Today's cheese included a couple of new attempts.
First, I made a "bulk culture"--with about 1 cup of milk. I thought it would be interesting to see how it affect the cheese making experience. Doing so certainly made the ripening stage easy (there wasn't really much of one...).
Second, I made a pepper jack, which I haven't tried before.
4 gallons P/H skim milk
1 quart heavy whipping cream
1 tsp Japones peppers, crushed and boiled
1 tsp New Mexico peppers, crushed and boiled
1 tsp CaCl
~ 1 cup MM100 "bulk culture" coming in with a pH of 4.7
This is my pH control chart--the two recipes on there are Peter Dixon's (PD) and Gianaclis Caldwell (MAC).
Adding the culture dropped my pH from 6.74 down to 6.55, the pepper juice from boiling the peppers (which was strained, but still had some small pepper pieces in it) and the CaCl dropped it to 6.47.
[img width= height= alt=pepper juice in milk]http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc6/281783_268335713291876_725790055_n.jpg[/img]
11 minute floc, x3 multiplier.
My little helpers doing their part.
Washed with cold water at pH 6.2. This spiked my pH up to 6.4--makes me wonder if I ought to not use my tap water...
[img width= height= alt=washing the curd]http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc6/188702_268336049958509_942980146_n.jpg[/img]
Pressed in 4 stages.
[img width= height= alt=pressing]http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc6/281636_268336419958472_1875542905_n.jpg[/img]
Photo before final press.
Overall, things went pretty well. I was a little disappointed that I didn't detect much, if any, heat or pepper flavor in the curds. I'm hoping it'll show up after aging for a while. I'll first cut into this guy at a month, and then continue aging it until I decide to eat the rest.
And, because you made it this far, here's a picture of our daughter, Piperleigh, that was born on the 1st.