Author Topic: Emmentaler lets try this again  (Read 11834 times)

Offline Boofer

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Re: Emmentaler lets try this again
« Reply #15 on: October 29, 2012, 08:42:30 AM »
Press for 5 minute under warm whey
Press for 10 minutes under warm whey
Press for 20 minutes under warm whey
Press for 45 minutes under warm whey
Press for 1 hour under warm whey
Press for 2 hours, probably don't need whey by this point as curd should be well knit.
Press for 4 hours,
Press overnight.
Wouldn't the overnight pressing result in a cheese too acidic? Seems like that would be more appropriate for the 30 pound wheels. My limited experience dealing with 4 pound wheels has been to press until pH 5.3-5.4 which occurs in under 8 hours.

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Re: Emmentaler lets try this again
« Reply #16 on: October 29, 2012, 09:07:36 AM »
Alpkäserei, thank you for such an in depth answer, 8)
I do anticipate at least a 5 lb wheel, so I should press with 40 lb's all of the time?
Quote
First cut into big chunks, then stir this with a small bowl in such a way as to pull the bottom chunks up so they can be cut (with the bowl) to the same size.

I am not sure how I would do this in a 5 gal pot (will have to think on that)

Boofer I don't own a PH meter :-[ (one day I hope)

Such great input thanks guy's ^-^

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Offline bbracken677

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Re: Emmentaler lets try this again
« Reply #17 on: October 29, 2012, 09:39:56 AM »

Wouldn't the overnight pressing result in a cheese too acidic? Seems like that would be more appropriate for the 30 pound wheels. My limited experience dealing with 4 pound wheels has been to press until pH 5.3-5.4 which occurs in under 8 hours.

-Boofer-

At which point it goes into the cave, correct? How can you check the pH of the cheese once it stops draining whey? I think you have a similar pH meter as mine, which works great for liquids, but measuring a solid is another story.

Offline Alpkäserei

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Re: Emmentaler lets try this again
« Reply #18 on: October 29, 2012, 01:23:45 PM »
IF you continue to press with no heat loss (i.e. under whey) then it will continue to increase in acidity. But if you press at at room temp for this period, perhaps not.

It might not be necessary to press it as long with a 4# wheel, as it will be easier to knit the curd. But with a big wheel, you have to press it a long time especially if you want good big eyes. The curd has to be thoroughly fused together, and the best way of doing this is with moderately heavy weight over a long time. The size and quality of your eyes is directly related to how well you pressed it. You can only get the 1" eyes which are the standard of Emmental Schweiz AOC with a very thoroughly pressed cheese. Otherwise, you get a lot of smaller, scattered eyes. (The large eyes are the standard because they are a measure of how well the cheese is pressed, which has a lot to do with the texture of the cheese)

During pressing, scale should have little to do with acidification (actually, if you do things right, scale should have little to do with it period, but it does inasmuch as on a smaller scale it is harder to be precise with rennet and culture) What matters here is heat loss. When pressing our big wheels, we keep them wrapped in a heavy towel for the first several hours so that the curd on the surface will be well knit. After this, it doesn't matter so much. The latter period pressings are uncovered (so it won't acidify) but are important to get a uniform cheese.

After pressing, an emmentaler should not go directly into the cave, it should go into salt brine which is at or below room temperature (55 degrees F is ideal). This brine not only hardens the rind and helps you in forming a good washed rind (which is how an emmentaler should be done) but it also stunts the acidification by cooling the cheese down.

As for not having a pH meter, look here: http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,10346.msg77268.html#new
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Offline Alpkäserei

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Re: Emmentaler lets try this again
« Reply #19 on: October 29, 2012, 09:11:27 PM »
In a 5 gallon pot, maybe you could use a tea saucer as your stirring tool (or 2 of them, 1 in each hand.) I would think that would work.

Just be sure and draw the chunks slowly.

If you decide to do it this way, here is how you proceed:

Take a long knife and carefully cut the curds in parallel lines about 1 to 1.5 inches apart. Then cut in parallel lines running crossways so that you have a checkerboard appearance on the top.

Now take your saucers, and carefully dip into the vat at the far edge, against the wall. Slowly draw toward you and this should pull up the bottom.

As the big chunks come up from the bottom, use your saucers to chop them into smaller pieces. Continue until all the pieces are 1-2 inch chunks and there are no bigger chunks remaining. When stirring, you might slightly change the point where you put the saucers in from time to time to ensure there are no pockets of big chunks trapped down there. 

This all should take a little over 5 minutes, maybe less with so small a cheese. Don't fret the timing, go slow. After the curd is in even chunks, continue to stir until the whey is no longer white (this is what you do lacking a pH meter. This is how I learned to do it. I never have measured the pH) Total, this should happen within 10 minutes of first cutting the curd. The whey should be a pale yellow, but not too yellow.

Once this has happened, take whatever tool it is you use to cut the curd (maybe a large whisk? I doubt you have a Swiss harp) and stir in a gentle 8-pattern. At the beginning, you can use more of a circular pattern but this is trickier, I recommend you use an 8-pattern. It should take you about 10 minutes to cut the curd down to final size, and using this pattern they should end up evenly sized. (Stirring the big cheese with a Swiss harp involves a lot of technique, it is really hard to describe and maybe wouldn't work as well in  a flat-bottomed pan) If your curd gets to final size and even size much faster than this, then you stirred it too aggressively.

After the curd is the size you want, take you saucers or a wide spoon and very gently stir for about 30 minutes. This we call brewing the curds (actually, in German we just call it Rühren, which means stirring) It is important that you do not let the curd come to rest (I don't know why some recipes say to do this, it is a bad practice) If you do, they clump and you will have to break them to get them apart again. keeping them gently stirred constantly will keep them from clumping, and keep them the size you want them.

Brewing the curds makes them strong and ripe, and prepares them for the scalding stage (in German, this is called vorkäsen). Now it is very important to keep them moving. As they heat up, they will want to stick fast to each other.

It is also imperative that the Vorkäsen be done in the proper amount of time, this is the number one determiner of the hardness and texture of the cooked Swiss cheeses. A little variation makes a lot of difference.

As a rule, I was taught that it should take as close to 40 minutes to reach the cooking temperature as you can possibly manage. This will take some practice, and is very difficult to get right the first time. I think maybe this step is easier to get right over a wood fire than it is on an electric or gas stove. If you get there too fast DO NOT continue cooking until the 40 minutes is over, you just need to remove the heat right away, and stir for maybe 1 or 2 minutes. When removing the curd, you need to be as fast as you can. On the Alp, we take a cheesecloth and with our arms dip in and remove the whole mass. It takes 2 or 3 times to get all the curd, and by the 4th time anything left is too hard to put into the cheese, and you just eat it right away.

Likely the biggest variation at the cooking stage is that an emmentaler will cook to a slightly lower temperature. We cook our hard alp cheese to 125 degrees, an emmental cheese is usually only cooked up to about 121 or 122 degrees. This makes our cheese a little drier, which also helps prevent the eyes from forming (we don't want the eyes)

There are a few option to customize the texture and character of your cheese. Do you want a true Swiss style Emmentaler? Then you want to make it hard and press it well to get very big eyes. Do you want a more American style Swiss? Then cook it to a little lower temperature, so it will be a bit softer and have smaller eyes.

The true Swiss style will age better, and an 18 month Emmentaler is a fantastic cheese (though not near as good as a 2 or 3 year Alpchäs) A more American style (softer) is more suited for a brief aging period (like 90 days). (There is a lot of opinion in this, I know)





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Re: Emmentaler lets try this again
« Reply #20 on: October 30, 2012, 11:30:09 AM »
Alpkäserei, you deserve a cheese for all this information, guidance,direction and help  :D
I am now taking in all of the information that all of you have shared and will go over it until I feel confident enough to attempt this cheese once again.
so this weekend (maybe?)

Thank you all again ;D

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Offline Boofer

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Re: Emmentaler lets try this again
« Reply #21 on: October 30, 2012, 01:35:33 PM »
I would agree...a cheese for really good detail.

Interesting idea with saucers to stir. I'll stick with my SS flat, perforated stir tool. Not sure what the real name is. I use it in much the same manner as described.

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Offline Alpkäserei

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Re: Emmentaler lets try this again
« Reply #22 on: October 30, 2012, 01:58:58 PM »
The tool we use looks like a dust pan (we jokingly refer to it as such) and it is shaped that way so that it draws the curd more effectively, and also can be used to skim the cream out of the Gäbse, the shallow pans where the milk is stored overnight. This tool is called a Kelle (or Chälle in Swiss German, with that wonderful Swiss front guttural)

Also before we first cut the curd into big chunks, we use this tool to skim off the very top from the cheese and turn it over, so that it won't dry out and set up more than the rest of the cheese. For your bitzli cheese, I am sure this is unnecessary. But for a 40 gallon cheese, it certainly makes a difference.

One more thing, when cutting and stirring the curd you will get small pieces of curd that float up to the top. These we call Wildchörnli or wild grains. The rest of the curd wants to settle to the bottom of the vat. The Wildchörnli should be removed. Take a small wire strainer and skim these out and throw them away. They are no good. There will only be a few, and maybe you will not have any (they do not always show up. I think maybe they are caused by foreign matter like ash that finds its way into the vat before the cheese is set up by the rennet)
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Offline Boofer

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Re: Emmentaler lets try this again
« Reply #23 on: October 31, 2012, 12:10:57 AM »
I think the dust pan is useful for larger kettles. I have seen it in use there. My kettle holds just 4 gallons so a dust pan would be like using a grenade to kill an ant. I've attached pics that show what I'm using to stir and turn the curds.

I'm afraid you've got me again: "bitzli cheese"?

Good idea about the "wild grains". I do get those regularly and have tried to either avoid them when I'm collecting whey for my whey-brine or try to scoop and toss them. A strainer would work a lot better to just clear them out. Thanks for that tip.

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Re: Emmentaler lets try this again
« Reply #24 on: October 31, 2012, 09:52:57 AM »
Great idea Boofer, I believe I will be out shopping for this Item today :)
anything that will help this make go in the right direction  :D
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Offline Alpkäserei

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Re: Emmentaler lets try this again
« Reply #25 on: October 31, 2012, 11:11:44 AM »
I'm afraid you've got me again: "bitzli cheese"?

Sorry, didn't even think about that one. I'm used to that word, around here everybody knows it. But maybe since most of the people I know also know a dialect of German...

The word means 'small' you might otherwise in English say bitty, or bitsy, or something like that.

Ya I know the Kelle would be a little much for a 5 gallon cheese, that's why I thought maybe saucers. What you have there would work too.
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Re: Emmentaler lets try this again
« Reply #26 on: November 01, 2012, 02:32:05 PM »
As I said I am reading all of this great information ^-^
in the process of trying to see it in my minds eye it wasn't getting very clear and Had some questions and started to search,
and everything Alpkäserei has tried to explain is in
this video

it may be I can't understand the language, I can understand what is happening,
now all I have to do is improvise and apply it to my bitzli cheese make ;)
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Offline bbracken677

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Re: Emmentaler lets try this again
« Reply #27 on: November 01, 2012, 03:44:26 PM »
So...what is he doing at 3:55? It appears the curds are not fully set, in fact they seem to be just beginning to set, yet he is doing something to them..later he cuts the curds (once set).

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Re: Emmentaler lets try this again
« Reply #28 on: November 01, 2012, 05:22:26 PM »
It is either what Alpkäserei called the first cut where you cut the curd in big piece's or where he said they cut the top off of the curd so it doesn't jell faster than the rest of the make, not sure but I think it is the first cut.
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Offline Alpkäserei

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Re: Emmentaler lets try this again
« Reply #29 on: November 01, 2012, 06:15:25 PM »
Yes that is a good video. Even though it is from Austria (so it is very hard for me to understand a lot of what he is saying) the process is very similar.

What you are asking about is the turning over of the cheese. The curd is set good, you do not want it to set until it is hard. That is the right time to begin cutting. As soon as the top is turned over, you cut coarsely. You see if you look close, the break is clean when he tests it with a knife (I always just use my finger) . But it is not set hard. This will cause problems if you set more than this (most people apparently make their emmentaler cheeses too hard, and this is probably why)

Here you can see everything well. He turns the top over and then cuts coarsely with the harp, then stirs with the Kelle to pull up the bottom, and then cuts again with the harp, all while watching the cheese to make sure the culture is working right. See how small he cuts the curd? You don't want that for a 5 pound cheese! Go much bigger.

Here is another video, though it doesn't show quite as much.
Alpkäse im Muotathal
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