Author Topic: Curd Cutting - Uniform Size Requirements?  (Read 626 times)

Offline Tiarella

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Curd Cutting - Uniform Size Requirements?
« on: January 21, 2013, 05:03:13 PM »
Hi All!  Question here in the middle of a Tomme make and noticing once again that I do not have uniform curd size.  I do a pretty good job of cutting the grid of vertical cuts but then it's all downhill.  So now, the curds are in the whey, at about 100 degrees, and some are approaching squeakiness but others are still soft white lumps a bit bigger.  Out of the many thousands of curds I doubt I could find them all and cut them to correct size.  (like at airport security, "Excuse me curd, would you step this way please?  you seem to over the legal size requirement and we'd like to ask you questions and perform surgery upon you."

What do others do?  I cut as accurately as I can and I do go through searching for beached whale types that evaded the knife at the bottom and I cut them appropriate size but there are still others......sigh.  I know some folks use a whisk and I tried that ages ago but didn't really know the correct protocol. Can some of you tell me your curd cutting techniques?   :)


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Offline H-K-J

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Re: Curd Cutting - Uniform Size Requirements?
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2013, 05:25:14 PM »
I'm havin the same problem, I think that is why my latest Caerphilly seems dryer than my first even though I cut the curd bigger and raised the flock time, some of the curd cooked sooner than others which made the smaller one's dryer, just my observation :-\
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Offline Tiarella

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Re: Curd Cutting - Uniform Size Requirements?
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2013, 05:43:41 PM »
hmmm.  I have had drier Caephillys but mostly they've only been dry like a cheddar so maybe okay.  I've liked the moisture level of my cheeses so far but I do wonder about some of the bigger/softer curds mixed in with the little tougher, scrappier curds.  Does it matter?  it feels like taking a cake out of the oven when only parts of it were cooked.  I don't have a pH meter so I'm just going by floc times and feel.

Offline H-K-J

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Re: Curd Cutting - Uniform Size Requirements?
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2013, 05:58:15 PM »
Quote
I don't have a pH meter so I'm just going by floc times and feel
Same here.
After cutting, cooking, draining, milling and salting I put the curd in the mold, the last couple of hand fulls of curd are pretty small and dry,
I was worried about it knitting, although it came out of the press nice it felt dry enough for the cave within a few hours, hhhmmmmm :-\
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Re: Curd Cutting - Uniform Size Requirements?
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2013, 06:06:40 PM »
yeah, ditto on the last handful(s) of curds being dried curdlets.  I've wondered about mixing them in but that would mean dirtying another pot!  can't have that!!!


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Offline Tiarella

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Re: Curd Cutting - Uniform Size Requirements?
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2013, 07:43:54 PM »


Also....has this ever happened to you?  I pressed under whey and then flipped it and put in the press without the pot of whey.  I just checked it after an hour and only about a Tablespoonof whey has come out....not even enough to fill the groove and drain into the pan!!  What's with this?  Don't want to add any more than the 16 pounds it has now. 

Offline H-K-J

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Re: Curd Cutting - Uniform Size Requirements?
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2013, 08:08:33 PM »
I was so worried about the knit my first press was 55 lbs on the follower for 15 min then second was the same,good amount of whey both times.
third press is when I started to, remove from mold, undress, salt top and bottom, redress and repress with 130 lbs at the follower and did this 2 times.
redid all of the above and pressed one time for 4 hours with 200 lbs (at the follower) all of the above one more time for 8 hours with the same weight.
Every thing but the last press was done with heat at about 85 deg. around the pot.
As I said I was worried about it knitting together, each time it was pressed I had less whey, the overnight press had enough whey to make the bottom of the pot damp and that was all.
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Offline Tiarella

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Re: Curd Cutting - Uniform Size Requirements?
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2013, 08:16:27 PM »
 Wouldn't that pressure be excessive and maybe cause the dryness??  mine is knitting well at the 16 lbs of pressure I have it at.  But it's a Tomme....that's different.

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Re: Curd Cutting - Uniform Size Requirements?
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2013, 08:46:06 PM »
According to Jeff's pdf not sure, you be the judge.
In my mind I'm light, on my last Caerphilly I used over 7. psi for ten hours.
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Offline Boofer

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Re: Curd Cutting - Uniform Size Requirements?
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2013, 08:32:11 AM »
"Excuse me curd, would you step this way please?  you seem to over the legal size requirement and we'd like to ask you questions and perform surgery upon you."
yep, we're definitely in the Twilight Zone. :)  Move over, dust bunnies, more rolling coming!

This dialogue reminds me of a lot of Shakespeare I didn't read in school...much ado about nothing. ::)

No, really, I don't worry about getting the micrometer and laser cutting torch out when it's time to cut the curd. I use my long knife to make the tic-tac-toe cuts, then do some diagonal cuts at 90 degrees, then rest for 5-10 minutes (boy, that was tiring! ;)). After the rest, it's time to whisk the curds. The whisk reduces the curds to the small size needed. Are they all finely cut to within milspec (military specifications) or NASA standards? No. Eh?! Don't worry, be happy. Oh yeah, time to rest again. :)

-Boofer-
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Offline bbracken677

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Re: Curd Cutting - Uniform Size Requirements?
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2013, 09:05:48 AM »
It is my understanding and experience that flocc time, cook time and curd size (in general, how the curd is treated prior to pressing) play a greater roll in how much moisture is left in the curd than pressing. I don't believe I have ever seen a really significant amount of whey drain from my cheeses as I am pressing.

Consider how much whey is expelled during the cheddaring process vs pressing a cheddar type...I have to drain several times during cheddaring, but normally during pressing I really don't actually have to drain. I normally do give it a drain after the first hour or so, just because...

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Re: Curd Cutting - Uniform Size Requirements?
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2013, 09:30:57 AM »
"Excuse me curd, would you step this way please?  you seem to over the legal size requirement and we'd like to ask you questions and perform surgery upon you."
yep, we're definitely in the Twilight Zone. :)  Move over, dust bunnies, more rolling coming!

This dialogue reminds me of a lot of Shakespeare I didn't read in school...much ado about nothing. ::)

No, really, I don't worry about getting the micrometer and laser cutting torch out when it's time to cut the curd. I use my long knife to make the tic-tac-toe cuts, then do some diagonal cuts at 90 degrees, then rest for 5-10 minutes (boy, that was tiring! ;)). After the rest, it's time to whisk the curds. The whisk reduces the curds to the small size needed. Are they all finely cut to within milspec (military specifications) or NASA standards? No. Eh?! Don't worry, be happy. Oh yeah, time to rest again. :)

-Boofer-

Okay, it's official.  I definitely love this forum!   ;D :-*
Ummm, Boof, so sorry you're needing to rest so much!   ;)  So, do you stir gently with the whisk or do some complicated military manouvers?  And with the whisking.....do you get the curds losing a lot of "their good stuff" to the whey?  Or did their nap heal them enough to prevent this?  (now imagining little curds on their towels in kindergarten, taking a little nap)  And is it important that it all be at a higher temp when the whisking starts?  Sorry to ask so many questions.  You might need two rests after this.

Bracken,  I usually have more whey expressed during pressing than this time.  Usually 1/3-1 cup if I have to guess.  This Tablespoon worth of whey just seemed very different.  And the little curds weren't getting squeaky this time either and that's one of my favorite bits about making cheese!  I was worried that without the squeak factor something must be off. 

on a bright note, this is another Tomme with Mycodore and I like how the first one smells so much as it ages that I'm excited to have another one to watch.....and this one has a textured skin because of the mold I chose so a natural rind should look pretty cool on it.   :D

Okay, off to look for something to make some ado about.  (P.S. didn't read Shakespeare in school either)

Offline bbracken677

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Re: Curd Cutting - Uniform Size Requirements?
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2013, 09:55:33 AM »

  I was worried that without the squeak factor something must be off. 


I believe the squeek relates to the acidity level...sounds like your curds didn't acidify to the point of "squeekiness"   :)

On another note: I didn't read much Shakespeare either...I was more into Heinlein, Tolkien, Bradbury and Clark. Toss in a little Lovecraft, Poe and King with a pinch of Herman Hesse, Nietzshe and Goethe and you wind up with a heady mix!