Farmstead Cheesemaker Short Course

This unique, three day class combines hands on experiments and cheesemaking with the science of milk and cheese chemistry – all in a licensed, farmstead facility. Nothing can replace the experience of actually working in a real cheesemaking setting , especially when accompanied by highly qualified instruction. This class, limited in size to six or seven students, provides real life experience along with expertise and working wisdom.

A typical course covers:

  • Testing milk quality using Petri film plates, lacto-fermentation test, pH, and somatic cell count tests.
  • In house environmental testing,
  • Assessing the coagulating and buffering potential of milk
  • Understanding the use of titratable acidity in conjunction with pH
  • Manipulation of acid development to control cheese texture and moisture
  • Work with raw cow, goat, and sometimes sheep milk
  • Brine management and affinage options
  • Cheesemaking- 3-4 types made during course. Possible styles include bloomy, pasta filata, and all pressed varieties
  • Opportunity to arrive early and participate in milking chores
  • lunch, and snacks included
  • Access to cheese and dairy library

Cheesemakers can bring products for evaluation if desired. Class is designed for those with some experience. Hours 9-3:30 or 4 (we finish when we are done!) For more information contact us. Price 750.00, deposit of 125.00 required. See Cheesemaking classes for deposit options and Pay Pal link.

Next short course: (see )

Lodging options on-farm: Airstream (book on Airbnb), Bunk House, and Comet travel trailer (email for details on last two options)

What to bring:

  • Clean, water resistant shoes or boots for use only in the creamery
  • Clean clothes daily for wearing in the creamery (a clean lab coat or scrubs will be provided to go over these clothes. If you wear a size other than medium or large, you may need to bring your own)
  • If you have long hair, it must be able to be covered by one of our large bandannas or a hair net, so bring a scrunchie or other hair tie.
  • If you have a beard, let us know ahead of time so we can provide a beard net.
  • We prepare a variety of foods, with a gluten free and vegetarian option. If you have any special allergies, bring some snacks for your own use.
  • Bring some of your own cheeses if you would like input from the class.
  • A notebook and a camera if you want to take photos.

Here is what some of our past students say:

“Two friends and I were fortunate enough to participate in an Intensive Cheesemaker Shortcourse at Pholia Farm. We found Gianaclis an absolute wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm! We learned about cheesemaking from the ground up: animal care and management, nutrition, milking procedures and how they all relate to milk- and thus cheese- quality. Multiple aspects of cheesemaking were covered: milk quality, testing, equipment cleaning, as well as the making a variety of fresh and aged cheeses.Areas also covered were construction of a dairy, creamery and aging room and working with dairy inspectors. We were also lucky enough to receive two wonderful books written by Gianaclis, both an essential edition to the cheesemaker’s personal library. I would highly recommend this course to anyone interested in cheese making at any level. An absolutely wonderful experience!” Andrea E. Adams, DVM

“Thank you for the excellent three day course. I really enjoyed it. In some classes I took, or even the instruction received in other farm,  I was often simply told how to do something, without  much explanation – so the instructions are more like   “habits” of the cheesemaker. With your gift for explaining the science and art behind the cheesemaking (in print and in person), you were really transmitting your knowledge generously. The different backgrounds of the students and the outings we did together made the whole experience a very enjoyable one.
I am also very impressed by your interaction with your goats – your love, your concern for their their well-being are evident. Seeing the three kids being born, on the last day of the class, was magical and a memorable way to end the course.” Bryan P., Canada