Author Topic: Asiago trouble  (Read 248 times)

Offline scasnerkay

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Asiago trouble
« on: February 18, 2014, 10:08:05 PM »
I made an asiago type cheese this weekend, adding a pinch of FD when the milk was still cool, and let it come up to temp slowly. Then I added the Thermo C starter.  The make went along predictably until.... After stirring at 95degrees for about 20 mins, breaking up any larger chunks, I tested the whey pH and it was already 6.4, which was the ph for draining.  So I went ahead with heating, and took it up to 106 over a period of 20 mins, tested again at 6.4 ph. So rather than stirring for a while at 106, I went ahead and heated it to 118 over another 20 mins. The drain pH varied on testing at 6.3 and 6.4, but the curd felt just right. So I thought I had "saved" the make. Pressing was fine over about 24 hours to get down to the right pH of 5.2, then into saturated brine for 8 hours.  And I thought all was well, until.... this morning when I took it out of the brine, and there are several cracks in it...  I am so disappointed and am wondering what this will mean for the final texture and flavor profile. When I look in the Caldwell book there is an example of a cheese just like mine and it suggests that this is a problem of over-cooking.
Suggestions...  Will it just be chicken food?
Susan


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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Asiago trouble
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2014, 12:16:46 AM »
The casein shell on the curds was too high, leading to uneven moisture distribution, leading to uneven fuse in mold. Basically, think about it like this. First you cooked the curds to the point where there's too much moisture trapped in the center. Then you try and fuse them, and they fuse OK in some cases, but some curds are still letting go of whey along fracture lines. Those lines never fuse, they never "heal" because the whey keeps coming out. So then you put it in brine, and the fracture lines are right there acting like highways for the salt. And they crack the cheese.

So it's not overcooking per se, but how the make progressed with the rest of the dynamics. If the curd was overcooked evenly with no shell, you'd get something closer to parmesan, even with a pH drain of 6.3.
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Offline scasnerkay

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Re: Asiago trouble
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2014, 06:49:18 PM »
So, I think that the problem was raising the temperature too quickly, since I did not hold at 106 for the recommended 20 mins? Solution next time might be to leave out the early use of FD which maybe contributed to the early drop in pH? Or use less Thermo C?

Interestingly, the cracks are gone after the cheese has rested in the cave at about 90% humidity. but I am guessing then that when I bag it in a couple of weeks, it may continue to leak whey if whey was trapped in the curd?

But I really would like to know what I should expect about how this cheese will be? Should I expect it to be tried at about 3months or 6 months, or give it to the chickens?
Susan

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Asiago trouble
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2014, 08:27:42 PM »
Don't sweat it, it'll be good. And yes to everything else you said. I don't think the lower drain pH is that big of a deal, but yes, use a bit less culture if you want the curve to be slower.
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