Well i tried the recipe for Gouda.... from http://www.wacheese.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=81:gouda-washed-curd-howto&catid=43:moderate-cook-temp&Itemid=66
All i can say ....it was one of those days that everything just went wrong.... and I would have been better reading a book.... so despite ending up with a formed cheese with small hairs over it ( have worked out that even if you have boiled the cheese cloth... visual inspection is a good idea) and then having the mould slip under the pressing weight and and ending up getting a large chunk cut off... and deciding to end it there.....my question is about...... pH levels... still trying to come to terms with this....
It seems the milk i use in New Zealand... raw organic cows milk, but pasteurised prior to buying has a pH of around 6.75. It is winter....My target was 6.55... doesn't seem much difference.... but it took 3 hrs 20mins to get there after adding the culture. Flora Danica 1/4 tsp for 12 litres of milk.
So should i use more starter culture.... get up a lot earlier on a cheese making day or is there something else i can try..... an additive to get the milk to the right pH level?
Secondly when i was in the washing the curd stage... target was to get to 6.2 - 6.3 from 6.4 after 15 to 20 minutes of stirring.... i just did not see the drop..... pH remained constant at around 6.4. Should i have stirred for longer.... faster?
And lastly if the pH is higher e.g.. 6.4 instead of 6.25 after the washing stage.... how does that effect the cheese.... is it structure/texture or taste or all?
Thanks again for all your help.... still wondering if i should see cheese making as a science or an art