Today I held a private cheese making workshop organised by VG who blogs at the Veggie Gobbler.
I had a ball, and was honoured to meet Monkey Man, the two money boys, the dog, and the chickens! Ben accompanied me today as Kim wanted some alone time to do some craft, so we set off and set up ready for the class at 2pm. He was a great lad, and even fixed their computer while he was waiting for me. Talk about a value add workshop. Cheese and IT support for the one low price! Sounds like a good business to get into.
The normal recipe for 30 minute mozzarella was followed that you can watch at this youtube video that I made. Easy to follow, and fun to make.
As the seven ladies enjoyed a glass of bubbly, I taught them how to make Mozzarella. Well, in theory anyway. See, I used crappy home-brand milk with only 3.4% fat content, and soon found out quickly during the first class that the curds would not set with just a quarter of a rennet tablet. Only one out of four cheeses worked, and we ended up with three batches of ricotta instead of the promised mozzarella. This is VG’s mozzarella below which she shared a few balls with everyone.
So in the second class, I compensated by adding an eight of a teaspoon of liquid rennet as well (total of three eighths of a teaspoon). This turned out to be a winner because the curds formed within a minute of stirring in the rennet, so each lady walked home with a wonderful batch of mozzarella that they were very pleased with.
The lesson for today is twofold. Either insist that I use organic milk or simply add more rennet to the four litres of milk. Both methods will work, however I do prefer the organic because it is a superior product to work with. Also I learnt that people are even just happy to make ricotta, because even though I know how to make it, my course is probably the first time they have ever attempted to make cheese, so any product is a bonus!
Thanks to VG who was a great host and I had a great time. I also think she is writing a blog post about our day, so keep an eye on her blog over the next few days!
Oh I follow VG – gosh I bet that was a fun day!
Oh! VG AND Gavin..I am green…with jealousy!
Thtnk you – you confirmed my suspicions about own brand milk. I made yoghurt with it once – didnt get a good set & i had a huge watery puddle at the end
Never used it again
Darren (Green Change) says
I suspect the reason you guys are having trouble with cheap own-brand milk is because they add permeate to it.
Permeate is essentially whey, left over from the industrial cheesemaking process.
Milk from a cow usually has something like 3.5%-5% fat, depending upon breed, season, feed, etc. When it’s sold, the law says full-fat milk must have at least 3.4% fat. So the cheapo milk brands water their milk down with permeate until it’s exactly 3.4% and meets that minimum requirement.
Permeate is free (in fact, they probably need to pay to dump it as a waste product). Because it’s a milk product, it doesn’t need to be mentioned on the label. Perfect! They add up to 16% permeate to cheap milk, which is like them getting 16% more milk for free.
As you know, when you’re making cheese, you add rennet and then separate the curds from the whey. If 16% of your starting milk was already whey, then you’re not going to get anywhere near as much curds as you should! Little wonder you’re having trouble making cheese from it.
People are starting to wake up to this, thanks to advertising from the non-supermarket brands. If you’re going to be making cheese or yoghurt, you really need to search out “permeate free” milk.