Since seeing Pav's recipe at the Washington Cheese Guild site for fresh cheddar curd, http://wacheese.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=80:fresh-cheddar-curd-extended-shelf-life&catid=43:moderate-cook-temp&Itemid=66
I've been experimenting with pre-ripening pasteurized homogenized milk and making a basic cheddar. Following advice from this forum, I tried using a gallon of local pasture fed Jersey milk to three gallons of cheap store bought milk. I've made this cheese six or so times before with just P/H milk, and it was definitely eatable. Today I opened the first one I made with the 1:3 mix of raw to P/H milk. The make calls for pre-ripening the milk for about three hours with MM100, then adding Streptococcus Thermophilus and proceeding as for a thermo culture. My hope was that the long pre-ripening time would provide an environment where the native NSLABs would replicate into the P/H milk and make up for its deficits. the cheese I cut into today was one day short of three weeks old, and it met with great enthusiasm with the extended family. Two pounds disappeared in two hours. My family may be prejudiced in my favor, but friends of my niece and husband, who didn't know it was home made cheese, were raving about it.
This was a big success, and I owe it to the great advice and guidance I've gotten from this forum.
Pav, you made a lot of people you don't even know pretty happy today. Thank you.
Here's the make, and a picture.
1 Gallon of raw Jersey milk
3 gallons of P/H milk
¼ teaspoon MM100 or Flora Danica
¼ teaspoon of Streptococcus Thermophilus
1 teaspoon of liquid calf rennet dissolved in 1/2 cup of cold filtered water
1 teaspoon of calcium chloride (if using pasteurized homogenized milk)
2 tablespoons of kosher salt
Heat the milk to 76ºF and add MM100
Let ripen to pH 6.4, about 3 hours. It will smell buttery.
Increase temperature to 92ºF and add S. Thermophilus. Let ripen for a half hour.
Dilute the rennet and stir in for 30 seconds, about fifteen up and down strokes with a strainer.
If using the flocculation method, the multiplier is 3. Otherwise, check for a clean break at 30 minutes.
Cut the curd into 3/8” cubes and let rest for 10 minutes.
Heat to 102ºF taking 20 minutes to do it, stirring very gently at first, then more thoroughly as the curd hardens and shrinks.
Target drain is pH 6.0. If you’re not using a pH meter, this is when the curd really wants to mat and feels more solid, like well cooked scrambled eggs.
Drain through cheese cloth in a colander, lifting, turning and pressing the curd to get whey to flow out.
Gather up the corners of the cheese cloth and put in a mold and press at about 2 psi (light to medium pressure) for one hour.
Take out of the mold and tear into olive sized pieces. Toss with the salt, and place back in the mold and press at about 3.5 psi (heavy) over night.
Let air dry, turning over twice a day for several days until the surface feels like a clammy handshake.
Age in the cheese cave. Tastes OK at one week, better at two, better texture at 3.
The flavor of the raw milk came through loud and clear: a complex cheddar flavor, the texture just about exactly like Cabot from Vermont. How well does it age? we may never know. I vacuum sealed 1/2, but the other half is already gone, and the poor cheese may not last the weekend. I'll start another tomorrow, and try to get another going on Monday, and then my little dorm fridge/cheese cave will be full again.
Dave in CT