Author Topic: Several process questions  (Read 601 times)

Online awakephd

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Several process questions
« on: April 24, 2014, 09:26:16 PM »
I am letting my first try at a Lancashire ripen, and thought I'd take advantage of the opportunity to ask some questions related to some of the recipes and makes I've seen described here.

1) I have noticed references to a ripening box AND a cheese cave, and am a bit confused. I was thinking a ripening box was a substitute for a cheese cave (or equivalent mini-fridge), but it sounds like some of you perhaps use both -- ??

2) Some of the recipes talk about salting the outside of the cheese when dressing it and preparing for the next press. What does this do, as compared to the salt that has already been added? How much salt are we talking about -- is there a danger of over-salting?

3) Sometimes I see a reference to adding the Calcium Chloride before adding the culture, but often it is added after ripening, just before adding rennet. How much / what sort of difference does it make when it is added?

4) For the Lancashire, I am seeing buttermilk frequently used as the starter. Am I right in thinking that buttermilk typically has some diacetylis in it? Or to ask the question another way, is it best / appropriate / okay to use something like a 4001 or Flora Danica?

5) I am planning on making a Caerphilly tomorrow to be a companion to this Lancashire. Help me to sort out, in my own mind, what the key differences are. Depending on the recipe, it seems to me that the key difference is that the Caerphilly is cooked -- very low temp, but for 40 minutes -- so I'm thinking that should make it a good bit drier a cheese. Yes? No? If yes, then why is it considered ripe much sooner -- I thought the drier the cheese, the longer the ripening time -- ??

I am afraid one or more of these questions may do more to reveal my level of ignorance than anything else! But I look forward to gaining wisdom from your answers!
« Last Edit: April 24, 2014, 09:37:32 PM by awakephd »


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Offline MrsKK

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Re: Several process questions
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2014, 09:39:40 PM »
I'll answer the questions that I'm familiar with.

1) A ripening box is simply a plastic bin/box with a lid, equipped with a grate in the bottom and a plastic mat on top of that.  The grate keeps the cheese out of any moisture that may collect in the bottom, the plastic matting keeps the grate from "growing" into the cheese.  The cheese goes in the ripening box to better control moisture levels.  The ripening box goes in the cheese cave for temperature control.

2) I've never heard of salting the outside of the cheese.  Most recipes refer to removing the wheel from the mold, flip, redress, and press at however many pounds.  I'm not sure where you have read of salting the outside of the cheese.  Can you post links to what you are referencing?

3) I use buttermilk as a mesophilic culture.  I can't answer the rest of your question.

4) I've never made Caerphilly, so I can't address that either.

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Re: Several process questions
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2014, 10:35:09 PM »
I am a newb too, so factor that into your calculations, but MrsKK is right about boxes controlling humidity for a single cheese inside a fridge controlling temperature for a lot of cheeses.

Salting the exterior of a cheese wheel draws moisture out of the cheese, creating a dry rind, and fortifying the wheel to incursions from nasties like Listeria monocytogenes.

I am guessing you are learning from M Karlin's book? Calcium Chloride is added to store-bought, pasteurized and homogenized cow's milk to replace calcium lost in the processing. I also add it to raw goat's milk to help strengthen the flocculation. It can be added before ripening, I believe.

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Online awakephd

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Re: Several process questions
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2014, 11:57:25 PM »
Karen,

When I went back to look at the recipes that mention salting during the dressing between pressings, I noticed they all seem to be Caerphillies -- perhaps this is something particular to that cheese? Here are a couple of links for reference; there are many more that mention it:

http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,10887.msg82601.html#msg82601

http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,10375.msg77586.html#msg77586

David, your explanation is one I had thought of ... wonder why it -- or if -- it is peculiar to Caerphillies.

I began with the Ricki Carroll book, but am following recipes found here for the Lancashire and (tomorrow) the Caerphilly.

Back to the ripening box -- do different cheeses require significantly different RH for ripening? If I keep the "cave" at 80 - 85 percent RH, would I also need a ripening box?

Offline Spoons

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Re: Several process questions
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2014, 08:07:03 AM »
5) I am planning on making a Caerphilly tomorrow to be a companion to this Lancashire. Help me to sort out, in my own mind, what the key differences are. Depending on the recipe, it seems to me that the key difference is that the Caerphilly is cooked -- very low temp, but for 40 minutes -- so I'm thinking that should make it a good bit drier a cheese. Yes? No? If yes, then why is it considered ripe much sooner -- I thought the drier the cheese, the longer the ripening time -- ??

Caerphilly is ripe real soon because of it's low cook temp and the addition of an adjunct aroma blend. A caerphilly should'nt be dry but rather very crumbly. It's hard to describe, but even if it's very crumbly it still feels moist and somewhat creamy when tasting.


Back to the ripening box -- do different cheeses require significantly different RH for ripening? If I keep the "cave" at 80 - 85 percent RH, would I also need a ripening box?


Washed and bloomy rind cheeses require a bit more RH% than hard or semi-hard cheeses. Always follow what the recipe says though. Ripening boxes are easier to control the RH% by slighly opening the lid, the moisture coming out the the cheese provides the RH% for the container.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2014, 02:13:01 PM by Spoons »
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Offline jwalker

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Re: Several process questions
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2014, 10:06:42 AM »
Well , here's my two cents worth. ;D

1.  A riening box can be one of two things , a separate container within a cave to maintain a higher humidity , or it could be a special separate container that can be heated or kept a a higher temperature for the warm phase needed for the formation of eyes in some cheeses.

2. Some cheeses are salted either by salting the outside of the cheese , or brining , the salt migrates to the interior of the cheese an displaces miasture as well as adds a preservative value to the cheese , I just mad two Bries last night and salted them this morning , some cheeses call for liquid brining , just a different method.
When dry salting , the ammount of salt is usually indicated as a percentage of the weight of the cheese , so you weigh the cheese and use the corresponding ammount of salt reccomended.

3. I add Calcium Chloride after the milk has ripened , as the Calcium may kill off some of the cultures making the milk take longer to set , or so I have read , and it seems to work better for me.

4. I believe FD and Commercial buttermilk are basically the same cultures.

5. I won't comment on the Caerphilly as i have only made a few and was not real fond of all of them , something I probably won't make again.

Hope this helps.
No..........I'm not a professional CheeseMaker , but I play one on TV.

Online awakephd

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Re: Several process questions
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2014, 08:17:16 PM »
Caerphilly is ripe real soon because of it's low cook temp and the addition of an adjunct aroma blend. A caerphilly should'nt be dry but rather very crumbly. It's hard to describe, but even if it's very crumbly it still feels moist and somewhat creamy when tasting.

Hmmm ... I'm still confused. The recipes I've seen for Lancashire have even lower temp cook (or rather no cooking at all), and generally use buttermilk, which I think is an aroma type culture -- ??

In any case, the Lancashire is out of the press and drying, and the Caerphilly is in the press. Good knits on both. In a few weeks I'll see if I can tell the difference! :)

Online JeffHamm

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Re: Several process questions
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2014, 10:01:58 PM »
Hi,

Caerphilly's flavour, the tang it has, is primarily due to it being a young cheese.  If you age it out, the flavour profile will change, and mature, and become more like a cheddar type.  So, the short time span is to get it at the appropriate point in the ripening process.  I wouldn't be surprised if lancashire also has a tang when very young, but the salt levels and other bits would be off.  Caerphilly is a bit salty, which works with the sour tang of a young cheese.  The salting during the press is again, to get the salty profile, it can be a bit much and I often cut it back quite a bit, and just sprinkle a bit.  I think it helps dry the rind just a bit faster, to trap more moisture internally, to help develop the tang in the flavour, but I'm not sure on that. 

Remember, the different aging durations are to get a cheese to the point of maturation typical of that type of cheese (i.e. caerphilly, lancashire, vintage cheddar), it's not like it takes different amounts of time to get to the same place ; they all have different destinations, and see different points along the way.  Some, like Goudas and cheddars, have multiple points of goodness, some peak and then go into unrecoverable decline, then free fall (i.e. you don't see a lot of "vintage Brie" for a reason). 

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Offline MrsKK

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Re: Several process questions
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2014, 08:23:02 PM »
I love your explanation of aging durations, Jeff Hamm!  A cheese to you, sir!

Online awakephd

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Re: Several process questions
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2014, 11:15:13 AM »
Thanks, Jeff. Due to the need to multi-task, I wound up using the Caerphilly recipe in the 200 Easy Cheeses book, rather than the recipe(s) I've seen you post here. I was interested/surprised to see that this recipe called for brining rather than salting the curds. It is now drying ... we'll see how it turned out in 3-4 weeks. I do look forward to trying your recipe as well, but it will probably be a month before I can get to it, due to graduation and some travel coming up.


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Online JeffHamm

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Re: Several process questions
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2014, 07:29:54 PM »
Thanks for the cheese MrsKK!

The 200 Easy make is a good one.  I've made that once or twice myself.  I've also made one that is originally by Tim Smith's book (Making artisan cheese), but often is found on a blog called "The Greening of Gavin" (now I think he calls it Little Green Cheese, or something like that).  The one I follow now is one I call "Traditional Caerphilly", because I found the make protocol in an old newspaper from the early 1900s.  These all produce similar cheeses, so it's worth trying each of them to see how they work for you.  There's another make around by Peter Dixon I think, which I've not tried yet but his makes have a good reputation.

- Jeff
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Offline Spoons

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Re: Several process questions
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2014, 08:24:40 PM »
There's another make around by Peter Dixon I think, which I've not tried yet but his makes have a good reputation.

Yes, his recipes are quite good! I haven't made his caerphilly version though, but his choice of cultures is a bit different from others I have seen. Most recipes will have an MM series with an aroma adjunct (LL + LC + LD + LM), but his make is simply an RA series (LL + LC + ST). So there's thermo in his, but no gas or diacetyl. Sounds like a different profile.
- Eric

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Re: Several process questions
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2014, 09:08:40 PM »
, I wound up using the Caerphilly recipe in the 200 Easy Cheeses book, rather than the recipe(s) I've seen you post here. I was interested/surprised to see that this recipe called for brining rather than salting the curds.



I have made two Caerphilly's using this recipe (200 easy cheeses) and both have worked out fine, which is a win for me being a novice.
I have found them both to be tastiest between 4-5 weeks, rather than just after 3.  I haven't, however, aged them past 5 weeks as they were completely eaten by that time!