Thanks Tiarella, excellent and informative post in the link. Perhaps I didn't describe well enough but my cheese isn't nearly soft enough to deform under it's own weight. It held its shape very well even after the first quick pressing. It's just barely "springy" directly under the finger like a piece of hard rubber. I just expected it to be pretty much solid. I think I have identified a couple of things I think I can do better at and make the next one even better.
Since I had a floc time of 7.5 minutes I obviously had too much rennet. Next time (Saturday) I'll cut back 10% or so and see how that affects the floc time. I also used a multiplier of 4 and maybe will drop to 3.5 or 3.0 and see what effect that has....I like my cheese more on the crumbly side anyway.
Again, thanks for the post, it tied up the relationship between floc time, renneting and final moisture quite well. I also didn't realize that there was that much variation in milk between the various seasons.
There are a couple certified raw milk producers here in SoCal and I'll certainly try them soon. Right now since I'm learning to do this I'm going to only change one or two things at the time so I can see what works (besides the fact that raw milk costs 4 times as much as processed milk so mistakes are more painful.)
I'll post periodic pics as it progresses. I'm drying it at room temperature (ave 65 deg) under a bowl to control the RH so it doesn't crack. Looks good so far. Will have a real (fridge) cheese cave set up in a couple of days so I'm looking forward to filling it up and complaining that I need more ripening space.