Cheesemaking Classes

The Valley Shepherd Creamery cheese making classes have become a popular gift item and a wonderful day spent on the farm working with us to make cheese.

You may reserve space in one of our classes by purchasing a class seat on our online Sheep Shoppe (see link below), printing a copy of the reservation form (PDF file) and mailing it with a check or calling us at 908-876-3200 x22.

Please do not assume you are reserved until we confirm because many times reservations fill faster then we can process them. Especially when the number of seats remaining is under 5.

• Buy your ticket Online Here •

Please wear light colored cloth- comfortable shoes. Whey splatters !

 

Please select the desired date of your cheesemaking class:

April 19th, 2015 
May 17th, 2015 
June 21st, 2015 
July 19th, 2015 
August 16th, 2015 
September 20th, 2015 
October 18th, 2015 
November 1st, 2015


Private and/or corporate/team building classes for over 12 people available on other Sundays or midweek (not Saturdays)- please call or email us.

The $155/person price includes breakfast, a private tour of the Creamery, lunch, lectures, tasting and cheese-making in the dairy.
Each student will make an individual cheese wheel (appx 2 Lbs) and mark the wheel for future retrieval. The wheel will then join other wheels in the Valley Shepherd Creamery's cheese aging cave. After 90 days, the wheels will be brought up for pickup.

Space is very limited (25 some /class) so please reserve early.

Download a Cheese-making Class brochure (Adobe PDF file) now!

10:00 am

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Arrival Breakfast Served

Start your day by 10am in our viewing gallery with a full spread breakfast and coffee. Sign in upon arrival please.  Discussion will start at about 10 am. 

10:30 am

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Farm Overview Description

Discussion continues into the general history of valley shepherd, cheese making at the farm and Q&A about the  specific cheese questions of students. 

11:00 am

Cheesemaking Techniques

Discussion continues into specific areas of today’s production techniques

11:30 am

Pour milk in vat - start process

Students help pour today’s fresh, raw milk into the production vat, warming of milk and lactic bacteria inoculation.

12:00 pm

Farm Tour

While milk is warming, students are taken on a tour of a specific farm production area. Spring: to the lamb rearing areas.   Fall:to the aging cave 

12:30 pm

Add Rennet to vat - start coagulation - rennet techniques

Students return from tour, wash up, sanitize and help add coagulant to milk.  While rennet is working and turning milk to curd;

1:00 pm

Lunch Served

Lunch is served in the viewing gallery.  Sandwiches, salads, cookies and drinks.  Set up your lunch and go enjoy it on the farm porch !

1:30 pm

Curd Cutting and Vat management

When curd is set in vat, students are brought back to production area and help the cutting of the curd in the vat into usable, smaller chunks.

2:00 pm

Various Cheese Production Techniques

While the curd is stirring in the vat we discuss make techniques on brie, blue, cheddar and more types of cheese.

2:30 pm

Extensive Cheese Tasting

At some point in the afternoon, our counter will prepare a cheese tray for the class.  We will go through each product, its production, heritage and taste profile.

3:00 pm

Start Molding - Aging of Cheese Discussion 

When the curds are ready, we will start draining whey and prepapring the curds for molding.  Each student will gather necessary supplies for molding his/her wheel. 

3:30 pm

Pre-Press - Finish Production Techniques

Once every one has a molded cheese wheel, we will start the turning and prepressing proecdures

4:00 pm

Final Press - Personal Cheese ID - Q&A

When all the wheels have been turned in the moulds several time and enough whey has been extracted, student affix personal ID codes to each wheel before the final press.  The wheel carries this unique ID number during all its life in our cave.  

4:30 pm

Shop Time - Watch Afternoon Milking

Shop for cheese and related goodies, relax on the farm porch and watch the sheep go through the 5pm milking before leaving us. 

90 days later...

Return to pick-up personal wheel from aging

Upon receiving an email notification from the farm, students can stop by the shop and pickup their fully aged wheel.  Those who prepay for shipping will get their wheel via UPS.