Some answers to often asked questions...
- How long has Binnorie Dairy been trading? The
first sale was made 5th April 2003.
- What breed of cow does the milk come from? The milk comes from a
range of different herds, there are Jersey, Brown Swiss and
Friesian. The dairy farms are located between Scone and Cessnock in
the Hunter Valley, NSW.
- What breed of goat does your milk come from and where are the goats?
The Goat milk comes from a genetically superior herd (six main
recognized milk producing goat breeds) located just west of
Singleton in the Hunter Valley.
- Is the labna like bocconcini? No, labna is made from drained yoghurt
and has an intense, yoghurt flavour and acidity with its marinade of
chilli, garlic and rosemary.
- Is Binnorie Marinated feta a Persian feta? Our Marinated feta is
made the same way as Persian feta but has superior creamy flavour.
- Do you make any hard cheeses? Binnorie Dairy does not make any hard
cheeses. We specialize in soft fresh cheese styles and a few surface
ripened cheeses such as Brie, Washed rind and buche de chevre.
- Are your cheeses made on site? Yes. All our cheeses that we produce
are made on site.
- Are the cheeses made from pasteurized milk? Yes.
They are all made
from pasteurized milk - which is the law in Australia. The perceived
“Negative” effect of pasteurizing the milk before making the cheese
is not something most cheese lovers can detect. The proven
positive effect is to destroy potentially harmful pathogens. From
our cheese making perspective, pasteurizing allows our starter
cultures to dominate the fermentation by destroying any competing
bacteria, and spoilage enzymes already in the milk, therefore
ensuring a consistent quality product.
- Where does rennet come from? Rennet contains an enzyme called
chymosin was traditionally collected from the fourth stomach of
un-weaned calves, lambs, kids (goat). Natural calf rennet is
collected from slaughtered calves during veal production for
example. Most cheeses these days are made using non-animal rennet,
produced by a specific mould or another method uses a fungus which
has been genetically modified to produce chymosin (Fermentation
produced chymosin or FPC). The genetically modified fungus is
destroyed before the chymosin is harvested. By 2008, 80-90% of all
UK and USA produced cheese was made using FPC.
- Does Binnorie use animal rennet? No, all of our cheeses are made
using non-animal rennet.
How long does it take to make our cheese? Our fresh cheeses are very
quick to produce. Herb and garlic fromage frias can be on the shelf
within 3 days of receiving the milk, feta takes one and a half weeks
and the Brie up 50 days before it is ripe enough to enjoy fully.
- What is the difference between the Brie and the Washed Rind? Our
washed rind is made from the brie. Brie takes 7-8 days to form the
rind, and then the mould (penicillin candidam) is scrubbed off over
a second week and inoculated with a bacteria (Corynebacteriae) which
is responsible for the vivid orange rind and complex pungent aroma
- What is soft fresh cheese? Soft fresh cheese is a specialty of Binnorie Dairy. Soft fresh cheese is typically young in
age, soft in texture and delicate in flavour. As the name suggests, fresh cheese is not matured prior to release,
and its flavour does not benefit from aging. Fresh cheese requires protection from air contact to maintain
and shelf life. Storage Note: Once opened, tightly seal the cheese from air contact to retain delicate fresh
- What is surface ripened cheese? As the name suggests, surface ripened cheeses begin to ripen starting just under the
rind or surface and slowly moving toward the centre of the cheese. When cut, a young cheese will have a chalky
slightly moist appearance which as the cheese matures will soften and eventually have a shiny creamy texture
and exhibit wonderful creamy, mushroomy flavours.
The ripening process involves the release of enzymes by the white mould which forms the
rind Penicillium candidum which has been isolated from other naturally occurring moulds found growing on
cheese and selected for its desirable characteristics.
Binnorie Brie for example takes 7 days to grow the downy white mould rind at which stage
the cheese is wrapped in specially perforated wraps (surface ripened cheeses have a living rind and need
oxygen). Binnorie Brie can take up to 70 days at regular refrigerator temperatures or 14- 21 days at 13 degrees
C. to fully mature.
As well as storage temperature of the cheese, maturation is influenced by seasonal changes
in the milk, quality of the milk and how well the cheese maker can react to changes in the milk.
Because the time it takes to ripen brie may vary from the 70 days mentioned before,
ripeness can be estimated by how the cheese feels and smells. As the cheese nears maturity the white bloomy
rind of brie will begin to brown and give more when squeezed gently between thumb and fingers.
A slight hint of ammonia is a sign that the cheese is very ripe and very good to eat,
depending on personal preference. A strong smell of ammonia indicates the cheese is probably past its best
and may exhibit some bitterness from the rind.
Once the cheese has been cut into, protect the middle of the cheese from drying out.