Mastering Fermentation

“Mary Karlin has done it again, getting me all excited about the passions we share, as she previously did with cheesemaking and wood-fired cooking.”
Peter Reinhart,
author of Artisan Bread Everyday and Bread Baker’s Apprentice.

“Mastering Fermentation is full of recipes and ideas that are imminently doable and also delicious”.
Deborah Madison,
author of Vegetable Literacy and Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

Artisan Cheese Making at Home

“Part cookbook, part textbook, and part travel guide through the world of hand-crafted cheeses, Artisan Cheese Making at Home is both educational and inspirational”.
Jill Giacomini Basch,
Managing Partner, Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company

“If you thought reading about making cheese couldn’t be exciting, this book will change your mind. Mary Karlin’s expert advice, instruction, and passion for cheese making come together to create a page-turning tome that allows us to become DIYers and artisans all at once.”
Laura Werlin,
author of Mac and Cheese, Please! and Laura Werlin’s Cheese Essentials

Wood-Fired Cooking

“A wood fire is always the heart and hearth of a social gathering—I never feel more at home than when I'm cooking over the flames. Mary Karlin's comprehensive and beautiful book introduces you to one of our most ancient, basic, and satisfying ways to cook.”
Alice Waters,
founder and co-owner of Chez Panisse and author of The Art of Simple Food

“In Wood-Fired Cooking, Mary Karlin combines the romance of the fire with practical information and really delicious recipes that are easy to prepare. A surefire hit.”
Joyce Goldstein,
chef and author of Back to Square One and Italian Slow and Savory

The Beverage People
The Beverage People offer a complete line of cheese making equipment, supplies, books and videos. We're also your source for wine, beer, mead and vinegar making supplies.
Located in Northern California. 1845 Piner Rd. #D Santa Rosa, CA 95403
Visit our website: CLICK HERE


Mastering Fermentation, is pleased to offer a variety of sponsorship opportunities. If you are interested, contact Mary Karlin, CLICK HERE


Mastering Fermentation, is pleased to offer a variety of sponsorship opportunities. If you are interested, contact Mary Karlin, CLICK HERE



























































Many of the most popular ferments you’ll want to make use equipment you probably already own in your home kitchen. A thorough list of the basic equipment and supplies needed for most fermenting is on pages 11-12 of Mastering Fermentation. Specialized equipment for cheese making, curing meats, beverages, and beer brewing are referenced below.

Equipment used exclusively for fermenting (as opposed to being taken from your usual kitchen equipment) should be sanitized, rinsed, and air-dried before storing. If possible, store all in a lidded box, so it is organized and ready for use.

All pieces of equipment that come into contact with food should also be sanitized, rinsed, and air-dried before using. This includes any glass storage vessels. Clay or porous vessels do not need to be scrubbed with detergent if being reused for the same product since they contain desirable bacteria that are valuable for the next batch. Simply rinse the vessels out, very lightly clean with a natural bristle scrub brush, rinse with water, thoroughly air-dry, and store.

Specialized equipment and supplies for dairy and cheese making: Refer to pages 84-85, Mastering Fermentation, pages 7-8 Artisan Cheese Making at Home, and, plus the following:

Cheese Making Equipment

This section is designed as a visual aid for you to become familiar with the commonly-used shaping, draining or pressing devices referred to in most cheese making recipes. The names of these devices may differ from one supplier to another, so they are identified here in photos as well as with the common names. We are showing the basic equipment list of molds, shaping devices, and presses listed on pages 7-8 in Artisan Cheese Making at Home, as well as other traditional cheese molds. The draining/shaping basket shown on page 21 of Artisan Cheese Making at Home, is the 4 5/8-inch diameter straight-sided Italian draining basket listed below.

These cheese making devices will handle the small batch quantities you will be making in your home kitchen. I’ve included examples of the commonly used draining/ripening boxes as well as some of my finds which have become my favorites for these purposes. I’m sure you too will become very creative and identify other useful, interesting shaping or draining devices while on your shopping adventures. Believe me; you will start to look at food storage containers with a new end purpose. My recommended presses and smoking devices are also included.

Molding, Shaping, Pressing, and Smoking Devices

Molds and Shaping Devices

Clockwise from top left
  1. 7.5 X 7.5 X 5-inch Taleggio Mold, no bottom
  2. St Marcellin Mold with rounded bottom
  3. Chevre (Fresh Goat) mold with flat bottom
  4. 4 5/8-inch diameter straight-sided Italian draining basket
  5. 4 1/2-inch diameter flared Italian draining basket
  6. Truncated Pyramid, no bottom
  7. 3 1/2-inch X 3 7/8-inch draining basket
  8. Disposable/reusable Ricotta baskets
  9. 4 X 4 X 4 inch Square Mold, no bottom
Clockwise from top left
  1. 8- inch Tomme with follower
  2. 4-inch diameter Camembert mold, no bottom, with follower
  3. 8-inch diameter Brie mold with follower
  4. St Maure or Buche (Log) Mold, no bottom
  5. 5 -inch Tomme mold with follower
  6. Crottin mold with rounded bottom

Repurposed Equipment (Photo: Mary Karlin) Creating drain holes with Awl (Photo: Mary Karlin)

Draining and Ripening Boxes

Cheese Molds & Draining Containers Cheese Molds in Draining & Ripening Containers


Pressing Jacks with water jug (Photo: Mary Karlin) The Beverage People Model WE63 Press, and Curds & Wine Press; bricks added as weights


Smoking Cheese (Photo: Mary Karlin) Smoking Baskets on grate (Photo: Mary Karlin)
Apollo 3-in-1 Smoker WEBSITE Stovetop wok-smoking Scamorza

Beer brewing Equipment

Specific to beer brewing, I recommend the Super Standard Brewing Equipment Kit (recommended in the book) or the Standard Brewing Kit (if you already have the kettle and bottles) available from The Beverage People:
Super Standard Brewing Kit (Photo: The Beverage People) Standard Brewing Kit (Photo: The Beverage People)

For more information, refer to the Resources Page for additional recommended suppliers.