On Wednesday the 19th,as a part of the foundation course we had a job swap. (i'm writing this after as I've no internet for a few days and my phone internet struggles to post pictures.) A list went around the young coworkers and we could sign up to a different workshop. Since I'm a dairy farmer, I figured that the creamery would be a pretty interesting experience as we could see where our milk goes.
It was pretty interesting, we started out with a tour of the creamery, with a look at the cheese stores, where they have all the cheeses maturing, some for periods of 12 months! (for a mature chedder cheese) apparently the mature cheeses sell better outside Botton as peoples are after the more exotic flavours rather than mild plain cheeses, I presume plain cheese is the most common in supermarkets then.
Within Botton people seem to think the mature cheeses are too strong, so opt for the milder continental cheeses like gauda and my favorite, bree.
In one of the refrigerated rooms at about 10 degrees were the bree cheeses maturing, you could see the beginnings of the white penicilliun fur beginning to grow, by the weekend they should be almost all white.
We actually began the process of making a batch of bree, first we pasturised the milk by heating it up to 65 degrees (i think, around there anyway)
After this it was held at this temperature for a while and then cooled to a mid 30 degrees. The bacteria strains were then added and allowed to grow for 45 minutes, then the rennet was added and the mixture became thick. We then cut it up to get the whey out from the cheese, and 3/4 were drained away.
The rest was then packed into cheese molds and more whey was drained off. This is where my involvement in the process ended, so I'm not sure where it went from there.
The rest of the time was spent washing the cheeses, a not especially pleasant job, but one that was good to do with a largeish team.
So yea, creamery was an interesting experience, learned something about where our milk goes, and found out just how long it takes for the milk to become a mature cheese.... The one downside is that it smelled and I have a sensitive nose...