Here it is, the first batch of cheese for the year, starting after the cows have been on the grass for a little while.
The image isn't very clear, it's kind of dark down there...
Those are 2 Mutschlis that just went into the brine, and you can see a good layer of salt laying on top of them as well.
Here's the procedure I used for this particular cheese:
- Added the culture (1 quart) into the vat, then ~36 gallons of fresh, raw milk.
- Heated to 42 degrees C, which took about an hour because the milk was chilled.
- Turned off heat and let set for 15 minutes
- (2 PM) added rennet ( about half a teaspoon of powdered rennet, if it were fresh the calculations require .27 teaspoons for 1:100,000 strength (since I had approx. 27,648 tsp. of milk ) I simply guessed at how much strength the rennet would have lost due to its age (my fresh hasnt arrived yet) and my guess was slightly high, see later.
- (2:45 PM) checked the cheese, and curd was ready to cut (I have begun to use a slightly longer set time for many of my cheeses to experiment with differences in texture) started the coarse cutting process.
- (2:55 PM) Started the final cutting, making curds the size of a coffee bean
- (3:05 PM) beginning of the brewing phase, gently stirring the curd for 30 minutes to allow the culture time to develop
- (3:35 PM) turned on the heat, and slowly (over 30 minutes) raised the temperature to 47 C. (about 117 F) while stirring constantly at a rapid rate
- (4:05 PM) heat off, curds rest for a moment, then removed to form and lightly pressed
- NEXT DAY (10:00 AM) cheese removed from press, but left in forms
- (6:00 PM) Cheese placed in salt brine, where it currently resides.
This should yield a slightly firmer cheese than other Mutschlis I have made in the past, due to the higher cooking temperature, but will still have a short aging period. I'll start cutting the first one in a couple weeks. Since it's only lightly pressed (just enough to fuse the mass together) there are a lot of mechanical openings throughout. This is OK since it won't be aged for very long.
You may also notice, Mutschli isn't an exact science, not like Alpkäse. You can play around with the basic recipe a lot, as I've done here.