Yesterday I set out to make manchego following Mary Carlin's Saffron infused manchego recipe almost doubled. The day started out well, when I went to the farmer's market for creamline milk in glass bottles I was charged $3/gallon. It pays to talk up the results you're getting with the milk. Last time I paid $4/gallon with a posted price of $2.50/half gallon. A few distractions and episodes of cerebral flatulence later, I have a wheel of cheese in the brine.
I started out overshooting the culturing temperature by 8F. When I realized I hadn't turned off the heat soon enough I put the cheese pot in a sink with cold water. When I came back to it 35 minutes later, I discovered that my sink stopper needs to be replaced, all the water had drained. At least the milk was down to the intended 86F. I returned the pot to the warm water bath, renneted and gave my bowl a spin. I must have cultured too long, because I got flocculation in just under 8 minutes. The recipe calls for cutting 30-40 minutes after renneting, so I figured that the target floc multiplier must be 2-2.5. Using 2.5, I set my timer at 20 minutes. When it went off I realized my mistake.
After cutting, I stirred a bit harder than usual, hoping to expel enough whey to make up for my mistake. For once, I picked the right setting to raise the temperature to 104F in the specified 30 minutes. Let the curds settle, remove enough whey to expose the curds and ladle them into the draining bag. Now the moment of truth - do the curds fit in my tomme mold? Hooray! I must have expelled enough whey, since the curds fit in the mold without overflowing. I pressed under whey with double the specified weight, as 15 and 30 pounds on a 7.75" mold seems far too low.
When I woke up this morning the curds had knit well and the cheese floated high in the brine. Hopefully I will be able to age this out into something approximating manchego. My last attempt ended up with a linens rind. It was delicious, but not manchego. I don't have MM100, so I used MA-16 and MD-88 in a 3:1 ratio. I also added 1/2 tsp of mild lipase and 1/32 tsp of LBC-80 to my pot limit of 3.5 gallons.