Author Topic: Wort infused cheddar  (Read 556 times)

Offline Geo

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Wort infused cheddar
« on: September 18, 2013, 03:56:28 AM »
I had a all-grain mild beer wort in my fermenter that apparently would not take yeast. Six packets of yeast I threw at that thing, not trusting the yeast, until I concluded that it couldn't be the yeast, something in the wort was killing the yeast. Loathe to trow the whole thing out, I started to wonder what it would do in a cheese?

So...adapting a basic cheddar recipe in Caldwell's book,

16 litres pasteurised, unhomogenised milk (3.66% fat, 3.4% protein)
300 ml pre-cultured MA4000
3 ml rennet pre-diluted in 25 ml water

Brought milk to 27C, added culture, rested 30 mins. Added rennet, rested 45 minutes. Cut curd into 1cm cubes.
Stirred for 30 mins, increasing temp to 39C. Held at this temp, stirring, for 60 minutes.
Drained whey and cheddared at 37C for one hour.
Added wort, realised immediately that I should have boiled it first (D'oh!), pushed on, trying to maintain temp at 37C. Didn't quite succeed at this so infused in wort at 34C for one hour, drained.
Milled and added 30g salt (2% by weight)

Followed Biss's cheddar pressing-and-dressing routine:
Day 1: Placed in press, pressed with 1.25 then 5kg for 30 mins over heat, turned, then into press increasing over 2 hours to 35 kg. Pressed at 35kg for 24 hours, turning every 8 hours or so.
Day 2: removed from press, placed in 55C water bath for 1 minute, returned to press under 35kg for 24 hours
Day 3: removed from press, bandaged using coconut oil, returned to press with 20kg weight.
Day 4: removed from press, bandaged with coconut oil, into cave at 11-13C, 49-80% humidity.

Final weight out of press was 1656g. There's a good knit on this one if I say so myself.

The marbling is quite modest but there's a definite beery scent, even through the bandage. I may have trouble with late blowing if there's any yeast infection from the unboiled wort, but as it was killing the brewer's yeast off, we'll see. There's a year to wait for the results on this one.


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Offline graysalchemy

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Re: Wort infused cheddar
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2013, 05:47:56 AM »
Great looking cheese   :D :D

Sorry to hear about your mild  :-[

As a frequent user and mod on the Home brew forum here in the Uk that is one that I have never come across. I asume you took hydrometer readings to check that nothing did happen.

Did the yeast all come from the same batch or did you try various yeast? You may also be wise to try and make a starter up first as well, though strictly speaking you shouldn't need to make a starter from dried yeast.

If you were closer I have quite a collection of great yeasts. Brewing tomorrow using a new yeast from a Manchester micro brewery.

If you need any beer advice PM me or come and visit us over on the home brew forum.

Offline Geo

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Re: Wort infused cheddar
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2013, 07:01:22 AM »
Thanks, I may well swing by the next time I try a brew and ask for help. I did indeed take hydrometer readings, but no change over the fortnight I was persisting with that wort. It was more inert than a black hole!

I used a different yeast for each attempt, covering every ale yeast locally available. By the end of it I was tossing them in more as a science experiment than to try to make beer. I made starters with each of them, raised a froth and would oxidise the wort before adding but they'd stop all action once they hit the wort. The temperature and pH were both fine so I'm clueless. There may well have been a problem with the yeasts. One challenge with living at the bottom of the world is that one's local selection of ingredients is limited and you don't know what treatment they've had on their way to you. Anther issue is that the malt I used for this attempt was well past its use-by date so may have had some yeast-inhibiting effect.

It's going to be a few weeks before work pressures permit me to try another brew because I've a bit of travel coming up. In the meantime OH, who's in the UK at present, is taunting me with Shropshire microbreweries!  ::)

Still, the cheese was a good use for it. I just wish I'd not thrown the rest out before I had the bright idea to make mushroom, puy lentil, walnut and brown ale pie!

Offline graysalchemy

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Re: Wort infused cheddar
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2013, 07:06:33 AM »
I have lost 2 batches of 10 gallon to fruit fly over the years and have the most wonderful Beersamic vinegar  ;D ;D ;D


Offline Geo

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Re: Wort infused cheddar
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2013, 04:59:21 PM »
I'd have loved to have heard that a couple of weeks ago!  ::)


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Offline Geo

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Re: Wort infused cheddar
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2013, 06:32:05 PM »
This cheese is about three weeks old now. I got home after a week away to find some moulds on the bandage. I could live with some on the bandage but there were definitely some under the bandage so remembering how much the moulds had affected the rind of the bandaged cheshire I decided to remove it.

I pulled the bandage layers off and gently scraped the coconut oil off with a table knife. The moulds were between the coconut oil layers but the cheese underneath is untouched. The staining from the wort is soft but evident. And the smell. I could stand and sniff this cheese ALL DAY LONG. It has the most lovely sweet, savoury, nutty worty smell.

I need to decide what to do about a coating now. I'm giving it a day naked in the cave and then I may apply more coconut oil or I may wax it. I'm 50/50 as it will be neglected for the next three weeks and I'm still cautious about natural rinds when I'm not around to monitor them.

Offline Spoons

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Re: Wort infused cheddar
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2013, 09:40:24 PM »
If you like natural rinds and have a tendency to leave weeks at a time, may you should consider adding natamycin such as Natamax. I havent yet used any  "mold control" cultures, but heard that they are effective if used properly.
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Offline Geo

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Re: Wort infused cheddar
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2013, 10:29:06 PM »
That's a thought, thanks Spoons. I hadn't thought of trying a natamycin spray to achieve a natural rind. I do have natamycin-impregnated cheese cream, which I've used on some of the Cheshires under the wax.

I regularly travel for several weeks at a time, both for work and pleasure. I've decided that much as I'd like to work with natural rinds, they should wait until I can afford a cheese cave capable of achieving a consistent temperature. I'll wax this cheese as it makes storing the cheeses in the picnic cooler easier. Natural rinds will come in time.

Offline Tomer1

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Re: Wort infused cheddar
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2013, 05:39:03 AM »
If you like natural rinds and have a tendency to leave weeks at a time, may you should consider adding natamycin such as Natamax. I havent yet used any  "mold control" cultures, but heard that they are effective if used properly.

Also pottasium sorbat can be mixed in with the oil to act as anti microbial (control yeast).  I think dose is 200 ppm?  (0.2 g\L)
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Offline Geo

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Re: Wort infused cheddar
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2013, 05:42:54 AM »
Now that's something I'm definitely going to try. Thankyou, Tomer1!

For this cheese, I opted for waxing but I'm very keen to try natural rinds with the next batches.


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Offline Geo

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Re: Wort infused cheddar
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2014, 05:42:42 PM »
Updating this thread, as the cheese is now six months old.

I noticed that the other waxed cheese I had, had been weeping whey, so I gave this cheddar a good look last night. It looked as though it might be weeping whey as well. At the very least, it had a loose patch of wax with discolouration beneath it. Having natural-coloured wax is definitely an advantage to spotting any incursion problems.

Offline Geo

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Re: Wort infused cheddar
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2014, 05:47:49 PM »
Removing the wax, I found a little expressed whey so that the cheese surface was slightly moist, and a touch of mould incursion under the wax. On inspection, there was a pinprick hole in the wax, where an air bubble had allowed a hole to form. Mould had incurred, presumably following expressed whey, and had colonised the surface of the cheese.

I think I've not been turning this either. The top surface of the cheese was much less wet, with a slightly dry and poor knit from overenthusiastic stirring (this was something like my 5th cheese make). There's quite a stale beer smell about it, so I've trimmed any mouldy bits (which were on the whey layer between the cheese and the wax rather than on the cheese itself) and put it in the cave with no covering for what will probably be a few days to a week to dry out a little, then I'll probably vacuum-pack it for another six months.

Offline TimT

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Re: Wort infused cheddar
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2014, 01:18:49 AM »
Like your gung-ho approach! Call it gung-ho cheese!

Curious though: the hops in the wort (I assume it was hopped): they didn't have a deterrent effect on the cheese bacteria?

And *no* fermentation whatsoever in the wort? Um.... temps too high in the house or something?

That said, I must try this sometime, maybe with a fermented beer (boiled again for sterilisation obviously).

Offline Geo

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Re: Wort infused cheddar
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2014, 03:01:09 AM »
Hah, gung ho is a good word. Gung ho cheese it is!

Seriously, I'm fairly fearless around foods because I spent a lot of years working with food professionally before moving into science. I like to kid myself that I have a feel for what's going to work (probably because it rarely goes wrong), but I think you don't learn unless you push boundaries.

No fermentation in that wort whatsoever. The temperatures were fine, and the yeasts were fermenting outside of the wort but would die when put into it. I was using up some very old malt, and I suspect that enzymes in the malt were killing off the yeasts.

I haven't tried any of this cheese yet, but I do recommend trying something similar. :)

Offline TimT

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Re: Wort infused cheddar
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2014, 08:10:46 PM »
I've made a Ziegerkase - recipe from Ricki Carroll's book - in which you immerse a round of ricotta into a red wine-salt-herb brine. It tastes good but floating about in the red wine looks like a preserved organ :)