Thursday, November 20, 2008

Bloomy rind 2

Made on November 4, my second attempt at a bloomy rind cheese seems to age better then the first. That one, shown in the last picture, had a strong bitter taste and was very runny. It was probably not drained enough and the surface of the cheeses too wet when I put them to age. It might also have had too much starter. On top at it all, I had put them in the cave where the humidity is 100% and over. This also might have contributed to the wetness of the paste and the development of a bitter taste.
Therefore I have put the new batch in a refrigerator where I can control the temperature and the humidity is between 85 and 95 %.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


This morning I went to get some milk at the Holstein farm. Usually I get there just at the end of milking time and have a little chat with the farmer. Although I was there at the regular time, the farmer had finished milking. After I had filled up my jugs from the bulk tank, I went to look for the farmer in the barn.
It was cold in upstate New York, so the cows were inside. I did not see the farmer but my eyes fell on a curious site. Near the entrance I saw one cow lying down. A glob was coming from it's behind. I walked towards it and soon realized that the cow was calving. Having heard a lot about possible complications during calving and noticing no movement of the calf which was half sticking out, I went to look for the farmer. I went to the house. He wasn't there, but his wife was. She mentioned he was expecting the cow to calf but had thought it wouldn't be so soon. He had gone up the hill to hunt for some deer.
We went back to the barn where the calf was almost entirely extracted from the cow. Just a quarter of it's hind legs were still inside. The farmer's wife grabbed the front legs and pulled the calf. It came out without any problem and it was soon clear that the calf and the mother were fine. She pulled the calf around the other cows toward the front of the mother. There she laid it on some hay and, what seemed like, massaged the heart a little and gave it some encouraging talk to get up. The mother, who seemed exhausted, licked the newborn and ate the umbilical cord. To the delight of the farmer's wife, the newborn was a heifer.
Writing this back in Brooklyn while making cheese from the milk of the fellow cows, I can't but help thinking while living in the city how fortunate I am, I can experience this. It makes me very happy.

Monday, November 17, 2008

"Blue" cheese (Taleggio)

This cheese I made last Monday (Nov 10). I basically used the same recipe as the Taleggio style recently I made recently, but I cooked this batch longer and slightly higher to extract more whey from the curd in the vat. I cooked it for half an hour at 90 F (32C). I aim for a soft but not runny cheese.
The blue on the cheese is from oxidation of the copper draining tray. Needles to say that the draining whey is highly active as a oxidant due to the acidity.
I figure it won't harm the cheese. Copper is widely used in the food industry, among it the cheese industry. Most vats in the alps are traditionally made of copper and many a cheese maker believes it adds to the character of the cheese.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Taleggio style washed rind cheese

Last night I tried one of the little cheeses from this recent batch. I had brought it out as part of a course before diner with our cheese loving friends. It was very well received, after the goat de Savoie the runner up on the plate. At 26 days, it is mild, creamy and a little nutty. It melts on the tongue.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Jersey cows milk

I have recently found a farmer upstate with Jersey cows. Should make some nice cheese, high in milk fat as seen seen below.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Goat de Savoie

Here are some tommes I made over the summer. The one above and just below were made on August 27 of raw cows milk. It heas a nice clean taste as well as a nice clean rind.
The cheese in the third picture was made on September 1st from raw goats milk. It has a wonderful complex goat cheese taste. Grassy, nutty and earthy, like a tomme de Savoie but made of goats milk.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008

Taleggio style washed rind cheese

A few weeks ago I made a batch of Taleggio style washed rind cheeses from 10 gallons raw cows milk. In addition to the lactic acid starter culture, I added Geotrichum candidum, corynebacteria and micrococci. After coagulation of the milk I cut the curd into one to two inch cubes. After a few minutes rest, I filled one cheesecloth lined open end form and three small soft cheese molds. The fourth picture shows the resulting cheeses.

Thinking the curd was to soft, I cut it again with a whisk into hazelnut size pieces. I let it rest again and filled the remaining forms with this. I drained the curd without pressing in the molds, some for 24 hours or more. After surface salting and some air dying, I moved them to the cave, where they are now.
The cheese right below, I secured with some wood. I was that it would sag and perhaps run off the board.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Chaource style soft cheese

The soft cheese I made last week is ripening nicely. The picture above shows the cheeses at one week. The picture below was taken a week and a half after production and it shows the bloomy rind developing. Here and there the rind got broken while turning the cheeses a few times. They had gotten stuck to the wooden boards. Now they sit on a wooden rack and the rinds are healing. I will look into getting some soft cheese draining mats.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Goat Tomme

a little goat Tomme after approximately three weeks

Friday, November 7, 2008

Washed Tomme

a cows milk Tomme with some mold above and washed below

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Washed Goudas

Some washed Goudas on the lower shelf

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Chaource style soft cheese

Last week I tried my hands at some soft ripened raw cows milk cheese. I picked up two gallons in addition to my regular ten gallon I usually get from the farmer. I added some starter culture, a pinch of Geotricum candidum and a little Penicillium candidum I warmed the milk to 24 degree Celsius (75 F). I added a few drops of rennet and let the milk sit.
After 24 hours I spooned the uncut curd into the molds and let hem drain. After another 24 hours I demolded the fragile cheeses carefully and set them on a draining mat for salting and air drying.

Monday, November 3, 2008


Goudas with some mould

and washed

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Gouda rind

Some more Gouda rind

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Gouda rind development

In the previous post I discussed the result of the Goudas. This and some following posts contain some belated pictures of the rind development.
The picture below shows a cheese in various stages. The first two are of a one week old cheese followed by a picture of the same cheese a day later before washing. One can see the molds slowly developing on the rind.
The photographs thereafter show the cheese in various stages of development. Over time, different molds develop on the rind. For practical reasons I only washed the cheeses once a week. Hence the relatively heavy mold development.