Author Topic: Totally intimidated by my cheese!  (Read 622 times)

Offline waterdalemama

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Totally intimidated by my cheese!
« on: December 21, 2012, 10:17:31 AM »
I made a big approx. 10 lb. cheese a week or so ago. It isn't exactly cheddar...but similar. I don't know what to do with it! I set it out on the counter after pressing to dry and it wouldn't dry.....and we live in a very dry climate and heat with a wood stove. Then after two days on the counter I realized I had mice in some of my cabinets so I covered the cheese that night with a big pot just to make sure it was safe. When I uncovered it in the morning it smelled totally different than it had.

So I put it in the fridge...thought maybe it was too hot in our house. I put it on a tray on plastic mesh and put a big bowl over it.....hoping it would dry some more. Later when I went to turn it over there was so much condensation on the bowl that it had dripped on the cheese, so I wiped it off and dried the bowl. Then I left it all for a week because I was so at a loss to know what to do with it. I didn't want to wax it if it was so wet....it is still wet on the bottom every time I turn it over.

When I looked at it a few days ago it was getting orange stuff on it! I washed it off last night with vinegar....I guess that might have been fine mold, but I wasn't planning on it being a Muenster cheese.

Should we just eat it without aging? How can I age it if it keeps staying so wet? It does smell a bit funny, but I'm not real familiar with artisan cheese, so it might be perfectly normal.

Offline waterdalemama

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Re: Totally intimidated by my cheese!
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2012, 09:02:27 PM »
Well, I cut it and it smells good inside and tastes pretty good, too. I think we'll eat it!  8) It doesn't melt very well and its pretty moist......but we can use it on sandwiches and the children liked it so they can have chunks for their snacks sometimes.

Maybe I should do smaller cheeses until I can figure out how to deal with them better. I did a 6 gal. Derby cheese earlier this week.....hope it turns out good! Our cow just gives so much milk I have to make big cheeses to keep up with her.

Offline JeffHamm

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Re: Totally intimidated by my cheese!
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2012, 08:02:57 AM »
Try caerphilly.  It's ready in 3 weeks and will give you practice in the skill set required for cheddar types.  There are lots of makes posted here on the forum with detailed instructions.  Just a recommendation, also based on the fact that I really like caerphilly. :)

- Jeff
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Offline margaretsmall

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Re: Totally intimidated by my cheese!
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2012, 03:24:04 PM »
Yes, I agree with jeff, try something easier to start with. You say you put it in the refrigerator, you need to put it somewhere a bit warmer to mature, with a temperature around10oC. Cheeses often keep losing moisture for some time, so don't be alarmed by that. Just mop it up. The appearance of mold is pretty common too. In fact I long to make a cheese with a pristine rind as some forum members seem to be able to achieve. Lucky you having a liberal source of milk (but then again you are doing the milking so you earning it!)
Margaret

Offline Boofer

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Re: Totally intimidated by my cheese!
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2012, 05:08:49 PM »
My vote is to do multiple smaller cheeses. 10 gallons could instead create two 3-gallon cheeses and one 4-gallon cheese. A lot of the recipes you may find deal with these sizes. The smaller cheeses would be easier to fit into ripening boxes and/or into whatever you have for a cave.

So that you don't have the predicament of having too many cheeses to eat all at once, the smaller cheeses could be aged out six months or longer.

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