I waxed my first gouda today, my second cheese ever, after a reasonable queso fresco many months back. Again, thanks so much to everyone who posted their experiences, I tried to absorb it all....
I used the recipe from linuxboy's website, wacheese.com, but used 2 gallons(actually 8 litres, I'm in Canada).
Measuring 2/3 of 1/8 of a teaspoon(my smallest measuring spoon) for the cultures was less than accurate....
I used 7 litres of organic, whole(3.25%) pasturized, non-homogonized milk and 1 litre of skim. The recipe said whole milk was too much fat, but trying to calculate how much skim I needed to bring it down to a better percentage was beyond my ability to do in head while at the store...I just guessed 1 litre of skim would be ok.
I added 3/8 tsp CaCl2 to make up for the pasturization. Not in recipe, but I think that's right...?
Heated to 86deg
my cultures kind of clumped together, so they didn't sprinkle over the top as I've heard it described...
let them hydrate for 30 sec, stir
I let the milk ripen 45 min
I added 3/8 tsp of rennet in cold water - rennet was from glengarry cheese supply, bottle says 3/4 tsp for 13-15litres of milk
I thought that putting the pot in the sink with 86deg water surrounding would keep it from cooling too much, but at this point it had already cooled to 84deg. I added some hot water to the sink, but didn't measure after that. Better temp control next time...
floc time was around 8-9 min, cut at 27min - too quick? maybe too much ripening time?
cut and let heal 5 min
When I stirred I saw how terribly uneven my cutting was, lots of curds were way bigger than the rest. I tried to break them up as much as possible. I'll have to improve on my cutting...how?
stirred for 20min
washed the curds as directed
the temperature was now only 95deg, so I heated it on the stove. I overshot a bit and hit 103deg instead of 100-102.
The recipe said stir for 15-20 min until " The curds should mat together, but not be too soft and still retain their individual shapes" I was watching for this, but I don't really know what matting together looks like. The curds were staying separate because I was stirring...
I drained after 22 minutes of stirring.
I pressed under the whey and the cheese formed beautifully, except my follower, a lid from a stainless steel snack container, is a bit too small and not totally flat. So one side of the cheese got quite a raised edge and was bumpy on top from the lid and from the cheesecloth.
I took the cheese out and flipped it, redressed it in the mold, and pressed in my off the wall type lever press. Not sure about the weight, but my press is made of two 2 by 4s and is about 5 feet long. It's pretty heavy. The fulcrum is about a foot and a half in. I added a bottle of wine at the end for more weight, so a fair bit of pressure I'd guess.
Pressed overnight, about 9 hours.
Brined for 11 hours without flipping, as we were out for the day. I sprinkled salt over the top that was out of the brine. I made the brine with a gallon of whey and half of a 2.2 kg bag of pickling salt. I think that should be just over 2 pounds of salt.
I let it dry for 4 days, flipping whenever I thought of it, maybe 4-5 times a day.
I just finished waxing it, and boy is that wax slippery to hold when you're re-dipping!
Into the cave (wine fridge) at 50deg.... I hope it works out despite my variances from the recipe!
It's been about a year now since my first thoughts of making cheese, and many hours lurking on this forum made it a reality. I've got quite a ways to go in technique and equipment, but it really seems doable to make my own cheese. But I'm still nervous this gouda won't work out....I think I can last until Christmas to try it....