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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:15 pm 
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For almond-based cheeses, because almonds were £2 for 700g over Christmas, will the world end if I leave the skins on? I'm just lazy.

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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:35 pm 
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miyokoschinner wrote:
Love Child wrote:
Tried my sharp cheddar on friday. Not impressed. It just tasted of yeast and salt.


How long did you culture it? If it tastes of yeast, it wasn't cultured enough. The cheddar, when made properly, undergoes quite a remarkable change. I demonstrate this in my classes all the time when I have them taste the mixture out of the blender and after it has cultured for several days, and then again after it has been cooked and aged for several weeks. Patience is the most important ingredient in this book. After time does its thing, the flavors meld and it tastes just like cheddar, not like yeast, miso, or salt.


I cultured it for 70 or so hours, but I guess maybe my kitchen isn't warm enough. This was my absolute first time doing something like this though, so I'll just keep trying.


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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:09 am 
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The cream cheese is big huge leaps beyond Tofutti. I will finally eat a bagel and like it for the first time since I've been vegan.

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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:31 am 
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So I made and cultured the sour cream and it's okay. Still tastes a bit like cashews, but I'm cool with that. Unfortuantely I cannot find my cheesecloth or my nut milk bag. I just reorganized my pantry and I KNOW they were in there, but now I can't find them in any logical place. So I have unstrained sour cream for now.


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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:40 am 
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If it tastes like cashews, culture it a big longer. I don't have fancy cheesecloth and just use a thin clean tea towel. Works like a charm.

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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:02 am 
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Hi again, everybody!

Well, my cheese making stride was interrupted by the holidays, but I'm back in the saddle and still trying to solve my yogurt dilemma. Store bought soy yogurts don't seem to be working for me. I've been perusing online for a vegan starter, but wondered if one brand is better than another. I'm in the US, so something I can buy here in the States (and preferably online) would be best.

Also, do any of you have any advice about starters in general? How much to add to the homemade yogurt recipe in the book, etc.?

Thanks! :)


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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:07 pm 
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I made a stovetop mac using the last of our smokey take on the melty cheddar and a bit of a beer cheese that was a weird take on a chia mozz. experiment and it was soooooo good and creamy! I'm also really excited about a hard gruyere that's firming up in the fridge.

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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 2:26 pm 
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Love Child wrote:
miyokoschinner wrote:
Love Child wrote:
Tried my sharp cheddar on friday. Not impressed. It just tasted of yeast and salt.


How long did you culture it? If it tastes of yeast, it wasn't cultured enough. The cheddar, when made properly, undergoes quite a remarkable change. I demonstrate this in my classes all the time when I have them taste the mixture out of the blender and after it has cultured for several days, and then again after it has been cooked and aged for several weeks. Patience is the most important ingredient in this book. After time does its thing, the flavors meld and it tastes just like cheddar, not like yeast, miso, or salt.


I cultured it for 70 or so hours, but I guess maybe my kitchen isn't warm enough. This was my absolute first time doing something like this though, so I'll just keep trying.


We are having a very cold winter here in northern California, and my kitchen has been pretty cool. The cheddar takes longer than some of the other cheeses to culture, and I have a batch that has been going now for 4 days that's still not sharp enough. When it is ready, it will thicken some and have air bubbles. It will also take on a whole new flavor.


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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 2:31 pm 
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Cgvegan wrote:
My problem with the sharp cheddar was that it tasted wonderful until I added the tapioca and cooked it. Then it tasted pretty bland for 3 weeks in the fridge, then a bit like hairspray after 4, then it grew blue mold.

The air dried cheddar had been good, particularly rolled in cracked black peppercorns, it needs a week in the fridge after air drying in my experience.

The book is very inspiring and a great starting point, but I suspect that there's only so far it can take you before you have to adapt for your environment and ingredients. It reminds me a lot of learning to bake with sourdough.


Am confused...there's no tapioca in the sharp cheddar. Do you mean the air-dried cheddar? Also, I've noticed that cold temperatures with high humidity are the worst for making cheese. We have had an unseasonably cold and rainy winter here, and this affected the culturing quite a bit. The best temperature for culturing is around 70 degrees. Then to age, aroudn 50 - 55 (F). After reading about people's problems, I have been using the fridge as a place to air-dry, and it seems to work well for folks.


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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 2:45 pm 
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HI,

Can anyone advise on culturing using Coconut milk kefir? I bought some So Delicious brand because the store was out of yogurt AND vegan culture/starter. I am using it to try to culture both almond milk and coconut cream. They smell like yogurt, but dont really taste like it. They have been sitting in warm areas for about 12 hours now. Anyone else tried this?

Daphne


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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:36 pm 
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miyokoschinner wrote:
We are having a very cold winter here in northern California, and my kitchen has been pretty cool. The cheddar takes longer than some of the other cheeses to culture, and I have a batch that has been going now for 4 days that's still not sharp enough. When it is ready, it will thicken some and have air bubbles. It will also take on a whole new flavor.


It did have bubbles and got "bigger" in volume, but maybe not enough. If only I had left it out a little longer. Oh well, next time.


Last edited by Love Child on Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:36 pm 
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miyokoschinner wrote:
Cgvegan wrote:
My problem with the sharp cheddar was that it tasted wonderful until I added the tapioca and cooked it. Then it tasted pretty bland for 3 weeks in the fridge, then a bit like hairspray after 4, then it grew blue mold.

The air dried cheddar had been good, particularly rolled in cracked black peppercorns, it needs a week in the fridge after air drying in my experience.

The book is very inspiring and a great starting point, but I suspect that there's only so far it can take you before you have to adapt for your environment and ingredients. It reminds me a lot of learning to bake with sourdough.


Am confused...there's no tapioca in the sharp cheddar. Do you mean the air-dried cheddar? Also, I've noticed that cold temperatures with high humidity are the worst for making cheese. We have had an unseasonably cold and rainy winter here, and this affected the culturing quite a bit. The best temperature for culturing is around 70 degrees. Then to age, aroudn 50 - 55 (F). After reading about people's problems, I have been using the fridge as a place to air-dry, and it seems to work well for folks.



Sorry, not tapioca- I forget, agar? Carregenan? I need to give the sharp one another try really.


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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:02 am 
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miyokoschinner wrote:
jojo wrote:
Marla666 wrote:
So far I made the brie and boursin. They were ok but not great. Maybe I should have cultured the basic cheese a bit longer, I waited for about 24 hours and it smelled pretty strong so I put it in the fridge, but it didn't really have a cheesy taste.
My bf and I both felt a bit queasy after eating the cheeses, but I'm not sure if it was the cheese itself or something else caused it. I'm a bit squeamish about eating the rest so I might just throw it in the freezer and eat it some other time.


This is almost word for word how I'd explain my experiences with the book so far. I used quinoa for my Rejuvelac which sprouted pretty fast & then I cultured the cashew cheese for 26 hours. I made both the Brie & Boursin and I thought they tasted just okay, nothing particularly special. I felt really queasy a few hours after eating them & when I tried them again about a week later I felt the same so I threw the rest away.

I keep trying to work out what I did wrong because everyone else seems to love them! I was wondering whether my cashew cheese went off or something but if I'd left it for any less time it might not have cultured enough to taste cheesy.


It doesn't sound to me that either one of you cultured the cheeses long enough. Unfortunately, there is a learning curve with these. You must taste them, not just smell them. If they don't taste fully cultured and like cheese, then it's not ready to move onto the next step of seasoning or adding coconut oil. The mixture should have risen, have air pockets, and taste like cheese. On the other hand, if you feel queasy after eating, your cheese may have gone bad, although in the winter, I find this hard to believe.


Yeah my kitchen is pretty cold right now so next time I will definitely leave them out a bit longer.
What's weird about the cheeses is that I had no problems eating the Boursin, but just thinking about eating the Brie still makes me feel queasy. The only real difference between the two of them is the coconut oil, so I wonder if that was the cause, but I can't imagine coconut oil going bad? It didn't smell or taste weird or anything.


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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:40 am 
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To me, the brie does have a kind of a 'weird' taste, but that's actually what I love about it, it's just like camembert or something, which also took some getting used to before I really started to like it. Maybe the combination of the unfamiliar taste and your worries about the cheese having gone bad made you feel queasy?

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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:11 am 
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Cornelie wrote:
To me, the brie does have a kind of a 'weird' taste, but that's actually what I love about it, it's just like camembert or something, which also took some getting used to before I really started to like it. Maybe the combination of the unfamiliar taste and your worries about the cheese having gone bad made you feel queasy?


Actually the taste was fine, although I would have liked it to be a bit stronger. My bf really loved the brie, but he felt sick after eating it as well, so I don't think the taste was the problem. Anyway, I have put the rest of the brie in the freezer, so I will try again in some time.


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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:47 am 
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I had an interesting rejuvelac experience. I finished making it last night - it had that kinda lemony smell and taste, anyway, so I'm pretty sure it was ready. My fiance smelled and tasted it and he insisted that it was nothing like lemon, but rather like something that has gone bad. Now I wonder whether the folks here who said that their rejuvelac smelled bad and had therefore assumed it was no good were wrong?

I guess my advice to people with that problem is, get a second or third opinion before you toss it. Or maybe buy some rejuvelac, if you can, for comparison.

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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 3:15 pm 
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b.vicious wrote:
I had an interesting rejuvelac experience. I finished making it last night - it had that kinda lemony smell and taste, anyway, so I'm pretty sure it was ready. My fiance smelled and tasted it and he insisted that it was nothing like lemon, but rather like something that has gone bad. Now I wonder whether the folks here who said that their rejuvelac smelled bad and had therefore assumed it was no good were wrong?

I guess my advice to people with that problem is, get a second or third opinion before you toss it. Or maybe buy some rejuvelac, if you can, for comparison.
Mine always smelt like chemical lemon flavouring, like when you get kitchen spray that's "lemony fresh" or like deliciously dirty cheap chemical "lemonade-style carbonated beverage". I call that near enough.

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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 3:26 pm 
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So far I have made:

Sharp cheddar: I didn't get the texture right, but this was my first attempt. It was delicious on apples
Cream cheese: I don't think I cultured it long enough, reading this thread has inspired me to try this again. My first attempt still tasted too much of cashews.
Gruyere fondue: Loved it! We had it with hunks of bread, steamed green beans and tiny potatoes and it was delicious. I found it needed quite a bit more water/wine to get the right texture, but this was easy to eyeball. The next day the leftovers were this amazing creamy spread with a little wine flavor that I couldn't stop eating.
Air dried emmentaller: Still have half a round of this in my fridge. It's delicious, but not what I was expecting. It doesn't taste similar to a Swiss at all, it's not nutty in that way. It's creamy and mild and rich - almost slightly sweet. I've been feeding little tastes to omnivore friends, who have all loved it. Someone said it was almost like a dessert cheese. It's still fairly soft, but firm enough to slice nicely. It's very subtle, but in a good way and with depth. I like it best on it's own as I find other flavors tend to overpower it. I did move it to the fridge a bit early due to the weather.
Cashew Yogurt: Made this as per the directions in the book, and it came out nice and thick and creamy, but a bit too cashewy for me. I think I'll try decreasing the cashews a bit next time. I used home made soymilk and have a yogurt maker, which made success very easy despite the cool weather.
Hard Gruyere: I let this cook just barely too long after adding the carageenan and it separated on me. Couldn't get it to come back together. I'm not upset though because I'm just going to use it to make some more of the fondue that I loved. I also feel like I learned a lot from the experience. It's really hard to describe that perfect moment to take it off the heat when the carageenan has been cooked enough but before it goes to far and separates out the oil. I think having done it for too long now I'll be able to do it right the next time. Also, I used a double boiler rather than cooking it straight over the heat in hopes of keeping it from burning, but this may have contributed to the problem.
Cashew Chevre: Culturing now, it's taking awhile due to the cool weather. It presently looks too soft, but it may firm up some as it cultures more and then chills in the fridge. Tastes really good, just not quite sharp enough yet. We may end up having it on bagels.

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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:37 pm 
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I've tried to make the yoghurt and it turned out too thin and liquidy. I have excellent results using soymilk + coconut cream + cashews. Before I make the yoghurt, I boil the milk mixture for about half an hour and reduce it to a thicker substance... than I proceed as suggested in the book. The yoghurt is super creamy, thick, mildly sweet and delicious :)

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Next I made cashew cream cheese frosting (for the carrot cake), it was good but I could taste the cashews too much for my liking and would probably reduce the amount of coconut oil.

Today I made the SanFrancisco cheesecake, it is chilling in the fridge right now. Before I baked it the filling tasted great but as it baked the top cracked all over (not in a cheesecake-like way, it looks more like a dry desert ;). Also 1 hour and 15 minutes on 180°C is definitely too much (yes, I have an oven thermometer), the crust is almost black, next time I'll reduce the temperature and/or baking time.


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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:14 pm 
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I'm starting to feel like maybe I'm the only person in the universe who has had the cream cheese fail on them. My apartment is appx. 68-70 degrees and I live in the desert, so the humidity is pretty low.

I put my mixture on the counter top in a clean glass bowl and covered it with another plate. I tasted it after 12 hours just to see... just tasted like blended cashews... then again after 24 and 36 hours... again... just tasted like blended cashews. At 48 hours, though, I went to taste it and it had a mauve-looking mold/bacteria colony growing on it and then another grey-ish colony in another spot. I didn't taste it 'cause I'm pretty sure that's not how it's supposed to be, so that ended up getting chucked. It did look like it had lots of air pockets and bubbles underneath the surface as I was scraping it into the sink, kinda like a bread sponge, so yeah... not sure how things went so very wrong in just a 12 hour period of time.


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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:36 pm 
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Freetahtah wrote:
I'm starting to feel like maybe I'm the only person in the universe who has had the cream cheese fail on them. My apartment is appx. 68-70 degrees and I live in the desert, so the humidity is pretty low.

I put my mixture on the counter top in a clean glass bowl and covered it with another plate. I tasted it after 12 hours just to see... just tasted like blended cashews... then again after 24 and 36 hours... again... just tasted like blended cashews. At 48 hours, though, I went to taste it and it had a mauve-looking mold/bacteria colony growing on it and then another grey-ish colony in another spot. I didn't taste it 'cause I'm pretty sure that's not how it's supposed to be, so that ended up getting chucked. It did look like it had lots of air pockets and bubbles underneath the surface as I was scraping it into the sink, kinda like a bread sponge, so yeah... not sure how things went so very wrong in just a 12 hour period of time.



This!!!

I was starting to think I was the only one too!

I just had my second cream cheese failure. The first time I tried it, my experience was basically the exact same one as yours. Like pink mold, the whole bit. This time, I was scared of that happening again so I was extra super careful, made sure everything it touched was completely disinfected, etc. I was also scared to over-culture it, so I probably did put it in the fridge too early - it still tasted like cashews. But I refrigerated it around the 24 hour mark. After like a day in the fridge, I took it out to show my husband. I opened up the jar, and there it was - more pink mold! what the fizzle? It was in the fridge this time, for forks sake!! I am beginning to think I'm not cut out to be a cheese maker after all :(


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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:24 pm 
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beethecookie wrote:
Freetahtah wrote:
I'm starting to feel like maybe I'm the only person in the universe who has had the cream cheese fail on them. My apartment is appx. 68-70 degrees and I live in the desert, so the humidity is pretty low.

I put my mixture on the counter top in a clean glass bowl and covered it with another plate. I tasted it after 12 hours just to see... just tasted like blended cashews... then again after 24 and 36 hours... again... just tasted like blended cashews. At 48 hours, though, I went to taste it and it had a mauve-looking mold/bacteria colony growing on it and then another grey-ish colony in another spot. I didn't taste it 'cause I'm pretty sure that's not how it's supposed to be, so that ended up getting chucked. It did look like it had lots of air pockets and bubbles underneath the surface as I was scraping it into the sink, kinda like a bread sponge, so yeah... not sure how things went so very wrong in just a 12 hour period of time.



This!!!

I was starting to think I was the only one too!

I just had my second cream cheese failure. The first time I tried it, my experience was basically the exact same one as yours. Like pink mold, the whole bit. This time, I was scared of that happening again so I was extra super careful, made sure everything it touched was completely disinfected, etc. I was also scared to over-culture it, so I probably did put it in the fridge too early - it still tasted like cashews. But I refrigerated it around the 24 hour mark. After like a day in the fridge, I took it out to show my husband. I opened up the jar, and there it was - more pink mold! what the fizzle? It was in the fridge this time, for forks sake!! I am beginning to think I'm not cut out to be a cheese maker after all :(


I wonder if your yogurt starter wasn't active enough. part of the process is that the helpful cultures out compete and keep the bad bacteria and mold and stuff from growing. the combo of no cultured taste plus flourishing bad stuff makes me think your mix wasn't properly inoculated with the good yogurt cultures. don't know if you need a different brand or just one that's farther from the expiration date or what.

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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:55 pm 
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beethecookie wrote:
Freetahtah wrote:
I'm starting to feel like maybe I'm the only person in the universe who has had the cream cheese fail on them. My apartment is appx. 68-70 degrees and I live in the desert, so the humidity is pretty low.

I put my mixture on the counter top in a clean glass bowl and covered it with another plate. I tasted it after 12 hours just to see... just tasted like blended cashews... then again after 24 and 36 hours... again... just tasted like blended cashews. At 48 hours, though, I went to taste it and it had a mauve-looking mold/bacteria colony growing on it and then another grey-ish colony in another spot. I didn't taste it 'cause I'm pretty sure that's not how it's supposed to be, so that ended up getting chucked. It did look like it had lots of air pockets and bubbles underneath the surface as I was scraping it into the sink, kinda like a bread sponge, so yeah... not sure how things went so very wrong in just a 12 hour period of time.



This!!!

I was starting to think I was the only one too!

I just had my second cream cheese failure. The first time I tried it, my experience was basically the exact same one as yours. Like pink mold, the whole bit. This time, I was scared of that happening again so I was extra super careful, made sure everything it touched was completely disinfected, etc. I was also scared to over-culture it, so I probably did put it in the fridge too early - it still tasted like cashews. But I refrigerated it around the 24 hour mark. After like a day in the fridge, I took it out to show my husband. I opened up the jar, and there it was - more pink mold! what the fizzle? It was in the fridge this time, for forks sake!! I am beginning to think I'm not cut out to be a cheese maker after all :(

My experience too. Mold before it ever got cheesy.


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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:02 pm 
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Miz Mac wrote:
I wonder if your yogurt starter wasn't active enough. part of the process is that the helpful cultures out compete and keep the bad bacteria and mold and stuff from growing. the combo of no cultured taste plus flourishing bad stuff makes me think your mix wasn't properly inoculated with the good yogurt cultures. don't know if you need a different brand or just one that's farther from the expiration date or what.


I used Whole Soy Plain, since it was all the store had. I don't think they carry anything else anymore. I'm pretty sure the sell by date was sometime in March, so I dunno! For the other people with this problem, were you using Whole Soy or another brand?

I guess my other option would be to make my own yogurt, but since I'd have to use that brand as a starter for it (or buy some vegan yogurt starter online)... it might also be a disaster. I'm also not sure that I want to chance wasting $8 worth of cashews again!


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 Post subject: Re: Artisan Vegan Cheese
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:03 pm 
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whole soy seems to work really well as a yogurt starter for me and i used it in the only successful recipe I've made from this book. Since Silk plain doesn't exist anymore, our options are pretty limited, sadly.

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