This was inspired by Paul's Abondance post as I've wanted to get another alpine cheese in the cave but I'm going to have to go back get some more "cheese 202" courses before I tackle that one. Instead I picked a larger-eyed cheese (Gianiclis's recipe for Emmental) that one I've done once before but it was back in my learning stages. I had just done a Gruyere and when I was reading the recipe I was thinking "I just made that!" - kind of like a Gruyere with some proprionic tossed in
- 4 gal. LTP / NH milk from Hickory Hill Farms, SC
- Thermo B (1/2 tsp)
- LH100 (pinch)
- Thermo C (1/8 tsp) I added this because my LH100 was a bit long in the tooth and I wanted to make sure I had some LB in there
- Proprionic bacteria (1/8 tsp) a bit more than recommended because it's like my LH100
- Heavy brine
Warmed milk to 90F
Added cultures; let rehydrate 5 min.
Stir in with wisk
Let still 5 min (no additional ripening time required)
Add NaCl diluted in 1/4 cup cool non-chlorinated water and stir
Add single strength rennet diluted in 1/4 cup cool non-chlorinated water and stir
Floc occured at 20 min.
Used floc factor of 2.5 so total wait time for curd formation was 50 min.
Cut curds using 1/2" square cutter making 3 passes to get 1/4" cubes
Rest 5 min.
Increase temperature to 122F over 40 min. while stirring
Held 122F stirring for 10 min. at which time pH was 6.4
Let curds settle and drained whey
Broke up curds with hands and loaded a cloth-lined 8" diameter clear bottomless cylindrical mold
Added pressure as needed to maintain a consistent whey drip rate and achieve good consolidation until target pH of 5.4
15 min @ 5 lb.
20 min @ 10 lb.
30 min @ 20 lb.
1 hr @ 35 lb.
2.5 hr @ 45 lb. without cloth or mesh (to target pH of 5.4)
Brined in med. heavy brine overnight
Put in 55F 85% RH cave; plan to begin b-linens brush wash @ 1 week; age longer than I've done previous alpines (at least 6 mo.).
Notes: Everything went great with this make pretty much hitting every time, temperature and pH mark. I'm trying to pay more attention to pH and have to say it does have it's rewards. In this case it helped me to extrapolate the pressing time so I could have a 2+ hour naked press to smooth things out - just checked pH every hour or so until it hit 5.4. I included a graph of pH progression and plan to do that with more cheeses.
Also, I saw an error in the graph. Curds were cooked for 45 min. and stirred for 15 min. until 6.4 pH for total of 1 hr. before draining instead of 3 hrs. in the graph. I'll check and add the corrected one.