Questions about The Art of Cheese
Q: Is home-cheesemaking hard?
A: No! We’ve met a lot of people who have thought that cheesemaking must be very difficult. When they came to our classes they realized that cheesemaking, just like any other artisan craft takes time, patience, and practice but is very doable and fun.
Q: Do I get to take home samples and recipes after my class?
A: Yes! You will walk away from each class with a recipe packet with both recipes we make in class and others that we haven’t. You will also take home some small cheese samples (unless you eat them all in class!).
Q: What is the Certificate Program?
A: The Art of Cheese has in-house certification for home-cheesemakers. Complete any three classes for Bronze Level, three more gets you to the Silver Level, nine for Gold and twelve for Platinum Level. In addition to learning a LOT about cheesemaking, you will also save money when you purchase classes in packages of 3, 6, 9 or 12. More details here.
Q: Do I have to take classes in the Certificate Program in a particular order?
A: No. You can take classes in any order. We recommend starting with the Beginner-level cheeses because they require less time and specialized equipment, but you are free to take classes in any order that you like.
Questions about making cheese
Q: What is rennet?
A: Rennet is the most common coagulant used in cheesemaking (which helps solidify milk into a curd). It is made from the enzyme rennin, which is produced in the stomachs of ruminant mammals that allows them to process mother’s milk more effectively.
Q: What are cheese cultures?
A: A variety of bacterial cultures that assist in the acidification of milk to make cheese.
Q: What is the difference between Mesophilic and Thermophilic Culture?
A: Mesophilic cultures are used for lower-temperature, usually softer cheeses while thermophilic cultures are used for higher-temperature, usually harder cheeses.
Q: What is ripening?
A: Allowing a cheese culture to acidifiy milk during cheesemaking.
Q: Do I have to use cheese salt for my homemade cheese?
A: You can use Kosher or non-iodized natural sea salt in place of cheese salt.
Q: How does orange cheese get its color?
A: The addition of a diluted plant extract, annatto, is what gives almost all cheeses their orange color.
Q: What equipment and supplies will I need to make cheese?
A: It depends on what cheese you are making. Each class will cover the specific equipment and supplies needed to make the cheeses covered in class, and in most cases you will have the option to purchase supplies at the end of class so you can go right home and make your own cheese! If you’d like an equipment list prior to class, e-mail email@example.com.
Q: My cheese is tough and chewy
A: You might have used too much rennet. Remember that vegetarian rennets are double-strength so use half the amount called for in your recipe. Also if you’re using raw milk for your cheese, you can usually cut the rennet amount in half.
Q: My mozzarella won’t stretch
A: Chances are, the milk you’re using has been pasteurized above 172 degrees which denatures the proteins to the point that they won’t stretch. You may also be using milk that isn’t terribly fresh. Try using the freshest, most local, least processed milk you can find. Non-homogenzed milks are also a great choice for mozzarella as well as all other cheeses.
Q: My yields are really low
A: Try using whole milk, and in some cases adding cream to increase your yields. Also, the fresher the milk, the higher your yields. Remember, don’t use ultra-pastuerized milk for cheesemaking!
Cancellation/Missed Class Policy
Q: What is your cancellation policy?
A: A 24 hour notice is required for a refund if you must cancel. You can call, text or e-mail us if you know you need to cancel. Call or text us at (303) 579-9537 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Students who miss a class that is sold out or that has only reached it’s minimum number to run (6) will not receive a refund without advanced notice. In select cases we will offer you a 50% credit for classes missed without a 24 hour notice.
Q: What if I miss a class due to an emergency?
A: Of course we’ll work with you in these cases. We’ll be happy to issue you a credit to attend a future class if you must miss due to an emergency.
Our Favorite Resources
Great Cheesemaking Books:
1. Home Cheese Making by Ricki Carroll
2. 200 Easy Homemade Cheese Recipes by Debra Amrein-Boyes
3. Artisan Cheese Making at Home by Mary Karlin
4. The Kitchen Creamery by Luella Hill
5. The Home Creamery by Kathy Farrell-Kingsley
1. New England Cheesemaking Supply Company, www.cheesemaking.com
2. Grape and Granary, www.grapeandgranary.com
3. Hoegger Supply Company, www.thegoatstore.com
Online information on Cheesemaking: