While I've seen lots of cracks in cheeses while drying, and some very small cracks right out of the brine, this was a first for me. After the cheese had been in the brine for a few hours, I noticed small cracks. When I finally pulled it out this evening, this is what greeted me.
This first one looks like a mouth...I should have drawn eyes and a nose.
[img width= height= alt=big crack in cheese]https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/1540298_451961031596009_1066994035_o.jpg[/img]
[img width= height= alt=another big crack]https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn2/966485_451961024929343_1684932586_o.jpg[/img]
I think I have a good idea of the series of errors that led to this consequence. First, I reverted to cheap milk (once I started stirring, the curd turned to mush). Then, I pressed the cheese under the whey into a loaf shape (because the vat is square shaped, and I had strained it all against one side), but my mold is round, so I sliced it up to get it in the mold. I've done this before, however, previously, after piling the slices into the mold, I continued to press it under the whey for a while. This time, I just put it right into the press, and didn't leave it there for very long...not sure what I was thinking. Now to decide what to do with this...