Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Cheesecloth Stuck

Since I had not made an Alpine style cheese for a while, I had forgotten about the cheesecloth sticking to the rind. But when I started to remove the cloth from the cheese I wrote about in the previous post, I was quickly reminded of the cloth sticking to the wheel. It is hard to see, but if you look closely at the top picture, you can see the cloth being in bedded in the curd. This is a result of the enormous pressure this type of cheese needs during the pressure stage. The fact that I use a open woven cheesecloth adds to the problem. When I made some Alpine cheeses a few months ago and I experienced this problem, I vowed to get some other cheesecloth. But I guess, other priorities took a lead. 
You can see in the pictures below, pieces of curd stuck in the cheesecloth and being pulled out of the rind. The rind will end up with small craters. These are feeding grounds for molds and other rind defects. The "skin" of the cheese has been damaged. I will go on a hunt for some different cheesecloth. 


knitbot said...

I just found your blog and I have to say it's an inspiration! I've just started experimenting with cheesemaking at home and your photos are fantastic.

Best wishes from the Pacific Northwest,

Anonymous said...

The cloth sticking is not a result of pressure. The problem is surface pH, which is in turn directly related to rind toughening. The curd will stick to the cloth until the surface pH has decreased and a tough skin has formed on the rind. To remedy this you can either soak your cloth in whey, which has a lower pH than your curd, or flip more often at the start of pressing (generally an hour or two is sufficient). Note that alpine cheesemakers will run their cloth in the vat under the curd mass to transfer to the molds, thus elimating the sticking problem since the cloth soaks up the whey.

Herman van der Hoek said...

Just discovered your blog because I saw a Dutch nickname on RickAndLynne!
Seeing your names, I guess your indeed from The Netherlands?
If so, maybe take a look at Kadova cheese moulds with net to prevent the sticking cloth?