I just realized that I had not posted about this cheese which I made right after taking a class with Peter Dixon. It is now 2 months along, and I made it in a style for eating young. So needing a cheese for an event, I cut it open. Smells really good. Paste is very smooth with a few mechanical openings, but texture like baby swiss without holes. The smell is nutty. The flavor is mild but very good. Too bad all my makes are only 2 gallons, because it sure would be nice on one like this to put some of it away for longer.
Asiago 2-17-13, cheese # 42
Since I just practiced making asiago with Peter Dixon, it seemed a good time to try it on my own. In the class I learned some about what the curd should feel like at different stages, so it was fun to try and reproduce the feeling. This one was aiming toward a younger version of Asiago per his guidelines.
Targets: Drain at pH 6.4 to 6.5, Brine at pH 5.1 to 5.3
Flocc multiplier 2.5
2 gallons non-homogenized, pasteurized whole milk pH 6.7 (Fresco asiago; aged should be lower fat)
1/16 tsp flora danica (I know the high temp will kill it, I just put it in there in hopes of more flavor)
¼ scant tsp Thermo C
¼ tsp Calcium Chloride
1.6 ml single strength rennet (less next time)
10:30 Milk at 70 degrees, I stirred in some Flora Danica in hopes of creating a bit more flavor as advised by Caldwell. I figured that this would not really influence the acidification much. I added it at the lower temperature to give it a bit more time.
11:25 T=95, finished stirring in Thermo C. Interestingly, the fat that had been floating in clumps is now melted. Lid on and rest 30 mins.
12:00 T= 97, pH = 6.6. Stirred in Calcium Chloride and waited 5 mins.
12:05 Stirred in rennet. Flocculation in 11.5 mins. Multiplier 2.5, waiting about 23 mins for time to cut.
12:30 Tested for coagulation by pulling curd away from side of pot… like shown in class! Curd cut 3/8inch as best I can. Boy this sure was easier with the curd harp in class.
12:40 T= 97 degrees: Target 106 degrees in 20 mins…..
1:10 T=106 degrees: hold at 106 degrees and stirring for 20 mins
1:30 T= 106 degrees pH = 6.5: Target 120 degrees in 20 mins
1:58 T=120, pH = 6.4
2:10 Testing curd by squeezing together, it separated into pieces easily. Tested by squeezing all the whey out of a clump, it was springy and stretchy. It tasted squeaky and springy in the mouth. Drained down to level of curd and pressed together with hands. Transferred to cheesecloth lined form.
2:20 Pressing under whey in form, with 5 #. At the end of this the curd was knitting nicely.
2:50 Redressed and into press in form, with 9 # for 60 mins. Small amount of whey coming off.
3:50 Redressed and pressing with 27 # whey measured at 6.4. The curd was well consolidated.
4:50 Redressed and pressing at 45 #, whey at pH 6.3
7:15 Redressed and pressing at 45 #, whey measuring pH 6.2
9:30 Removed weight and cheesecloth. Back into form. No whey coming off.
9:30 AM next day… Trimmed a bit of curd off edges. Curd measuring pH 5.6 as best I can tell. Room has been cool overnight. Placed heating pad under press with towel over to create warm area since house is 63 degrees.
5:00 PM, trying to measure pH from bits of curd trimmed off cheese. Not to be counted as accurate, but I think it is pH 5.4. The bits of curd trimmed off have a bit of tang to them, and the body of the cheese is resilient and springy.
8:00 into “cave at 50 degrees