Author Topic: First (approx) Stilton!  (Read 5275 times)

Offline AndreasMergner

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First (approx) Stilton!
« on: December 27, 2012, 09:21:17 PM »
I used Pav's recipe.  I have a new pH meter so the pHs in the recipe are very helpful.

Used 4 gallons P/H milk and 1 pint heavy cream.  I don't have aromatic mesophilic starter yet, so used MA100 instead.  I also used a PR culture from a very nice blue that I bought a while ago. 

I'm glad I received the pH meter for Xmas since it took 2 hours and 12 minutes (!) to get to the target pH of 6.45, but my milk was at 6.73 when starting (have to look up if this is unusual). This was the first time I didn't get a short floc time.  I used 1/4 tab of rennet and it was 11 minutes.  I also usually use CaCl2, but wanted to try it without.  Seemed fine without it.

I tasted the curd after salting and it was really tasty....better than any of the few other cheeses I have made.  I could have eaten it as it was.  Salty, tangy and creamy.  I can't wait to taste it with the blue!  The curd seems to have good spacing as well, so I might be on target with the texture/moisture.

I made a hoop mold with stainless steel sheet I had.  Not sure if anyone has done that, but it was easy and the diameter is adjustable. Cheese measures 5.5" diameter x 6.5" high.  I was considering cutting it in half so that I have two 3.25" high wheels so I can fit it into a ripening container better.  Is that a good idea or no? 



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Offline Schnecken Slayer

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Re: First (approx) Stilton!
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2012, 09:27:02 PM »
I think Stilton is usually higher than it is wide. Also you will probably find the height drops over the next few days anyway.
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Offline H-K-J

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Re: First (approx) Stilton!
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2012, 10:02:20 PM »
so far so good  :P
looks like a good start, just follow pav's recipr can't go wrong  ::) :)
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Offline Al Lewis

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Re: First (approx) Stilton!
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2012, 10:10:19 PM »
Commercial stiltons are higher than they are wide but that is very difficult to achieve given our volumes of milk and molds.

Offline AndreasMergner

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Re: First (approx) Stilton!
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2012, 10:41:41 PM »
Sounds good.  I'll keep it whole and do the best I can with a ripening container. 

HKJ: can't go wrong -- famous last words. ;)  ha ha

I'm looking forward to when it starts looking scary!


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Offline sofusryge

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Re: First (approx) Stilton!
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2012, 03:41:31 AM »
Nice curds  ;D Looking forward to pics of the bluening.


Offline AndreasMergner

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Re: First (approx) Stilton!
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2012, 07:23:43 AM »
It has been in the mold for two and a half days now and the ends are almost dry. It didn't really drain a lot or settle at all. I'm wondering if I made it too dry..?  I'm thinking I should take it out of the mold and keep it at room temp for another few days with a container over it. What say you, my Stilton consults?

Offline george (MaryJ)

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Re: First (approx) Stilton!
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2012, 07:43:23 AM »
Keep it in the hoop.  The dry/moist will average out during the aging period - but if you have really low humidity right now (like me in my New England winter), you can put it in an aging container or whatever else - IN the hoop - as a hedge.  Just make sure the lid or whatever is at least cracked to allow for more air exchange, the blue won't do squat without some fresh air.   :)
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Offline AndreasMergner

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Re: First (approx) Stilton!
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2012, 08:00:38 AM »
I'm not too far from you in Albany, NY so I know all about low humidity too.  Actually, I was in Fall River and RI over the holiday weekend near you. 

I'll put the aging container over it.  I think it is a little short for the mold, so it will have plenty of airflow....except it is in a hoop without holes!  I'm a little worried because I can't smell the blue mold at all right now.  I know the stuff is really hardy and it is still early so I just have to have faith.

Offline Al Lewis

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Re: First (approx) Stilton!
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2012, 10:20:25 AM »
I keep mine at room temp 65-70F for 5 days with a bamboo mat over the top so it has some air getting to the top and flip it twice a day.  Then out of the mold for five days, same temp, to allow the sides to dry and the mold to form on them.  My blue didn't show up at all until the morning of day five.  Then both ends showed amazing blue.  Until then it was pure white.

« Last Edit: December 29, 2012, 10:31:59 AM by Al Lewis »


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Offline george (MaryJ)

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Re: First (approx) Stilton!
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2012, 06:26:54 AM »
I'll put the aging container over it.  I think it is a little short for the mold, so it will have plenty of airflow....except it is in a hoop without holes!  I'm a little worried because I can't smell the blue mold at all right now.  I know the stuff is really hardy and it is still early so I just have to have faith.
Huh.  I didn't notice the "no holes" till you just mentioned it.  Drill some holes in that puppy!!  (Well, after the Stilton comes out of it.)   ;)  Given that, though, I doubt you need to worry about the cheese getting too dry - overall - over the next day or two.

Quote
I'm not too far from you in Albany, NY so I know all about low humidity too.  Actually, I was in Fall River and RI over the holiday weekend near you. 
Ah, see, you should have stopped by on your way back from FR - I was passing out cheese to all and sundry.   ;D
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Offline AndreasMergner

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Re: First (approx) Stilton!
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2012, 09:15:28 AM »
Al: Thanks for that great info and help.  Looks like I should have some blue showing up tomorrow if my blue mold is on the same schedule as yours.  My room temp is around 60-65 in the kitchen though so it may take a little longer. 

Mary/George: NOW you tell me??  ;)  I could have actually stopped since I didn't have my wife or toddler with me. 

Offline AndreasMergner

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Re: First (approx) Stilton!
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2012, 06:25:00 AM »
I smelled it this morning and it smelled like blue, but no visible mold.  It was time for de-molding and that went fine.  I started smoothing it and it was going great.  I just about finished the sides and a small corner fell off.  I tried to press it back and a large corner fell off!!  I've tried to repair it, but the more I touch it the more it is crumbling.  Need help....suggestions?

Offline george (MaryJ)

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Re: First (approx) Stilton!
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2012, 06:53:23 AM »
Try wetting the bits that are falling off a little (with hot water), and "glue" them back on?

(Yeah, I know that sounds strange, but I'm thinking of my own smoothing technique - knife dipped in hot water - so it might work.
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Offline AndreasMergner

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Re: First (approx) Stilton!
« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2012, 07:59:15 AM »
It is not really working and the more I mess with it, the more damage I'm doing. Grrr. I might have just made blue cheese crumbles. When, oh when am I gonna get a good cheese??