I'm completely new to cheese making and have decided to jump right in at the deep end by making a blue as my first cheese.
My recipe is based on Mary Karlin's Artisan Cheese Making, loosely based on the Roquefort & Stilton recipes.
Heres the ingredients I used:
3 litres unhomogenised Jersey milk
300ml full cream
1.2 litres whole homogenised cows milk
3 tsp crumbled danish blue cheese
10g Freeze dried cheese culture
3 drops animal rennet in 1/4 cup water
1.5 tsp salt
I started by mixing the milk and cream in an enamel pot and heating to 32.5C & stirring in the culture & blue cheese.
I then let it rest for 30 mins before adding the rennet & stirring. I then maintained a temp of 32.5C for 1 1/2 hours.
By that point the curds had formed, so I cut them and let sit for 15mins.
Curds looked as follows:
I then stirred the curds for a few mins, the recipe in the book is a bit vague on this.
Then I spooned the cured into a cheese cloth.
The recipe said to hang for 30mins of until it stopped dripping. The dripping didnt really stop, so I left overnight.
Then I lined two molds with cheesecloth and lightly pressed cured into the molds to remove any gaps.
The mold then sat at room temperature to drain for about 24hours.
After that I took the cheeses out of the molds and flipped over and put back in for another 12 hours. They were quite firm by this point so held together fine as I handled them.
Next the cheeses were removed from the molds and cheese cloths and sprinkled the sale over them before putting in my "cheese cave".
This is a large Tupperware tub which is rested above several demijons of beer which are kept cool by a ice/waterbath.
I can measure the temp and RH of this tub, and for the first 24hours it was at about 15C and 95% RH.
For the last couple of days I've managed to drop the temperature to 13C, but the RH is still 95%, which I think is too high. I've been leaving the lid on because I thought that would keep the RH down compared to leaving it off surrounded by water and ice!
The cheese has started developing some blue and has a slight PR smell to it.
The only problem is that its also developing white mold on it. Is this normal? I think this may be due to the high RH? Is there anything to do to drop this down a bit? I think I need to get a dedicated cheese cave rather than relying on the homebrews ice waterbath.
It looks like this, you can make out the white mold forming and some patches of blue underneath. The cheese feels a bit rubbery to the touch, is that normal? I was expecting something a bit softer, will that change over time?
I have a few questions about places I might have gone wrong...
Firstly, should I have left the cheese out at room temperature to develop blue before putting in the cheese cave?
Should I have poked holes before putting in the cheese cave? The roquefort recipe in the book reckoned I poke then a week after being in the cave, but I've seen people of the net do the holes first...
Should I have used more salt? 1.5tsp didnt seem like very much!
Should I do something to stop the white mold?
sorry, so many questions!!
Any help and feedback is greatly appreciated!!