Author Topic: Colby too soft, any ideas where I went wrong?  (Read 383 times)

Offline orion113

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Colby too soft, any ideas where I went wrong?
« on: May 27, 2013, 04:30:51 PM »
The below notes are from the fourth Colby I made using this recipe.  First one (first hard cheese I made) it seemed like everything went wrong, cook times went way over, too much rennet to the point of the curd looked like firm jello, and it was fantastic?  Great texture and flavor.  The third and fourth ones taste good, however the texture is almost exactly like room temperature "Velveeta", without exaggerating.  Very soft, even hard to slice it is so soft.  I hope I can use them for melting in chili con queso or something.  Any input on my notes below as to why this may have happened would be appreciated.  I found a lot of info on cheese that is too hard or crumbly but not much on it feeling soft like this.  Thanks in advance all.

#4 Colby Longhorn Used same floc time as #3
Age 4-6 weeks
04-21-13               4 Weeks is 05/21-13
N.E.C. website recipe
Milk to 86 deg., added ¼ tsp annatto, ½ tsp CACL, and culture.  After letting culture sit on surface 3 mins, stirred in.

1024 Let milk and culture sit for 1 hour with large towel over pot.  Stayed close to temp with this.

Added 1/2 tsp. rennet, this time only using enough to have top of meniscus line level with top of measuring spoon.  Stirred in rennet. 

Same amount of ingredients, same wait times except
Cut curds at 39 minutes and it looks very good, clear whey, etc.
Cut it at a bit softer this time, hoping for more yield.  Trying to cut down total cook time.
Washed  curd, Cooled to 85 degrees, drained,  stirred at 72 deg for 15 mins.  Note, only stirred occasionally again to keep from matting.
Put in 6 inch mold and pressed, pounds pressure below converted from 4 inch mold in recipe to the 6 inch mold used, hence the big numbers
15 mins @ 20#  turned and redressed
30 mins @ 40#  turned and redressed      
90 mins @ 75 #  turned and pressed naked   10# plus gallon water jug on 4X
Overnight @ 90 pounds  naked         water jug, 10#, 5#, on 4X
Much softer after pressing this time, when pressed naked, much more cheese oozed out of the holes in the sides of the mold than previous with same press weights/times.
Dried, Brined, dried, waxed and put in cave.


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Offline WovenMeadows

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Re: Colby too soft, any ideas where I went wrong?
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2013, 05:05:47 PM »
Generally, cheese too soft I would expect either:
a) too long time coagulating/too high a floc factor
b) curd cut too large
c) curd not cooked long/high enough (dehydrating the curd)

Not sure about (a) here, you don't mention what or if you knew the floc times (just alluding to another recipe, which I didn't check). Also don't say how large curd was cut - I'd think 3/8" to 1/2" for Colby type. Regarding (c) you also don't say how long or to what temp the curd was cooked, if at all - in your description you move from cutting the curd to washing the curd. Colby as I understand would first be cooked to the high 90s to low 100s degree F, then (if sufficient acidity reached) some whey would be removed and cool water added to drop temp down to 80-85 or so. Then drained and I think typically salted (in a Cheddar fashion, rather than brined).

Offline bbracken677

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Re: Colby too soft, any ideas where I went wrong?
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2013, 06:43:06 AM »
I would agree with the above post, having made colby a couple of times. Also, if you add too much of too cold water too quickly you may wind up with extra moisture in the curd. I aged mine out 3 months.
The texture on my 2nd colby was a tad dry, but the mouthfeel was perfect with a creamy sort of feel and taste.

Offline orion113

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Re: Colby too soft, any ideas where I went wrong?
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2013, 11:42:33 AM »
Yes, my notes were a bit complete on that one, sorry.  Here is from the Colby before where I included that information that was missing.

1214 Rennet added  ½ tsp meniscus line just too top level of spoon.
1220 Put bowl in to test floc time.
Floc time 13 1/2 mins.  40.5 mins total rennet set time, used factor of 3 multiplier for cheddar type cheese.  Used square, small, glass bowl for testing
1254 Cut curd to 1/2 inch
1255  Started cook to heat to 102 stirring gently
1347  Curd at 102  total of 52 minutes again to reach this temperature.
Washed  curd, Cooled to 85 degrees, drained,  cooled and stirred at 72 deg for 15 mins.  Note, only stirred occasionally again to keep from matting.

I used a factor of 3 for them all.  I could have put in water that was too cool in hind sight?  Sometimes I am afraid of cutting too early I suppose, not sure why, I have that stuck in my head.  Since these two soft Colbys I have been sticking to the Floc time formula coagulation times just so I can have consistency in that anyway.  I could have been guilty of too large of a curd cut, seems like I am always ending up with more like 1 inch cubes, then trying to cut them smaller as I am stirring.  Maybe that is an issue too.  Thanks all for your patience :-\