Author Topic: Mutschli  (Read 1682 times)

Offline BobE102330

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Mutschli
« on: February 11, 2013, 08:02:27 PM »
Inspired by Alpkäserei's posts, I made a mutschli (I think) using his recipe. http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,10178.msg75470.html#msg75470

I added the culture at 90 degrees and heated to 105 and added the rennet. For some reason I forgot to check floc time, but I used the same amount of rennet as Saturdays  I cut after 35 minutes, and stirred as directed.  After 40 minutes the temperature had only fallen to 100 degrees, so no extra heat.  I guess I should have taken it out of the water bath.  I stirred for another 30 minutes. 

After draining, the curds didn't really stick together, so rather than knead I pressed in a 7.5" tomme mold. Initially the curds wouldn't fit in the mold, but after pressing at 35 pounds for 30 minutes it just about fit into the mold.  Pressed at 35 pounds for another hour, flipped and pressed for 12 hours at 70 pounds. 

By morning, I had a huge fairly soft cheese.  Starting with 3.5 gallons of milk I ended up with 5 pounds 4 ounces of cheese that just barely fit in the mold.  The same amount of milk made a bit over 3 pounds of Jarlsberg using the recipe in 200 Easy Homemade Cheese Recipes. 

Obviously, I didn't expel enough whey.  Assuming I remember to measure the floc time next go around, what should I use for a multiplier? Is 2 reasonable?  I'm sure kneading kneading would have helped, but how to do it when curds don't stick together?

I plan to wash daily as directed, but I'm thinking that with this moisture content it shouldn't age long.  Suggestions? 



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Offline Alpkäserei

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Re: Mutschli
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2013, 08:40:07 PM »
You did not brew the curd at all, and so the culture did not adequately acidify the curd. This is why it would not mat properly.

Also, I do not see any secondary heating mentioned. The reheating up to 105 is not prior to rennet, Rennet should go in at 90-91 degrees. This is important. The heating to 105 is after the curd has been cut and brewed for 30 minutes.
So progression should look more like:
-Culture @ 90 degrees, if freeze dried culture than incubate 15-20 minutes or so
-Rennet @ 90 degrees, sufficient amount to set curd in 30 minutes (these cheeses do not use the floc method, but use the rennet measured out at specific amounts as to set the curd properly in 30 minutes. I can see floc methods being a benefit in other cheese type, but we never do so with alpines)
-Cut slowly during a period that should take a total of nearly 20 minutes
-brew curd for 30 minutes to develop cultures
-reheat up to 105-110 F over a period of about 15 to 20 minutes
-knead curd into form and press.
Gut gibt's der schwiizer Chäser

Offline BobE102330

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Re: Mutschli
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2013, 09:33:24 PM »
Thank you Alp!  I misunderstood your recipe.  I read "heat the milk with the culture added" and assumed that this was a new to me technique.  Newbies like me tend to take things literally.  I'll give this another shot soon.

Any ideas what to do with the current block of curd to make it something edible?


Offline Alpkäserei

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Re: Mutschli
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2013, 09:38:21 PM »
It will be fine, just not an Alpine cheese.

It has a lot of moisture, so I would not age it for very long at all. This would be very similar to how some goat cheeses are made, so it is fine for a 'fresh' cheese (an entirely relative term)

Maybe you could even try and grow some white mold on it instead of the washed rind method. 
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Offline BobE102330

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Re: Mutschli
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2013, 10:01:36 PM »
Thanks.  PC it is!


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Offline Alpkäserei

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Re: Mutschli
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2013, 06:50:55 PM »
curious as to how this cheese is developing...
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Offline BobE102330

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Re: Mutschli
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2013, 07:18:05 PM »
Other aspects of life took over and I didn't get around to spraying with PC.  I've been eating it as a substitute for queso fresco.  It also went over well on a cheese plate last weekend.  What does it say about my cheese making skill that two mistakes were the favorites? This mild one and a b. linens covered iberico that was almost limburger stinky beat out my best montasio to date. 

This cheese is so moist it left a puddle on the board.  Tasty but could use a bit more salt.  Thanks for asking.  I plan another attempt at mutschli this weekend following your guidance. 

Offline bbracken677

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Re: Mutschli
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2013, 11:17:29 AM »

-Rennet @ 90 degrees, sufficient amount to set curd in 30 minutes (these cheeses do not use the floc method, but use the rennet measured out at specific amounts as to set the curd properly in 30 minutes. I can see floc methods being a benefit in other cheese type, but we never do so with alpines)


You basically just described a floc factor of 2. The ideal being set in 30 minutes with a 15 minute ideal flocculation. 15 x 2 = 30 minutes from when rennet is added.

Offline Alpkäserei

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Re: Mutschli
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2013, 01:44:11 PM »
True that you can use a floculation calculation to get the same time factors. But the methods are different.

The biggest difference would be, if we don't get the desired set in exactly 30 minutes, we will wait until its ready, maybe up to 40 minutes even. As I understand floculation, you just go for it when you reach the target time, no matter what the curd does.

When it comes down to it, the tradition I learned from doesn't do it this way, so I'm not going to go out and change things. They have a proven method that works reliably and consistently. It would be arrogant of me to assume I could improve on their methods which have proven themselves over thousands of years. All I can hope to do is modify the basic practice to get different (not better, mind you) cheeses.
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Offline BobE102330

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Re: Mutschli
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2013, 02:14:25 PM »
My understanding of flocculation is it is a means of standardizing the set of the curd to allow for variations in milk, culture and rennet without requiring as much experience to know when the curds are exactly right.  It allows those of us without a teacher to get a feel for when the curds are right for cutting.  Somewhere along the line I hope to develop a feel, but since I make all sorts of cheeses it's not likely to happen soon.

I would have used the multiplier of 2 as Bruce suggested had I remembered to measure it.  Higher multipliers lead to higher moisture content.  I had been going without CaCl2 and used the appropriate amount of rennet for pure store bought P/H milk, even though I used CaCl2.  I did notice I had achieved flocculation fairly early, although I couldn't say how long it was so I let it set for the specified 30 minutes.  Given the moisture content of my resulting cheese, it seems floc was very short, as one would expect without adjusting the rennet. (Hindsight being perfect.)   

Here's to a better result this time.  8)


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Offline bbracken677

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Re: Mutschli
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2013, 02:59:24 PM »


The biggest difference would be, if we don't get the desired set in exactly 30 minutes, we will wait until its ready, maybe up to 40 minutes even. As I understand floculation, you just go for it when you reach the target time, no matter what the curd does.



My understanding is that if you get flocculation at 15 minutes, and use a x2 multiplier then there is no need for a subjective decision about the condition of the curds, because they will be exactly as needed at 30 minutes.   ie: if your amount of rennet results in say a 20 minute flocculation then, by definition, you would not have achieved the proper set for cutting at 30 minutes and would cut at 40 instead (pretty much as you just stated) and you would also know to use a tad more rennet next make.

The problem with assessing the necessary condition of the curd by feel or appearance is that unless you have a lot of experience working with the curd then one person's "proper condition" will differ slightly with another's unless you use flocculation which pretty much takes out all the subjectiveness of the decision of when to cut.

The use of flocculation also gives you a solid indication of whether you are using too little or too much rennet so that you can adjust for the next make (again, unless you have a lot of experience and know exactly how the curd should be in what period of time). Given that most of us on the forum here do not have years of experience making the same cheeses, we rely on the flocculation method to help standardize our makes in a way that can be repeated with a bit more certainty.

Offline Alpkäserei

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Re: Mutschli
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2013, 05:41:24 PM »
Good points here, I see what you are saying.

I also somewhat misunderstood your position on this. I have had several times people tell me I should be using the floc method, and stop using my 'old fashioned method' because it is seen as somehow inferior (even though as you point out the end result is the same). I also often see where people say the old method is unreliable and leaves too much to chance.

One thing we emphasize on our cheeses though is the time factor. It is critical that the variables be as tightly controlled as possible, and time is one of the most important variables to control. While we can let our cheeses go to the 40 minutes if we need to, we do not want to as this will not give us consistent products. It is important to us that we understand just how much rennet we will need to set the cheese properly (there is an acceptable range, not a specific point) in the proper amount of time at the proper temperature.

It is true that the necessary fell of the curd is difficult to judge with no experience, this is one reason why I hope some day to be able to give demonstrations and to teach the methods that I was taught. But this is just one of many parts of the handmade cheese process that cannot be expressed by words.

Thing like floc, pH, etc. are all reasonable substitutes for experience, but my desire is to be able to equip cheesemakers with the understanding of how cheese works, to get a deep feel for their cheese so that we can all craft our cheeses, not simply produce them. Proper technique is everything, and when you become a part of the art of cheesemaking then your results improve ten fold or more.
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Offline BobE102330

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Re: Mutschli
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2013, 06:43:18 PM »
Thanks, Alp.  I'm sure I am not alone in really appreciating the many pearls of wisdom you give us here in cheesehead world (as my girlfriend calls it)

Offline JeffHamm

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Re: Mutschli
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2013, 09:26:37 PM »
Hi Alpkaserei,

What would be interesting would be to do a "reverse engeneering" of the floc multiplier for your make.  What I mean is, on your next make, when you add your rennet float a little bowl in the milk.  Tap it gently each minute until it is clear the milk is about to gell.  Then tap every 15 or 30 seconds, and figure out when the milk has gelled - when the bowl doesn't move out of place when gently tapped.  Write down how much time has passed since you added the rennet.  Now, ignore that value, and cut the curds when they are ready based upon your experience.  Write down how much time has passed since you added the rennet.  (let's say this is your standard 30 minutes for this make).  Now, if your floc time was around 10 minutes, then voila, we've got a 3x floc, if your floc was closer to 15 minutes, we're at 2x floc.  Do this for a few makes, and we can work out an average floc factor.  It would be interesting to see if on a make where the curds weren't ready until closer to 40 minutes if the floc time was also a bit delayed.  i.e. your experience may be using the floc, just not calculating it by math but by feel.

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Re: Mutschli
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2013, 08:54:17 AM »
Thing like floc, pH, etc. are all reasonable substitutes for experience, but my desire is to be able to equip cheesemakers with the understanding of how cheese works, to get a deep feel for their cheese so that we can all craft our cheeses, not simply produce them. Proper technique is everything, and when you become a part of the art of cheesemaking then your results improve ten fold or more.
With repetition we all improve our techniques and develop a feel for what the milk is doing and where it is at a particular stage of the cheesemaking process. The comfort and confidence level improves over time as well, giving us the insight needed to make on-the-fly adjustments to our process if different situations intervene.

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