Hi Herman!! How nice to see that you've posted about making Valencay because I started a make of that last night!! What is it they say? great minds think alike??
Are you using a particular recipe? I am loosely using Peter Dixon's recipe....I am doing some things differently and his recipe is for a whole class of French lactic type goat and cow cheeses so not specific in much detail. I don't have a pH meter so I am winging it. he gives different amount of cultures depending upon how long you want the ripening phase to last. I chose the shortest ripening phase of 15-20 hours and now I am up before the sun (starting coughing....lung issue from some moldy clover hay in the barn) and drinking tea in the warm kitchen. I have put wood on the stove fire and all is quiet except for our refrigerator that sounds like it is powered by chipmunks. The cats have been fed and are looking out the windows at the snow falling outside.
Will you use pyramid molds? I have 3 from Yoav and I'm using a lot of other molds too. I have 2 1/2 gallons of milk and it's high in solids so I expect a lot of cheese from it. My plan is to put some leaves on them just after ashing them, while they are still wet, so that the leaves stick. I use leaves that have been frozen and thawed so that they are more flexible.
I used MM100, Geo 13, PC SAM(which is an anti Mucor type that a home cheese making cheese place carried and I am trying to use it up before I use my better PC), and I added a little bit of MD88 which I hope might add a buttery flavor by it's action. It is not an acidifying culture itself, it is diacetylactis which is in the culture you used.
I don't know if I will pre-drain my batch. I may split the batch and pre-drain some and not the other. I would like to pre-drain the curd I will put in the pyramid molds because that will make a difference....especially since I can't wait around to keep adding curds the way my recipe says. (and how does that work anyway....isn't the curd continuing to acidify as you wait for room to ladle it into the molds?).
The other molds I have won't matter if I fill once. I have to go milk goats and then clean stalls so I won't be able to do anything for my make for hours once I leave the house this morning.
I sure hope you are going to post photos as you unmold and age your cheese! I'll enjoy comparing our makes.
Have you pre drained before? And how was it putting pre drained curd into molds? I've wondered whether it will be like smooshing cream cheese into a mold....and whether it will form a cohesive shape after that.
The dark sky has lightened to gray now........bye.