Author Topic: Pressing Curds - Sticking to Net & Cloth Discussion (Starts With "The dark side of Monterey Jack")  (Read 3477 times)

Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Sticking starts when the pH really starts to drop, generally a couple of hours into pressing, depending on the cheese. I usually flip 3 times at 1/2 hour intervals and then flip a 4th time and finish up overnight. I do NOT spray on the first two flips. I always spray on the last two flips.

As whey is squeezed out during pressing, a little calcium comes out too and can aggressively bond to the netting or cheesecloth. The idea is to balance the DIFFERENCE between the pH and calcium levels at the surface of the cheese and those of the netting or cheesecloth.
A moldy Stilton is a thing of beauty. Yes, you eat the rind. - Ed
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Offline cclear1959

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Sailor, do you have a "recipe" for your vinegar spray? I would love to try this method on my next cheese. Thanks.

Offline Sailor Con Queso

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I use a quart spray bottle. I add 1 tablespoon of CaCl2 solution and 2 tablespoons of pickling salt then fill the rest with around 25% distilled water and 75% white vinegar. I spray both the netting or cheesecloth and the cheese itself.
A moldy Stilton is a thing of beauty. Yes, you eat the rind. - Ed
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Offline Boofer

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It has been a little over two months so I sliced a little off one of the small wheels to sample for breakfast. I resealed the rest for continued aging.

Not bad. No bitterness or crumbliness! Hooray!  :D  Salt level is good. Tastes a little like cheddar. I am pleased.

-Boofer-
Let's ferment something!
Bread, beer, wine, cheese...it's all good.

Offline DeejayDebi

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Well in spite of it troblesome beginings it look like a nice cheese. Good job hon!


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Offline Boofer

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Thanks, Debi. I'll do better next time around with this style. Learned a lot. That's important too.

-Boofer-
Let's ferment something!
Bread, beer, wine, cheese...it's all good.

Offline DeejayDebi

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Everyday is a chance for an new learning experince. Grab it with gusto!

Offline Spoons

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I wish I had found this post BEFORE last night's incident.

Last night I made a Caerphilly (not cheddared). Room temp was 24C and the final press was 5.64PSI. The recipe calls for "medium" pressing, whatever that means. Maybe I pressed too hard.

I'll try Sailor's spray next time.

Since this is an old thread, has anyone adjusted well to Kadova moulds where this never happens?
- Eric

Offline linuxboy

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Flip early, flip often. After the pH drops a bit (after hour in press), won't be an issue.
Taking an extended leave (until 2015) from the forums to build out my farm and dairy. Please e-mail or PM if you need anything.

Offline Spoons

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Here's what I'll try then;

My pressing schedule was:
Ambient temp: 24C
Press 1: 15 minutes @ 1.88 PSI
Press 2: 15 minutes @ 3.10 PSI
Press 3: 5.5 hours (until PH 5.13) @ 5.64 PSI
Results: curd fused to netting

I'll do the same recipe later this week and try:
Ambient temp : same
Press 1: 15 minutes @ 1.88 PSI
Press 2: 15 minutes @ 3.10 PSI
Press 3: 30 minutes @ 5.13 PSI
Press 4: 30 minutes @ 5.13 PSI
Press 5: 1 hour @ 5.13 PSI
Press 6: until desired PH @ 5.13 PSI

This should be ok without using the salt/vinegar spray?

Thanks for the tip, LB!
- Eric


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Offline linuxboy

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Depending on how your curds look (moisture level at press), you may want to lower the PSI for first hour.  I like to cook pretty dry and fuse high PSI for first 10 mins to get a good press (like you do in alpines), and then keep PSI more moderate. The curds must be cooked completely though. Else, you get whey trapped in the curd and it will keep seeping and give you flavor issues later on.
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Offline Spoons

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I made another Caerphilly tonight. I pressed and flipped 6 times at much lower PSI. First few were bellow 1 PSI working the way up to 2.5 PSI.

The bad news is the cheese stuck to the netting once again, but not as much. Next time, I'll dunk the netting and then the cheese in my brine for a few seconds right before the final "overnight" press. Hopefully this will resolve the issue.

This time though, I managed to salvage the cheese surface; i rinsed and scrubbed (no soap, just tap water) the netting until all the stuck cheese came off. I flipped the damaged cheese and pressed it at 2.5 PSI for 1 hour.

I'm determined to get around this. Getting better  :)

- Eric

Offline Geo

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It's looking good, Spoons. Good save!