It was the best of times, it was the

~~worst~~ best of times!

I did some research before this make, involving long strolls through the Hard Cheddared portion of the forums as well as Pav's website. This recipe is, more or less, an adaptation of Pav's recipe for Cheddared Curds from his website, along with a recipe that Dthelmers developed from the same source. It seems the theory is to achieve a slow ripening phase to develop a more flavorful curd. The adaptation takes it a bit further to produce a shorter ripening cheese, one that can achieve a sharp flavor in much less time. I have made 2 using the following recipes, one which will be eaten sooner (a month?) and the other will age out a few months. The make notes below are from the 1st & 2nd make...

Later I will make another cheddar using Boofer's recipe, which strives to slow down the acidification to achieve a cheese that should age gracefully over an even longer period. That will be next

Cheddar Cheese: 1st Make

FARMHOUSE CHEDDAR

(Dave/Pav’s recipe)(short affinage)

pH Targets:

starting pH: 6.7

rennet: 6.4

drain, cut and stack curds: 6.0

salt curds: 5.5

press: 5.1

Ingredients:

2 gallons of whole raw milk

1/16th teaspoon MM100 (or Flora Danica)

1/8th teaspoon MD89

1/8th teaspoon of Streptococcus Thermophilus (TA61/62)

1/4th teaspoon of liquid calf rennet dissolved in 1/4th cup of cool filtered water

1.5 oz. of kosher salt

1) Heat the milk to 76ºF, add mesophilic cultures and let rehydrate 2 minutes before stirring.

2) Maintain heat and let ripen (target pH=6.4, this took 3.5 hours).

3) Slowly increase temperature to 92ºF and add Su Casu. Let ripen for a half hour.

3) Added rennet. Flocc was 11 minutes x 3 = 33 …cut curds at rennet + 33 minutes.

4) Cut curd into 3/8 inch cubes and let rest 15 minutes.

5) Increase temp to 102 degrees, taking 20 minutes (hit 102.8 )

6) Remove whey down to level of curds. Whey pH= (maintaining 102F) )—pH target 6.0 for drain

7) Drain curds in cloth/colander, applying pressure to form curd mass, which is then cut into ½ inch slices.

8 ) Stack curds in pot, maintaining some warmth, restacking every 10 minutes. Target pH=5.5

9) Cut into ½ inch cubes, toss with salt and hoop-gouda mold. -pH at hooping 5.1

10) Place mold in press and press at 50-60 lbs for 30 minutes.

11) Flip and resume 50-60 lbs pressing for another 30 minutes.

12) Flip and press at 85 lbs. Flip again after a few hours and resume 85 lbs. overnight.

13) Remove from mold and let dry a couple/three days flipping a couple times per day.

Age in the cheese cave.

2nd make:

2 gallons raw milk, pH=6.75

¼ tsp. ALP D (note: 2nd make made in pot with remnants (tablespoon or2) of whey from a previous make-Feta)

¼ tsp. single strength liquid veal rennet diluted in ¼ cup water

1.5 ounces salt

1) Warmed milk to 90 degrees (hit 90.8F (11:40 AM)), added cultures and let rehydrate 2 minutes before stirring.

2) Maintained heat and let ripen (target pH=6.4, this took a couple of hours).(12:40 pH=6.6, 1:56PM pH= 6.4)

3) Added rennet @ 1:59PM . Flocc was 9 minutes x 3 = 27…cut curds at rennet +27= 2:26PM. Actual cut=2:29PM

4) Cut curd into 3/8 inch cubes and let rest 15 minutes.

5) Increased temp to 102 degrees (hit 105.6) over 45 minutes. Stir gently periodically (every 10 minutes or so) —pH target 6.15 (took 30 minutes to get to the pH target, even before I hit the temp target).

6) Removed whey down to level of curds. Whey pH=6.0 (maintaining 102F)

7) Drained curds in cloth/colander, applying pressure to form curd mass, which was then cut into ½ inch slices.

Stacked curds in pot, maintaining some warmth, restacking every 10 minutes. Target pH=5.3-5.7 (actual 5.4)

9) Cut into ½ by 2 inch pieces, tossed with salt and hooped-gouda mold. -pH at hooping 5.1-5.5 (actual 5.1)

10) Placed mold in press and pressed at 50-60 lbs for 30 minutes. (4:00PM)

11) Removed from whey, flipped and resumed 50-60 lbs pressing for another 30 minutes. (4:30PM)

12) Flipped and pressed at 85 lbs. Flipped again at 10PM and resumed 85 lbs. overnight

Yield at unmolding 1 lb. 13 oz. and 1 lb. 15 oz.

The 2nd one (pictured) is my best knit yet...getting a better handle on the pressing process. Even though I did make a different cheddar than planned for the 2nd make.