Posts by PLButcher

    For Guanciale - which is usually cooked into a traditional carbonara, you only need ~25% weight loss. I've not dried it for quite that long - it usually hits target before 2 weeks, but I do let mine mature in a vacuum sealed bag for up to 6 weeks prior to cutting.

    The theory is that there is enough oxygen within the cheese to facilitate aging. My guess would be that a short age would probably be ok but longer aging times might have more effect. I don't know all the details but a lot of people do it successfully so I'm running with it for now.

    Works on the same theory as waxed cheeses - it will still age due to the enzymes and microbial activity - it just will not end up as a dry rind cheese.

    Actually buckets sound like a good idea, at least they could only lean so far over 🤔 My cheese press arrived this morning 👍 i only ordered it late Tuesday evening, so wow, impressive shipping time. Looking forward to having a less stressful second attempt in a couple weeks.

    Yeah I can post a letter to a friend in the same town and it takes 2 weeks to get there - ordered a pasta machine from Amazon AU and got it the next day lol. Good luck with your new press!

    Hehehe the leaning tower of Chees-a. Have a expert cheese maker friend - she uses small buckets stacked with the mould in the bottom, the next filled with warm water on top of the follower and then another bucket with warm water on top of that (warm water helps the cheese press properly) Even with a proper cheese press I often end up with a wonky looking cheese.

    Oooooo cool bananas!! If you ever want someone to bounce ideas off.... hit me up. Also if you're on Facebook there is a very good group dedicated to cheesemaking and run by experts in their field. Flick me a PM and I'll send you a link.


    This is my cheese fridge :)


    Suggestions - keep well written notes, Have a solid affinage plan and sanitise EVERYTHING! There are 72 different ways of getting contamination.

    We often run a Topo Lithium Centrefire Battery with solar blankets which are super easy to set up and will keep two big Engel / Dometic fridges running indefinitely (as long as there is some sort of sunshine) Plenty of room to hook your phone charger etc into it as well.


    You're 100% correct - we started out with a swag and an esky, head lamp and fire pit for lighting - we've come a long way since then! Now both hubby and I are running DC/DC boxes, dual batteries & solar for permanent power to fridge and any other accessories, off road caravan, Ziggy BBQ for when fire bans are in place or it's over summer. We still go back to basics from time to time, but since we are both over 50 now, its getting bloody hard to get up off the ground!


    Yep we copped a 46.6 the day after. Pretty damned warm for this far south - although we did get an "unofficial" 52 a few years ago from a well calibrated and well shaded thermometer. The digital thermometer we have in our shed actually blew up after hitting 54 that same day.

    Real life!!


    This happened yesterday....

    French tourists (male and female) come into our shop to purchase meat supplies - pay and leave..


    Spend the next 2 hours testing the suspension on their "bongo van"


    I mean - go for gold, mate - but take that away from a public car park :D my husband was jealous :nana:

    Manchego & Caerphilly have been devoured (YUM!!)

    Italian Stout had a yeast blowing issue - common with the Stout additive

    Stilton - well - my fridge had a meltdown, overhumified / defrosted and dropped a heap of water on the Stilton sitting in its slightly open aging box... :cursing: - i held a very solemn funeral for it yesterday. It was a month from being ready too!!

    Lesson learned - the cheese alongside it was fine, so that space in my fridge is now for Vacuum sealed cheeses only!

    I've had a 6 week sabbatical over the Christmas season and got back into it yesterday with a Derby (coloured with blitzed spinach and sage) - this one matures for around 5 months.


    Pink Lake Butchers Esperance 8o

    Broke into the Manchego - took a sample (ooohlahlah) and vac sealed for Christmas gifting

    Italian Stout Cheddar on its first salting - has now been waxed and put away for the next 5 months

    Caerphilly with about 5 weeks to go.

    This whole natural rind thing is a bit to overcome - since I'm not used to encouraging any moulds except white - seeing varieties ranging from blue through to brownish is a HUGE learning curve for me. I just want to scrape it all off but on advice from my cheese guru's, I've let it develop.