Author Topic: I think I might have just found the key to large nice eyes in a swiss cheese  (Read 2982 times)

Offline Likesspace

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Hi guys.
Since it's Saturday night (and since I'm a cheese geek) I had nothing better to do than search google for new ideas in making swiss cheese...
Well tonight, the absence of a "real" life finally paid off.
I found the following site that explains the process of forming real, nice big eyes in a swiss style of cheese and the entire secret seems to lie in pressing under the whey.
About halfway down on the page there are photos of swiss that is pressed under whey and swiss that is not. The examples that are NOT pressed under whey look exactly like what I experienced on my last (and best) attempt at a swiss.
Tomorrow afternoon I'm going to try a swiss that is pressed under whey. I really hope that this is the answer that I've finally been looking for with this variety.
Anyway, here's the site:
http://www.bioscience-explained.org/EN1.2/pdf/cheeseEN.pdf

Dave


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Offline Wayne Harris

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and i have nothing better to do than to read that doc.

BTW, i think that doc should be in the library... its a good doc.
Wayne A. Harris - in vino veritas

Offline Cartierusm

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I didn't read the whole thing but will tomorrow. Dave give me a short expanation about the reasoning behind pressing under whey. Next thing how are you going to do that? Do I have to make you a special attchment?LOL
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Likesspace

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Carter,
From what I understand, it's about keeping air out of the curd so that you get a very nice closed texture.
I've done a little more research and found that it's basically "pre-pressing" under the whey, for about 10 - 15 minutes.
After that the curd goes into your regular press in a solid mass.
I woke up this morning and started thinking about the process and decided I needed a plan of action before doing this. I think the key will be in picking up a hops bag to use for the whey pressing.
I'm hoping to take a deep stock pot and cover the bag of curds with the warm whey....just over the surface of the bag. Then place something (have no idea what just yet) over the bag and then stack some sort of weight (have no idea what just yet) on top of that.
Hopefully I have a pot that is deep enough and something that will act as a follwer that will fit into it.
It will probably be a few weeks before I can give this a try since I'm only making quick, easy cheeses over the next couple of weekends. I have way too much going on right now so I'll be limited in what I can do.
I'll figure it out, but if I don't I know this guy in the Bay area that can work out pretty much anything. :-)

Dave

Offline Cartierusm

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Hows the hop bag idea working. I even installed a pulley over my sink, it freakin' rocks. No more lifting, no more mess, no more gathering all the edges of cheese cloth. Actually I was so tired from my last batch with cheese cloth I didn't clean it and just threw it out. Plus the hop bags come in different sizes and the large would work for 25 gallons of curds and washes real easy. If you ever have trouble washing it take a 5 gallon bucket, turn it over and pull the hop bag over the bottom (which is now up) and use a garden hose with a sprayer. Dave is the proRobotic bacteria anarobic? If it is that makes sense.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.


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Offline Likesspace

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Carter, it's a great idea but I haven't had the chance to try it as yet.
I can't find my old hops bags and I haven't had the chance to order new ones.
I have no idea that it will be MUCH easier than trying to tie up a piece of cheesecloth. I'm looking forward to giving it a go once I get a couple of them in.

Dave

Offline Cartierusm

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I thought you mentioned it earlier? Oh well.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Likesspace

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Okay guys....
I've done a little more reading on this subject and I think I'm finally ready to give this method a try within the next three weeks or so (life is too busy to even think about it before then).
From what I have read, "pressing under the whey" can be performed as follows:

One the curd is cooked and is at the proper Ph, allow the curd to settle to the bottom of the pot for approx. 15 minutes. This will allow the curd to begin to mat together...
After that, drain off the whey to 2" above the level of the curd and then insert a suitable sized follower onto the top of the curd/whey mixture and add a weight that is equal to 1/2 of the approx. weight of the curd.
Once this is in place, press for 15 minutes to consolidate the curd into a firm mass.
Once this process is completed, remove the mass of curd from the whey and place it in a cheesecloth lined mold and press as per the recipe.

The one caveat is to make sure the follower is "drilled" to allow the whey to rise up over the top of the follower. I plan on cutting my follower out of a HDPE food grade cutting board to the inside diameter of my cheese pot. Then I'll simply drill several holes in the follower to meet the above requirements.
Even if it doesn't work it should still be fun.
And if it does work.........REAL EYES!!

Dave

Offline mcbethenstein

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Sadly every time I try to click on that link it does not work!....However I did try pressing my latest Swiss under whey. To do this I removed whey to about 2 inches above my curds after letting them set for 5 minutes, and since when I do a large batch for my 8-inch tome mold I have a 3-gal pot and a 4-gal pot...I poured the curds from my smaller pot into the larger pot. Then I placed the mold into the small pot and lined with cheesecloth. I did my best pouring and ladling the curds into my mold. At times I had to gather the cheesecloth and "press" everything together so I could fit the rest of my curds in. After the curds were in the mold and surrounded by whey, I added pressure. I wish I was a bit more scientific, but I just filled the other pot up with water to soak for washing and placed that on top of my follower...so as near as I can figure about 20 lbs. for about 15 minutes. After that I flipped the cheese and put it into my regular press, with my top weight being 75 lbs. My results: Although I just made this Thursday night and it is now Sunday, this is my best looking wheel so far. It is perfectly closed and feels real heavy for the size of it. I wonder if this technique will work for other types of cheese....Cheddar, Gruyere, Colby jack, etc. What do you guys think? I'll post a photo of it the next chance I get.
As a child my mom always asked if I wanted some cheese to go with my whine...it turns out yes.

Offline FarmerJD

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With Colby and cheddar you have to salt the curds without the whey so there can be no pressing under whey (at least with my recipe). But I thought about doing this next time i make Gouda.


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Offline Likesspace

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Hey guys, this is certainly a timely post.....
Tomorrow morning I plan to try yet another attempt at a swiss style of cheese.
I also plan to use the above procedure of pressing under whey.
The only other time I tried it, it was a total failure but I think my main problem was that I actually submerged my pressing mold under the whey and pressed.
In my opinion this "locked" the whey into the curd resulting in a very moist cheese that had an off smell/flavor after the sweating phase.
This time I will simply gather the curds under the whey and press. Then I will remove the curd from the vat and cut it into pieces that will fit in my mold (idea from Peter Dixon's site).
Of course I have no idea if this will work but I have found that even if a swiss does not form eyes it's still a really tasty and nice melting cheese. My entire family loves it so why not give it another try?
Mcbethenstein, please keep us updated on the wheel you've made.
I'm really hoping that someone can figure out the proper procedure to make this type of cheese work in the home environment.

Dave

Offline FarmerJD

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Mcbethenstein, what kind of molds did you use for this?

Offline DeejayDebi

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Sounds like things are looking good beth. and yes you can do  this with other wash rind cheeses.

Good luck!

Offline mcbethenstein

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I used an 8in tome mold (6 in high). I got it from dairy connection in Madison, WI. I'm curious to see if mine is too moist as well, but I only did the first 15 min under whey, it was not fully closed yet when I took it out, and then pressed the rest of the time normally (14-16 hrs). Right now it's still drying in the fridge. It will come out to sweat on Friday. The first Swiss I made was not pressed under whey, but is still bulging nicely and smells great... I just have to wait until January to try it!
As a child my mom always asked if I wanted some cheese to go with my whine...it turns out yes.

Offline Gürkan Yeniçeri

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McBethEinstein, that web site is updated and the new link is http://www.bioscience-explained.org/ENvol1_2/pdf/cheeseEN.pdf

It is good to learn the logic behind the steps of certain recipes. Thanks Dave for the tip.