Author Topic: Peter Dixon's Tomme Recipe  (Read 480 times)

Offline ArnaudForestier

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Peter Dixon's Tomme Recipe
« on: March 05, 2014, 10:21:00 AM »
My other two tomme threads are ghost-towns, hopeful this generates a bit more.  Re-tooling thinking on my cheeses, and dialing back adjunct use, which is why Peter Dixon's Tomme recipe intrigues me - like Gianaclis's from her Mastering book, a very simple affinage and make.  No adjuncts. 

I am puzzled, though, by what seems by my calculation to be a very low starter inoculation rate.  If going with using DVI MA4001, Peter's recipe calls for 2.5 DCU/500 lbs milk (raw milk) or double that, 5.0 DCU/500 lbs, if using p/h milk. 

That seems really low, isn't it?  By my calculation, for a 4 gallon batch, that yields:

(2.5 dcu/500 lbs milk) * (8.6 lbs/gallon of milk) * 4 gallons = 0.172 DCUs.  According to the Mother and DVI calculation chart (sorry, can't recall where I got it), 1% inoculation for 4 gallons would be .9842 DCUs.  So that's 0.175% inoculation for the raw milk rate and .350% for the p/h. 

Both are obviously well below a 1% rate - less than 1/5 the rate for raw milk, just over 1/3 for the p/h rate. 

Do I have this right?  Isn't this really low?  What's the reasoning - some of what's been talked about, looking at a substantial lag and slow curve as a positive?

Additionally, I note he goes straight from the brine into the main cave, to begin affinage.  No drying-out period, prior to going into the main affinage.  Thoughts?

Incidentally, I note the French AOC forbids adjuncts, as well as curd-washing:

Quote
Artificial introduction of bacteria or moulds and washing of curd is forbidden.


Would be interesting to just strip bare the make, using only the farmhouse 4001, and nothing else, but compare a washed-curd to a straight make. 

Anyway, thoughts?
« Last Edit: March 05, 2014, 10:42:53 AM by ArnaudForestier »
- Paul


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Offline JeffHamm

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Re: Peter Dixon's Tomme Recipe
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2014, 11:47:56 AM »
Hi ArnaudForestier,

I've been watching your other tomme thread, but the questions are well beyond my knowledge.  I've only made a couple tommes following Pav's protocol, and I tend to go with whatever moulds I have naturally in my environment. 

However, could the chart be based upon the amounts you add if you intend to immediately rennet?  Peter has a 30 minute ripening time.  With culture (rule of thumb here - don't know where I got this growth rate from actually) doubling ever 20 minutes, after 30 minutes you've got 2^1.5 times the amount of culture you had added.  So, working with the p/h values, you're adding about 0.344%, multiply that by 2 raised to the power of 30/20, and you get 0.973, which is close to 1%.  For the raw milk you would be half that, but have the raw milk cultures too, and they would be growing as well.

The straight to the cave affinage is probably to get the moulds and surface flora going on a damp surface, rather than hardening up the rind.  I think one would need quite tight and controlled (as in constant) humidity and temperature.  I know if my cheeses go into the cave damp, I have far more mould, but with a tomme that is a good thing, especially as the rinds tend to be progressive in nature.  The early damp would encourage one type of rind, then as it dries out later, a new species takes over.

And yes, the comparison you suggest would be interesting.  Good luck.

- Jeff
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Offline ArnaudForestier

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Re: Peter Dixon's Tomme Recipe
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2014, 12:53:47 PM »
Thanks, Jeff.  Good stuff.  That doubling rate seems fast to me, but that's just my gut and I have nothing at all to go on, but if that's the case, thank you, makes perfect sense.  The only thing that gives me pause is that he follows a similar reasoning on bulk culture - coming in at .25% with raw milk, and .50% for p/h milk, so it still seems low, but that's just my prior understanding.  Another member here mentioned Peter likes slow acidification and takes a very minimal approach, especially with raw milk so given that, I get his recipe.  I'm still going to come in with .78% MC for the meso, and add in LH 100 at 0.2%, and see what happens.  That rate worked really well for me in the past.  I think more than anything, temp control is the issue I should focus on.  I'm still learning my system, and its overruns.

I'm very jealous of you guys, with good caves.  I think my little mini-cave system may be preventing good air exchange and air flow...pretty tight, with 4 tommes in one small refrigerator, so I think that might be part of the issue with my getting ambient moulds to take hold.  Hope to get a larger, underground (basement or root cellar) or semi-underground arrangement, probably coolbot it, and go from there.  Your reasoning on going in wet makes perfect sense to me, thank you for that as well, Jeff.  Excited to try, and forego a ton of adjuncts.  Much rather begin with great milk (unfortunately my raw Ayrshire source is dry until late spring, at the earliest), and only nudge it forward, so anything I can do to rely on that milk and otherwise get out of the way, I'm really excited about. 

Will post my findings.  Thanks again. :)

Paul
- Paul

Offline JeffHamm

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Re: Peter Dixon's Tomme Recipe
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2014, 02:07:06 PM »
Hi Paul,

Glad it makes some sense.  If Peter has said he likes slow acid development, then that would make the most sense (given that the table is probably for large commercial makes, where faster is more profitable).  Also, the rate of growth is going to be highly dependent upon temperature and other factors, but it was curious that the numbers came out close so I thought I would pass that on - doesn't mean it's sound mind you.

My "cave" is just a wine fridge that I can keep around 10 C.  I have 3 ripening boxes that hold 2 cheeses (of the 11 Litre make size) each, and two shelves where I can store 6 to 8 waxed cheeses per shelf, or other small boxes with wedges, etc.  This can make it tricky at times, if I want a bloomy rind and a washed rind, and some cheddary types, etc.  But, you work with what you have and make the best of it.  A nice underground system would be good - but hard to do in an upstairs flat!

- Jeff
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Offline Spoons

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Re: Peter Dixon's Tomme Recipe
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2014, 02:17:12 PM »
Arnaud, I can't really comment on DCU amounts, it's not a practice I use (yet), but I can say that I've had nothing but great results using Dixon's recipes. If you can filter out the commercial jargon out of his recipes, chances are it's going to turn out great.

Having said that, My PH targets do miss, this certainly has to do with his approach to using culture, but the final results are still above my expectations.

About the Air-drying:

Yep. He does that. And now I do that too!

I used to air-dry at room temp, but I've had a lot more success air drying at 10-13C with about 75% RH. Air drying take about 3.-4 days now as opposed to a whopping 6-7 days when done at room temp. Give it a shot. It's been working very well for me.
- Eric


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Offline ArnaudForestier

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Re: Peter Dixon's Tomme Recipe
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2014, 02:26:31 PM »
Eric, I didn't see any air-drying in the tomme recipe, unless I missed it - straight from brine into the main cellar.  Does he typically do an air-drying period (my tomme norm is about 60F and 70-75% RH)?

Jeff, I feel your pain, then, on caves.  I'm after finding a small space in a basement, and very intrigued by the coolbot - so long as too rapid an airflow isn't an issue.  Seems Oude Kaas has enjoyed tremendous success with his, after tweaking.
- Paul

Offline Spoons

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Re: Peter Dixon's Tomme Recipe
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2014, 02:51:14 PM »
Some recipes he mentions air-drying. Some, he doesn't. Those that he does mention are mostly done at 50-55F. For instance, his jack cheese doesn't mention air drying, yet I still do it at 50-55F before sealing. I'm thinking he may have forgotten to mention it in some recipes (especially if you seal the cheese).
- Eric

Offline ArnaudForestier

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Re: Peter Dixon's Tomme Recipe
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2014, 12:21:51 PM »
Thanks, Spoons.  I actually queried Peter on the reasoning, see if he replies and if so, I'll post here.
- Paul

Offline elkato

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Re: Peter Dixon's Tomme Recipe
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2014, 11:10:20 AM »
Hello Paul
The data sheet from Danisco says 5-10 dcu for 100 Lt  220 Lbs  so Peter's recipe is half the minimum in Danisco´s data
I took a class with Peter last year in Vermont, it was the affinage class and it was the best Cheese experience I have ever had.(in my short cheese maker career) Peter is a great person and teacher.
I wonder why he recommends this amount, or maybe is a typo? did you get the answer from him?
best regards
Luis.

Offline ArnaudForestier

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Re: Peter Dixon's Tomme Recipe
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2014, 10:02:15 AM »
Hey Luis -

Sorry, just happened to catch this - don't know why I didn't get notification.  Anyway, haven't looked at it in awhile, but the usage you have for raw or p/h milk? 

Either way, and take this with a grain of salt, but without asking him I understand he really does like a very low and slow process, likes to have a long acid curve to better control process.  So if it's that low, that's my best guess. 

He did reply on the issue of putting a wheel into the main cave right away, after brining, with no drying off period. Just said many makers do this, as they have but one aging space, and the additional wetness helps to give molds a good start.  My wheel is doing well, but it's a very different cheese - my other tommes are heavy in geo and mycodore, but this wheel really is a patchwork of linens and geo, and species yet to be determined.  I've also had a small blue issue, but for once, I'm not doing anything about it - curious what the competitive cascades will yield. 

That affinage class looks incredible, man.  I was going to go to this year's class, but it falls on the same week as a required cheesemaker course I have to take, per Wisconsin state regulations.  I have lots of other reasons to go to VT, too, so I'm sure I'll hit it.  Awesome you took part.  Would you mind sharing some highlights of your experience? 

- Paul


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