Third Cheese Making Class of June

Martin cutting the curd in his vat

Martin cutting the curd in his vat

Today we have the pleasure of Martin’s company.  Martin has an interesting background: a dairy farmer, builder and for the last ten years is a practicing

A sneaky picture taken by Stu of me and Martin at his vat

A sneaky picture taken by Stu of me and Martin at his vat

psychotherapist.  Martin and his partner, Leslie are planning to relocate to the Limousin region of France by next Easter (2014) and set up a small artisan cheese business, amongst other things.  If there are any readers out there with contacts in Limousin who would like to meet up with Martin,  please let me know and I will pass them on to them.

Martin has been dabbling in cheese making these last six months and has perfected his soft or lactic cheeses but is less experienced with harder cheeses.  Our job today was to go through the various steps in hard cheese making including the three critical points we have identified.

We ripened for an hour as the ambient in our dairy was quite warm, added the rennet, left it to do its thing whilst we attended to our new mystery cheese being made in Victor.  Martin had nipped up to Hawes and came back before his little vat had quite set and helped us decant the cheese in Victor.

We tested the curd for the set then cut and let the curd heal for about ten minutes as it was quite soft and delicate to the touch.

Martin stirring his cheese straight after cutting

Martin stirring his cheese straight after cutting

After this we cut again and very, very gently started to move the curd around the vat to allow an even distribution of heat and ensure

Martin and his block of curd - we were too busy yakking after this and don't have any more photos!

Martin and his block of curd – we were too busy yakking after this and don’t have any more photos!

that the curd was not matting together.

About an hour later, the curd had got to that critical stage when it was ready to take the whey off.  After this, we formed a block and it was interesting to feel it firming up very quickly.

We then cut into cubes and tumbled them around for a short while before adding salt and milling.

After Martin’s cheese had been put in the press, he was quickly initiated by Stu and Andrew in helping to make the same cheese, but 1,900 litres of it.  He was shovelling, helped to pot and cloth up!

It was a pleasure to have you with us today, Martin and we all wish you the best of luck in your move and settling down in France.

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