Yoghurt culture

I ran out of yoghurt culture the other day so needed to make up another liter. When it was ready after 24hrs, I put it into 15ml cubes to use over the next year or so. To make yoghurt you need around 15ml of culture per liter of milk and freezing them as cubes makes it very easy to use.

Cheese photo-shoot

Myself and Laura got the big batch of cheese flavored with garlic and salt. I picked up a box of 100g plastic tubs to put the cheese into.

Here is Laura modeling our new range of cheese’s here on the farm…

The first batch of cheese ready to eat…

Cheese going large scale

The new 30 liter pot had 15 liters in it this evening, or 3 white plastic buckets of Cara’s milk. Myself and mum made a massive batch, it didn’t curdle as planned and needed a little more vinegar than the recipe suggested but in the end it came together.

After 24 hours the curds had shrunk down and in total we got around 4kg of cheese from 15 liters of milk. I will just put this in some a few lunchboxes and will salt and flavor it in a few days. 

Ed Harpers Cheese Recipe

Today myself and Susanne made some cows milk cheese using a recipe that she brought back from her time down on Cape Clear with Ed. He uses goats milk but we don’t have any yet so we used the cows milk.

Milk is heated up and then the vinegar is added, stirring slowly for a few minutes. Its then left for a while to cool down, by then the curds should have formed and its spooned out into a cheese cloth and left to hang overnight.

The next morning its put in the mixer with some salt and garlic, or what ever flavoring you want and blitzed for a few minutes.

On the right is just garlic & salt, the left is chives, garlic & salt.

It tastes amazing!

Cows milk cheese

I had my first attempt of making cows milk cheese, I made a batch using 2 litres of Cara’s milk and 300ml of cream. From start to finish takes less than 24hrs.

The cheese I made is of Scottish origin and is called Crowdie cheese (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crowdie). Its a type of Scottish cream cheese and couldn’t be simpler to make:

  1. bring 2 litres of full fat milk to 72 Celsius for 15 seconds to pasteurise it and then cool it quickly down to 28 Celsius.
  2. add 4 drops of rennet to a tablespoon of cooled boiled water.
  3. add the rennet to the milk.
  4. still well and leave for 3 hours in a warm place.
  5. cut the curds into cubes as in the picture below and leave for another 3 hours.
  6. drain off the whey and add the 300ml of cream.
  7. beat the mixture together with a fork and spoon into cheese moulds.
  8. place in the fridge until set.
  9. then its ready to eat, I started at lunchtime and it was ready for breakfast the next morning.

Knockdrinna cheese making and a little red Dexter heifer

I borrowed Chris’s 4×4 and Sean’s trailer and headed off for a busy day of cheese making and collecting a heifer. I discovered a cheese making course that was on in Stonyford in County Kilkenny while searching the net a couple of weeks ago. I arrived there in the morning around 11am and Helen the owner started bang on 11am. We started off by introducing ourselves and talking about our reasons for being there.

Helen discussed the different techniques and methods for making cheese and although I knew a lot of what she was talking about already, it was the tips she was giving that were invaluable. Some examples would be renneting at different temperatures and then the length of time before the curds are ready to cut. All the books say, add the rennet and leave to set, no mention of time at all. I had been leaving my cheese for 24hrs to set where really 1hr would have been enough.

We ate a fabulous platter of the different cheeses that Knockdrinna produce while Helen discussed each of them, from goats, cows and sheep milk cheeses.

This pic shows one of the 700 litre vats that the cheese is made in, it was an impressive set-up and Helen said how she purchased all of it second hand except for the big shiny new cheese press.

A selection of cheeses in the ageing room, they were of all different ages.

I finished up at 3.30 and headed off down in the direction of Clonmel to collect the little red dexter heifer. She was a little wild but we managed to get her into the trailer and back home. I put her in with Woolly & Cara and hopefully they will get on OK. This dexter is going to be a challenge to halter train but that’s what its all about.