Author Topic: Hi all new here  (Read 324 times)

Offline Carl h

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Hi all new here
« on: August 03, 2013, 04:52:23 AM »
I'm Carl from S Wales UK, I've just had this mad desire to make my own cheese, bought ingredient, made a press and got to work after watching some videos on YouTube. Have had issued with the twice I've tried but not gonna give up. My main problem has been the setting of the curds. First time i don't think i added enough rennet, newly bought vegetarian rennet, and added more? And when I stirred it !! Curds set but not firmly. Pressed and have a nice piece of cheese that i have now waxed and waiting to taste when matured.
Second try, more rennet this time, good looking curds that cut well. When i went to cook curds they literally fell apart, i carried on and pressed the very wet and soft curds and ended up with a much smaller piece of cheese?
I have now bought testing paper to check ph levels and will try yet again. Any suggestions will be gratefully received.........

Carl :)
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Offline Tiarella

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Re: Hi all new here
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2013, 05:57:14 AM »
Welcome, Carl!  I'm sure you'll get some good answers but it'll be easier if you give a bit more info such as what type of milk you used(species and raw or pasteurized <ultra or regular style of pasteurization>, homogenized or not), what other ingredients/additives you used, source of your recipe, etc.  Usually curd set issues seem to be about the milk and whether you've given it what  that particular type of milk needs to set up.  Did you add calcium chloride if the milk was pasteurized?

I'm heading out to the barn now but I'm sure others will have some ideas/answers for you if you share a bit more info.  Good luck!  So glad you're not giving up!!!   :D

Offline dthelmers

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Re: Hi all new here
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2013, 07:10:33 AM »
Welcome, Carl!
It sounds like you are using pasteurized homogenized milk. Raw milk is much better, but if you can't get that or just don't want to spend the extra while you learn, here are some tricks that have worked for me.
1. Go to the hot side of the range for mesophilic starter
2. Make your initial curd cuts large, about 1" apart in a cross hatch, and let them settle for 10 minutes. Don't make your horizontal cuts yet.
3. I use a bent wire to make my horizontal cuts. Make them as gently as you can.
4. At first, just jiggle the curd, and work very gently. I use the narrow handle of my ladle for this. As the curd starts to shrink, try to gently move the bottom curds to the top.
5. As the curd shrinks it will firm up. Cut any large pieces with a knife. The curd will enevitably break up some; that's why I start with such a large cut. As the curds cook you can stir them a bit less gently. Cut any large curds that haven't broken. You want a consistent curd size above all.
6. Don't worry about the small broken pieces; they will knit back together.

P/H milk doesn't have the flavor of raw milk, so I add my starter culture to the milk the night before and keep it in the refrigerator. This does improve the flavor.
May I suggest that Caerphilly is a great cheese to learn on? It can be eaten as young as 3 weeks so it speeds up the learning curve. Take notes on each make, so that you can see the effects in the final cheese.

When I first joined this forum, I read through all of the archives in the Problems board. I learned a great deal and avoided a lot of errors.
Have fun!
Dave in CT (that rainy gray spot in the north east United States)
Dave in CT

Offline Denise

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Re: Hi all new here
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2013, 11:15:54 AM »
Hi Carl, I'm originally from Lancashire, not too far from you, and I'm also pretty new to this cheese-making lark. Good idea to listen to what the more experienced folk are saying - add a bit of calcium chloride, once the rennet is in leave it until you get a clean break (adding more rennet later apparently isn't a good idea), and take notes of what you do - temperatures, times, amounts etc. Whether a cheese is a success or not, you'll be able to look back at your notes and see what you did right or wrong.
And yes, Caerphilly is a great cheese to start with.

Offline Carl h

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Re: Hi all new here
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2013, 01:49:53 PM »
Thanks all it was a cheddar i was trying used pasturiesed whole milk from a supermarket. I have sent for test paper to test the acidity and have bought animal rennet to try next time.
Thank you for your advise all very welcome and will keep trying here....will get it right in the end I'm sure.....

Carl  :)
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Offline Boofer

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Re: Hi all new here
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2013, 01:13:40 AM »
1. Go to the hot side of the range for mesophilic starter
What does this mean, Dave? Could you be more clear?

Carl, I would think that a Cheddar would be a more difficult cheese style to make when just starting out. There's a lot of info about Caerphilly on the forum. Another couple fairly easy, forgiving styles are Gouda and Saint Paulin. They can be ready in 6-8 weeks.

-Boofer-
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Bread, beer, wine, cheese...it's all good.

Offline Carl h

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Re: Hi all new here
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2013, 12:45:49 PM »
Think it might be a caerphilly next and Caerphilly is only 20 miles down the road..... ;D
New but trying.......