Cheesemaking

Cheesemaking

Welcome to the Jasper Farm cheesemaking page, where we endeavor to offer you all you need to know about making cheese, based on our experience, trial and error!

If you are new to milking, check out the Milk Handling page for info on handling your farm milk to ensure that it lives up to its full capabilities as it works its way to your own amazing cheese.  (I didn’t even say “works its whey!!!”  Such restraint, it wasn’t easy!)

Softer cheeses such as chevre, feta, mozzarella, and ricotta are a good starting point.  They each offer you another layer of experience as well as building up your cheesemaking supplies in a way that you may be able to make purchasing decisions with your own opinions and preferences (vs buying a lot up-front and then phasing some stuff out, no big deal but you will definitely develop a sense of what works best for you).

Once you have some practice with the soft cheeses, by all means move on to the hard cheeses.  The hard cheeses are not hard to make, but they do take more attention in cooking the curds, turning in the press, and other processes unique to the particular cheese.

And then there are the mold-ripened cheeses such as brie, camembert, coulommier, and beautiful little crottins.  These are easy to make but are more particular about their aging environment.  I will expand to include those as time allows!

I hope that the initial recipes supplied here also instill or reinforce a confidence to be experimental – straying from the recipe to tweak the cheese your favorite way, making your own molds (the cheese draining ones, not the molds you inoculate with, at least not initially!), and eventually making or getting a cheese press and creating your own cheese cave.

Everything you need for cheese-making is possible to assemble, from on-line purchases to home-made items (such as the cheese press).  It is all at your fingertips and it is all fascinating and very often fun.  Of course there are the times that someone bumps the carefully balanced draining molds and curds go all over the floor…I’ve solved that by bundling smaller molds together with rubber bands while they drain.  Life wouldn’t be full without the unexpected!

Let me know if there is anything I can do to help you along the way, to clarify a recipe or help you with some specific questions. Have fun and I hope you’ll be sending me a picture of  your own cheese tray soon!