Monday, June 30, 2008

Tomme style cheese continue

the cheese fresh from the mould

I air dried them overnight at 70F (21C)

I brined them in a 24 % saturated solution for about 3 hours per pound


One can see clearly the difference in curd color which I reckon is due to the variation in temperature during cooking. Some was more absorbent than others and there is without a doubt a difference in Ph among the curd.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Tomme style cheese

Made on June 26 2008

6 Gallon of raw Holstein cows milk

After sitting for a few days, one can clearly see the fat floating on top.

Pouring the milk

I used two pots two make two cheeses. In the largest pot I poured four gallons of milk and the remaining two I poured in a smaller pot. I added 3/4 tsp of CHOOZIT 100mm starter to the larger amount (B1) at 94F (34C) and 1/4 of the same starter as well as 1/8 tsp Geotrichum candidum to the smaller amount (B2) at 90F (32).

After ripening this for 30 minutes, I added the rennet. To B 1 I added 3.1 ml and 1.5 ml to B2. I determined the flocculation time for B1 as 13 minutes and for B2 as 15 minutes. Due to the difference in temperature the flocculation times varied. As asked for in the recipe, I multiplied these times by three as the final curdling time.

I cut the curd to hazelnut size and let it rest for 5 minutes in the whey.

I cooked the curd of B1 to 102F (39C) and B2 to 106F (41C), both for 20 minutes. Both temperatures got to high, especially B2. It is quite hard regulate the temperature exactly on the stove top. The heat of the flame right under the pot is quickly absorbed by the curd on the bottom of the pot. Part of the curd got much warmer and started to shrink up and form a skin. I therefore expect a badly knitted cheese.

cooked curd

curd in the form

and being pressed

the follower

pressed once

some more weight added for a second press after flipping the cheese

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Another Smear

I have taken another washed rind cheese out of storage. I have been looking forward to cutting this wheel because from all the washed rind cheeses I made, this one looks the nicest. It hadn't sagged and the rind had dried nicely and it shows a deep dark orange color.
Why this is so, I am not sure. As mentioned before, I did not keep proper notes on individual cheeses from the same batch. I had to much going on. In retrospect, I think I might have pressed this one a little.
It has a similar taste as the other smears but is not as salty and has a fuller nuttier body.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


The Tommes I made on May 27 are starting to show some nice mold. Most of the mold is Pennicillin roqueforti because they shared a refrigerator with the Stilton. I have put the Stilton in another fridge, hopefully other molds will take the upper hand.
The last picture is of a Reblochon made on May 28. This is also showing some healthy mold growth.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Cracked Stilton

The Stilton I made a month ago has started to crack a little. It has been in a refrigerator which are notoriously dry. It has been around 7C/45 F with a humidity of 80%. After needling it to feed the mold with air, I wrapped the cheese in wax paper, hoping it will prevent it from drying out any further.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Some more good cheeses

Here are two more cheeses I have put the knife into. The one above is my favorite. It has a full nutty flavor, perhaps slightly too ammoniac, it obviously had reached it's prime before I started it. It was made April 13 which makes it about 60 days. 40 To 45 days would probably have been it's peak. This cheese was molded without pressing, made at the same time as the cheese below except that I must have washed the rind with Geotrichum candidum. Although I kept records, I did not keep them for all individual cheeses of a batch due to beginners panic.

The cheese below was also molded unpressed but washed with Brevibactrium linens. You can see the mechanical cavities. The cavities in the cheese above look to me like mechanical as well as from gas forming bacteries. It also shows some Penicilin roqueforti mould which it picked up from some neighbouring blue mould cheeses. Anyway, back to the orange cheese, it reminds me of a crumbly buttermilk if that makes any sense.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Full refrigerators

As mentioned earlier, I have put most of the cheeses in the refrigerators because the aging room got too warm. For the upcoming summer months, I either have to find another place for aging cheeses or I should make cheeses which don't mind a higher temperature during the first few months of afinage. In fact, I had been contemplating making some Dutch style pressed cheeses. These should be easier to store during the warmer summer months.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Broken Rind continue

Well, the cheese had become so runny, the aging room so warm (currently 20C/ 70F) and with no room the refrigerators which I had filled up with other cheeses due to the higher temperature, I decided to take my chances with this 40 day old raw milk starterless cheese.
It has been a week since we started eating it and everyone is in good health. It is quite a stinkie cheese, perhaps a challenge for many to bite into, but it has been received very well. I can proudly say that my first cheese was a success.

Broken Rind

The temperature in my aging room under the Brooklyn sidewalk is not as constant as I had hoped. With the warmer weather, the room has gotten warmer and here is the result. This is a Taleggio style cheese from a batch I made on April 24. These were made without any starter culture. Although this was a soft cheese, made without pressing, the higher temperature softened it dramatically. It also sped up the ripening process. The cheese became so runny, it broke the rind.

Tomme Style

Made on May 27, some Tomme style cheese.
I have found a new source for raw cows milk, just down the road. The previous farm I went to was 30 miles away, so this should prove a welcome change.
Here is the first batch of cheese I made from this milk. I made four wheel, one of 3, two of 2 and one of about 1 pound from 8 gallons of milk. I used Flora Danica as a starter for two of the wheels and the same mesophilic and some thermophilic culture in the other two. I cut the curd to hazelnut size and cooked it to about 99 F for half an hour.
The top two pictures show the curd being pressed using bottles filled with water. Note the copper draining tray with spout in the second picture. I made this recently and it should make the draining and pressing much easier.
The third and fourth picture show the cheese in the aging room. In a week or two, the rind should start developing mold.