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Keeping your utensils and equipment clean and sanitized is very important because the good bacteria that we are adding to give delightful flavour to our cheese, thrive in the same environment bad bacteria that can cause mould or even illness thrive in.
It's very important that proper sanitization methods are used to keep any unwanted bacteria from getting into your milk.
Sanitize all of your equipment, working area, your hands - and your phone if you plan on touching it.
Utensils can be put in a pot of water and boil or steam. Only immerse the probe part of a thermometer.
Or you can spray all your equipment and working area with a Sanitizing agent mixed with water according to the directions of the manufacturer. (i.e. Starsan, Bleach)
Always leave your equipment to dry on its own or use paper towel to dry, do not use a cloth as it can carry bacteria and can recontaminate your equipment.
Another way you can make sure your equipment is clean is by having a bucket of water with a sanitiser in it beside your station. Dip your spoons, measuring equipment, thermometer, knives etc, in the bucket with sanitiser before using in your milk pot. Rinse with clean water and repeat.
Rennet is used to turn the milk from a liquid to a solid curd and is needed for any rennet based cheese. Rennet comes in 3 different forms Tablet, Liquid and Powder. Rennet has long been an animal-based product but today also comes in a Vegetable or microbial form.
Calcium Chloride If you are using store-bought milk that is pasteurized you need Calcium Chloride, often shown in a recipe as CaCl2, or cacl. It is used to restore the soluble calcium level in the milk and is necessary for a proper curd formation. Calcium Chloride should not be used with stretch cheeses.
Culture or Starter is a freeze-dried, lab controlled bacteria that gives cheese its flavour. It is used to ripen the milk and convert milk sugar into lactic acid. Mesophilic starter culture is used for making soft cheeses. Thermophilic starter culture is used when making hard cheeses that need to be cooked at a warmer temperature. Cheese cultures can be used for Cow milk, Goat milk, Sheep milk, Buffalo milk and even camel milk.
Lipase Powder is an enzyme used to give some cheese the robust flavours required such as Parmesan and Greek Feta.
Penicillium candidium is the while mould powder used for Brie and Camembert. It helps to ripen the cheese and to produce flavour, and a consistent bloomy rind.
Penicillium Roqueforti is the blue mould used for cheeses such as Roquefort, Gorgonzola, Stilton and other blue cheeses. It is used in conjunction with Mesophilic culture. It helps to ripen and flavour cheese and produces blue-green veins.
Propionibacterium shermanii is used in conjunction with a Thermophilic culture to produce Swiss-type cheeses. The propionic powder is responsible for the holes.
"When it comes to kitchen tools we like using stainless steel as much as possible, you can use other materials like plastics, but we do not recommend using wood (wooden spoons, bowls, etc.)"
Equipment Check List: