Introduction to Cheesemaking

February 25, 2017

This is day 5 of the Westminster Artisan Cheesemaking Introductory to Cheesemaking class.   Today we are going to make Asiago and Appenzeller style cheeses in our cheese house on Patch Road.  We do the hands-on portions of the class there because it allows students to work in a licensed facility.  Yesterday was spent on regulations and permits to begin producing raw milk, milk processing, and hauling and sampling raw milk.  The classroom sessions are held at our offices up on Parish Hill.  Tomorrow will wrap up the week with facility design, equipment choices, business planning for starting operations, and marketing.

We will repeat the intro class inthe last week of March and host classes in Affinage (cheese aging) and Advanced Cheesemaking in April.  The advanced class is divided into three, two-day sections; each one focuses on a different group of cheeses:   Bloomy and Washed Rind, Blue Cheese, and Alpine and Grana.  These are all hands-on workshops where we make cheese each day.  I enjoy teaching these classes.  I get to meet people, some of whom become friends, some clients, and some both.  Through teaching I make many connections and have been able to help many people start cheese businesses and improve their existing businesses.

February in Vermont is sugaring time, and the maple syrup makers are making sugar. The weather has been mild all week.  I don't think that has been such a good thing for the maple syrup makers but it has made it easier for people to get and down our driveway and for me to get the milk to the cheese house.

It looks like things will stay mild but the nights may be cold enough to prolong sugar making.

peter dixon

Dairy Foods Consulting, 131 West Parish Hill Rd, Westminster West, VT 05346

Peter Dixon is a dairy foods consultant, teacher, and cheesemaker with over 30 years of experience establishing small-scale cheesemaking facilities, developing recipes, and designing food safety programs. He earned a Masters degree in Animal and Food Sciences from the University of Vermont.  Since 1997, Peter has operated Dairy Foods Consulting teaching workshops and consulting for artisan cheesemakers.  With his wife Rachel, Peter owns and operates Westminster Artisan Cheesemaking and Parish Hill Creamery in Westminster West, Vermont.