Well, it's been really busy this new year. No cheese made at all in January. So, this is my first cheese of the new year. I decided to have a go at a tomme again, this time determined to let it develop a wild natural rind. My 2nd one I did as a washed rind, and it will be ready for cutting in a couple weeks (should be close to 6 months by that point). The first time I tried this the cheese was very very soft, and I think I was too gentle on the stirring and didn't expel enough whey. I washed rind treated it, but it sagged so much the rind split. That one got vac sealed, and ended up being a brilliant result. The 2nd make went really well, in that the resulting cheese was not so soft. I used a creamline milk, which makes great curds, but there wasn't enough of it at the store this time (only 5 litres) so I went with the milk I usually use.
I think I've become a bit overly gentle in my stirring, so this time I was a bit more firm. Didn't shatter the curds or beat them up, but not so much on the jiggling and got into the actual stirring. Lots of change of directions, and lifting from the bottom to cut up the chunks that didn't get cut, etc. The result seems to be good. I was quite pleased with how the curds held up, and how much whey got expelled, and just sort of how everything seemed to be working. The cheese doesn't appear to be a hugely tall one, which usually means the curds are still full of whey. I recall Pav saying that most of the whey should be expelled by the time it goes into the mould, and as I set it aside for the evening, it does seem that this make looks closer to the final dimentions than usual. However, as I say, it's been awhile and I suspect any cheese would look good to me right now.
I was really pleased with my heat rising. I really nailed it this time, as you can see in the chart below. So, as long as I end up with a good knit in the morning, this has the potential to be a good outcome. Fingers are crossed!
Tomme (Pav’s instructions) Sunday, Feb 10, 2013
11 L Homebrand Blue Top (3.3% fat; 3.3g/100ml protein; pasturized & homogenized)
6.5 ice cubes flora danica
¼ tsp 50% CaCl in egg cup of water
1.77 ml 280 IMCU calf rennet (probably closer to 1.6 ml) in egg cup water
1) Add ice cubes
2) Warm 11 litres milk 31.10C (31.1 C : reached at 8:00 am)
3) Ripen for 30 mins at 31.10C (88 F) (8:00 - 8:30; 31.1 C)
4) Add CaCl (8:25)
5) add rennet (8:30:00 31.1 C)
6) floc time (8:43:45 = 13m 45 sec 3x = floc time 41m 15sec = cut time 9:11:15)
7) Cut into 1/4 inch cubes, let rest 5 mins (9:26 - 9:31)
8) Stir and increase temp to 37.80C (100 F) over 30 mins. (9:26 – 10:01, temp reached 37.8, nailed it)
9) Hold at 37.80C (100 F) until the curd is at the right texture. You can tell this by pressing a tablespoon of curd in your hand. It should mat together slightly and be somewhat firm. (10:01am - 11:00)
10) Drain in vat or warm colander (11:00-11:15 – scooped it with measuring cup, had to empty 2nd pot to store whey in jugs. Curds are matting under their own weight while sitting in the pot). pH should be 6.35 or higher. Let curds mat (draining in colander over pot in cheesecloth and press slightly under whey. Drained and by 11:33 into mould.
11) Put into cheesecloth lined molds. This cheese sticks, so soak the cheesecloth in pH 5.2 whey beforehand. (at 11:33)
12) Press under own weight turning at 15 min (11:48), 30 min (12:20), and 1 hour increments (1:25, 2:30). (normally flip through the day; with 2.5 kg as weight to emulate stacking, but went out. Flipped again at 6:10 pm)
13) Press until pH is 5.4 or overnight. (Pressed until 5:50 am ; rind has lots of imperfections forgot to press under whey and this resulted in a v.poor knit)
14) Brine in fully saturated brine 3-4 hours per lb of cheese. (1.360kg = 9.00-12.00; 15.6 x 6.6 = 1.35 g/cm3 ; hours 6:00 am – 5:00 pm 11.0 hours; 1356g out of the brine, 16.0 x 7.0 cm = 1407 cm3 = 0.96 g/cm3 ; the expiation is probably due to brine getting through the imperfect rind)
15) Leave at12.8-18.30C (55-65 F) for a day at ~70% RH for the outer rind to dry a little before moving to the cave.
Made Ricotta from approx. 9 litres of whey ; raised to 91.8 C, added ¼ cider vinegar, let sit 10 minutes scooped it out into cheesecloth lined colander. Got approx. 280g. Added 4 g salt.
Age 3-6 months at 10-12.80C (50-55F), 85-92% RH (or higher if using special rind treatment or making a b linens variant). Natural or oil rubbed rind.