Author Topic: Tomme Cheese Making Recipe  (Read 51890 times)

Offline Cornelius

  • Medium Cheese
  • ***
  • Posts: 67
  • Cheeses: 3
  • Default personal text
Re: Tomme Cheese Making Recipe
« Reply #45 on: April 30, 2010, 02:39:18 PM »
Thank you so much for all the clarification - a lot of it makes sense now. I will give it a try again on Monday and report. I thought that 0.2 seemed a little much if I want to end up with 6.25 when I drain ...  what does still puzzle me a bit though is that even though I acidification is so far advanced, that I don't get a decent cut until after 2.5 hours (I understand your point on clean cut though).

btw, I use a 24 liter batch with 16 liter damascus goat (the local goat here) and 8 liter cow. I have made several other cheeses with great success and don't think it is the milk quality - I think I just messed up on this new recipe.

to answer your question on the calcium, I add 1g/10 liters (diluted in water).

thanks again, I will let you know how it goes.


Guests, join the CheeseForum.org community to remove this ad.


Offline linuxboy

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Ukiah, CA
  • Posts: 3,986
  • Cheeses: 199
  • www.wacheese.com
    • Washington Cheese Guild
Re: Tomme Cheese Making Recipe
« Reply #46 on: April 30, 2010, 02:55:03 PM »
1 g per 10 l is about .01%, which is good. It should coagulate fine. Are you using distilled water to dissolve, and then stirring up and down thoroughly enough to distribute all the rennet? Might just be weak curd. Does it hold together after cutting, but is just fragile, or does it all shatter to pieces?
Taking an extended leave (until 2015) from the forums to build out my farm and dairy. Please e-mail or PM if you need anything.

Offline Cornelius

  • Medium Cheese
  • ***
  • Posts: 67
  • Cheeses: 3
  • Default personal text
Re: Tomme Cheese Making Recipe
« Reply #47 on: April 30, 2010, 11:48:52 PM »
Hi,

Yes, I do use distilled water (for both calcium and rennet). The curd does hold together, but more in the way of my curd when I make lactic cheeses - which is also why I started thinking, that my problem really is too high an acidification. During the rennet phase, a thin layer of whey develops on the surface (which I guess suggests an early expulsion of whey) and the curd has more of a yogurt texture (however does somewhat hold together and does harden into rice size pebbles by the end of cooking). Unfortunately I don't have any photos of the production phase, but I will add photos of last weeks attempt. It simply did not want to bond and almost fell apart during brining - in the close up you can still see individual pieces of curd.

At this point I strongly believe that it was a matter of too much bacterial activity before I added rennet - in addition to what you mention, possibly too much starter (to be honest, I added even a bit more the second time as it took two hours the first time to get the mentioned PH drop ...)

Thanks again, will post updates.

Offline linuxboy

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Ukiah, CA
  • Posts: 3,986
  • Cheeses: 199
  • www.wacheese.com
    • Washington Cheese Guild
Re: Tomme Cheese Making Recipe
« Reply #48 on: May 01, 2010, 09:19:11 AM »
When I asked about holding together, I meant right after cutting, trying to troubleshoot the long wait time. But based on those pictures, you have good milk. I meant do the individual curd pieces hold together after you cut them, or does it only take one stir and they all fall apart? If they hold together, your milk is fine. And I don't mean to bring this up again too much, but forget this idea that you need to wait for a clean break.

A tomme works like this: you add the culture, rennet, and wait for floc. You will get a curd set after 3x, and then you cut. The curds will be fragile, but you cut them carefully anyway, into small rice-size pieces. You let them heal to firm up and then they will be OK to stir. You'll see what I mean, it's somewhat amazing to cut weak curd and have it all come together in the end. But, it must be good quality milk.

I don't see any issues in your make except for the whole acidification issue. In your next make try to stick to the time guidelines I posted and you should get a good result and hit your pH targets. Remember, tomme acidifies in the mold overnight... after a few flips, it's still at a 6.0 pH and then you let the acid build up inside the cheese.
Taking an extended leave (until 2015) from the forums to build out my farm and dairy. Please e-mail or PM if you need anything.

Offline FRANCOIS

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Posts: 788
  • Cheeses: 71
  • Default personal text
Re: Tomme Cheese Making Recipe
« Reply #49 on: May 02, 2010, 04:53:10 AM »
Not to complicate matters, but a .2 drop would work if you wash your curd really well and drop your multiplier back. 


Guests, join the CheeseForum.org community to remove this ad.


Offline Cornelius

  • Medium Cheese
  • ***
  • Posts: 67
  • Cheeses: 3
  • Default personal text
Re: Tomme Cheese Making Recipe
« Reply #50 on: May 02, 2010, 05:38:14 AM »
Hi, thanks for your answers.

Linuxboy, I hope I understand your question correctly: right after cutting, I let the curd rest a couple of minutes after which I begin a gentle stir. At this point the curd breaks into smaller pieces very quickly, but not to the extend that it becomes a liquidy mess or a single slushy yogurt texture. During the heating process the curds do become small, isolated little rice size pieces - however, they never really mat together well. So in that sense of holding together (matting), they don't. Which is suppose is the cause of the trouble I cam having which in turn again is caused by to high an acidity.

Francois, I suppose I could try washing the curd to slow down acidification. After speaking with a local cheesemaker yesterday, it now is obvious that I need to get the curd matted, in the form and pressed way before I reach a PH of 5.2 (which unfortunately I always ended up with). Both you and Linuxboy have said the same, but for some reason I managed to get it wrong twice. It is quite obvious, my total time until I had my curd in the mold was over 5 hours (add culture and wait two hours for 0.2 drop, add rennet and wait  2 hours, cut and rest and heat for 1 hour). The entire process should take no longer than 1.5 - 2 hours no wonder I ended up with a PH of 5.2 by the time I had it in the mold (btw, I made a slush of the final cheese yesterday and measured the PH - it was down to 4.85).

So, I guess I rather not wait for a 0.2 drop and fight the rapid acidification, but instead try and act as quickly as possible during the process. To a degree I will ignore PH reading during the early stages and stick to timing instead. However, make sure to have the cheese matting and pressed when I get to 6.2 (and if that involves washing, then I will do that).

Thanks for all your input. I am scheduled to pick up my next batch of milk at 6am tomorrow morning ... by this time tomorrow I should be able to report either another failure or success  ;)

Also, I have planned to pasteurize my milk again - should the batch turn out, I have decided to run a second batch after the 6pm milking without pasteurization in order to compare. I do not want to change two parameter at the same time, but I would like to know what difference it will make.

Offline linuxboy

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Ukiah, CA
  • Posts: 3,986
  • Cheeses: 199
  • www.wacheese.com
    • Washington Cheese Guild
Re: Tomme Cheese Making Recipe
« Reply #51 on: May 02, 2010, 06:10:28 AM »
Yep, you understand my question correctly. I was trying to figure out of your curd was shattering, which is when immediately when you start to stir, the curd disintegrates and you get ultra small pieces, almost ricotta-like.

Sounds like you understand the issues and have a good grasp of what's supposed to happen. Good luck with the future make! :)
Taking an extended leave (until 2015) from the forums to build out my farm and dairy. Please e-mail or PM if you need anything.

Offline Cornelius

  • Medium Cheese
  • ***
  • Posts: 67
  • Cheeses: 3
  • Default personal text
Re: Tomme Cheese Making Recipe
« Reply #52 on: May 03, 2010, 08:04:34 AM »
OK, the new cheese is in the mold now for about 2 hours and ... well, some improvement, but certainly not great. I am really beginning to wonder ...

1) picked up fresh milk (still at body temp)
2) pasteurize
3) drop to 88F using an ice bath
4) PH 6.61 at 88F
5) stir in 2g calcium (milk amount 22l) and let absorb for 5 min
6) stir in culture (a little less than last batch) and let it do its magic at a steady 88/89F
7) after 30 min I add 5.5ml 1:9600 rennet (reduced from last batch as floc time was too short). PH is 6.63 (increase, but I always seem to get this initially regardless of the cheese I am making - I wonder if this has to do with the calcium and the quick temp drop right after pasteurization, it might take half hour to actually settle in and read the PH correctly?)
8) flocculation after 16 minutes
9) cut 48 minutes after addition of rennet (3 x floc) and let rest for 5 minutes - curd is soft and not what could be called the traditional 'clean cut', but it holds.
10) stirring and gradually heating to 100 over the next 40 minutes (slight mating happening as I stir, mostly at 96F after 30 min)
11) reached 100F and PH is 6.5 - rest 5 minutes, then begin draining whey to within 1-2 inches of settled curd
12) fill separate container with drained (warm) whey and place cheesecloth lined mold inside.
13) scoop curd in almost a single go into mold and place follower on top with 5 lbs weight - also fill a separate small mold for testing purposes - PH is at 6.47
14) flip after 5 minutes and remove from whey bath
15) flip after 15, again after 15 then after 30 and just now after another hour - PH now is at 6.33 (room temp at 76/78F)

I know, I kind of missed my target of 6.25, but I was afraid it would turn too acidic again ... I hope it will acidify enough over the coming hours (will test the little guy when time comes).

The problem is that it still is not compacted nicely - it has some signs of porousness as seen on my earlier batches. At this point I am also wondering if it has to do with the mold I am using. I specifically bought this 'tomme' mold, but I have never made hard (or semi hard) cheese in this kind of mold before. It only has 8 small holes in the sides and something like 4 holes in the bottom. This is an 8inch mold - up until now I had only used 4.5 inch molds that don't even have bottoms. I might be totally wrong, but it just seems that with this mold the whey simply can't escape and especially since I am only pressing with 5 lbs, I simply can't compact the pate enough to thoroughly expel when and mat the curd to form a uniform pate. The other oddity is that the mold is so heavy duty that it must be built to take 300lbs of weight no problem ... am I using the wrong mold, could that be the cause for the trouble that I have not experienced with any other semi hard or hard cheeses regardless of the cooking temp and PH at time of drainage?

Many thanks, Cornelius


Offline linuxboy

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Ukiah, CA
  • Posts: 3,986
  • Cheeses: 199
  • www.wacheese.com
    • Washington Cheese Guild
Re: Tomme Cheese Making Recipe
« Reply #53 on: May 03, 2010, 10:25:10 AM »
The trick to forming a uniform paste with this recipe is to prepress the curd. after you are done cooking at 45 mins, let the curds all settle under whey. Before, you were stirring so the curds would not mat together. Now you want them to mat. So let them all go to the bottom and check back in 10-15 mins. Take your hands and press the curds, squishing them gently to the bottom of the pot. The whey is warm, and when you do this, the curds will mat together. It helps to avoid mechanical inclusions. Press for 10-15 times, gently, or if they are not matting, with some more pressure and 15-20 times. Then when you pour off the whey, you will not be scooping curds, you will be taking out a curd wheel that's already formed. That's why in the original post, I suggested to use a pot with a diameter close to the diameter of your mold, so that you can just plop that wheel right out into the cheesecloth and mold and put some weight on it.

That tomme mold is fine, tommes just need 10-20 lbs of weight and 4-8 flips to get the water out. They wind up rather plasticky and somewhat moist out of the press, a bit like a jarlsberg does.
Taking an extended leave (until 2015) from the forums to build out my farm and dairy. Please e-mail or PM if you need anything.

Offline iratherfly

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: The Cheese Caves underneath Manhattan; New York City NY
  • Posts: 1,913
  • Cheeses: 110
  • Cheese, milk's leap toward immortality (Clifton F)
Re: Tomme Cheese Making Recipe
« Reply #54 on: May 03, 2010, 10:35:41 AM »
I actually do something similar to Linuxboy but instead of forming it by hand in the whey and then hoping that it fits my mold and dealing with it in a wobbly fashion if it doesn't - I simply dip the entire mold (cheesecloth or not) into the whey and form it there and then. I then take it out right into the press.


Guests, join the CheeseForum.org community to remove this ad.


Offline Cornelius

  • Medium Cheese
  • ***
  • Posts: 67
  • Cheeses: 3
  • Default personal text
Re: Tomme Cheese Making Recipe
« Reply #55 on: May 03, 2010, 11:28:55 AM »
Thanks guys for your feedback!

But isn't this essentially what I am doing in step 13 above? I know I am dumping the curd into my mold instead of leaving it sit free in the whey, but the mold is submerged in the whey at that point. I place a small weight on the follower to assist the matting, but all that takes place under whey. I suppose I could leave it matting in the mold under whey longer than I did or did I kill the process by moving it through air for a split second as I scoop the curd from the vat and dump it in the mold (again, the mold is submerged in warm whey, just in a second container to make the gathering of curd easier) ...?

linuxboy, what you mention (the working with hands) is what I had done to a degree on my first batch, but it seemed that once I moved the chunks of matted curds to the mold they wouldn't bond with each other anymore ..

And since it will end up rather moist out of the press, do I let it dry somewhat before I brine it?

Thanks.

P.S. I won't be conducting my un-pasteurized comparison this evening as I still have not managed this version correctly ...

Offline linuxboy

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Ukiah, CA
  • Posts: 3,986
  • Cheeses: 199
  • www.wacheese.com
    • Washington Cheese Guild
Re: Tomme Cheese Making Recipe
« Reply #56 on: May 03, 2010, 12:32:17 PM »
Ah, I see now. The idea of pressing under whey is to get a better curd knit. The water helps to eliminate pockets, and the warmth helps the curd to knit. You could also use Sailor's technique of pressing in the pot, where you put the mold in the pot, and the pot is in warm water to keep the curd warm.

No, you brine as soon as the curd hits 5.4

Irather, I use that technique sometimes, too. Works almost as well, just gathering up the ends of the cheesecloth and pressing the curd with your hands. What I don't like about that technique is that the inside of the curd will not be pressed, and the outside will be, unless you smush out the curd in a large surface area, like you would in the pot.
Taking an extended leave (until 2015) from the forums to build out my farm and dairy. Please e-mail or PM if you need anything.

Offline iratherfly

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: The Cheese Caves underneath Manhattan; New York City NY
  • Posts: 1,913
  • Cheeses: 110
  • Cheese, milk's leap toward immortality (Clifton F)
Re: Tomme Cheese Making Recipe
« Reply #57 on: May 03, 2010, 01:29:13 PM »
Yes, that's what I meant - under whey = in the pot.
Only difference is that I pile it up and let it knot in the mold but I do not press it under whey because the pressing will modify the pH balance of the curd and I am afraid that all the surrounding whey will wash it off and force its own pH balance on the curd. I begin pressing once out of the whey. Perhaps I am a bit too careful.

Offline Cornelius

  • Medium Cheese
  • ***
  • Posts: 67
  • Cheeses: 3
  • Default personal text
Re: Tomme Cheese Making Recipe
« Reply #58 on: May 04, 2010, 07:07:11 AM »
iratherfly, very interesting: pressing only once out of the whey - so, pressing under whey will increase acidity too rapidly? However, on my last batch I didn't have the fast acidification problem, I was actually already pressing and my PH was still almost at 6.5

linuxboy, thanks for pointing out that Tomme is at times pressed with 10-20 lbs (the initial recipe mentions to press under its own weight) ... so, I took that chance and added 20lbs to the 5 I already had on there. This was at 2-3 hours into pressing so I am not sure what effect it had, but I thought I give it a try in an attempt to compact the pate a bit.

After a total of approx 9 hours in the press I tested the little guy (which was pressed with 2lbs upped to 4lbs) and it was giving me PH 5.09 on the drops of whey running off of it, making a slushy with a piece of curd cut from it, I got PH 5.36 - either value prompted me to place both in a brine (adjusted to PH 5.1, I forgot to add calcium though, I hope that was not a problem). I removed the little guy after 3 hours and the large one after 14 hours - their respective weights are 305g and 2,465g (a total weight of 2,770g from 22 liters of milk - I had also attempted a ricotta from the whey, but it resulted in practically nothing).

I am somewhat more pleased with it today than I was yesterday as it appears to have knitted a tad better than expected, but you can see from the close up photo below, that there are a fair number of air pockets and cracks - I am not sure what to expect on the inside, it might be full of mechanical holes. The cheese does appear very moist and has a lot of give/spring when pressing down on it - is that how it is supposed to be? It also appears pleasantly tall at exactly 3inches with an 8inch diameter.

They are currently drying a bit before I move them to their cave. How long do you think I should age the little one until I cut it open to see what it looks like inside and what to expect from the big one? Are there any stages in the future that I might want to use the small one to acid test or conduct other tests for which I would not want to cut into the big one?

Thanks for your help!

Offline linuxboy

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Ukiah, CA
  • Posts: 3,986
  • Cheeses: 199
  • www.wacheese.com
    • Washington Cheese Guild
Re: Tomme Cheese Making Recipe
« Reply #59 on: May 04, 2010, 09:47:45 AM »
That looks great! Age tommes at least 45 days, preferably 60. You can grab a sample with a trier if you have one. Once it's in the brine, you're pretty much done. Test pH at maturity to see if there's some sort of late blowing as a quality control measure, but you usually see that with internal defects. Once a cheese is done, not much you can do about it. I don't routinely check pH as it's maturing. Have enough to do as it is :).

That knit looks good to me; a tomme will have openings because it's not pressed. If you want to eliminate openings, you need to press it with more weight and/or with more heat.

Irather, I haven't noticed a difference in the acidity in having whey contact vs not. I don't press in the whey very long.

Your surface looks good, but if you want another trick, I sometimes like to give the tommes, and other cheeses, a fancier, rustic rind, so I will heat a mold to 110F, like a ricotta mold or something else with a pattern, and warm the room up so the cheese is warmer, and put the cheese in so the mold gives it a pattern. I do this after flipping the cheese 3-4 times, when it has stopped giving off most of its whey.
Taking an extended leave (until 2015) from the forums to build out my farm and dairy. Please e-mail or PM if you need anything.