Author Topic: 12-gallon Parmesan plan  (Read 2007 times)

Offline JeffHamm

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Re: 12-gallon Parmesan plan
« Reply #15 on: September 01, 2013, 12:08:47 AM »
Hi Mike,

The rule of thumb that I got from here is 1 hour per inch of height per lb (i.e. a 3 lbs cheese that was 4 inches thick is brined 3x4 so 12 hours).

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Offline Mike Richards

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Re: 12-gallon Parmesan plan
« Reply #16 on: September 01, 2013, 12:32:39 AM »
Thanks, Jeff.  So, mine is 8.3 lbs (heavier than I expected), but only 3 inches thick (thinner than I expected...so more dense than I expected, too).  That means I should brine it for 3x8=24 hours.  Sound right?

The cheese cloth stuck to it more than I liked, and the side the cloth came over on was not terribly smooth, but the rest of the cheese looked good...except for the embedded dog hair.  :-[
cheese on scale reading 8.28 lbs
I guess I'll let you know how it tastes in a year...
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Offline JeffHamm

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Re: 12-gallon Parmesan plan
« Reply #17 on: September 01, 2013, 12:56:10 AM »
Hi Mike,

To be precise, 3 * 8.3 would be 25 hours, but I won't tell if you don't! :)  That sounds about right I think.  Looks pretty good to me.  I envision lots of spaghetti in about a years time.

- Jeff
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Offline Mike Richards

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Re: 12-gallon Parmesan plan
« Reply #18 on: September 01, 2013, 09:36:27 AM »
Thanks, Jeff. You'd fit right in with the engineering class I teach.

"So, this member has a mass of 8 kg, and thus produces a weight of 80 Newtons." I explain.  A kid with scruntched up eyebrows says, "My calculator says it's 78.48 Newtons."  To which I reply, "Sure, 80."  Then, the half asleep kid asks, "Can I do that on the exam?"
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Re: 12-gallon Parmesan plan
« Reply #19 on: September 01, 2013, 10:31:47 AM »
I don't know that I've ever seen anything that discusses the relationship between size and aging.  Do larger cheeses need to age longer?
First of all, kudos for stepping into the void and having the courage to make a larger cheese. :)

I'm no expert on this but it seems like a cheese with more girth would require more aging. My meager experience with cheese size and aging has shown me that small cheeses ripen through to the core much faster than their larger cousins.

I offer this link which demonstrates subtle differences in length of affinage.

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Offline Mike Richards

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Re: 12-gallon Parmesan plan
« Reply #20 on: September 01, 2013, 11:09:08 AM »
Boofer--that article certainly points out the effects of longer aging.  I don't understand all (or any, really) of the mechanisms that contribute to cheese aging.  I'll need to do a little more research on that topic (I can add it to my list of things to learn).  It would be nice to understand the relationship between cheese size and aging requirements so I could plan accordingly.
If only I could make cheese as well as I grow a mustache...

Offline tnbquilt

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Re: 12-gallon Parmesan plan
« Reply #21 on: September 01, 2013, 01:44:30 PM »
In Caldwell's book she says that you have to brine a the grating cheeses longer than other cheeses. It's at the beginning of the chapter before the recipes. She says 12 hours per lb. I think that's a little much.

I made an Asiago yesterday, and I used Peter Dixon's recipe and it says to brine 5 or 6 hours per lb. That makes my 4 lb cheese brine for 24 hours.

It kills me that they can't agree on brining time, but since I used PD's recipe I will brine by his instructions.

Just throwing that out there to confuse the situation a little.

I expected your cheese to be much larger than that, and it only weighed 8lbs. No doubt that's a big cheese, bigger than anything I've ever made, I was just thinking it would be larger than that.
Tammy

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Re: 12-gallon Parmesan plan
« Reply #22 on: September 01, 2013, 02:36:03 PM »
I expected your cheese to be much larger than that, and it only weighed 8lbs. No doubt that's a big cheese, bigger than anything I've ever made, I was just thinking it would be larger than that.
Interesting...12 gallons of milk...8 pounds of cheese.

By my calcs:
  • 12 gallons x 8.6 lbs/gal = 103.2 lbs
  • 8 lbs of cheese / 103.2 = 0.077519
  • 0.077519 x 100 = 7.8 % yield
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Offline Geo

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Re: 12-gallon Parmesan plan
« Reply #23 on: September 01, 2013, 03:48:56 PM »
Isn't that the average yield for a parmesan make? I've just pulled out a reference which suggests to expect a 7.5% yield for a parmesan. I thought it was because the lower milk solids and fat content in the milk once adjusted make for a lower yield but consequently firmer cheese.

Offline Mike Richards

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Re: 12-gallon Parmesan plan
« Reply #24 on: September 01, 2013, 04:24:09 PM »
Tammy--That's funny.  I thought I had read 3 hours per pound in caldwell's book, so Jeff's instructions seemed to line up perfectly.  I just looked again an the brining instructions and figured out the confusion.  She says, "...brine for 12 hours per pound (6 hours per kg)...".  I only saw the 6 hours/kg which works out to 24 hours.  If it's really 6/lb, then I need 48 hours, and if it's 12/lb I need 96 hours!  That seems like a really long time--especially since the cheese is so flat.  All that surface area should allow a more rapid uptake of salt.  The books I've got all go for somewhere around 20 hours for 2 gallons, but also for 4 gallons of milk.  It makes me wonder about the uptake curve.  I'm really not sure what's best to do, so if any one know for certain, I'd appreciate the help.

Tammy and Boofer-- Yeah, I was under the impression that parm's yield was about 8%, so I go a little more than I expected.  This experience was good enough, though, that I'll be trying other 12 gallon (maybe up to 15) cheeses at some point in the future.  Those will be beefy cheeses.
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Offline JeffHamm

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Re: 12-gallon Parmesan plan
« Reply #25 on: September 01, 2013, 04:53:45 PM »
Interesting.  Perhaps we need two thumbs, for two rules, one for grating cheeses and one for non-grating cheeses - leaving bloomy rinds right out of the rule book for now as we've used up our thumbs!

- Jeff
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Offline Mike Richards

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Re: 12-gallon Parmesan plan
« Reply #26 on: September 01, 2013, 11:22:54 PM »
Well, it's decision time...If my cheese should only be in the brine for 24 hours, it needs to come out soon.  I've done a little bit of reasoning, and I think I'll pull it out.  Here's what I figure.  Feel free to chime in to tell me you agree or think I've missed something.  I figure that what matters more than the mass of the cheese is the ratio of the volume to surface area.  I presume that the rate of salt uptake is a function of the surface area present, and that the diffusion within the cheese depends on the gradient of salt within the cheese (which should be a function of the shape and total volume).  If I assume a cheese with the same height as mine, but smaller diameter, then I get a smaller volume/surface area ratio.  This smaller ratio tells me that that cheese needs to stay in the brine longer to get the same weight percentage of salt into the cheese.  If this is the case, I may have over brined mine...
If only I could make cheese as well as I grow a mustache...

Offline JeffHamm

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Re: 12-gallon Parmesan plan
« Reply #27 on: September 02, 2013, 12:44:57 AM »
I'm sure it will be fine either way.  Good job on the big make.

- Jeff
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Re: 12-gallon Parmesan plan
« Reply #28 on: September 02, 2013, 09:00:40 AM »
Well, it's decision time...If my cheese should only be in the brine for 24 hours, it needs to come out soon.  I've done a little bit of reasoning, and I think I'll pull it out.  Here's what I figure.  Feel free to chime in to tell me you agree or think I've missed something.  I figure that what matters more than the mass of the cheese is the ratio of the volume to surface area.  I presume that the rate of salt uptake is a function of the surface area present, and that the diffusion within the cheese depends on the gradient of salt within the cheese (which should be a function of the shape and total volume).  If I assume a cheese with the same height as mine, but smaller diameter, then I get a smaller volume/surface area ratio.  This smaller ratio tells me that that cheese needs to stay in the brine longer to get the same weight percentage of salt into the cheese.  If this is the case, I may have over brined mine...
And is this going to be on the Final Exam? :-\

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Offline jwalker

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Re: 12-gallon Parmesan plan
« Reply #29 on: September 02, 2013, 10:04:22 AM »
A 100 pound wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano is brined for 20-25 days , which averages out to roughly 5.5 hours per pound.

But that's a way bigger cheese than yours , not sure what the surface are would be compared to yours either .

Congrats on the big cheese either way , I'm sure it will be delicious.
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