Author Topic: 1st cheeses (farmhouse cheddar and pepperjack) were both crunbly  (Read 455 times)

Offline drifterdon

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I tried my first two cheeses not long ago and they both seemed to be drier than they should be. In fact when trying to grate some of the Pepper Jack it was very crumbly.

Both were aged for well over a month. Both were from recipes from Rickie at cheesemaking.com.

Any ideas what usually causes this?


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Offline WovenMeadows

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Re: 1st cheeses (farmhouse cheddar and pepperjack) were both crunbly
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2013, 04:52:09 PM »
Probably too much acidification in the vat, which leaches out calcium from the curd, which makes curd more brittle and less elastic. This can be caused by cooking too long, or at too low a temperature, both giving more conditions for the starter to convert lactose to lactic acid.
Another possibility is not pressing hard enough, such that the curd simply did not well fuse together. Does the crumbliness look like individual pieces of curd? Or is it just overall rather brittle?

Offline drifterdon

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Re: 1st cheeses (farmhouse cheddar and pepperjack) were both crunbly
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2013, 07:54:03 PM »
Thanks for the reply.
It must be something in the way I cooked it. It was just crumbly but not at all like the curds before pressing.
I have purchased a new press so maybe that will make a difference in the next batch.
I will pay closer attention to details while cooking also.

Offline iratherfly

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Re: 1st cheeses (farmhouse cheddar and pepperjack) were both crunbly
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2013, 12:40:29 AM »
Sadly I must say that I am yet to meet someone who made a decent cheddar with her kit. She is giving you a Ricotta mould, mystery cultures and instructions that don't stress the importance of acidification schedule which is the most sensitive thing for Cheddar making.

- Sounds like too much acidity to me.  Don't over-dose culture, rennet or calcium. Cheese is more likely to fail if you put too much than if you put too little.
- Be very vigilant about temperatures and timed processes. It's the key to getting the cheese texture and acidity under control
- Press  - use it with a proper cheddar, Gouda or Manchego mould, something for hard cheese with just a few weeping holes and preferably cheesecloth.
- 1 months is not enough time to age for Cheddar. There are far too many biological processes that need to take place in sequence for it to be done at 1 month. I personally wouldn't even open it at 2 months.
- milk, you don't need to use raw milk, but you should definitely use non-homogenized (creamline) milk

I don't think Cheddar would be hard to practice and figure out so don't get discouraged. It takes a bit of practice. I do however suspect that it's not a fun cheese to start with because you are full of anticipation and then have to wait months to see the results, and by  the time you see it, you don't remember what you did right or wrong. Usually the first few cheeses can have issues like you mentioned. (you are not alone!).  I would try cheeses that have a shorter maturation cycle first. It will give you a chance to do a few rounds by the time it takes aging one cheddar.  They are generally more successful early on and you will taste it fast enough to remember what you did and how it was better than the time before. It will give you energy and happiness that will take you through parallel experimenting in perfecting cheddar and other long aged cheeses on the side at the same time.

Online george (MaryJ)

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Re: 1st cheeses (farmhouse cheddar and pepperjack) were both crunbly
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2013, 05:10:38 AM »
It will give you energy and happiness
And this is the most important part.   :)
If I have to be a grownup, can I at least be telekinetic too?


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Offline iratherfly

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Re: 1st cheeses (farmhouse cheddar and pepperjack) were both crunbly
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2013, 07:37:41 PM »
Thanks George!