Opened this cheese at just about 8 weeks for a party... It was good and tasted like a young manchego. But I have to admit that I have made other cheeses I liked better. I wondered from the flavor and mouth feel if it had gotten a little too low in pH, though it was moist and meltable, not crumbly. I put half of it back in the cave in vacuum pack. I will leave it another month or two and re-test.
It had been a long time since making this cheese... Actually as I look back it was one year ago almost exactly! Since that time I have learned a lot thanks to this forum... Back then I was still using rennet tablets, and it was my first attempt at spinning a bowl...
I find that I still have questions of course...
In the Caldwell book, for this recipe, she uses very little weight to press. I did not feel like I was getting a knit at a lower weight, and I wonder what the difference will be in the final product. Most Manchego recipes I reviewed on the forum used more weight that the 4 X curd weight she proposes.
Also, I felt like the whey pH was dropping faster than I wanted, and so to "stall" it I put the cheese in the cave for a couple of hours before brining. Is this a real solution? I have no way of measuring curd pH, only whey pH. At that point there was no more whey coming off to measure...
Manchego: 2-10-13, Cheese number 41
Recipe mostly from Caldwell book: flocc multiplier of 2.5
2 gallons non-homogenized pasteurized milk pH 6.7
1.4 tsp MA4001
1/16 tsp lipase in ¼ cup water (she suggested 1 skewer tip)
¼ tsp calcium chloride in ¼ cup water
1.5 ml single strength calf rennet in ¼ cup water
12:40: milk to 80 degrees, culture sprinkled on and set for 5 mins then stirred in.
1:00: milk to 90 degrees, and covered to ripen for 30 mins
1:32: milk temp 92 degrees, pH 6.6, stirred in lipase
1:35: stirred in calcium and let rest 5 mins
1:42: temp = 90, stirred in rennet. Flocculation in 13 mins, multiplier of 2.5 so 32.5 mins for coagulation
2:16: Clean break, began cutting curd at about ½ inch. Then let rest 5 mins. Book suggestion is to take 20 mins to further cut down curd to rice size, then stir for 10 more mins, for total of 35 mins at 90 degrees. I used a large whisk to cut down curd size, slowly stirring and resting curd intermittently.
3:00: Began heating to target of 100 degrees in 30 mins. Whey pH 6.5
3:10: Temp = 92
3:18: Temp = 94
3:30: Temp =100 whey pH = 6.4, resting in pot 5 mins
3:35: Compress curd to form a single mass and rest for 10 mins
3:55: Transferred curd to cheesecloth lined form and put back into pot under whey with no weight for 20 mins (Caldwell does not say under whey)
4:20: Removed from whey, and placed into press with 9#. Caldwell suggests a very light weight, but curd was not solid enough to try redressing at this point. Whey pH 5.9 – seems like a big drop in less than an hour. Whey coming off is clear.
4:45: Flipped and pressing at 18#, again Caldwell is suggesting just a very light weight, but it does not feel like that will knit the curd well enough, whey pH 5.8
5:20: Flipped and pressing at 27#, Whey pH 5.7
6:20: Flipped and pressing at 45 #, almost no whey coming out to measure, Whey pH 5.6
7:15: Whey pH 5.4. Cheese removed from press, placed naked back into form, and into cave at 50 degrees to try and slow pH drop. I need to wait until bed time to put the cheese into the brine….
10:30: Into brine for 8 hours. (4 hrs per pound)
In the morning, out of the brine and onto the counter, weighing in at 2.0#