Thursday, April 23, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Here are the Stilton Style cheeses I made three weeks ago at a few days old. Over the next few days, I will post them in the various stages until we reach the current stage.
I ended up making two cheeses from that batch. The post from 4/9 shows the procedure of the lower cheese. Because of too few colanders to drain all the curds at ones, I had to split the curds and ended up with two different cheeses. The cheese at the top is dryer, the curds were cooked slightly and is not really a Stilton. I will go through my notes and describe the differences in another post.
The piece of cloth hanging in a tray of water to the left keeps the humidity at the right level.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Here are the cheeses from the previous post after a week in the cave. On the third and fourth picture you can see some fur development. I presume this is the Geotrichum candidum. In the last picture, a 4x enlargement, there are some grains visible in the top left corner. Perhaps this is some crystalized salt.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Last week, when making a batch of lactic type cheese, I decided to predrain the curd in cheesecloth instead of ladling them directly into the forms as I had been doing. I hope to end up with a slightly dryer curd, leading to a firmer cheese which would age a little slower and therefor keep longer.
I used three gallon of raw Holstein milk which I cultured with Choozit MA4001, Aroma B and some Geo 17. I added 1 ml of animal rennet and let it set for 36 hours at about 67F.
I ladled the curd into a colander lined with cheesecloth and let this drain for 12 hours. While packing the curd in the forms, I noticed a difference in consistency. There were some harder parts it mass as well as some wetter spots. The curd had obviously not drain equally. This might lead to some inconsistencies in the cheeses. We will see.
Because in general the curd was pretty dry and plyable, I formed some cheeses by hand. I had ran out of forms.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Made on March 6 from raw Holstein milk, with Choozit MM100 and Aroma B as cultures. I sprayed thge batch after two days with a mixture of water and Geotricum candidum 17 and Brevibecterium linens and aged them in the cave.
The cheeses turned out wonderful. The paste is firm inside, becoming creamy towards the edge. It's a fresh tasting cheese, almost sweet with hints of mushrooms and a clean barnyard.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
A week ago I made another attempt to make a stilton style cheese. I didn't cut the curd but ladled it directly in a colander lined with cheesecloth to drain. I let this drain for almost 24 hours. The curd was pretty dry. I cut the curd into cubes and let them air dry for a while before I milled them with salt and placed them in the mold.
ladling the curd
draining the curd
the drained curd
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Some bloomy rind cheeses, made on March 3rd from raw Holstein cows milk. I inoculated the milk with Choozit MM 100 and Aroma B. After draining, molding, demolding and drying, I sprayed the cheeses with a mixture of Geotricum candidum 17 and Brevibacterium linens from Albasia.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Although I am fascinated by all aspects of the cheesemaking process, there are times I find myself drawn to certain aspects of it. In this case I find the mold, isn't it intriguing? It is like velvet. From up close it looks like an alien landscape.
Friday, April 3, 2009
Here are some images of the rind from the Alpine cheeses. I have washed the wheels regularly to prevent mold growth. In some of the pictures you can see the impression from the cheese cloth. Even after washing and thus removing tiny layers of the surface, this impression remains. It seems as if it is layered in, or rather, the image of the cheesecloth is transfered into the cheese.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Last December I tried an attempt to make some Alpine style cheeses. Although the cows were in the barn they were fed on dry hay only, so I thought the milk should be clear of the gas forming bacteria Clostridium tyrobutyricum. The first cheese I made on December 14 and it started to swell after about ten days. I found this really discouraging because the gas produced in the cheese I attributed to the bacteria just mentioned. Around that time I read somewhere that bacteria responsible for the creation of holes in Alpine cheeses are naturally present in raw milk. These are the good bacteria, called proprionic bacteria. They are added to the milk when making Swiss style cheese from pasteurized milk. They are also responsible for the sweet nutty taste of this type of cheese.
Anyway, I have four Alpine wheels aging in the cave. All made around the same time. Two of them are pretty swollen, one shows less signs of swelling and the fourth one is hardly swollen. This wheel was the last one I made. After seeing the other wheels swelling so soon at an amazing pace, I added a product called "holdbac". This supposedly prevents the swelling. How, I don't know. So far it seems to work. I am not looking for swelling at all, neither from good nor bad bacteria.
Recently I cut into a Gouda I had made around the same time. This type of cheese can suffer from the same defects caused by the same organisms. The cheese had a lot of holes in it, it tasted sharp and sweet, clearly not what a Gouda should taste like. I fear the worst for the Alpines but keep my fingers cross.