photo by Kelly Brown

                                                                                                                                                             photo by Kelly Brown

Curriculum

The Black Sheep School of Cheesemaking offers cheesemaking workshops on a wide variety of topics from cultured butter to aged goats cheeses. All of our classes focus on techniques that can easily be reproduced at home or at small scale dairies.  Participants will learn how to take the steps to make their cheeses more naturally, without packaged starters, additives and chemicals, and how to source the best possible milk for their cheesemaking.  Workshops are demonstration style -we all make cheese together round the table.


Two Day Class
Introductory demonstration


 

This comprehensive course begins with a session on dairy fermentation, covering Clabber and Kefir.

In the afternoon we look at rennet cheeses, preparing the basic curd that can become many different styles of cheese, including Camembert,  Washed Rind Cheeses,  Mozzarella.

On the second morning we make lactic cheeses such as Cream CheeseChèvre, and then we take the same curd and age it into Crottin and Saint Marcellin

On the second afternoon we make a wheel of hard Alpine Cheese. And with its leftover whey we prepare a batch of fresh, warm Ricotta.

Two days of learning allow students to see many cheeses through the beginning stages of their evolution, and provides insight into how all styles of cheeses evolve from the very same milk with the same culture and the same rennet.


Five Day Class
comprehensive & hands on
 

This five-day-class is an in-depth exploration of the many possibilities of cheese.  Students should expect to gain a full understanding of how all of the different styles of cheese are inter-related, and how to bring about the ecological conditions that develop the diverse flavours and forms of cheese.  The length of the class allows participants to see cheeses through their many stages of development, and witness the growth of the many ripening cultures that define them.

On day one, we explore the origins of cheesemaking, and learn to care for the cultures that make a natural cheesemaking possible including Kefir and Clabber. we also explore the nuances of Yogurt making with traditional cultures.

On day two we look at acid-coagulated cheeses as well as fresh and aged lactic cheeses. Cheeses covered include fresh Quark, Skyr, Labneh, Chevre, Cream Cheese, and geotrichum-candidum ripened Crottin, Valencay and Saint Marcellin. We also learn about the making of Creme Fraiche and Cultured Butter.

On Day three we make the rennet curd (Queso Fresco) that will become various fresh and aged cheeses. We then learn how this curd can be fermented and then stretched into Mozzarella and other pasta filata cheeses like Burrata and Queso Oaxaca; but also how it can be aged into a Camembert or a Washed Rind Cheese. Also included on this day is an exploration of the techniques and environment needed for a successful Affinage.

On day four we explore the making of blue cheeses, preparing a batch of Stilton with our own pencilium roqueforti culture. We also cover the details of traditional Rennet production, and prepare a calf’s stomach for use as a coagulant.

And on day five we make Cheddar in the morning; and an Alpine Cheese in the afternoon. Also included on this final day is Caciocavallo, and fresh Whey Ricotta.