Author Topic: My First Attempt - questions?  (Read 999 times)

Offline msandlie

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My First Attempt - questions?
« on: May 04, 2009, 01:27:22 PM »
I received the deluxe cheese making kit for my birthday from Leeners.com.. cool kit.  I used their directions and made the farmers cheddar?  anyways.. i'm now drying it out..  I have a couple of questions..   

should I worry that it feels somewhat spongy and if i pick it up it kida bends a bit in the middle?  so a bit rubbery and not very hard?  Or does it get harder as it's dried and aged?

Also can a cheese press be made from stainless or is pvc the best?

oh and when is the best time to quarter cheese.. say if i wanted to wax it after it has been quartered?  before drying?  maybe a day after following 1 or 2 more days?
« Last Edit: May 04, 2009, 01:36:21 PM by msandlie »


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Offline chilipepper

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Re: My First Attempt - questions?
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2009, 03:58:55 PM »
First off welcome to the forum and congrats on taking on the whole cheese making insanity!

If you cheese is pretty fresh out of the press it will be somewhat spongy.  It will  certainly dry out a bit over time and while it is aging.  After a few days of air drying it will develop a tougher rind but will still give a little under slight pressure.  Depending on your procedure and pressing weights, etc. all these factors will determine how dry or moist the final cheese will be.

As for making a press PVC is cheep and stainless is not.  Hence the majority of PVC or Poly molds.  If you have the resources to make a stainless press and molds, by all means have at it.  It would really have a nice commercial look to it.

In regards to quartering the cheese, I would age it as a complete wheel out of the press and only cut it after it has aged.  You can then re-wax over the part you cut off and age longer, etc.  The rind you are creating by air drying is important to keep intact while aging.  Not that would totally screw it up but I think you'd have a better chance at a better finished product.

Hope that helps.

Ryan

Offline John (CH)

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Re: My First Attempt - questions?
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2009, 07:21:36 PM »
Hi msandlie and also welcome to the forum. Good questions to which I think Ryan has answered well.

On aging be very careful, in my opinion, that is the toughest part of making cheese, too low a humidity and cheese will crack and dry out very hard (especially if small cheese). Too moist and you will get unwanted molds.

Above all . . . have fun!

Offline msandlie

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Re: My First Attempt - questions?
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2009, 08:20:56 AM »
Thanks for the welcome and quick answers..

is there a good humidity level any of you recommend?

I have an extra fridge running.. ofcourse i can't seem to get it to adjust the temp as it's currently stuck at 41 or 42..  but they say to put a bowl of water in the bottom. 

Right now I currently have my cheese sitting on a bamboo mat in the basement where the temp is around 64.  that's where i'm drying it.  I can't even guess what the humidity level is so i'll need to measure it.  It is starting to yellow and form a rind around the corners..  I have a feeling it may take a full 3 days to get it to the point where I can wax it.


Offline John (CH)

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Re: My First Attempt - questions?
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2009, 09:03:02 PM »
Humidity is recipe dependent, Camembert's like very high initial humidity to get the mold to bloom. Most people like 85%, to measure this you need an accurate gauge, there's a few posts on gauges in the Equipment Board. If no gauge then I go by condensation, lots and humidity is too high, none and too low. But that is quite crude.

Some household fridges will not run at warmer 55F temperatures.

You'll need to slow dry it, if your cheese is yellowing at edges then surface may be drying faster than inside which results in cracking, click on picture in top right to see an example of rapid drying. There is no rush to waxing.

I've never made cheddar but 64F seems a little warm, can anyone else advise?


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