Guerilla Cheese Handbook

by Sofia

Daveed’s Guerilla Cheese handbook
By davidasher.rotsztain

Happy Cheesemaking!

1. Soft, fresh cheeses:
1.1 kefir
1.2 yogourt
1.3 hung cheese

2. Heat Cheeses
2.1 Paneer
2.2 Ricotta

3. Rennet cheeses:
3.1 Cheese curds
3.2 Squeaky Cheese
3.3 Blue Cheese
3.4 Brie Cheese

4. More info
4.1 Where to get Kefir
4.2 Some cheese supply houses
4.3 Some books to read
4.4 Websites

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1. Soft, fresh cheeses:
These cheeses can be made very simply at home, so long as you have the right cultures.

1.1 kefir
Immerse your kefir grains in milk, either naked or in a bag. Kefir will be ready in one or two days, depending on the temperature. Check up on it twice a day to see how it’s progressing, and take out the grains and start a new batch when the kefir is developed to your taste. To get a bubbly kefir, strain your kefir as soon as it thickens, then place in a well-sealed jar in the fridge for one or two days.

To store kefir for some time, immerse the grains in fresh milk, then place directly in the refrigerator. Kefir will mature more slowly when cold, and may last many months so long as your fridge isn’t cleaned out by someone else.

Variations:
For crème fraiche, culture your kefir grains in fresh cream, full or half.
For sour cream, let it culture a bit longer.

1.2 yogourt, yoghourt, yogurt!
Bring your milk up to a high temperature (around 60C) and leave for half an hour to pasteurize it. Let it cool to the touch (you should be able to keep your finger in the milk for a count of ten), then add in a big scoop of fresh, thick yogourt. Leave in a warm spot for four or five hours. An oven with the light on, or in a ray of sun on a summer day is a perfect place for incubation. Enjoy.

1.3 hung cheese
Just pour your ripened kefir (without the grains) or yogourt into a pillowcase, or other finely woven fabric, and hang over a bowl for one or two days. The longer you let your cheese drain, the longer it will keep. Adding a bit of salt will help preserve it too.

Variations:
For cream cheese, hang crème fraiche as you would kefir. For creamy chevre, use goat instead of cow.

2. Heat Cheeses
These cheeses rely on heat and acid to separate out the curds from the whey. Because the milk protein albumen forms into the curds at high temperatures, these cheeses will not melt.

2.1 Paneer / Queso Blanco
Heat milk until it begins to boil, stirring all the while, then take the pot off of the heat and allow to come to a rest. Add in the vinegar, lemon juice, kefir or yogourt, and stir once or twice. Watch the curds separate from the whey. Let the curds harden for a few minutes, then strain them out with a slotted spoon. Let the curds drain for a bit in a colander, then press to firm them up.

For every gallon of milk you use to make paneer, you will need either one third of a cup of vinegar, one half cup of lemon juice, or one half gallon of yogourt or kefir. (Be sure to strain out your kefir grains before you pour them into the boiling milk!) . For every litre of milk, you will need two tablespoons of vinegar or lemon juice, or one half litre of kefir or yogourt.

2.2 Ricotta
Ricotta can only be made from whey that has not been heated to a high temperature.
To make ricotta, bring whey up to a boil. Take the whey off of the heat, and add a quarter cup of vinegar or lemon juice. If the whey is very sour, such as from a hung kefir cheese, you may not need to add any acid. Strain off the curds, and allow them to cool. To get a better yield of curds, add some milk to the whey before heating.

3. Rennet cheeses:
To make these cheeses, rennet is added to slightly soured milk. The milk can be soured if it is raw, simply by keeping it warm for an hour. If using pasteurized milk, add ripened kefir, without the grains.

If you wish to try making curds without rennet, you can use your kefir culture. It will simply take much longer. Keep the kefir at 90C until the milk forms a clean break, then proceed as usual. Try making it with small batches at first to see how it works for you – the kefir can be temperamental, and may not form a firm curd.

The recipes for Brie and Blue are simplified, and take much care and precious handling to ensure a good final product. Be sure to follow the recipe with a grain of salt, and not to be let down by a cheese that isn’t as you expect. They take practice and experience to make well. Be very careful about contamination when making a brie cheese, and be sure to sterilize all the equipment you use. It doesn’t really matter that much with blue, the more mold, the better. But with brie, you are aiming for a perfect white carpet.

3.1 Cheese curds
Warm your milk up to 90C. Add kefir culture, wrap in towels and let sit one hour. Add rennet according to instructions on the bottle. Let incubate at 90C for one hour, again, then check for a clean break on the curd. When the curd is ready, cut with a knife in all three planes,waiting a few minutes between each cut for the curds to hear. You’ve now got your curds, the basis for all hard and many soft cheeses.

3.2 Squeaky Cheese
To make squeaky cheese, very slowly heat the cut curds up. Stir very lightly every couple of minutes to ensure that the curds do not combine. Once the pot is quite hot, taste the cheese – when it squeaks, drain it off!

3.3 Blue Cheese
(when making blue, be sure to inoculate your milk with blue mold when you add the culture)
To make blue cheese, warm your curds slightly for ten minutes to allow them to firm up. Then let the curds pitch by letting them rest for half an hour. Strain your curds directly into the cheese mold. Allow to sit overnight, covered, then flip it in the mold in the morning. Once you remove the cheese from the mold after a day of draining, roll the cheese in lots of salt. To age, let air dry for two days. Be sure to flip the cheese regularly. Skewer the cheese well to provide air to the interior, then age in a cave for at least one month.

3.4 Brie Cheese
To make brie cheese, warm the curds slightly for ten minutes to allow them to firm up. Then let the curds pitch by letting them rest for half an hour. Ladle the curds into a cheese mold, and fill three times as high as you wish the cheese to be. Let the curd drain overnight, then flip in the morning. Flip again once or twice, then remove from the mold. Leave your brie cheese in a saturated salt brine for one hour. When you remove the cheese from the brine, spray your cheese with dissolved brie mold, on all of its surfaces. Let sit out for one day, flipping once or twice, then move the cheese into a cave. Once the mold has started to show, wrap in camembert paper and let age two or three weeks.

4. More info
4.1 Where to get Kefir:
You can check out an online community of kefir enthusiasts @
http://www.torontoadvisors.com/Kefir/kefir-list.php

 

4.2 Some cheese making supply houses:
Glengarry Cheesemaking Supplies:
http://www.glengarrycheesemaking.on.ca/index.htm

New England Cheesemaking Supply Company
http://www.cheesemaking.com/

4.3 Some books to read:
Cheesemaking Made Easy, by Ricki Carol
Wild Fermentation, by Sandor Ellix Katz
The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved, by Sandor Ellix Katz

4.4 and some websites too:
Dom’s kefir site: Everything you need to know about kefir!
http://users.sa.chariot.net.au/~dna/kefirpage.html

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