Lactic Cheesemaking ADVANCED

Course Duration

5 days


Ivan Larcher



Returning in 2025


8:30 am to 5:00 pm




A deep dive into lactic cheesemaking in its many forms, covering the science, art and practice, taught by master cheesemaker and teacher, Ivan Larcher.

Lactic cheeses – from classic French-style lactic goat’s and cow’s milk cheeses (the list is endless) to Australian equivalents (like Holy Goat’s La Luna and Skyla, The Peaks Artisan Cheesemakers’ Cloudlet and Bon Accord, L’Artisan Cheese’s Marcel, and Long Paddock Cheese’s Silver Wattle). Plain or washed rind, fresh fromage frays, through to young/fudgy/lactic or aged for maximum meltiness/pungency. Once the techniques and tweaks of these cheeses – with their long fermentation, minimal rennet and delicate handling – are mastered, there are endless varieties of these delicious cheeses that can be made. They require relatively inexpensive equipment, have excellent yield and short ageing periods – and they’ll all be different from each other.

Perfect for smaller-scale artisan cheesemakers with access to good quality milk, these cheeses cannot be produced successfully by the big cheesemakers, as they do not lend themselves to machine-based making and care. Nor, with increasing air and other freight charges, are the French and other versions realistic for import. So these should be the types of cheeses we make and sell locally.

And consumers love them, as do chefs! At Long Paddock Cheese, we have had great success with our lactic cow’s milk cheese, Silver Wattle, as have Holy Goat Cheese with their various lactic goat’s milk cheeses like La Luna.

Ivan has extensive expertise in lactic cheesemaking, initially running lactic goat’s cheese operations in France, then consulting throughout the world to design cheeses that we now see on the world stage, as well as creating his own versions, first on his farm in France and now at Long Paddock Cheese in Castlemaine.

There are no pre-requisites for this course, but it is an advanced cheesemaking course. Previous commercial cheesemaking experience and study is recommended, including having undertaken our Artisan Cheesemaking Fundamentals course.


• the world of lactic cheeses and the techniques, ingredients and equipment for making and ageing them successfully
• various cheese makes, using both cow’s and goat’s milk in our purpose-built cheese training facility, under Ivan’s supervision
• working at commercial scale in our fromagerie with our Long Paddock Cheese lactic cheeses in our fromagerie, under Ivan’s supervision
• focus on how to control the key mechanisms underlying lactic cheesemaking, including management of acidification and syneresis in the vat and then in the moulds
• choosing cultures for acidification and ripening
• understanding how to cultivate the yeasts and bacteria for optimal lactic cheese unctousness and complex flavour
• rind development and care, and how to achieve the type of rind aspect, texture and flavour you are seeking
• affinage for lactic cheeses, including in our fromagerie ageing rooms
• packaging for lactic cheeses
• a tour run by Ivan of our Long Paddock Cheese facility, during which you can ask questions about facility design, equipment etc
• vertical tastings of different Long Paddock Cheese lactic cheeses at different ages
• wine and cheese tasting one evening
• opportunities throughout the course to ask questions of and seek guidance from Ivan about cheesemaking and the business of cheese.

soft cheesemaking 2
soft cheesemaking


  • Cost: There is a 10% discount for existing students of The Cheese School and for cheesemaker/startup cheesemaker/associate members of ASCA (Australian Specialist Cheesemakers’ Association).
  • Participant numbers are limited to just 8-10.
  • Accommodation: there are lots of options for short-term accommodation near The Cheese School.
  • Meals: breakfast and lunch + tea and coffee are included in the cost. There are several nearby pubs and restaurants and other options available for evening meals. Please advise of any dietary restrictions on registration.
  • Cheese to take home: you can take the cheese you make home with you, with guidance from Ivan on how to ripen it.
  • Area: Castlemaine is a vibrant town nestled in Central Victoria, celebrated for its thriving artisanal food scene and creative artists. The Cheese School is conveniently located at The Mill, a hub for food and artisan manufacturing. Our onsite food and beverage neighbours include a cafe, coffee roasters, winery, ice-creamery, baker, small goods-maker, chocolatier, brewery &taproom, fruit and vegetable store, as well as numerous artists furniture makers.
  • Payment details: 50% is payable on application (by EFT to our bank account), with the remaining 50% payable 3 weeks before the course starts.
  • Cancellation Policy: Once a course/class is booked, the booking is FINAL and all amounts paid are NON-REFUNDABLE. If, however, you are unable to attend, provided you give us at least 14 days’ notice by email before the start date of the course/class you booked, you can assign your booking and your payment will be credited either: (a) to a new available date (within 12 months of the original course/class), or (b) to another person who may attend the course/class in your place.
  • We reserve the right to postpone or cancel a course/class at short notice should events beyond our control make this unavoidable. Should this occur, you will be offered the choice of: (a) a place on our next available scheduled course/class of the same type, or (b) a full refund.
  • Redeeming Gift Vouchers: Should you wish to redeem a gift voucher as part of your enrolment, please ensure you provide the unique voucher number when registering on our website.
  • Apply: please click the Book Now button above to fill in the registration form. You will receive an email confirmation letting you know we have successfully received your details. We will also be in contact you within 7 days to provide further information about your nominated course, including an invoice for the 50% deposit.

We have kept the cost of our courses down compared with equivalent courses elsewhere. We want to encourage those interested in professional cheesemaking to learn the skills from the master! We also offering a discount for the ASCA member categories mentioned above, as we believe in fostering a collaborative small-scale dairy community in Australia through their industry association.

Register your interest for 2025