It has been 2 months since making this one. It rested in the cave for a little over 2 weeks, then was vacuum bagged. On removing it from the bag, there is a white coating on the rind, with a little blue appearing at the creases from the bag. On cutting it open, it has a creaminess, with some sticking to the knife. Some pliability, but it breaks rather than bending. There are multiple mechanical openings. The flavor is mild, and pleasant, with a sort of cheddary after taste. I rather like it!! And it melted nicely for a lovely lunchtime quesadilla!
Looking for a smooth and mild cheese, and decided on this one. Plan on aging it 2 months or perhaps a bit more...
2 gallons pasteurized non-homogenized whole milk (Trader Joes) pH 6.7
¼ tsp MA4001
¼ tsp calcium chloride in ¼ cup water
1.7 ml single strength calf rennet (Mad Millie) in ¼ cup water
1 Tblsp salt
Flocculation multiplier 3.5
pH target 6.0 drain/hoop
pH meter cleaned and recalibrated, and seems to be working!
1:30 Milk at 87 degrees. Added culture and let rehydrate 5 mins then stirred in. Let ripen at temperature 60 mins.
2:35 pH 6.6, T=90. Stirred in calcium, waited 5 mins (per Cladwell), then stirred in rennet. Flocculation at 9 mins, with multiplier of 3.5 so 31.5 mins total. (I need to use less rennet)
Clean break at 35 mins. Cut curds 1/2 inch and rested 5 mins. pH 6.5. T = 83 Gently stirred and brought temp back up to 87.
3:20 Began heating curd, stirring and temperature raising to 100 degrees over 50 mins, pH 6.3
Held at 100 degrees for additional 15 mins of stirring. pH 6.2
**The pH seemed to be dropping quickly, so I drained off the curd earlier than planned, as the recipe indicated stirring for about 15 mins more than I did.
Stirred another 10 mins to break up the matting, and whey pH was now 6.0. I figured I better go ahead and salt!!
5:20 Drained curds, and found them to be very springy, and squeaky and lovely! Mixed in salt and scooped the curds into the form with cheesecloth.
Pressed at a little less than 10 # for 15 mins. Insufficient knitting, so did not try to redress, but carefully placed the cheese back into the hoop. Pressed at 20 # for 15 min with a heating pad around the hoop. This time when I took it out I had a nice knit starting. Redressed and pressed at 40 # for a couple of hours. Redressed and pressed at 50 # for a few hours. Whey coming off measured at pH 5.4.
11:00 Out of press. Weight 2# 2 oz.
Rested on counter covered with cheesecloth for 24 hours, then into cave.