Author Topic: Little crop of Caerphilly  (Read 2578 times)

Offline Mike Richards

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Little crop of Caerphilly
« on: August 17, 2013, 12:36:20 AM »
Tomorrow I'm going to make an 8 1/2 gallon batch of caerphilly.  I'll separate the curds into a number of 12-16 oz molds.  I want to something different with each of them.  I'm sure this is a little too ambitious and that I'll have a mess on my hands, but I'd still like to try.  I'm not sure how many of these I'll have (mainly because I've never used these molds before), so I've got a list of things to try.

1. Plain
2. Neglected
3. Paprika coated
4. Cocoa coated
5. Onion inside
6. Sage inside
7. Garlic inside
8. Blue
9. ...?

Any other suggestions?  Also, when you add powdered stuff (like the sage or onion or garlic powder), do you just add it dry or do you do something else with it?

I hope I can manage all of this.  I'll report tomorrow if it's successful.  If not, I'll be depressed and probably won't report on it until I get over the disappointment.  :)
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Offline Tiarella

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Re: Little crop of Caerphilly
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2013, 06:00:45 AM »
I hope it works out, Mike!  The coated ones will be easy since that happens after most of the work is done.  The internal additions might be tricky since you'll have been guessing how much curd you need to mix the additions into.  Blue might be a bit tricky since you want to avoid contamination of the whole batch although it sounds like another cool experiment to make all those flavors with PR.

Using dry herbs introduces a lot of molds, etc.  Some other thread expounds upon this.  Anyone else remember where that is?  I remember it talks about treatments of the herbs to sterilize them. 

DO keep us posted!


Offline Mike Richards

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Re: Little crop of Caerphilly
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2013, 10:04:14 AM »
I looked for what to do with the dry herbs.  From what I found for herbs (usually fresh, not powdered) people boil them, microwave them, or put them in some sort of sterilizing solution (bleach, acids, sodium something or other...).  Boiling them on the stove makes me wonder if they will just get lost when I add them to the curd.  I'm considering adding them to an equal part or 2 times water in a cup and microwaving them until it boils.  I can use less water and don't think the powder will be diluted so much that it will just run off the curds when I mix them in.  I'll let you know how it works...
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Offline jwalker

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Re: Little crop of Caerphilly
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2013, 10:27:12 AM »
Generally I boil them in a half cup of water , then strain , the flavored water is then added to the milk when heating , and the solids added to the curds before molding.

But seeing as you want to split a large batch into many smaller ones , I would heat the desired herbs to 220 or so in the oven  , that would be above the temperature of boiling water and should sterilize it before adding to curd at molding time.

Or a soak in some 80% alcohol (overproof rum , everclear , etc.) , then drying before adding to curd should still be acceptable.

I've read also that hydrogen peroxide is used for sterilizing some foods as well , but the previous two seem simpler to me.

I've done the oven heating method with black pepper and toasted onions , and so far it has worked fine.

Sound like a good project , have fun and good luck.

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Offline Mike Richards

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Re: Little crop of Caerphilly
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2013, 12:51:01 PM »
jwalker--I'll do the oven heating method.  Thanks for the suggestions.  Getting closer...
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Offline Mike Richards

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Re: Little crop of Caerphilly
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2013, 10:02:37 AM »
Okay--here's the report.

8 gallons of milk, 2 quarts of cream
This milk followed the same low starting pH trend as my last few makes in the Spring--the pH when I reached temperature to add the culture was already 6.45.  I'm going to do some experimenting with different sources of milk to see what I can learn.

I learned a number of things from working with twice as much milk as I was used to.  First, in many respects it was exactly the same as working with only 4 gallons.  The real differences, for me, came when it was time to drain.  I had a harder time getting the curds pushed to one side of the vat so I could pull the plug.  Later, when I put the curds in the molds, I learned that it takes a lot longer to put curds in 9 little molds than in 1 mold (I knew it would take more time, but I was surprised by how much more time it took).  I don't have any pictures of all of this because I was little frustrated during that process.

Once I got all the curd in molds, I stacked them and began pressing them.
press in garage
I learned some useful things here, too.  My new, big press, isn't invited in the house.  I had to press the cheeses in the garage....  I also learned that my cool stack holders aren't that great and that the press as it currently is, is not stable.  While making adjustments to the threaded rod on the press, one of the towers broke and shot my little cheeses all over the place.  Luckily they all stayed within the molds, so I didn't have to throw them away.  I scrambled trying to figure out how to press all 9 cheeses at the same time.  In this process I learned that trying to press cheeses in parallel, like the picture below, really requires that the molds are filled as close to equally as possible.
press with 4 cheeses in parallel
I also learned that my garage looks even more messy from the angle my kids see at.

After pressing for a while, I checked on the cheeses and was disappointed to see that the rinds were not sealing up very well.  I increased the pressure and let them press longer, but it didn't do much.  I decided to try something I had read about and dropped 6 of the 9 into 160 F water for about 3 minutes and then pressed again.  That helped, but mostly led to more extrusion.
9 little cheeses
I'm not sure if I should wait to cut off all the flashing (the thin extruded stuff) when they are drier or do it sooner.

In the end, they all turned out okay, not perfect, but good enough for today.  With all the things I've learned, I'm really not too disappointed.  I will let them dry a little now and will then continue the experiment with the different rind treatments.
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Offline jwalker

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Re: Little crop of Caerphilly
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2013, 10:17:02 AM »
"I'm not sure if I should wait to cut off all the flashing (the thin extruded stuff) when they are drier or do it sooner."


Do it now , or you end up exposing the inner moist cheese later , and it never seems to dry uniformly , that's been my experience.

And clean up that garage man !! >:D
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Offline Mike Richards

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Re: Little crop of Caerphilly
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2013, 11:38:56 AM »
I'll cut it off shortly.

As for the garage--it gets a biannual cleaning.  This is due soon.
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Offline Tiarella

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Re: Little crop of Caerphilly
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2013, 09:21:42 PM »
Are you brining these?  Or did they get cheddared? Or rubbed with salt after pressing?   I agree about cutting off the flashing asap.  Hope they all dry nicely and not too fast for you.  I look forward to following the process of your litter of cheeses!   ;D

Offline Mike Richards

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Re: Little crop of Caerphilly
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2013, 09:55:21 PM »
Tia--They were cheddared and milled with salt.  I'm finally getting to doing a paprika coating.  I've wanted to do it ever since you first posted yours back in March.  I'm excited to see how it (and the rest...) turn out.  I'm still not exactly sure what I'm going to coat the rest with, though I've got some ideas.  Does cinnamon sound really gross, or just a little?

I cut off the flashing this morning.  I've always done it in the past, but thought I might wait this time.  I'm also drying in a semi enclosed container because it's so dang dry here.  I'll try to be good about post pictures of things that I do.
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Offline Tiarella

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Re: Little crop of Caerphilly
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2013, 05:44:32 AM »
I've done a cocoa powder/oil coating that I liked.  Use coconut oil as the oil.  I've also wondered about doing a ground cumin/oil coating.  hadn't thought about cinnamon.  Only way to know is to try it!  Hey, you could do a leaf/coconut oil decoupage version.  I vacuum bag flat the leaves, freeze and then thaw so they are limp and more amenable to behaving.

Offline Boofer

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Re: Little crop of Caerphilly
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2013, 09:13:38 AM »
Later, when I put the curds in the molds, I learned that it takes a lot longer to put curds in 9 little molds than in 1 mold (I knew it would take more time, but I was surprised by how much more time it took).
Yeah, what an eye-opener, huh? The silver lining is that when you finish up, you have nice, compact, individual cheeses that can stand on their own. A great convenience, especially in your make here.

Are these small Kadova moulds? If so, they will bottom out if there aren't enough curds while pressing. I discovered this recently and included a piece of whey-dampened muslin to allow for continued pressing with inadequate curd volume.

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Offline Mike Richards

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Re: Little crop of Caerphilly
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2013, 05:27:47 PM »
Yeah, what an eye-opener, huh? The silver lining is that when you finish up, you have nice, compact, individual cheeses that can stand on their own. A great convenience, especially in your make here.

Are these small Kadova moulds? If so, they will bottom out if there aren't enough curds while pressing. I discovered this recently and included a piece of whey-dampened muslin to allow for continued pressing with inadequate curd volume.

-Boofer-

I think I will be better prepared next time I do a big batch like this.  These are not Kadova moulds, but they do bottom out, too.  I was careful to make sure I had enough curds, though, with the last one it was close.  I read about you using muslin and was prepared to do so if needed. 

I really like the little size.  I think they'll make great little Christmas presents.  If I can get to where I can make a more consistent size, I'm considering quartering the cheeses and then gifting a "variety wheel" that has 1/4 a wheel of 4 different cheeses wrapped up as a single wheel.  Wouldn't that be a fun little present?
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Offline Boofer

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Re: Little crop of Caerphilly
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2013, 09:34:54 AM »
I really like the little size.  I think they'll make great little Christmas presents.  If I can get to where I can make a more consistent size, I'm considering quartering the cheeses and then gifting a "variety wheel" that has 1/4 a wheel of 4 different cheeses wrapped up as a single wheel.  Wouldn't that be a fun little present?
That works well for me. I believe a variety of tastes is preferable to a big honking wheel of one type of cheese. Depending on the size of the cheese, I'll cut it into fourths, sixths, or eighths. I'm shooting for around 3-5 ounces (85-150g). Unless it's a large group, then the cut size goes up accordingly.

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Offline Mike Richards

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Re: Little crop of Caerphilly
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2013, 11:46:16 PM »
I coated 3 of these today and set aside the neglected one.

three little coated cheeses
The one on the left is cocoa, then cinnamon, then paprika.  I think the two on the left had too much oil and the one on the right didn't have enough.  They're pretty cool looking regardless.

The total lack of closing/sealing of the rind is starting to show on the other cheeses.  I'm going to bag them up and hope they're okay.  Except for the neglected one.  I put him in his box and will leave him there until I decide to try him.  Here he is in his box.
neglected one in a box
It will be interesting to see if the open rind all over this guy lets nasties get to the inside.  It's dry enough here that possibly even in that box, nothing will grow on him.  I'll update this when there's something worth saying.
If only I could make cheese as well as I grow a mustache...