Author Topic: Should we eat this Monterey Jack?  (Read 1172 times)

Offline Mike Richards

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Should we eat this Monterey Jack?
« on: January 23, 2013, 06:13:21 PM »
I just opened this monterey jack.  It's been aging for two months.  I made it with MM100, which I understand is not a gas producer.  I used store bought P/H milk.  I cut a section from it after 1 month of aging and didn't notice any holes then.  So...I'm a little concerned about where the gas came from (I am right that these are gas bubbles?).  It doesn't taste great, but it's not terrible--a little bitter.  I try to be careful with sanitation, but I've got 3 helpers (aged 5, 6, and 8) and I also make mistakes on my own.  I wanted to take this along with some other cheeses to work tomorrow, but don't want to do so if there's a chance it'll make folks sick.

What do you think?

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

Offline drifterdon

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Re: Should we eat this Monterey Jack?
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2013, 09:45:08 PM »
I went and looked up MM100 on the Cheesemaking website and this is what they say in their description.
"Cheese made with this culture will be somewhat more open in texture and in a cheese such as Gouda and Edam will provide the typical small round holes."

http://www.cheesemaking.com/store/p/177-Mesophilic-Large-Pack.html

Keep in mind I'm just on my third cheese and made a Pepper Jack today.

Offline Mike Richards

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Re: Should we eat this Monterey Jack?
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2013, 11:17:21 PM »
Thanks for the reply, drifterdon.

Well...what do you know?  I've used this culture a number of times and have never had noticeable gas production and I've been under the impression that it doesn't produce gas.  But, you're right, other places say it does, too.  I'm still a little leery of it because, like I said, I've just never seen it do this before.  In fact, I also opened another cheese today made with the same culture that has been aging for over 5 months and I don't see any gas holes in it. 

I suppose it's possible that something in the way I made this cheese allowed the gas producing bugs to be more active, but I'm not sure.  A lower salt content comes to mind--while I believe I salted it correctly, it does taste like it's lacking salt.  I just checked my records and I made no record of how much salt I used, though I should have done something close to 2.2% by weight.  I vaguely remember there being a lot of whey run off--perhaps I lost a lot of salt there.

I'd be glad to hear any other opinions on this before I accidentally poison all my coworkers.  :-[
If only I could make cheese as well as I grow a mustache...

Offline sofusryge

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Re: Should we eat this Monterey Jack?
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2013, 12:31:31 AM »
Allthough it probably doesn't look like a Monterrey jack is supposed to look, i think it looks very nice with all them bubbles. If the taste is OK, i would probably eat a healthy slice and see what happens during the following 12 hours, before serving it for other people. A little testing is always in place before one serve homemade products that might be off in some way.

Offline Mike Richards

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Re: Should we eat this Monterey Jack?
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2013, 08:40:13 AM »
Thanks, sofusryge.  My wife and I both ate some yesterday during the day, and nothing bad has happened yet....  I think it should be fine.
If only I could make cheese as well as I grow a mustache...

Offline JeffHamm

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Re: Should we eat this Monterey Jack?
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2013, 02:15:57 PM »
Hi Mike,

Definitely gas bubbles.  You can tell because they are smooth, etc.  If they were just mechanical openings due to a light press not fusing the curds, they would look more rough and jagged.  If it was bad stuff, it would smell foul, and rotten, etc.  The bitterness could be due to excess culture or rennet.  Sometimes this will fade if you age it out longer.  Cheese goes through weird phases, and sometimes it can be good quite young, then it goes all unsatisfying on you for awhile, then it gets good again as it ages out more.  So, you might want to keep some of it to age another couple months and then revisit it and see how it develops.

Anyway, given that you've eaten some, and not become ill, you're good to share it with others.

- Jeff
The wise do not always start out on the right path, but they do know when to change course.

Offline Mike Richards

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Re: Should we eat this Monterey Jack?
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2013, 02:33:37 PM »
Thanks, Jeff.  I've had a few coworkers eat some with a disclaimer.  They are not worried because I'm not sick.  I have another 2 lbs or so back down in the cave and I'll do as you say--revisit it again in a couple of months.

I brought a fun selection to of homemade cheeses to work today--Monterey Jack, Cheddar that tastes a little like swiss--we call it sweddar, Pepper Jack, Gouda, and Leiden.  It seems everyone likes something different.
If only I could make cheese as well as I grow a mustache...

Offline Al Lewis

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Re: Should we eat this Monterey Jack?
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2013, 04:15:44 PM »
Give it the ear test Mike.  Eat a big piece before bedtime, if you wake up in the morning and your ears haven't grown the size of a donkeys it's probably okay. The key being waking up in the morning. LOL  Using PH milk I wouldn't be too worried about it going bad.  If it were made from raw milk that would be a different story.  Just my opinion.

Offline stratocasterdave

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Re: Should we eat this Monterey Jack?
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2013, 10:38:41 AM »
Mike, I just opened a colby that looked just like this.  Also, the cheese has the exact consistency on Velveeta!!!    >:D


Offline Mike Richards

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Re: Should we eat this Monterey Jack?
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2013, 10:58:46 AM »
Well, like I said, mine didn't make us sick.  Most people enjoyed, it too.  It was a little stiffer than veleveta, but at room temp is was pretty soft.  Enjoy!
If only I could make cheese as well as I grow a mustache...

Offline tnbquilt

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Re: Should we eat this Monterey Jack?
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2013, 06:29:45 PM »
It's always an adventure. Even mistakes can come out edible and delicious. I once made a Swiss from PH milk that came out more like an Asiago, or a parmesan. It was delicious.
Tammy

Offline hoeklijn

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Re: Should we eat this Monterey Jack?
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2013, 05:40:12 AM »
If it has been raw milk, bitterness combined with large eyes could mean "late blowing", which could be caused by a contamination with buteric acid producing bacteria. But when you use PH and you're still alive...
- Herman -