Author Topic: Pepper Jack #1  (Read 1053 times)

Offline Mike Richards

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: colorado springs, co
  • Posts: 446
  • Cheeses: 19
Pepper Jack #1
« on: December 23, 2012, 10:58:19 PM »
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

pH control chart

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. 

cutting the curd

My little helpers doing their part.

my little helpers

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.

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.

Piperleigh
If only I could make cheese as well as I grow a mustache...


Guests, join the CheeseForum.org community to remove this ad.


Offline tnbquilt

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: McDonough GA
  • Posts: 323
  • Cheeses: 13
Re: Pepper Jack #1
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2012, 10:03:30 AM »
What type of container is that you are making your cheese in? You can get 4 gallons of milk in it I want to look into getting one. I use a 5 gallon pot sitting in the sink and I pour hot water in the sink to heat it.

I put 1 tbs of chopped jalopeno's in my pepper jack, along with 1 tbs of red pepper flakes. I boil the red pepper flakes in 1/2 cup of water, and I put the chopped jalopeno's in a bowl and cover them with whatever salt I plan on putting in my cheese. I read on a forum somewhere that you needed to salt the fresh vege's to keep them from molding so I do. I guess I could boil them, but I haven't.

I think that the red pepper flakes add the heat to the cheese and the jalopeno's just give it a little flavor and kick.

Lovely family. Two boys and a girl. One little boy is red headed, is the other one? I couldn't tell from the light, but he looks a little more blond. My daughter has beautiful red hair, and my son has a dirty blond hair with a bright red beard. The little girl is lovely in her little Christmas dress.

I hope your family has a nice Christmas and congratulations on the new daughter.
Tammy

Offline bbracken677

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Dallas, Tx
  • Posts: 1,166
  • Cheeses: 16
  • I love me some cheese!
Re: Pepper Jack #1
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2012, 10:07:53 AM »
She is adorable!  You deserve a cheese just for the new addition alone!    :)

Awesome looking cheese too...looks incredibly tasty!

Question about the chart....are the plot points from previous makes as well? You mentioned the other recipes...

Offline Al Lewis

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Port Orchard Washington
  • Posts: 1,122
  • Cheeses: 38
Re: Pepper Jack #1
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2012, 10:27:18 AM »
Adorable baby!  Now that's a Christmas present worth having!!  Hey Mike, have you considered adding a weight scale to your press?  Easily done with that design.

Offline Mike Richards

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: colorado springs, co
  • Posts: 446
  • Cheeses: 19
Re: Pepper Jack #1
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2012, 11:27:56 AM »
Thanks for commenting on the baby, everyone.  We like her.

Tammy--The "vat" is an electric turkey roaster.  I got the roaster, and the other components to make a controlled vat, but whenever I've had time to mess with getting it all set up, I, instead choose to make another cheese.  Someday.... In the mean time, I just use the control knob on the roaster to control the temperature--turn it up when I want it warmer, turn it off when it's where I want it.

I've got 3 boys--1 brown, 1 blonde, and 1 red.  We had a daughter with black hair, but she passed away.  This girl's hair is a strawberry blonde, as best as we can tell.  We like all the colors. :)

bbracken--The chart has the recipes I mentioned, and then the data from this make (labeled "mine")--I considered scanning in the printed chart that I actually write my points on, but the scanner is hiding out in the garage and I didn't want to bother going to get it, so I just plotted them in excel.

Al--I have thought about putting a scale on it, but in truth, I'm never terribly concerned with the pressing force (maybe I should be?).  The times I've wanted to be more precise, I've just pulled out a ruler.  I get 50 lbs/inch from each spring up to 2 inches of deflection.  I just noticed your retired AF signature.  What did you do? I've got an MS in Nuc Eng from AFIT.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2013, 06:04:18 PM by Mike Richards »
If only I could make cheese as well as I grow a mustache...


Guests, join the CheeseForum.org community to remove this ad.


Offline Al Lewis

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Port Orchard Washington
  • Posts: 1,122
  • Cheeses: 38
Re: Pepper Jack #1
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2012, 11:33:47 AM »
My Air Force career had nothing to do with my present job.  I had several jobs there ranging from security forces sniper to vehicle maintenance supervisor to unit historian. LOL Now I design and build custom machines and tooling to repair and refuel our subs and carriers at PSNS.  I'm sure you can appreciate the intricacies that involves.  That's about as much as I talk about it outside of work though.

Offline Mike Richards

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: colorado springs, co
  • Posts: 446
  • Cheeses: 19
Re: Pepper Jack #1
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2012, 11:44:53 AM »
Al, that's cool.  Your AF career sounds like it was interesting (at least, at times :) ).  I can imagine your current job requiring pretty skilled folks.
If only I could make cheese as well as I grow a mustache...

Offline Al Lewis

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Port Orchard Washington
  • Posts: 1,122
  • Cheeses: 38
Re: Pepper Jack #1
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2012, 01:27:41 PM »
Yeah, I'm not sure they have any of us anywhere else.  It's definitely fun and different. ;D

Offline tnbquilt

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: McDonough GA
  • Posts: 323
  • Cheeses: 13
Re: Pepper Jack #1
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2013, 11:58:04 AM »
I bought me one of those turkey roaster /  cheese vat things. It is great. I have used it twice for cheese and controlling the temperature is so much easier than the the way that I was doing it.  It's also easier to heat up the curd in 30 minutes than it was. I was using the sink as a double boiler and pouring water in it. I had it figured out, but now I don't have to keep a pot of boiling water going all of the time.
Tammy

Offline Mike Richards

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: colorado springs, co
  • Posts: 446
  • Cheeses: 19
Re: Pepper Jack #1
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2013, 01:45:28 PM »
That's great!  I've been very happy with mine, though I'm now dreaming of making a bigger vat that would work similarly.  I just spoke with a guy from our health department, though, and it looks like it will be a bit harder to make a vat that I could actually use to make cheese to sell.  That's not part of the plan in the near future, but maybe someday.
If only I could make cheese as well as I grow a mustache...


Guests, join the CheeseForum.org community to remove this ad.


Offline scasnerkay

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Sunnyvale, California
  • Posts: 329
  • Cheeses: 51
  • Default personal text
Re: Pepper Jack #1
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2013, 05:24:00 PM »
Mike, what brand is that roaster, and what is the material on the inside? Is it durable enough for the low pH from the cheese? I imagine it lifts out for cleaning? I have never heard of such a thing as an electric roaster, but I am intrigued. If you are bringing it up to temperature, say 86 degrees, at what temp do you have to turn it off in order to have it stop at the correct temp? Likewise when cooking the curd do you have to turn it on and off to get the temp where you want it slowly like?
Susan

Offline Mike Richards

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: colorado springs, co
  • Posts: 446
  • Cheeses: 19
Re: Pepper Jack #1
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2013, 06:02:55 PM »
It's an Oster roaster...hehe.  Here.

I got it to do this, but every time I've had time to work on the programming of the PID, I choose instead to make cheese...

The metal is coated in enamel.  It handles the acidity just fine.  The inner vessel does lift out.  Once I get the control taken care of, the temperature will take care of itself.  For now, I just turn the temp up (it doesn't really matter where I turn it to... because it works by cycling itself off and on to maintain a temperature) when I want to raise the temperature, and I turn it off when I get where I want to be.  Because I'm doing 4 gallons, it's got a pretty sizable thermal mass so the temperature doesn't drop much while I'm making cheese.  When cooking the curd, I typically cycle it on and off to slowly raise the temp.  I think I do 1.5 - 2 minutes of heat for each 5 minutes to get 2 degrees every 5 minutes...if that makes sense.

My only complaint so far is that there are some minor defects in the enamel on the underside of the inner vessel.  This wouldn't be a probelm for roasting, but since I use mine as a double boiler (I put water in the inner vessel), and so those minor defects have allowed the bottom to rust a little bit (like pin-hole size spots).  If I ever think to do it when it's convenient, I think I could just put some fingernail polish over it to seal it up.  But, I'm not that worried about it.

Hope that helps.
If only I could make cheese as well as I grow a mustache...