A couple years ago I had read on the British Cheese Board site that Derby doesn't go through the "cheddaring" step. However, I had noted that the books all list a cheddaring step for Derby. So, I had a look around, and finally found an old book (1800s I think) that described how Derby was made with sufficient detail that I could put this procedure together. I made it once before, and was pleased with it, though it's more work than many other makes (the repeated pressing and milling at step 14 takes extra time). Anyway, I realised I haven't made it again in nearly 2 years, so I thought I should give it another go. All seems to be going well. I also picked up a smaller diameter mould (this one is 5.625" (14.3 cm) across, so my PSI can be increased a bit. This should help as the curds cool a bit more with this one, so higher pressure will be required to get a really good knit. The bottom has a bit of a bullet nose rounding, which I don't care for as it will make the flipping and repressing a bit awkward. Oh well, the good with the bad, as they say. Will post photos once it is out of the press, and update the notes as I go. (here's a link to my first one; it's in the cheddar board, but should be here since this protocol isn't cheddared - http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,8826.0.html
NOTES: For those familiar with typical cheddar type makes, there are two points to note about this in how it deviates from the usual. First, as mentioned above, this protocol does not include a cheddaring step (where the block/slab of curds are kept warm and left to rest, being flipped occasionally, etc. Second, there is no "cooking" phase, where the temperature is raised 4 or 5 degrees over a period of time. Part of the job of cooking is to help expel whey from the curds, but stirring will do that too. When the temperature is up to the 30 C range, and you remove the pot from the heat, the milk and curds will generally cool a few degrees as you're letting the curds firm up after adding the rennet. When you raise your temp back to 30 that is sort of cooking, but basically, the stirring, cut the curds small, etc is where you want to get the whey out in this make. The repeated milling (which I admit is a bit of a pain), also helps to remove any whey trapped when you're pressing the cheese (rather than removing whey from the inside of the curds themselves). So, no cheddaring, and no cooking, lot's of milling. It is very important to keep the curds warm during the repeated milling!
Derby (my own version): Sunday, May 18, 2014
7 L Homebrand standard (3.3g fat; 3.1g protein / 100 ml)
4 L Homebrand Light (1.5g fat; 3.7g protein /100 ml ; total f:p = 0.8:1)
3 ice cubes MW3 (Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris and Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis)
1 ice cube STB01 (Strep. Thermo)
1.6 ml calf rennet
½ tsp CaCl2 (50% solution)
2 tbls salt
5.625” diameter mould
1) Add CaCl2 while setting up
2) Add ice cubes and warm to 80 (26.7 C) (reached at 7:09)
3) Ripen 1 hour (time: 7:09 – 8:09 ; 27.8 – 27.6 C, – put back in warmer pot when it was 26.8, around 8:05)
4) Add Rennet (time 8:09:00 27.6 C ; floc time 8:26:00 = 17m 00s 3x mult = 51m 00s cut at 9:00:00)
5) Cut to 1 cm cubes
6) Rest 10-20 minutes (start 9:06 - 9:20 ; temp 27.8 C – 27.6 C)
7) Raise temperature to 30 C (start 9:20 – 9:34 Final temp 30.3) C
8) stirred gently for 45 minutes (start time 9:20 - 10:05)
9) Rest at temp 45 minutes stir every 15 minutes to reduce matting (10:05 – 10:50)
10) press curds to bottom (failed, didn't have anything really suited to doing this. My large follower was not large enough)
11) Remove whey to level of curds (finished at 10:55; ??.? C)
12) Press more firmly in cheesecloth bag to remove more whey (3 litres of water as the weight, pressed for 15 minutes ; 11:00 - 11:15)
13) Remove whey, mill to olive size (into cheesecloth) and transfer to mould (11:30)
14) press again with 10 kg (0.89 PSI) in the pot for 15 minutes then mill into olive sized (repeat until no whey expelled) (11:30 - 11:43 11:46 - 12:00 12:05 - 12:20; only a little whey expelled after last press)
15) Salt the curds and transfer back to cheesecloth lined mould, punch curds down as you load up
16) Press 20 kg (1.77 PSI; in the pot) 45 minutes (start time: 12:30 - 1:15)
17) Flip and redress, press 30 kg (2.66 PSI; in the pot 45 minutes (start time 1:15 - 2:00; by this point have extracted over 8 litres of whey, maybe 8.5)
18) remove and redress, press overnight 35.2 kg (3.12 PSI; start time 2:00 – redressed at 5:30 pm – 5:55 am) Flipping not good with bullet nose mould; Knit excellent by morning
19) remove and redress, press through the day 35.2 kg (3.12 PSI; start time 5:55 am - 5:17 pm)
Weight after press 1200g, 14.3x 7.1 (ave of 6.6 and 7.7 cm as it was a bit tilted) 1.05 g/cm3. (this is an underestimation as one end is domed, and round to about 9.0 cm; see note b below, where density estimated to be 1.28 g/cm3, which is similar to first make) Knit was : superb
Moved to cave Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Made Ricotta; Heat to 92.3 add ¼ cup cider vinegar (12:30) wait 20 minutes. Scoop to cheesecloth and drain for a few hours. Got 316 g. Add 1-2% salt by weight (added 5-6g)
a) After trying one flip, I've decided that the shape of this mould is just not suited to flipping during the press. However, I think it's still a good idea to remove the cheese, and redress it, as this will resit the cheese and hopefully distribute the weight a bit different each time to improve the knit. So far, it looks like it is on the way to a better knit than the first make. The smaller diameter mould plays a part. The curds, after the repeated milling, were quite dry, but it seems to be binding well.
b) Based upon putting 2 litres of water in the mould, it appeared to be 12 cm tall. Assuming a perfect cylinder would mean this should be 2206 ml, but it was only 2000. So, the domed mould is out by about 206 cm3. Calculating density with the adjusted volume gives about 1.28g/cm3, which is similar to the previous make (it was 1.24 g/cm3).
I found the bit of text that I based this make protocol from. The I went with the "add salt to the curds" approach, which sounds to be the less common one, but I find it's more efficient and easier to do than salt rubbing during the press. Although, I add the salt just before the final press, not during the repeated press and milling.
Derby Cheese (pages 87-89) from The Dairy of the Farm, James Long and J.C. Morton, 1885.
Derbyshire Cheese-making does not differ materially from that which obtains in Gloucestershire in making a thick (double Gloucester) cheese. It is usual to make but once a day, unless in very hot weather, when it may be doubtful if the milk can be got cool and kept sweet during the night, in which case cheese is made in the evening as well as morning. In general, however, the evening’s milk is put in thin layers in the cheese-tub and other vessels to cool during the night, tin vessels of cold water being put to stand it in in order to subject it to as large a cooling surface as possible. In the morning, if much cream has risen, it is partly skimmed, and, if necessary, warmed up with some milk and added to the morning’s milk, so as to bring the whole to about 80. In the summer time, however, the rennet has often to be added when the milk is naturally warmer than this. Enough fresh-made rennet is added to set the whole in an hour or less. After the curd has been broken with the common sieve curd-braker, used gently for a sufficient time, a presser is used – a sort of heavy metallic sieve “follower,” which sinks gradually through the whey and ultimately lies upon the curd, enabling the baling out of the whey. After this has been for the most part taken out, this follower is forced hard down on the curd so as to squeeze and still further separate the whey from it. The curd may then be slightly salted, thought this is not always done at that time. It is broken by hand into a vat and pressed ; taken out and broke up again, re-vatted and again pressed ; and this may be done more than once – as often, indeed, as seems to be required. It is at length finally vatted, in sizes of about 4 to the cwt. ; (note ; 1 cwt = 100 lbs in the US, but it’s 112 lbs in the UK). Its whole surface is made to take in as much salt as it will hold by rubbing and pressing ; this gets liquefied by the exuding moisture and is absorbed. It is dry-clothed and changed in the press daily, and is in the press four or five days being being finally removed to the cheese-room, where it is turned at gradually-increasing intervals until read for the market.
In some district, and notably in Lancashire, no salt is put in the curd, but the cheeses, after two or three days’ pressing, are placed in brine for a week, in which they float, going in soft at first and coming out hardened. They are taken thence to the cheese-room, and turned daily until sold.