Okay, here's the
pictures. And no, I didn't drink the brine.
Here's what I did do…
I didn't have the other cultures recommended so what I opted for was to add 1/8 teaspoon PHN-19 with the 1/8 teaspoon TA-61 for the 4 gallon pot, half for the two gallon pot. Don't know if it will have any effect as it is a meso culture but it was the best thing I could think of. The cultures were added to the milk early and let to stand about an hour at 90F. I put in 1 1/2 teaspoons of calcium chloride and then added 3/4 teaspoon of vegetable rennet, I made a 6 gallon cheese so 2/3s went into the 4 gallon pot. After 30 minutes I cut the curd into large pieces and stirred for 30 minutes. I then brought the temperature up to 113F over 30 minutes and stirred again, with a whisk, until the curd was about the size of a bean for 5 minutes. Then I transferred the curd to the mold and went through the pressing schedule of 5 min, 10 min, 20 min, 40 min, 1 hour,
do a shot
, 2 hours, and 4 hours flipping, and re-dressing it each time. This was at 50 pounds. For my final pressing I varied from the schedule a bit. I pressed overnight at 9 psi or 450 pounds in my new sturdy press. I then took the cheese out of the mold and placed it in a brine of 2 pounds of salt to 1 gallon of water and 1/2 bottle of cognac. I left it there for 15 hours.