Author Topic: First Monterey Jack--Pepper Jack  (Read 675 times)

Offline Dukester

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First Monterey Jack--Pepper Jack
« on: May 04, 2009, 10:25:27 PM »
Last weekend, first attempt at Monterey Jack.  I followed the recipe exactly as printed on this website.  The only change I made was to decrease the time after getting the temp to 100 from 30 min to 25 min.  Also decreased the time after that from 30 min to 25 min.  I did this in hopes that I did not get the curd to acidic.  I do not have a PH meter, but purchased some PH strips that had a range of 5.0 to 8.0.  I tested by taking a spoonful of whey and some curd out of the pot and inserting the test strips.  Not very effective, as the color on the strips only changed slightly.  My best estimate at the end of the process before pressing was that it was around 5.5.  Anyway above 5.0 which is what I wanted.  A few pictures attached (hopefully).  This cheese was much moister out of the press.  Pressed 7 lbs for 15 minutes, flipped, then 15 lbs for 12 hours.  On the counter to dry it was much softer and wetter than the previous cheddar I made.  Mixed in some jalapeno peppers before pressing...kinda wish I had used more peppers now....maybe next time.  I hope this cheese will be much softer and less "crumbly" than the previous.  Will wax as soon as dry and try and keep it around 50 degrees for a month or so.


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Offline Dukester

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Re: First Monterey Jack--Pepper Jack
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2009, 10:29:33 PM »
Curds cut, temp

Offline Dukester

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Re: First Monterey Jack--Pepper Jack
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2009, 10:31:01 PM »
Out of the press.  The peppers look good.

Offline Rich

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Re: First Monterey Jack--Pepper Jack
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2009, 04:05:43 AM »
That's a good looking wheel of cheese you have there.  I know the frustration with dry, crumbly Jack.  Mine have been the same.  I recently opened my latest attempt and it was the best yet.  Still a wee bit drier than what I'd like; but definitely a very good cheese with a mild Jack taste.  The difference this time was that I made a conscious effort to leave the curd alone more during cooking.  It thought that I had been overworking it and causing excess moisture loss.  So I only stirred about every 10 minutes and then only enough to break up the matted curd.  I think this was a great help to me, as the finished cheese was noticeably more moist.  Hope yours goes well for you.

Offline Dukester

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Re: First Monterey Jack--Pepper Jack
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2009, 08:39:46 PM »
Thanks.  I have wondered the same thing...if I am overworking the curds during the cooking process.  I tried not to stir as much as I did when making the cheddar.  It seems the curds start out large and by the end they are much smaller but firmer as they should be.  I'll give that a try next time.

Lesson learned.  My wheel has been on the counter drying since 6:00 p.m Saturday, so thats 3 days.  It was beginning to take on the yellowish color on the outside.  Being the impatient person I am, one end was kind of ugly from the press so I decided to cut off about an inch and that would give me an idea about the knit and even take a taste from the small end.  It's very moist, it taste like cheese but not much flavor yet, except from the peppers.

The mistake was then I decided it needed to be waxed.  Well..I started with the small end I cut off to see how it would go.  Guess what....WAX WON'T STICK TO THE WET END OF A WHEEL OF CHEESE!!!  So I mixed up some brine solution, washed the two ends and going to let it dry another day or two.  Any thoughts on how long it can sit like this at room temperature?????  Oh well...guess I know what it looks like on the inside now...ha.


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