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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 10:16 pm 
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Does anyone know why all of the air dried cheeses are yogurt based? Would it be possible to make an air dried cashew and rejuvelac cheese that does not contain yogurt? Is it possible to air dry some of the cheeses that are not listed in the air dried chapter? Just curious. I do have access to the Whole Soy plain yogurt and have successfully made my own yogurt using that as the starter.

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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 10:58 am 
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brief excerpt from chapter two that explains why Miyoko added the yogurt...

"...that cheese was based on Basic Cashew Cheese... and while it was good, I wasn’t thrilled with the texture. It was somewhat too crumbly and grainy due to the fact that Basic Cashew Cheese is made of ground-up cashews with only minimal liquid. While this is fine for a cheese aged for only a few days, over a period of weeks the solids in the cheese simply turn grainy... after some trial and error, I realized that air-dried cheeses need a higher liquid content if they are to have a creamier texture."

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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 9:38 pm 
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Ah, thanks zero. I'd swear I've read the whole book cover to cover several times, but somehow I missed that. I do remember the explanation of why yogurt was important for the meltable cheeses, which is along the same lines.

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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 5:31 pm 
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I found some plain unsweetened coconut yogurt... I can make my own now. YAY!!!

Once I make the yogurt, how many times can I use it as a starter to make a new batch? Will I eventually need to buy a new yogurt container at the store??

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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 6:36 pm 
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you can use your homemade yogurt as a starter "forever" unless the cultures die - which shouldn't happen unless it gets too hot. you'll know they're dead if the new batch fails.

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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 6:45 pm 
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Ok thanks. Cool! I'm super excited to start this :)

Ohh it says soy or almond milk in the recipe, can I use coconut? Can't use almonds (hubby is allergic) and I want to avoid soy as much as possible

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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 7:01 pm 
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others have used coconut milk with varied results... usually thin and runny. but you can always add a thickener if you want - like agar, cornstarch, arrowroot, pectin, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 7:10 pm 
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Why would it work with almond milk then?? Isn't coconut milk thicker? *scratches head*

Thanks.

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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 10:07 pm 
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I think it has more to do with the milk's ability to curdle when it comes in contact with an acid or the right bacteria, and not so much the thickness of the milk. I'm still confused that almond milk will work though. I thought only soy would do.

While I'm here, does anyone know why coconut oil is not used in any of the meltable cheeses? I assumed it was going to be used for it's solid-cold/liquid-warm properties to aid melting. Yet all the meltable cheeses call for canola oil.

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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 10:30 pm 
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refined coconut oil is what i've been using - works great.

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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2014 6:42 am 
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So it works if it's refined?

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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2014 8:35 am 
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refined is tasteless - unrefined has a coconut flavor and will change the taste of the cheese... so it's a personal choice.

as for the yogurt, almond milk will be thin and runny too... you should experiment with all three and see which one you like best. they're all edible, but if you're going for thick and creamy be prepared for some disappointment if you don't use soy.

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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2014 9:43 am 
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Super! Thank you!

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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 8:41 pm 
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I made the air-dried brie recipe, and while it tastes fabulous, it didn't solidify -- it stayed at a sort of sour cream texture. I'm guessing I did something wrong with the agar step, but does anyone have any idea what I did wrong? I mixed in the agar and tapioca and then cooked it until it seemed sort of smooth and shiny. No matter how much I mixed it, the stuff at the bottom of the pot kept getting clumpy.


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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2014 2:13 am 
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Is that one of those recipes that calls for carrageenan and gives agar as an option? If you use agar, you need to cook it in water first and then mix it with the cheese. If you try to cook it in the cheese like you would do with the carrageenan, it won't activate properly. I learned this the hard way too. It's a bit of an omission that the book doesn't mention this.

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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2014 6:20 am 
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Yes, it is. Thanks! How do I cook it in water? (I seem to be agar-impaired -- I have yet to try a recipe using it that came out right.)


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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2014 11:47 am 
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Put the agar powder in a small saucepan with half a cup of water and cook it on a low boil for five minutes. Then blend the agar solution with the cashew cheese and tapioca and transfer it to a pot and cook it to activate the tapioca.

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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2014 8:14 pm 
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This thing about the agar is interesting, since I used agar in that recipe and didn't pre-cook, but had zero issues with solidification. I used agar flakes because I couldn't find powder, don't know if that makes a difference.


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