Meet the Cheesemaker: Joe!

Meet the Cheesemaker: Joe!

Meet Joe, an Estes Park, Colorado, home cheesemaker. Joe began his cheesemaking career after being inspired to make mozzarella, having read about it in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, by Barbara Kingsolver.

With 10 years of cheesemaking experience, Joe has made a lot of different cheeses including Chèvres and Camemberts, Cheddars and Goudas, Gorgonzola Dolce, Limburger, and Ricotta Salata, just to name a few! Even with all his home cheesemaking experience, Joes says Chèvre is still one of his favorites. “I love making Chèvre because it is easy and fast. So many things can be added to it, like Herbes de Provence, whole peppercorns, or anything else I want to experiment with.”

Joe attended our first three day cheesemaking bootcamp in August 2015. “What an experience! It was fun to learn more about cheesemaking and pick up techniques alongside homemakers, retirees, and chefs from around Colorado and Texas.”

Joe uses a mini fridge to age his cheeses, but also takes advantage of the seasonal changes around the house. Depending on the time of year, you might find his cheeses draining, drying, or aging in his pantry, a spare bedroom, or in a ripening box in his garage. “From mid-Fall until mid-Spring, our garage is the perfect temperature for aging cheese.”

Joe says home cheesemaking takes lots of practice and patience. Flipping cheeses without everything falling out of the form is still a challenge for him, although I am happy to report he learned some helpful techniques at our August bootcamp! “Getting the salt right is a challenge too. My first Limburger was delicious, but the next three were too salty.” Joe’s next cheesemaking goals are to make another great Limburger, and to master Manchego.

If these pictures of Joe’s cheeses are any indication, we’re confident he will! You can meet Joe at our next Manchego and Cabra al Vino class, on January 31st.


Submitted by Becca Heins

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