Author Topic: First Stilton approximation  (Read 3770 times)

Offline BobE102330

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First Stilton approximation
« on: August 06, 2012, 07:37:16 AM »
A busy cheese making weekend, trying to get my fridge full. 

Used the Washington Cheese Guild Stilton Approximation recipe, at least tried to.  With 1/4 tsp of Flora Danica in 2 gallons of P/H milk  and a pint of cream ripened 90 minutes at 86-87 degrees with a morge made from a blue whose bite I like. Renneted with 1/2 tsp of cheesemaking.com calf rennet.  90 minutes later still no flocculation.  Added another 1/4 teaspoon of diluted rennet and it finally set up after another 2 hours (I'd given up after half an hour and didn't notice flocculation), but didn't really give a clean break. 

Let it heal an hour or so, stirred as gently as possible and the whey was still quite milky.  I was ready to give up thinking I'd never get a curd I could mold.  After sitting a bit longer (lost track) It looked firm enough to drain, so I did.  Let it sit in the covered pot overnight and was greeted with a mass of fairly firm curd and clear whey.  Encouraged by this find I milled, salted and molded. 

After a few flips it is starting to knit.  I may get something useful after all.

I'm still getting used to the liquid rennet again.  My first uses were Rikki Carroll recipes, with twice as much starter as most recipes here.  It was before I learned about flocculation, but I usually got a clean break in about an hour.  Now using the smaller amount of starter I have had floc times over an hour twice. (from one extreme to the other - using those veggie rennet tabs I was getting 5 minute floc) With my Camembert  3, I got flocculation in 5 minutes after adding the second dose of rennet at an hour.  I used 1/4 tsp this time, and got a long (over 30 minutes)  floc after the second dose. 

Could be 6 month old rennet be losing strength?  It's been living on my fridge door and I have a son who loves to stare into the fridge waiting for a prepared meal to jump out at him.  Next make I will start with 3/4 tsp of rennet, hopefully that will get me reasonable floc time.

Pictures later maybe.


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Offline bbracken677

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Re: First Stilton approximation
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2012, 09:06:30 AM »
Am a novice, so my 2 cents worth is just that : )

Perhaps you should increase your starter, particularly if using Pasteurized milk. From all I have read, as well as experienced, raw milk has more of the bacterial agents at the start than does pasteurized. Could the recipes you are using be designed for use with raw milk?

I know that I have made feta with store bought pasteurized/homogenized milk and I used the prescribed amount of starter culture and also added some morge. It seemed that when I use raw milk the whole process seems a bit more "active".

If you try increasing your starter, then dont increase your rennet application. I am always of a mind to make one change at a time, then you will firmly know what the cause/effects are.

Offline BobE102330

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Re: First Stilton approximation
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2012, 10:19:32 AM »
Thanks, I was thinking along that line if adding a little extra rennet didn't get me reasonable floc times.

Offline BobE102330

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Re: First Stilton approximation
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2012, 06:39:25 AM »
Hurray! It is turning blue.  It feels like I got the curds a little too hard before molding, it doesn't really want to spread to fill gaps.  It's a learning process, right?
Fuzzy picture of blue fuzz

Offline H-K-J

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Re: First Stilton approximation
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2012, 09:20:53 AM »
WOW!! can't believe the Blue you have showing all ready :o
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Offline BobE102330

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Re: First Stilton approximation
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2012, 08:13:45 PM »
12 hours later it's really taken off.  Not particularly pungent (yet), but the mold I used to start this seems pretty aggressive.  It's in a 70 degree room for now.

It's pretty obvious that I let the curds get too dry before molding - lots of spaces and they are too tough to spread.  Ideas for aging now?  A natural rind will get pretty deep into the cheese.  I can always make another and use some newer curd to fill the holes. Or should I just give it a couple weeks in the cave and vacuum bag it? 

My blue cheese loving cat forced her way past me to check out this cheese.

« Last Edit: August 09, 2012, 08:21:43 PM by BobE102330 »

Offline JeffHamm

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Re: First Stilton approximation
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2012, 02:01:25 AM »
Hi Bob,

You can put a knife in hot water to heat it up to aid in spreading out the surface.  The one attempt at a blue I've made also had a very aggressive mould.  Nice that you've got two of them.  I would test one at 40 days. 

- Jeff
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Offline BobE102330

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Re: First Stilton approximation
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2012, 07:48:24 AM »
Thanks Jeff.  I am so glad that this isn't the aggressive blue that I found in my basement.  I lost a few cheeses to that one. 

Offline H-K-J

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Re: First Stilton approximation
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2012, 08:17:58 AM »
Hi Bob,
You can put a knife in hot water to heat it up to aid in spreading out the surface. . 
- Jeff


I tried to do that on one of my cheese, I thought it was a pain, and now I just hand rub them,
I did rub my 5 gallon cheese last night and will be posting pix' later today.
were yours is that dry the hot knife sounds like the way to go, still can't get over how blue it is :P
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Offline Boofer

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Re: First Stilton approximation
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2012, 08:57:09 AM »
Thanks Jeff.  I am so glad that this isn't the aggressive blue that I found in my basement.  I lost a few cheeses to that one.
OMG, sounds like some kind of cheese Boogeyman living down there.  :o

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Offline BobE102330

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Re: First Stilton approximation
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2012, 09:18:54 AM »
That's a pretty good description.  I missed a rind wash by going away a weekend and despite removing the mold, the cheeses had a distinct to overwhelming taste of moldy basement. 

The feel of the mold fuzz was deceiving.  A light touch with a hot knife made things smooth out nicely.  Into the cave with you...


Offline H-K-J

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Re: First Stilton approximation
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2012, 10:25:15 AM »
Ahhhh, That looks much nicer good job ;)
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Offline bbracken677

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Re: First Stilton approximation
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2012, 12:25:26 PM »
wow...those look amaaazing!

Offline BobE102330

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Re: First Stilton approximation
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2012, 02:16:18 PM »
Here we are at two weeks old.  It was pierced 5 days ago, I think the skewer I used was too small.  Will pierce again in a week with a bigger knitting needle.




Offline BobE102330

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Re: First Stilton approximation
« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2012, 06:51:13 PM »
Now at three weeks, it is starting to look like a Stilton.  Pierced again with a larger skewer a few days ago.  Eagerly awaiting the first taste.  I want to try to wait for 60 days or more, but may not be able to stand it.