Yesterday morning picked up my first ever batch of raw goats milk, from the previous nights milking. Gear all sterilised and ready to go as soon as I got home. I'd been trying to decide what to make, then I read Brad Kessler's Goat Song so it had to be a Tomme. I checked the very long and interesting thread here and the WACheese site and followed Pav's recipe as best I could.
Warm and overcast day, top temp. 27oC. Storms threatening but never eventuated. Altitude 1000m.
8l raw goats milk, heated to 33.3oC (overshot the target of 32.1oC, should have let it cool down a bit I guess).
12:30pm added 1/4 tspn. Cheeselinks meso B (LL,LLD,LLB) and 1/8 tspn. Cheeselinks thermo E (ST) (instructions are MA4000 which I don't have, this combination seemed the closest, guessed the proportions). Ripen 30 minutes.
1:03pm added 1/2 tspn. CaCl diluted and 0.8ml DS calf rennet, diluted.
1:17 flocculation. (May have occurred earlier - checked at 1:13, then was distracted for several minutes). Multiplier 3.
1:48 Cut curd. Curd very firm. Tried for 1/4" cubes. Cut vertically, left to rest for a minute or two, then used my monster whisk, gently drawing it up from the bottom (as suggested I think by Jeff). Rested 5 minutes.
Then heated a little, but temp. still 33oC, and target over 15 minutes was 33.3oC (=92oF) Stirred gently. Bit surprised that the whey was quite milky despite the firmness of the curd.
Drained off 1 1/2l. whey, replaced with water at 54oC, stirred 10 minutes, drained aff another 1 1/2l whey, replaced with warm water, reached target of 38oC (first time I've managed to reach the target temp. with exactly the right amount of replacement water)
Lost track of the time, but at
2:45 all the whey drained off, drained curd into a chux-lined colander, then packed into the hoop under whey.
2:55 redressed and turned
4:30 ditto (all without any weight. Noted that Caldwell (great book, received this week) suggests a light weight, about half the weight of the cheese after a hour)
Now a decision point. Pav's instructions are to press overnight (I'm assuming still without a weight). By bed time (10:30) it had been pressing for
almost 8 hours. Campbell suggests pressing 4-8 hours. Decided to proceed to brining.
5:45am today. Took out of brine.
6:45am weighed - 763gr. Photo below.
So, a couple of questions.
(1) The yield is much lower that I've had with cows milk. These are Saanens, who I know have a lower solid component that the cows milk I use, which is 4.8% fat, 3.8% protein and 4.5% carbohydrate, so that might explain it. However, the whey (even that drained off at the end, which was diluted by quite a lot of water) is very milky. Is this typical of goats milk cheese or is there somewhere I could improve my technique?
(2) Lots of recipes say to press or drain overnight. But the time at which you start to make the cheese makes a huge difference to this timing. Would I be right in assuming that 'press/brine overnight' equates to about 8 hours pressing/brining?
(3) And, following on from (2), did I press long enough? The cheese felt quite firm, the surface seemed to have knitted well, although you can see from the photo that's it's not particularly smooth. Maybe a light weight would have been indicated. Brining was certainly long enough, maybe a bit too long - Campbell (already my cheese bible!) says 3-4 hours per pound. This would mean about 6 hours for this make.
(My apologies that the photo is not very sharp)