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    Wiki: Gouda Cheese Making Recipe

    This Wiki Article is a generic recipe for making Gouda. Gouda along with Edam are the original and still most popular washed curd cheeses.  Washed curd cheeses are where heat is added to the curds and whey not by heating of the vat, but by removing whey and adding hot water.

    Washed curd Gouda & Edam originating in The Netherlands, this method was then utilized by other countries resulting in other washed curd cheeses such as Havarti & Danbo from Denmark, Jarlsberg & Fontina from Sweden, and Colby from USA. However, Gouda, unlike some other washed curd cheeses, includes a pre-pressing of the curds in the whey step. Without this step, open textured cheese is the result.

    Washed curd cheeses are called “sweet” cheeses by cheese makers as “sweet” is a term used to describe the body of the cheese with good flexibility, however, they are also slightly sweet in taste.

    Gouda, and other washed curd cheeses are a good learning stepping stone after soft cheeses for new cheese makers as they:

    1. Mature fairly quickly (2 weeks to 2 months), thus quicker rewards and faster learning curve.
    2. Do not require heavy pressing forces, thus less equipment required.
    3. Form close-knit and chemically tight rinds, thus are well suited to simpler rinded methods such as oiled or natural rind and are therefore easier to age.

    Ingredients – Metric

    1. 6 liters fresh Cow’s Milk.
    2. Mesophilic Starter Culture of your choice, amount as per manufacturers recommendation.
    3. Rennet diluted in ~75 ml cool water per liter of milk, amount depending on package directions and your experience with that brand.
    4. Salt for saturated brine.
    5. Optional: Flavouring, ~15 ml Cumin Seeds or ~10 ml Mustard Seeds.
    6. Optional: Calcium Chloride if using pasteurized milk, amount as per manufacturers recommendation.
    7. Optional: Colouring, 3-5 drops Annatto diluted in ~15 ml water per 1 liter of milk.

    Ingredients – American

    1. 2 US gallons fresh Cow’s Milk.
    2. Mesophilic Starter Culture of your choice, recommended are:
    3. Rennet diluted in 1/2 cup cool water, amount depending on package directions and your experience with that brand.
    4. Salt for saturated brine.
    5. Optional: Flavoring, ~1 tablespoon ml Cumin Seeds or ~2 teaspoons Mustard Seeds.
    6. Optional: Calcium Chloride if using pasteurized milk, amount as per manufacturers recommendation.
    7. Optional: Coloring, 3-5 drops Annatto diluted in 1/4 cup water per 1 US gallon of milk.

    Directions

    Milk Ripening

    1. Warm the milk to 85-90°F/29-32°C in vat of your choice, i.e. double boiler.
    2. Add Starter Culture, optional Calcium Chloride, and optional Annatto colourant and mix thoroughly with a whisk to make uniform throughout the milk.
    3. Cover and let the culture ripen at same temperature for 15-45 minutes.

    Cut Curd Making

    1. Trickle in diluted rennet stirring constantly for 1 minute to evenly distribute, then stop swirl with ladle to enable better curd set.
    2. Cover and let the milk stand at your target temperature for 40+ minutes until a clean break is achieved.
    3. Cut the curds into 0.2-0.5 inch/0.5-1.25 cm cubes.
    4. Allow the curds to sit and heal undisturbed for 5-10 minutes.
    5. Stir gently, intermittently for 15-25 minutes to ensure the curds don’t mat together.
    6. Let the curds rest for 5 minutes to settle to bottom.

    Curd Washing

    1. Remove and discard volume of whey from top of vat equal to one-third the volume of milk used. Add same volume of hot water to reach target 95-102°F / 37-39°C, normally 130°F / 55°C water will work.
    2. Stir gently intermittently for 15-30 minutes, breaking any large lumps of curd.
    3. Let the curds rest for 5 minutes to settle to bottom.

    Curd Pre-Pressing In Whey

    1. Drain/remove whey/water until the curds are just covered by whey.
    2. Pre-Press washed curds for 15-30 minutes with weight equal to weight of curds (about 0.4 kg per liter / 1.5 pounds per 1 US gallon of milk). A perforated plate below your weight is best to allow whey to escape easier, I use improvise with an un-perforated next size smaller stockpot lid and used milk jug with water for weight.
    3. Remove plate/lid and weights, drain off the water/whey.

    Curd Pressing

    1. Warm your mold/hoop. Note, the following recommended weights are assuming the mold/hoop will result in common Gouda cheese final 3~4 ratio of diameter to depth, ie not an abnormally tall cylinder or flat disk.
    2. Place the knit pre-pressed curds into cheesecloth lined mold, pack curds down into mold by hand (try to minimize breakage of the curd pack).
    3. Press the cheese lightly for 15 minutes at ~2 pounds per US gallon or 0.5 kg per liter of milk used.
    4. Remove the cheese from the mold and cheesecloth, turn, replace in cheese cloth and mold and press again at ~5 pounds per 1 US gallon / 1 kg per 1 liter of milk for ~1 hour.
    5. Remove the cheese from the mold and cheesecloth, turn, replace in cheese cloth and mold and press again at ~12 pounds per 1 US gallon / 1.5 kg per 1 liter of milk for final ~8-16 hours (i.e. overnight).
    6. Remove the cheese from the press and cheesecloth.

    Salting

    1. Place in saturated brine solution for 3-4 hours per pound or 0.5 kg of pressed curds, be certain to turn the cheese every few hours to ensure even rind development.
    2. Note, after brining the cheese will have lost ~5% weight and the outer surface will have become firmer and almost tough.

    Aging

    1. Place the cheese on a drying mat in 50-60°F/10-15°C and 85-90% humidity.
    2. After a few days the cheese should be dry to touch and then it can be waxed. Or it can continue to be aged with a natural rind.
    3. If natural rind, if unwanted molds appear on rind, clean with a low 2-3% brine and cloth or disposable paper towel. After cheese hardens, a brush can be used with brine.
    4. Turn cheese and replace mat if moist initially every ~2 days then every week and eventually every month if age that long.
    5. Consume after 2 weeks to several years, flavour changes with age.

    Options

    1. Colourants: For slightly cream colour, add Annatto at initial cheese ripening stage before renneting.
    2. Flavourants: Cumin or Mustard Seeds.
      1. Boil seeds covered in ~4 ounces/125 ml water for 15 minutes before start, (add water if required).
      2. Drain seeds, keep and cool flavoured water.
      3. Stir in cooled flavoured water before adding Starter Culture.
      4. Mix boiled seeds into drained curds before pre-pressing/packing into cheesecloth and mold for pressing.

    Tricks & Traps

    1. Milk Ripening: Popular Mesophilic Starter Cultures for Gouda are:
      1. Lactococcus lactis subspecies lactis + Lactococcus lactis subspecies cremoris + Lactococcus lactis subspecies biovar diacetylactis such as in  manufacturer Danisco’s DVS Choozit MM100 or MM101 or BT002.
      2. If want slightly denser Gouda with more diacetyl/buttery flavour then above three plus add Leuconostoc mesenteroides subspecies cremoris via manufacture Danisco’s LM57 or pre-combined all four via manufacturer CHR Hansen’s Flora Danica or manufacturer Abiasa’s Aroma B.
      3. 200 ml of homemade Mesophilic Starter Culture.
    2. Milk Ripening: Lower temperature results in slower and higher results in faster acid production.
    3. Milk Ripening: Less time results in less acid production, longer in more and lower pH.
    4. Cut Curd Making: Smaller cut curds result in faster whey release and drier Gouda, larger in slower whey release and moister Gouda
    5. Cut Curd Washing: Lower washing temperature results in moister Gouda, higher in drier.
    6. Salting: Longer brining time raises salt content of Gouda, lower results in less.
    7. Aging: Do not allow rind to crack (normally from low humidity) as fissures will allow molds to penetrate the cheese.
    8. If making Gouda for first time, use middle temperatures and times and next recipe vary up or down. Or if making two batches, make one at each of scale and using these “end posts” vary future batches.

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