Author Topic: First Attempt at Cheddar (any cheese for that matter)  (Read 1453 times)

Offline Dukester

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First Attempt at Cheddar (any cheese for that matter)
« on: April 12, 2009, 12:04:35 AM »
WOW...what a process.  I started at 6:00 and just now in the press at 10 till midnight!!!  Trying to follow all the steps and keep my temperatures right I did not snap any photos.  But will try and snap some on the first flip.  I started with 1 gallon of whole store bought mild and added a pint of cream.  I very slowly over an hour and a half brought the temp up to 90.  Using a stainless pot in warm sink water.  Once at 90 I added 1/8 tsp of MA11 stirred and let sit at 90 for 30 minutes.  I then added 1/2 tsp of CaCl2 stirred and let sit at 90 for another 15 min.  I then added 1/4 tsp of liquid veal rennet diluted in 1/2 cup of cool water.  Slowly added this and stirred for 2 min.  I then let it sit covered undisturbed at 90 for 45 minutes.  To my suprise...I got what I think is a pretty good break when I inserted my finger into it.  I then cut the curd about 1/2 inch both directions and also kind of diagonally...not sure why I did this other than I remember reading it somewhere.  Then let it sit for approx 15 min at 90 and then gently stirred.  I started heating to 100 and reached that temp in about 35 minutes.  I stirred some during this process, don't know if that was right or not.  I held it at 100 for about 45 min stirring every 3 to 4 min.  I guess what suprised me was that the curds coninually kept getting smaller, but also firmer.  After 45 min I drained the whey into cheese cloth lined colander and returned the curds to the pot and kept them at 100.  Added 1 Tbs of salt and stirred and held at 100 for another 45 min.  the curds were smaller but firmer by the end of this.  I then placed in my cheese cloth mold and it's in the press at 20lbs for 45 minutes.  Any comments on where I might have gone wrong are welcome.  Let ya know more on the flip and later.


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Offline MrsKK

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Re: First Attempt at Cheddar (any cheese for that matter)
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2009, 08:49:51 AM »
Wow, Duke, you just jump right in the deep end of the pool, don't you?  Cheddar can be one of the more intimidating cheeses, so most people start out with something simpler - queso blanco, cream cheese, cottage cheese.  As you are starting out with cheddar, I'm sure you'll be sailing into even tougher seas pretty soon in the future.  I look forward to hearing about your adventures.

Your procedure sure sounds right on.  Can't wait to see pictures and hear about how things go with the rest of the process.

Cheddar truly is an all-day event.  When I make it, I usually start out at about 6 am and plan on it occupying my entire day, more or less.

Offline Dukester

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Re: First Attempt at Cheddar (any cheese for that matter)
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2009, 09:39:25 AM »
Thanks Karen.  I've never been one to start out slow once I make up my mind to do something.  Cause of many disasters...ha.  Here are a couple of pictures at the first flip.  I pressed at 20 lbs for 45 minutes and this is the result after the flip.  Flipped it and then pressed at 45 lbs for 3 hours.  Yep...got up at 4:00 a.m. and flipped it once more.  I'm now at 50 lbs and will press for 24 hours.  Still getting a small amount of whey but not much this morning.  The wheel seems to be coming together ok, who knows what it looks like on the inside?  The recipe says once done pressing to let it air dry at room temp for 3 to 5 days.  Does that sound about right?  Guess I'm worried about it getting too dry and ending up crumbly.  Don't have a great cheese cave yet.  Have a frig that I can get to 50 degrees and planning on waxing and then putting it there to age.

Sorry Wayne...it's white.  I hate it too, but don't have my coloring yet.

Offline Dukester

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Re: First Attempt at Cheddar (any cheese for that matter)
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2009, 09:42:26 AM »
Try the attachments again

Offline Dukester

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Re: First Attempt at Cheddar (any cheese for that matter)
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2009, 09:43:50 AM »
One more


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Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: First Attempt at Cheddar (any cheese for that matter)
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2009, 09:53:28 AM »
I think it looks fantastic!.  And your process seems to be on track. 

I would only suggest that a pH meter make it into your process soon.  I started out without one and have about 12 wheels of overly sharp and sour cheddar-esque cheese.  (I have 3 good wheels now....)

Wayne A. Harris - in vino veritas

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: First Attempt at Cheddar (any cheese for that matter)
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2009, 10:28:00 AM »
Looking good Dukester! Now for the hard part ... waiting ...

Offline Dukester

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Re: First Attempt at Cheddar (any cheese for that matter)
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2009, 06:42:51 PM »
Yea I know....like hurry up and then wait!!  I can see why you need to take good notes so you remember what you did right and what you did wrong 3 to 6 months from now.

This first attempt was mainly to try and get all the mechanics down and make sure I understood the process.  I'm definately going to invest in a PH meter.  I didn't feel like I knew enough about what was going on with the cheese...just following temperatures and time and hope for the best..ha.

Curtis

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: First Attempt at Cheddar (any cheese for that matter)
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2009, 09:46:49 PM »
I learned hurry up and wait very well in the Navy!

Offline Rich

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Re: First Attempt at Cheddar (any cheese for that matter)
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2009, 04:30:45 AM »
I'm wondering what variety of cheddar you made.  Sounds like maybe a stirred curd variety, as I didn't see a cheddaring process in your recital.  I agree on the length of time needed for cheddar - but in my estimation its worth the effort.  I would suggest that next time your first press be for a shorter time.  The first press is used to expel the most whey and is usually only 10 to 15 minutes.  If I read it right, you pressed twice.  I think I'd break that into at least three.  One at 20 for 15 min; one at 30 for 15 min; and then the final press at full pressure.  When the wait is over, you're going to be well rewarded for your efforts.


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Offline Dukester

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Re: First Attempt at Cheddar (any cheese for that matter)
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2009, 08:22:03 PM »
Thanks Rich.  Yes it was a stirred curd type recipe.  I've seen the cheddaring process on youtube and I did not divide and stack the curds as shown on the videos.  I basically just kept stirring during all the phases every 4 to 5 minutes and ended up with small, like large curd cottage cheese but firmer type curds.  I wondered about the length of the first press...it seemed a little long to me too.  I'll take your advice on the next round and try and break it up a little more.

Today, after drying all day at room temp out of the press, it's dryer on the outside, still firm and has a nice smell to it.  I think I'm going to leave it out till morning and then put it in the frig with clean dry cloth on it.  I'm waiting on my wax to arrive which should hopefully be here by Wed.  My frig I can only get up to 48 degrees or so, but for round one that's the best I can do.

Offline Dukester

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Re: First Attempt at Cheddar (any cheese for that matter)
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2009, 08:17:59 PM »
Waxed the wheel tonight and think I have it sealed good.  But after drying for 3 days before waxing, the wheel seems really firm and hard.  I know cheddar is a hard cheese, but afraid I'll need a hack saw to cut into it several months from now.

Offline Dukester

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Re: First Attempt at Cheddar (any cheese for that matter)
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2009, 08:49:20 PM »
Not the best pictures, cell camera.  Thanks Wayne for the advice of trying it.  The texture is what I expected, maybe slightly crumbly. Taste slight acidic but not bad.  Will it get tighter as it ages?  Overall please with first attempt.  Thanks to all the post on here for lots and lots of good examples and techniques.

Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: First Attempt at Cheddar (any cheese for that matter)
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2009, 08:52:45 PM »
WOW very thick coat of wax.  Nice.  I can never get mine like that. 

BTW, that cheese looks exactly like my cheese that is too acidic.  (but still edible...)

I have 12 more wheels that look exatcly like that.  (no kidding)
Wayne A. Harris - in vino veritas

Offline Dukester

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Re: First Attempt at Cheddar (any cheese for that matter)
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2009, 08:56:52 PM »
Thanks, had a nice small double boiler setup for the wax and made sure the wax wasn't over heated.

LOL...well that's where the PH meter would come in handy...saving up for mine.  Thanks for your help.