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Other than Brewing => The Pub => Topic started by: tubercle on March 20, 2010, 02:55:27 PM

Title: New Hobby
Post by: tubercle on March 20, 2010, 02:55:27 PM
Tubercle has a new hobby...

...making cheese!


If I had known it was this easy and cheap I would have done it years ago.

Got 8 pounds of cheddar, 2 pounds of pepper jack and some sort of parmesan-something-or-other-hybrid-mutant I made up that is aging now. Waiting is the hard part. ;D

  The Tubercle household loves cheese so why not.

And it easier than making beer.
Title: Re: New Hobby
Post by: dj99 on March 20, 2010, 03:03:39 PM
How easy and cheap?  How many gallons of milk does it take to make a pound of cheese?  I gots to know.
Title: Re: New Hobby
Post by: tubercle on March 20, 2010, 03:44:00 PM
How easy and cheap?  How many gallons of milk does it take to make a pound of cheese?  I gots to know.


 It depends on the milk (solids and milk fat) but roughly 0.8 - 1 lb cheese per gallon. Around here store bought milk is ~ $3.29/gal. Parmesan cheese at the grocer is going for $22.00/lb :o So I can have a pound of any kind of cheese made in the world for the price of a gallon of milk plus about 50 cents for other ingredients (culture and rennet) and about 5 hours of my time. Just like beer! :D

 Aging is the hard part though. Cheddar 3 - 12 months. :) Parmesan - 12 to 24 months  ???


Just like this forum is the king for brewers, I found my wealth of info here if anyone is interested: Cheeseforum.org
Like beer forums, there are many but I found this to be the most informative. There are many places to buy ingredients - austinhomebrew.com being one.


Finally found a hobby, besides fishing, that me and the lovely and talented Ms. Tubercle can enjoy together. She considers herself a beer drinker which consist of 1/2 can of Coors light at a Christmas party once a year a "binge" but that doesn't exactly meet my definition 8)
Title: Re: New Hobby
Post by: dj99 on March 20, 2010, 04:06:54 PM
Thanks for the info!

In the NW, I buy milk for $2 a gallon, and store brand medium cheddar cheese for $2 a pound on sale.  Sharp cheddar costs more.  Costco parmesan (not too bad), is something like $3.00-$3.50 a pound   It would have to be a lot better than store bought to spend 5 hours making it at that exchange rate!

I've always thought about making it myself.  Please post again when you get it done, and let us know how it turns out.
Title: Re: New Hobby
Post by: tygo on March 20, 2010, 04:29:33 PM
You should try your hand at DIY mustard next  ;D
Title: Re: New Hobby
Post by: tubercle on March 20, 2010, 06:47:37 PM
You should try your hand at DIY mustard next  ;D


Hmmm....
Title: Re: New Hobby
Post by: MrNate on March 20, 2010, 08:20:32 PM
Dang, that was going to be my next endeavor. How are you aging it?
Title: Re: New Hobby
Post by: boulderbrewer on March 20, 2010, 08:30:17 PM
Get some cows, sheep or goats and it gets cheaper, free milk. ;) I love making cheese. If you use store bought milk just don't get the ultrapastuerized milk. It does not work.

We have goats that give a very high butterfat, yumm.
Title: Re: New Hobby
Post by: weazletoe on March 21, 2010, 05:47:12 AM
  I keep kicking around the idea of cheese making. I guess the same way I tossed around beer making before I actually did it. Seems like a good plan for when I get to settled in Idaho. On thing I have not found on cheese making, does one have to wear pants while going about the process? :-\
Title: Re: New Hobby
Post by: tygo on March 21, 2010, 06:15:21 AM
You should try your hand at DIY mustard next  ;D
Hmmm....

Be careful with this one tubercle.  Might want to check out this thread first:  http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=1675.0
Title: Re: New Hobby
Post by: capozzoli on March 21, 2010, 07:06:37 AM
I would love to see some pics.

Havent tried it myself but love the idea.

So ya been making curds?
Title: Re: New Hobby
Post by: tubercle on March 21, 2010, 05:05:56 PM
Dang, that was going to be my next endeavor. How are you aging it?


 From what I understand so far, most should be aged 50-55f with some type of humidity control, usually in the 85% range. I have waxed mine so the humidity part is not in play. That's mainly for the un-waxed/un-vacuum packaged types. There are as many types and styles of cheese as beer! And about as many methods :D

 Right now I got them in my converted keg fridge set @ 50f (Stout & old brown on tap so I'm good). I found most use a dorm fridge w/thermo controls and a bowl of water.

  There is a lot of beer equipment, pots and fridges and such, that cross over with cheese I couldn't resist. So far I have zero investment other than ingredients and a press I bought for $70.00. After I got the press and looked at it I could have made it in 30 minutes for $5.00 :( Again, just like the beer hobby :D


 I read that mustard thing - that's funny.
Title: Re: New Hobby
Post by: tubercle on March 21, 2010, 05:37:10 PM
Get some cows, sheep or goats and it gets cheaper, free milk. ;) I love making cheese. If you use store bought milk just don't get the ultrapastuerized milk. It does not work.

We have goats that give a very high butterfat, yumm.

 Been using store bought 2% but have just found a place about 15 min down the road that sells "raw" cow milk and goat milk. That's next. Tried the first batch of cheddar I made, aged about 1 month - couldn't wait any longer :P - and it tasted great but a little dryer and crumbly than I expected. Who cares, it was cheese and it was good. ;D
Title: Re: New Hobby
Post by: boulderbrewer on March 22, 2010, 06:03:41 AM
Did you get a pressure guage for your cheese press. My first ones turned out crumbly like that. I'm guessing it is from over pressing.
Title: Re: New Hobby
Post by: tubercle on March 22, 2010, 06:23:26 AM
Did you get a pressure guage for your cheese press. My first ones turned out crumbly like that. I'm guessing it is from over pressing.

 I got one of these: http://schmidling.com/press.htm

 It has a spring that is supposed to be 50 lb bottomed out and different pressures depending on the number of turns. I haven't tested it on a scale to verify but I need to. I have found several good plans for lever types and I think I will build one of them. I've got enough scrap material laying around. I believe they would be more repeatable if not more accurate. Once I figure out the "cooking" process I think repeatably in the pressing part - time and pressure - will take it the next level.
Title: Re: New Hobby
Post by: MrNate on March 22, 2010, 06:55:01 AM
How important would you say it is to be able to press multiple blocks of cheese at a time? Coming up with a good cheese press design is one of those things I've always considered when thinking about getting started in the hobby.
Title: Re: New Hobby
Post by: boulderbrewer on March 22, 2010, 08:00:35 AM
One at a time should work just fine. Unless you are making a couple different cheeses.

Here is a great forum for cheese making.

http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php
Title: Re: New Hobby
Post by: tubercle on March 22, 2010, 08:04:56 AM
How important would you say it is to be able to press multiple blocks of cheese at a time? Coming up with a good cheese press design is one of those things I've always considered when thinking about getting started in the hobby.

  I guess it would depend on your desired volume. From what I am learning so far (still a newbie) most pressing times are 24 hrs or less. I read about some making a big batch - 10 gallons for example - and pressing the whole thing and then cutting into smaller pieces for aging. This would be good I guess if you wanted to see the difference of the same batch at different aging times, maybe a month apart.

  I have been making 2 gallon batches and ending up with ~2 pound cakes. The pressing time is short enough that I can make one Saturday and one Sunday for example. By the time the Sunday batch was ready to be pressed the Saturday batch was finished and ready to come out of the press and start the drying process. So output doing one at a time can be pretty good just doing one at a time. I have seen pictures of presses with several cakes stacked up getting pressed at the same time. I believe that's the way the commercial folks do it.

  I'm not an engineer but it would seem pressing multiples or singles would be the same. If a 4" mold is used and it takes X weight to achieve a certain psi across the surface, a 7" mold would take an increase of Y weight to achieve the same psi due to the increase in surface area. But, it shouldn't matter vertically if it was one cake or ten, the pressure should be the same through the cakes with just the additional weight of the stacked cakes themselves taken into consideration. 50 lbs is 50 lbs (?).

  I'm sure someone on here can correct that statement;D
Title: Re: New Hobby
Post by: tubercle on March 22, 2010, 08:07:16 AM
One at a time should work just fine. Unless you are making a couple different cheeses.

Here is a great forum for cheese making.

http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php


Whoops-didn't mean to step on your post BB :D

 cheeseforum.org is what got me started in this mess! I accidentally ran across it, read some, and then laid awake all night :o