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Weekend Workshops

2018 Weekend Cheese Making Workshops Cheese Making Class
             Wine & Cheese Tastings


Special Update: along with many other gourmet artisan cheeses sampled after the workshop, enjoy a sample tasting of Hooks Cheese Co. 23 year old cheddar. This is very special, since the entire batch of cheddar was quite limited and rare. Selling for $209.00 per pound, we were luck
to acquire one pound, since it sold out in a few days after its release. 

Please  email me if you're interested: steve(at)thecheesemaker.com
New Workshop Dates Planned For 2018-Stay Tuned.     



                     Something Special From Wisconsin


Join us at our home in Mequon, Wisconsin for a fantastic multi-cheese making cheese making class (workshop) provided by Steve and Mary Jo Shapson. The workshop is limited to 10-12 participants.  Make your plans now to attend one of the four available workshops. Enjoy the company of other cheese making enthusiasts in a small and personal group environment. Enjoy tasting Wisconsin artisan and imported cheeses. Learn the craft of making Camembert/Baby-Brie, Blue, Cheddar, Gouda, Chèvre, Mozzarella, Ricotta and Feta and other lactic products. Fellow artisan cheese makers from California to Wisconsin have learned much about the art of cheese, yogurt, kefir and yogurt making in our comprehensive classes. Our workshop is the MOST COMPREHENSIVE of it's kind. Upon completion of the workshop, all participants receive a Certification of Completion.


Register today as space is limited to 12 persons. Workshop Cost: $489.97


Also learn to make:

  • Yogurt, Kefir & Butter
  • Mascarpone and Crème fraîche.

Take home your homemade Camembert/Brie, Blue, Feta, Chevre, fresh Cheddar Curds, Mozzarella, Ricotta, Cultured Butter/Buttermilk, Mascarpone & Yogurt to enjoy in your home. The weekend workshop is the most complete and extensive workshop of its kind. You will go back with a wealth of knowledge, having hands on experience.  

Learn about various types of cheeses and how to make them. We will make fresh (Chèvre or Fromage Blanc), soft mold ripened cheese (Camembert/Baby-Brie), Blue cheese, Feta, Mozzarella and Ricotta* (*from the left over whey). You will also make Cheddar and learn the Cheddaring process. Gouda, a cooked curd cheese will be made as well. Making these cheeses will allow for a good understanding of basic and intermediate cheese making fundamentals. We will make Cultured Butter, Yogurt(drain to make Greek Yogurt) and Mascarpone explaining how to make cream cheese, Crème fraîche. Cultivating Kefir grains to make Kefir will be demonstrated. Below is a brief outline of what will be discussed. When you are finished with this workshop, you will have an excellent understanding of how various cheese is made and how to control the process so you can attain the results you want in a particular cheese.

Includes supplies and kit to make four Camembert cheeses, four Blue cheeses, Ricotta/Mozzarella  and Yogurt.

Fundamentals of cheese making:

  • Types of milk, homogenization, pasturization, heat treatment.
  • Lactic bacteria starter cultures:mesophilic/thermophilic.
  • Types of rennet, coagulation/calcium chloride.
  • Controlling curd/whey temperature and ripening time to create final cheese texture and flavor.
  • pH
  • Affinage: caring and aging your cheese.
  • Washing and brining. Using spices, beer, flavorings, liquor in bath and washing.
  • Type of cheeses: fresh, soft ripened, mold ripened, washed cheeses, soft ripened, natural rind/washed rind hard cheeses.

Camembert/Brie cheese making: Innoculation, ripening the milk, renneting, stirring the curds, moulding the curds, draining, salting, aging.

Blue cheese making:  Innoculation, ripening the milk, renneting, stirring the curds, moulding the curds.

Feta cheese making: Innoculation, ripening time, renneting, draining, cutting curds, salting, additional ripening, aging.

Chèvre cheese making: Goat vs cow milk, innoculation, ripening time, draining, moulding, salting/herbs.

Mozarella cheese making: Learn different techniques of making fresh and pizza style mozzarella.

Ricotta cheese making: 

  • Whey vs milk, controlling final texture using citric acid vs vinegar.
  • Uses of Ricotta: blending, whipping use of herbs, flavorings, fresh fuit etc. Mascarpone.

Cheddars and Cheddaring/cooked curd cheeses: Types of cheeses that use cooked curds and why Cheddaring is used.

Yogurt-Kefir making: Technique, cultures, draining.



10am: Intensive workshop begins: Learn the basics of cheesemaking while making

Camembert/Brie, Blue, Chevre, Feta, Mozzarella and Ricotta.Hands on cheesemaking.

12pm: Working lunch break. Lunch will be provided.  

1:00-6:00pm: Continuation of workshop (cheese making class).

6:30pm: Wine and cheese social for all workshop participants and their spouses, mates or partners. Gluten free crackers, and non alcoholic beverages are also available.

Sample various Wisconsin, and imported gourmet hard, soft and rind ripened cheeses on French baquettes/crackers. served with other hors d'oeuvres.



9am: Pick up your cheeses made on Saturday for travel.*
  *It is safe and allowed to bring your cheeses on an airplane as no liquid is with the cheeses. 

10-11: Depart the workshop with your homemade cheeses.


Dutch Cheese Press Option:   We've had lots of demand for a quality cheese press.  Here's a special offer for workshop attendees. You can purchase my heavy-duty Dutch Style Cheese Press(value $189.97) at a reduced price when you register online for the workshop. Included at no extra cost is the Small Tomme Mould(value $21.97, and Cheese Cloth/included with press (value $9.97).  Total value $211.94. Only $179.97.  You can take your press while you're at the workshop or add $15 at checkout for shipping within the 48 USA states when you register for the workshop online.  A great value for the serious cheese maker.


Workshop FAQs


Question: Where is the cheese making class (workshop) located and how far from local airports?

Answer: The weekend workshops are held at our home in Mequon, Wisconsin.  The address is 11611 N. Grace Ct., Mequon, WI 53092. We're located on a cul de sac.  Parking is allowed only in our driveway, not on the street.


Madison-Dane County Airport  |  Chicago's O'Hare Airport  |  Milwaukee County Mitchell Airport


Question: What do I need to bring to the cheese making class (workshop)?

Answer: Your appetite for cheese and wine and a zest for learning to make gourmet cheese. All cheese making supplies, note paper, pens will be provided. Workshop limited to 12 persons. Dress casual. Aprons will be provided. Upon registration online, directions and workshop documents will be emailed to you.  No need to print and bring them with you, as they will be provided to you. 


Question: What is included in the cheese making class (workshop)?

Answer: Saturday night wine and cheese social, Saturday noon lunch, all tools and equipment needed to make your homemade cheeses, two Camembert/Brie/Blue Cheese Making Kits ($93.94 value) including my Camembert/Brie/Blue Cheese Making eBook Printed Guide and containers/bags to take your cheeses with you, notepaper and pen.


Question: Is the cost of the workshop for one or two people?

Answer: The cost of the workshop is per person. If you are traveling with another person(mate/partner/spouse), they can attend the Saturday wine & cheese social at no cost to you. They should not attend the workshop, so there is enough space and working room for all those participating in the workshop activities. 


Question: What is not included in the cheese making class (workshop)?

Answer: Your choice of local lodging and local transportation. Meals bought at local restaurants. 


Question: Do you offer refunds?

Answer: Refund or store credit can be made if cancelled workshop can be rebooked by another cheese maker.


Question: What about lodging?

Answer: There are many hotels in our area, close by. The Chalet Motel. Great value and excellent Mexican food right there(they have a great happy hour). is just three miles from our house. Just down the road, three miles to the south is Four Points Sheraton. Suggested lodging in the Mequon-Cedarburg area: Historic Cedarburg offers two nice historic bed & breakfast; The Washington House Inn and The Stage Coach Inn. Cedarburg is located 15 minutes north (about 6 miles) of our house in Mequon. Lodging in Mequon includes: The Quiet House (Best Western) three miles to the east. Two more excellent B&B's are Isadoras Bed and Breakfast in Mequon and American Country Farm Bed and Breakfast in West Bend(a short 15 drive). You will want to call and get rates. The B&B's are usually more costly than the other hotel/motels. 

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