Inspired by iratherfly’s excellent Reblochon recipe and Boofer’s great pictorials, this looked like a cheese I needed to try.
I used about 3½ Gallons of Brown Swiss cream-line milk (That’s all the room I have in my 4 gallon pot). I don’t have many choices here in Montana, so hopefully this will work OK. Per the recipe, I added half the Flora Danica dose to the chilled milk the day before. (1/16 tsp)
9:15 After heating the milk to 94 degrees I checked the pH and pitched the cultures and CaCl. pH was low at 6.58. I don’t know if there was a problem with the milk or if the pre-inoculation had started bringing the pH down. Since it started so low, I wanted to make sure the cultures were actually starting to work, so I opted for a target pH for renneting of 6.51. Just a bit below the suggested pH of 6.55.
10:46 Stirred in 1 tsp diluted calf rennet. Top stirred for another minute. Flocculation happened at 7 minutes. With a 2.5 floc multiplier, total time to cut was 17:30.
First cut was to ¾ inch with a 5 minute rest. Second cut with a whisk to ¼ inch with another 5 minute rest. Curds were then stirred for 10 minutes and drained to about 1 inch above curd level and wet-scooped into molds. PH at drain was 6.43, pretty much on target. I need to work on my ¼ inch whisk cutting.
12:00 Started pressing with 3 pounds weight per mould. pH at ½ hour was 6.22 pH at 1½ hours was 5.86. pH at 3 hours was 5.44. The fast acidification was probably due to the 74°F room temperature. Unfortunately, that was my only choice at the time.
This is where I think I had a severe brain cramp and probably made the wrong choice. I decided to put the moulded cheeses into the yeasting “room” and turned the temperature down from 62 to 60, hoping that would slow down acidification. Unfortunately, at midnight the pH was 5.05 when I finally salted the cheeses with 1.8% salt by weight. In retrospect, it might have been better to just salt them after 3 hours of pressing. Oh well. It’ll probably still be some kind of cheese.
Average weight of the 4 cheeses was 535 grams.
This morning I turned the yeasting room temperature back up to 62°F and will flip them often while waiting for Geo bloom. I’ll make my morge wash tomorrow.
Pictures to follow…