Monday, 15 September 2014

LGC 032 - Cheese Body Defects

This weeks topics are Cheese body defects such as mechanical holes, dryness, or too much moisture in your cheese.  I offer solutions on how to remedy these common issues.

The news comes from Madison, Wisconsin, USA.  One artisan cheese maker has decided to stop production of one of his raw milk cheeses due to unclear FDA regulations.

You can read the transcript at this link; http://www.channel3000.com/news/cheese-production-suspended-over-fda-regulation-concerns/27647370

Listener questions include one from a mother/daughter (5 year old) cheese making team of which I am very impressed!  There are other questions about iodine in salt, ageing of smaller cheese, automated curd stirrers, pressing anomalies, and turning frequency.

As promised here is a photo of Murray's cheese cave.


(Top to bottom)
Wensleydale with sage - Port Salut
Peppercorn Cheddar - Blue
Drunken cow - Blue Stilton
Camembert - Parmesan 

Also mentioned during the show is Scott's automatic curd stirrer.




An ingenious device.  Hope the next set of modification goes to plan Scott, and that the clumping issue is solved.  Don't forget to report back on your progress.

Also, don't forget that if you like this podcast, and would like to help promote it as a personal favour to me, please head over to iTunes and give it a rating and a honest review.  Once you have clicked on the link, then click the "view on iTunes" button and leave a review.

This helps raise the podcast in the iTunes charts, which ranks against the likes of world famous food podcasters like Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson, and Martha Stewart to name a few.  Any help would be fantastic if you have the time.

If you wish to receive the show on your portable apple device each time I release an episode, you can subscribe via iTunes or Stitcher Radio.



Listen to Stitcher

So, until next time curd nerds, remember to Keep Calm and Make Cheese!

Monday, 1 September 2014

LGC 031 - What Non Curd Nerds Think About Little Green Cheese

This weeks feature is a review of the podcast that appeared in episode 90 of the Reaction Podcast.  Just be forewarned that there is swearing during that 5 minute segment, but if you can handle it, then it is well worth a listen just for the laughs.

The news clip is from ABC Rural News and is about Lyndall Dykes who is the owner of The Cheesemaking Workshop.  She teaches mainly around the north coast of NSW.

Listener questions this week are about the target temperature of the milk during cheese making, how to set the external thermostat from heat to cold mode, whether a normal small bar fridge will suffice as a cheese cave, and a couple of replies to YouTube comments.

Links mentioned in the show;

External Thermostat.  Press the centre button for 4 seconds to set to cold mode
Also, don't forget that if you like this podcast, and would like to help promote it as a personal favour to me, please head over to iTunes and give it a rating and a honest review.  Once you have clicked on the link, then click the "view on iTunes" button and leave a review.


This helps raise the podcast in the iTunes charts, which ranks against the likes of world famous food podcasters like Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson, and Martha Stewart to name a few.  Any help would be fantastic if you have the time.

If you wish to receive the show on your portable apple device each time I release an episode, you can subscribe via iTunes using the button below. You can also subscribe via Stitcher Radio.



Listen to Stitcher

So, until next time curd nerds, remember to Keep Calm and Make Cheese!

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Low Salt Feta

Ever thought that the Feta you make is just too salty. Does your doctor keep telling you that you need to cut back on salty foods?

Well this version of feta by John Erdman sounds like it would fit the bill if you want a lighter, less saltier tasting Feta.

Feta in brine made with whey
John has graciously allowed me to reproduce his email in which he shares his technique.



Hi Gavin

I listened today to your podcast about rennet and lipase. When I made my first feta. I shared Deb’s experience that it was way too salty. I needed to reduce the amount of salt.. I'm between a rock and a hard place. Cheese biology needs salt and my doctor tells me to be careful with my salt intake.

As soon as the fresh cheese comes in contact with the brine salt molecules immediately begin migrate into the cheese. Soaking it more increases the amount of salt in it. This makes sense because brining is a diffusion process and salt content in the cheese will continue to climb until it’s in equilibrium with the salt in the brine. 

I read somewhere salting feta in saturated brine needs only 2-3 hours per inch of cheese thickness to get the salt content high enough. That means, if the smallest dimension is 2”, the fresh cheese needs to be soaked for 2-3 hrs because it’s exposed to brine on both sides and salt is diffusing in from both sides.

That’s the info I started with. I now have the experience of 10 batches of this cheese. Here’s how I salt and age my feta now. After I remove the cheese from the mold after its last pressing, I let it dry for a few hours on a bamboo mat at room temperature. I then use a chef’s knife to cut the block into 25-35 mm slabs which are then submerged in saturated brine for about 6 hours in the fridge. I use a plastic container with a snap on lid. I either turn the slabs over a couple of times or weight them down to keep them submerged and always in contact with full strength brine.

Upon removal from the brine the outside surface is hardened enough that the pieces hold their shape well. Dry it on a bamboo mat for a few hours. Put a folded paper towel in the plastic container, put the dried brined slabs in loosely, and cover them with another paper towel .Pour vinegar over the towels until they are dripping wet. The vinegar will help keep molds from blooming and will add a little acidity to the finished cheese..

I have used different types of vinegar but it doesn't make any difference to my taste buds.. The package is returned to fridge for aging for at least five to six days. I keep the unused cheese in the same container until it’s gone.. The brine is filtered and saved for later use.

Friends who have sampled cheeses all over the world and family who have never tasted homemade feta rave about this cheese. I tend to make mine smoother and less crumbly that what’s available here locally.

Thanks for all your help. You've been my guide throughout my cheese making adventures.

John Erdman
Augusta Maine, USA.



Thank you so much for sharing your technique with all the curd nerds out there.  

If you want to use John's technique, follow my Feta recipe and video tutorial, or check out the eBook "Keep Calm & Make Cheesethat I made for you all.  Instead of storing it in a fully saturated brine, follow John's suggestion instead.

Next time I make Feta, I am going to give this variation a try.  It sounds like it may turn out like a milder Danish Feta, rather than a strong Greek Feta.

If anyone else has a recipe that they would love to share, please send it through via email.

Until next time curd nerds...