't spending all that much time at the farm so I can only take credit for engineering the cave - the actual cheese making credit goes to two interns we had. They made St. Maure - a cheese I raved about in the cheese review thread.

I was so skeptical when I was handed my first piece. It didn't LOOK like St. Maure - which usually looks disgusting with a gray brainy surface on the outside. But I took a bit. WOW. It's a very young cheese, probably could have been aged another 2 months...but we ate it all!

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Re: New cheese being made at the farm


That cheese scares me. emoticon Seriously, it took me quite a while to get used to a mild gouda, and I haven't progressed much from there. I manage brie and camenbert now.

Yet I am happy you managed to get your cheese cave going - is it actually a cave? Somehow I would think that would be difficult to do. Even so, I'm intrigued your interns managed a cheese like that. And I love that you ate it all!

 emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Hannah Steenbock
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TexasMadness Profile
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Re: New cheese being made at the farm


The 'cave' is an old refrigerator with a temperature control unit that keeps it closer to 50F (10C) - rather warm for a regular fridge. Plus it needs about 80% humidity and most fridges are much much less than that.

It's funny, when I think of German cheese, I think of something that Horst (German friends that lived in our old neighborhood) called "shtink kasse". It literally smelled like moldy socks. As a kid I never had the courage to try the stuff. But it has stuck in my mind as the only cheese they eat in Germany! emoticon
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Re: New cheese being made at the farm


Hehehe.

Yes, we have Stinkekäse, but it's not an official name, more of a joke, really. That's a kind I will never eat! *shudders* I have no idea how many kinds of cheese there are in Germany. Of course, many are French, Dutch or Swiss in origin.

A refrigerator makes more sense. How much cheese can you store in it?

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Hannah Steenbock
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TexasMadness Profile
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Re: New cheese being made at the farm


Oh that's funny! I always wondered if he was pulling my leg or if it was the real name of the cheese. I tried looking it up but figured I was just spelling it wrong and that's why I couldn't find it!

The cave can hold a lot of cheese - it's a standard US fridge of pretty good size. Not sure how many pounds but we've yet to fill it up. It has three shelves in it but a lot of the mold ripened cheeses go in their own separate plastic boxes (so that brie mold won't grow on the cheddar for instance!) so those can be stacked for even more space. I'll take a picture when I'm out there this weekend!
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Re: New cheese being made at the farm


I LOVE cheese. There are some I refuse to even think about..Limburger for one and I can't stand Bleu Cheese...YUCK!
I love a good cheddar..both mild and sharp. Gouda and Munster are also some I enjoy. I love a good smoked Provolone (don't care as much for the nonsmoked, but I'll eat it) PepperJack, MonterayJack, Mozzerella, Feta....just about any of them. Not too many I won't eat. I like Brie, too.

Where I used to live in AL, there was a cheese factory about 30 minutes from home, and we used to go up there on a regular basis to get cheese. It was made in a more traditional way, without a lot of the additives you find in store bought cheeses now. The place has since gone out of business, but I sure did love the cheese from there!!!
Don't have anywhere near here that I'm aware of emoticon

Texas, that cheese looks really good! I may have to make a trip to Austin while I'm down there in June and see about buying some off of y'all, if you've got any made while I'm there! Not sure how well cheese will transport in my suitcase...but it may be worth a try...LOL.

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Re: New cheese being made at the farm


Oh please do come visit! You'll be down for the grandbaby I suppose? You can meet mine then too! emoticon

And don't be silly - I'm not going to charge you for a bit of cheese! We love to make it and share with our friends. It would be wonderful for you to come out to the farm or to my urban farm (I'm much farther north and therefore closer to Kileen).

Hmmm...I may have to cook up some special cheese for you. I will certainly have mozzarella and feta though! Are you flying? You can take frozen packs with you to keep it fresh. The guys at the cheese shop packed some up for my brother to take back to california with him. He said it did fine!
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Re: New cheese being made at the farm


I took some pictures of the mostly-empty cheese cave. The goats are drying up and we are using nearly all of their milk for either drinking or just soft cheeses (which doesn't get aged, they are eaten straight away and so kept in a regular fridge - that's feta, mozzarella and chevre). I didn't realize just how empty it would be! Normally the thing is nearly full. Those two wheels on the bottom are our 'regular' cheese size, about 4 lb wheels which are made from 4 gallons of milk. So you can see we can fit many tens of pounds of cheese in there!

Image

Here's the simple device that keeps the fridge at the higher-than-usual temperature. You just set the dial for what you want and presto! You plug this device in the wall and then the fridge into this thing. The big black wire coming out the bottom is for the electricity and the silver wire is actually a thermocouple for measuring the temperature inside the cave.

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Saijen SilverWolf1 Profile
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Re: New cheese being made at the farm


Yes, I'll be coming down around the time A. is due...which is June 16th (for now). I'm hoping that I am there when the baby is born, but if all goes as planned, I'll be down there for about 2 weeks. And yes, I'll be flying. I had thought about driving and pulling the camper, but that's an awfully long way to go by myself. Not to mention...I can't crank the roof all the way up by myself....LOL> The a/c unit on top is really heavy. I can level it by myself...I can do all the set-up by myself...except for that! LOL. So...I'll fly down and rent a car to get around while I'm there.
When are you due?

I can hardly wait to try some of your cheese!! I've only had fresh goat cheese once, and I really liked it. It's different from cheese from cow milk. But what is even more exciting is hopefully getting to see you again!!! emoticon

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TexasMadness Profile
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Re: New cheese being made at the farm


I'm due on June 8th! And the goats are going to start kidding about 3 months before that. We usually don't get a big enough surplus of milk to start making cheese until a month in, so that will be perfect timing for making some aged cheeses (minimum aging time is 2 months)!
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