Author Topic: I finally cracked open my first cheese!  (Read 1247 times)

Offline meyerandray

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Italy
  • Posts: 193
  • Cheeses: 7
  • Default personal text
I finally cracked open my first cheese!
« on: April 08, 2013, 07:26:02 AM »
So I finally opened the Caerphilly I made 3 1/2 weeks ago (since it went in the cave, about 4 weeks since I actually made it). 

I have never tasted a caerphilly before, I tried it because it is in the cheddar family, which i like, and doesn't have to age long, so I could actually taste one of the fruits of my new hobby!

The judgment:  Overall, everyone who tasted it, likes it.  It is salty, but not too salty, a lot less tang than I thought it might have.  I have had it tasted by various people, and we have all come to a similar conclusion-it tasted a lot like a ricotta salata (sicilian), which is good, but nothing too exciting.  It is a little crumbly, I don't know if that means my curd was too dry?  Or my acidity was off?  Any constructive comments/criticism?  I am attaching some photos. 

not having tasted a "real" caerphilly, I don't know how similar or different my version of it was.  Like I said, I like it, but I don't think I will be rushing out to try it again, unless someone tells me my result is way off, then I will accept the challenge, and try again  ;)

An added curiosity:  This was an 8 liter make, and the form weighed in at just under a kilo, does that sounds about right as far as yields go?


Guests, join the CheeseForum.org community to remove this ad.


Offline stratocasterdave

  • Medium Cheese
  • ***
  • Location: River Falls, WI
  • Posts: 54
  • Cheeses: 2
  • Default personal text
Re: I finally cracked open my first cheese!
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2013, 08:20:42 AM »
That is how I woudl discribe my caerphilly too.

Offline Tiarella

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Chester, MA, US
  • Posts: 1,587
  • Cheeses: 67
  • Default personal text
    • Farm Blog
Re: I finally cracked open my first cheese!
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2013, 09:23:36 AM »
Hmmm, I don't think of this cheese as lacking in flavor.  From your photo that shows the bit of softening of shape I wonder if it was too moist, if the curds held onto too much moisture?  I do not know nearly enough about all of this to tell you whether that might impact the taste in the way you describe.  My suggestion, try this again when summer milk is in.  And maybe use a tad less salt if that wasn't to your liking.  Looks nice!   :D

Offline hoeklijn

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: The Netherlands
  • Posts: 691
  • Cheeses: 43
  • Say cheese!!
Re: I finally cracked open my first cheese!
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2013, 10:00:14 AM »
Looks like a nice cheese to me, but try to age it longer next time. I know that's hard, but patients will be rewarded!
A yield of 1 kilo per 8 liter is a good average. When you use raw milk and do not pasteurize it, it's better to age it at least 6 weeks. Raw milk will give a higher yield in winter, because of the higher amount of solids in the milk. 
- Herman -

Offline meyerandray

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Italy
  • Posts: 193
  • Cheeses: 7
  • Default personal text
Re: I finally cracked open my first cheese!
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2013, 10:13:09 AM »
Thanks Herman, good to know. 
By the way, I see that you are in Europe, do you ever come down to Italy for Cheese (the event organized by Slow Food?)  This year it is the 20-23 September.  Let me know if you come, it is in my neck of the woods!


Guests, join the CheeseForum.org community to remove this ad.


Offline BobE102330

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Upstate New York
  • Posts: 401
  • Cheeses: 19
  • chilihead/cheesehead
Re: I finally cracked open my first cheese!
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2013, 11:20:55 AM »
The texture looks like mine.  This is supposed to be a crumbly type cheese with a fair bit of tang.  Your yield seems about right. 

My recent effort was described by friends as very cheddary flavor, more intense than grocer store cheddar.  I used a mix of MA16 and TA61 cultures.  What cultures did you use?  You description suggests that you may not have acidified enough, although the texture is right...

Offline meyerandray

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Italy
  • Posts: 193
  • Cheeses: 7
  • Default personal text
Re: I finally cracked open my first cheese!
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2013, 01:29:21 PM »
I used a mesophilic starter, I didn't have a pH meter yet, so I don't know about the acidity, but I let it acidify for 30 minutes, then added the rennet.  I had trouble getting it to coagulate (although in hindsight I might not be a good reader of flocculation time) and added more rennet after 18 minutes.  I cut after 92 minutes, so between the acidifying phase and the coagulating phase it had plenty of time to acidify-the only thing is my temp did get up to 34 C for a bit there, maybe the mesophiles weren't happy in that warm bath?  I used a dose for 10 L approximately (of starter) in 8 L of raw milk, I was actually worried that it may have been too much starter, and didn't know what affect that could have...

Offline BobE102330

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Upstate New York
  • Posts: 401
  • Cheeses: 19
  • chilihead/cheesehead
Re: I finally cracked open my first cheese!
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2013, 02:29:29 PM »
34 C should be ok for a mesophile.  What was your recipe and nominal cooking temperature? Different strains of bacteria develop different tastes, perhaps try a different starter next time.  Also, within a blended strain culture the different strains are more active at different temperatures, which also affects flavor and texture.  I've been using the 200 easy homemade cheeses recipe with good results, there is a good one on this board, too.   

Many people use a bit thermophilic starter or a blend that includes a thermo strain for cheddar family cheeses.  I blended 2/3 meso and 1/3 thermo as noted above.

Offline meyerandray

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Italy
  • Posts: 193
  • Cheeses: 7
  • Default personal text
Re: I finally cracked open my first cheese!
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2013, 02:38:05 PM »
I used the recipe posted by JeffHamm. 
A question, when you say you use 2/3 meso and 1/3 thermo, does that mean that you use a 2/3 of a dose and 1/3 of a dose of the respective starters for that amount of milk?  Do you weigh your starters in grams, and divide them in units?  Do you use those mini measuring spoons?  Do you ever just eyeball it? 
I have been dividing my starters by eye.  I know, not exact at all.  I get 100 liter packs, and divide it into the closest I can get to 10 even piles.  I will try to mix a little thermo in next time.

Offline BobE102330

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Upstate New York
  • Posts: 401
  • Cheeses: 19
  • chilihead/cheesehead
Re: I finally cracked open my first cheese!
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2013, 03:01:33 PM »
Jeff's recipe should be good.  How closely did you follow it?  for future makes, take notes of temperature at culturing, ripening time (note temperature range), renneting amount/time/temperature, floc time, cut time and temp, cut size, stirring time, cooking temperature, etc..

I eyeball it - Typically with a 2 gallon make I use around 1/4 teaspoon of starter.  For that mix, I filled the 1/4 teaspoon roughly 2/3 full of meso and did the same with thermo on a 1/8 tsp.  You could do 3/4 and 1/4 too.  I suppose I could weigh them, but I would need to sterilize more utensils.   :o   


Guests, join the CheeseForum.org community to remove this ad.


Offline Tiarella

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Chester, MA, US
  • Posts: 1,587
  • Cheeses: 67
  • Default personal text
    • Farm Blog
Re: I finally cracked open my first cheese!
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2013, 03:11:50 PM »
I used the recipe posted by JeffHamm. 
A question, when you say you use 2/3 meso and 1/3 thermo, does that mean that you use a 2/3 of a dose and 1/3 of a dose of the respective starters for that amount of milk?  Do you weigh your starters in grams, and divide them in units?  Do you use those mini measuring spoons?  Do you ever just eyeball it? 
I have been dividing my starters by eye.  I know, not exact at all.  I get 100 liter packs, and divide it into the closest I can get to 10 even piles.  I will try to mix a little thermo in next time.

Which recipe from Jeff?  His antique one?  or his usual one?

Online JeffHamm

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Auckland, New Zealand
  • Posts: 2,388
  • Cheeses: 129
  • As goes the cheesemaker, so goes the cheese
Re: I finally cracked open my first cheese!
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2013, 07:03:24 PM »
Hi,

Yes, the antique one of mine came out a bit reduced in flavour, etc, and looks/sounds similar to your result.  That means you probably followed the make correctly, but it's the make procedure that needs adjusting to be more suited to the home cheesemaker.  We're not making 8-10 lbs cheeses, using a few hundred liters of milk at a time.  I'm going to tweak it a bit and see what I can do.  Anyway, if you followed that one, then try caerphilly again using one of the other make procedures and compare.  I find the other makes are moister and tangier.

- Jeff
The wise do not always start out on the right path, but they do know when to change course.

Offline hoeklijn

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: The Netherlands
  • Posts: 691
  • Cheeses: 43
  • Say cheese!!
Re: I finally cracked open my first cheese!
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2013, 01:21:00 AM »
By the way, I see that you are in Europe, do you ever come down to Italy for Cheese (the event organized by Slow Food?)

LOL, no, I don't have plans in that direction. I'll be spending my summer holidays with maintenance on the house unfortunately....
- Herman -

Offline meyerandray

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Italy
  • Posts: 193
  • Cheeses: 7
  • Default personal text
Re: I finally cracked open my first cheese!
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2013, 05:30:52 AM »
I had followed the traditional recipe that Jeff had posted, I will try another one next time.  All in all I am satisfied with the result though, we have already finished the whole form which is a good sign ;)

Offline Boofer

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Parkland, Washington
  • Posts: 4,029
  • Cheeses: 177
  • Contemplating cheese
Re: I finally cracked open my first cheese!
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2013, 08:27:59 AM »
I had trouble getting it to coagulate (although in hindsight I might not be a good reader of flocculation time) and added more rennet after 18 minutes.
Adding extra rennet might not be a great idea. Sometimes it does take a while to gel. Patience. ;)

-Boofer-
Let's ferment something!
Bread, beer, wine, cheese...it's all good.