I made yesterday my first Gouda's using my new Extech PH100 meter. I used the recipe from Linuxboy's site (thanks again LB!) almost unaltered, but had quite different readings, so I'm very curious would could be the reason for these deviations..
20 ltr of raw milk, fat 4.12%, PH 6.65
because it was raw milk I used a bit less culture:
1/4 tsp mix of Lactococcus Cremoris, Lactococcus Lactis, Lactococcus Diacetilactis and Leuconostoc Cremoris
1/8 tsp mix of 80% Lactococcus lactis und Lactococcus cremoris and 20% Streptococcus thermophilus
1 1/2 tsp liquid calf rennet
Picked up the milk during milking time and waited until it cooled down to 31C/87.8F
Added culture, after 45 minutes PH 6.59
added dissolved rennet @10:05, flocc point @10:30, so 25*3 = 75, cut at 11:20.
After cutting, healing and stirring at 12:00 (so after 40 minutes), it was still PH 6.52 instead of 6.4-6.45
I did the washing according to the recipe and I liked the way it is done in 3 stages (I used to wash baby Gouda only once) but overhit the target temp and came out on 39C/102.2F. PH was still at 6.43.
After draining the curd I added a mix of herbs.
Started pressing at 13:30, flipped them at 14:00 PH6.29, flipped them at 15:10 PH 5.95 and removed them from the press at 17:30 PH 5.45.
I was using 2 Kadova 2lbs moulds, first press as usual with 5KG and after that with 10KG which gives a nice closed rind.
Brined them for 6 hours in a fresh 20 Baume brine which had a PH of 4.95.
Of course I calibrated my ExStik before starting this batch. I rinsed it with warm water after every use and stored it between use in distilled water.
After use I regularly crosschecked the ExStik in a PH 7 solution.
Like I said, I'm wondering what caused the deviations: Is it the influence of the higher fat% that the recipe called for, did I use too less culture?
I hope to learn from this. On the other hand, I'm pretty sure the cheeses will turn out fine