Author Topic: Tomme Cheese Making Recipe  (Read 41766 times)

Offline Cornelius

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Re: Tomme Cheese Making Recipe
« Reply #60 on: May 05, 2010, 02:42:13 AM »
Linuxboy, thanks! I am happy that you think it looks decent, but I think the photos do fool a bit - reality is not as nice ... I can't wait for the day I see the inside though  ;)

I just placed a new batch in brine 2 hours ago. I overshot the initial ripening temp a bit and it was more around 90. That my be the reason why I ended up with a PH drop from 6.62 to 6.56 - I added the same amount of rennet, but floc time was faster: 14 min (I guess that might have had to do with the lower PH, more bacterial activity?). I was in the mold and pressing dry at PH 6.35 - I then flipped a couple of times and then, unfortunately, went to sleep as it was 2am. At 7am the PH had dropped to 5.09 ... I had missed 5.4! It seems that at some point the acidification really kicks in - should I be checking more carefully (and more often)? Room temp was at 79F.

Here is my question though: my curd still does not seem to mat properly?!? I am talking about the time when I finish cooking and let the curd rest/settle to the bottom. Just as in my previous batch, there is a point - somewhere around 95-96F and somewhere 25-30 minutes into heating where the curd really wants to mat and stick to each other. When I don't stir a section of the vat for 15 seconds, a good portion will have lumped together (which I gently break apart again). But once I reach my final temp of 100F and walk away for 5-10 minutes ... well, I tried your suggestion of using my hands to press on the curd - as I reach in and get to the bottom of the vat, the curd just comes floating up in loads of little pieces. They are once again dispersed throughout the vat, not matted together in any fashion. What could cause this? Is it case hardening (but I increase temp very slowly and gradually), is it the wrong PH (I am at 6.35 - 6.38), is it the wrong temp (I might have overshot a little, but no more than 1F)?

This time I pressed with 30lbs, but since you say this cheese doesn't really need weight, I would rather have it mat better initially. I used more weight, because I have two wheels that crumbled on me and that makes me sad  :'( ... take a look at what they are doing now ... ripening away to become some kind of Feta - strange looking Tomme isn't it?

Once again, thanks!


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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Tomme Cheese Making Recipe
« Reply #61 on: May 05, 2010, 10:17:57 AM »
If it is not sticking, there is either too much acid, case hardening, or both, or possibly cooked too long. They should be somewhat moist, so when you press them together, they should stick together in a ball. In that case, I think it was too much acid buildup and possibly cooked too long.
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Offline Cornelius

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Re: Tomme Cheese Making Recipe
« Reply #62 on: May 05, 2010, 10:35:28 AM »
wow, too much acid!? at that point I am at 6.35 - should I be aiming to mold even earlier?

Since you mention "cooking too long", the other thought I had is: could it possibly have to do with the way I am pasteurizing? I use raw milk which I pasteurize myself. The batch size is 24l, by the time I get the milk in my double boiler vat it is at 95F, it takes me 1 hour to reach 145F (not very powerful heating element), I keep it at 145F for 30 minutes then drop it down to 88F in max 10 minutes using an ice bath (I actually only transfer little more than half to the ice bath, dropping that portion considerably lower - when I add it back in, the entire batch is at 88F).

Is it possible that the prolonged heat up phase causes damage to the milk? I don't overshoot 145F, but after such a long time heating up, maybe some extra damage is done?


Offline linuxboy

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Re: Tomme Cheese Making Recipe
« Reply #63 on: May 05, 2010, 11:29:03 AM »
Yep, possible, in the form of acid buildup. The thing about pH is that it is an instant measure. It is a relative measure of the state of acid, and tells you little about how much of that acid has been absorbed. Casein bonds (the calcium phosphate) "absorb" acid and break apart. When they do that, the casein micelles don't bond together well, and the submicelles break down a little, too.

So you may start with a pH of 6.5 or 6.4, and not all milk with that pH is the same. In your case, the heat shouldn't do too much damage because it's low, but what you're doing is preripening the milk, then killing bacteria, then ripening it again. Also, by keeping it at that temp, the bacteria multiply, and more will survive pasteurization by the sheer numbers of it.

This is why I keep saying pH is a relative measure. Of course, draining at 6.0 and 6.3 are different in any case, but milk is a complicated thing.

When curds don't bond well, it's usually the acid, sometimes case hardening. In your case, try to add less culture and drain a little earlier.
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Offline Cornelius

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Re: Tomme Cheese Making Recipe
« Reply #64 on: May 05, 2010, 11:53:53 AM »
linuxboy - thanks, it is amazing how helpful you are!

I somewhat follow the acidity/PH issue and will do as you suggest: add less culture and drain a little earlier.

But, let me just get a bit more information on those bacteria surviving pasteurization - it sounds like I would be better off not pasteurizing (unless I can do the 15 second flash pasteurization)? I fully understand that I don't necessarily need to pasteurize when aging a cheese past 60 days (actually, some of my alpine cheeses I age for 12-16 months, even the 4.5 inch wheels), but most of the cheese I make is white mold ripened soft cheeses that are consumed within 4-6 weeks. Sometimes I simply split off half a batch to make soft and continue with the other half to make a hard cheese. If I understand you correctly, my milk at 145F for 30 minutes doesn't kill the bacteria? I need to rethink that entire process - scary!


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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Tomme Cheese Making Recipe
« Reply #65 on: May 05, 2010, 12:04:15 PM »
145F for 30 mins does kill bacteria. But, it doesn't make milk sterile. Good thing is that it does kill most of the bad bugs (usually about 99.9%) like e.coli and listeria. Pasteurized milk still goes bad, right? Means it doesn't kill everything, just enough to be safe. And if you start out with milk that's already high in bacteria, pasteurizing won't kill off all of them. And because they'll have produced some acid by the time you reach pasteurization temp, heating just helps that acid react. End result is weaker proteins, leading to a weaker curd.

Yes, if you can use raw milk, please go ahead. I love raw milk tommes. But if using raw milk, adjust your DVI, to something like 1/16 per gallon, unless your milk is super clean and free from bacteria or same-day fresh, then you need a little more. Up to you if you want to pasteurize for fresh cheeses, depends on how confident you are in the milk.
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Offline Cornelius

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Re: Tomme Cheese Making Recipe
« Reply #66 on: May 05, 2010, 12:17:10 PM »
Unfortunately I cannot trust the milk over here and would not want to make fresh cheese with it, but then again, I don't really have any problem with the lactic cheeses I make. The milk is however very fresh - it is in my vat 25 minutes after it was milked (never chilled).

As for the Tomme, I will make a batch this coming Saturday without Pasteurization and let you know if that solves my issues. 

btw, I also spoke with the farmer and he tells me his goats had their kids recently and the milk they produce at this stage is weak and might not be adequate to make the type of cheese I am trying to make - could that be another issue?

Offline Cornelius

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Re: Tomme Cheese Making Recipe
« Reply #67 on: May 13, 2010, 10:51:57 AM »
I have been meaning to post, but since I didn't get the time to make the batch I was hoping to last Saturday ...

Two of the wheels I made are aging away fairly well so far (the older one at about 2 weeks now). I keep them at 12C and 90-95RH, turning and wiping them down with brine daily. Unfortunately I will be leaving for 2 weeks starting Monday (hopefully I will get somebody to tend to them at least every 3 days).

I will report back upon my return, once I manage to make that un-pasteurized version.

Offline Brentsbox

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Re: Tomme Cheese Making Recipe
« Reply #68 on: September 23, 2010, 03:48:04 PM »

As another option, I also like this cheese with a washed rind. For example, a wash made from a malty beer adds a tasty dimension and contributes yeast to the rind microflora. Or add a nutty ale in with the curds during the make.

linuxboy,  at what point would you add a nutty ale?  I have some pecan ale in the garage that im not going to drink and thought it would be perfect for this.
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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Tomme Cheese Making Recipe
« Reply #69 on: September 23, 2010, 09:26:29 PM »
You could do a drunken tomme where you vac pac it, like you would a drunken goat. Or you can let the molds build up and wash every few weeks with the beer. Be very careful with the beer. If it has residual sugars or is artisan, it will have yeasts. And if it's too wet, it will start to ferment and give you a huge yeasty flavor.

Depends on the ale and how dry it is. What was FG on the pecan ale?

You could add some types of ales to the curds and let the curds marinade, then press them, but this requires a filtered/pasteurized ale with absolutely no residual sugar.

I guess my final answer is tell me more about the pecan ale and I can give you more clear guidance.
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Offline FRANCOIS

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Re: Tomme Cheese Making Recipe
« Reply #70 on: September 23, 2010, 11:21:09 PM »
Even with pasteurized beer you are looking for trouble, I can attest to adding Guiness at the very start of the press and getting cheese that tastes like a loaf of bread.

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Tomme Cheese Making Recipe
« Reply #71 on: September 24, 2010, 12:14:55 AM »
Same results here, Francois, when using a porter I made. However, I was able to do it for a completely dry ale I finished to a final gravity of below 1 (about 3.5% ABV, I made a custom beer wash as an experiment). I cleared the beer with a freezer crash and gelatin, then boiled in a pressure cooker. It was OK in the cheese, pretty light, and I used an aromatic Centennial/Cascade hop blend to try and introduce aromatics, but beer in general doesn't leave the biggest flavor in cheese. A drunken tomme is about the best you could do because the cheese marinates. I adjust calcium levels of the beer in a drunken tomme so it doesn't leech calcium from the cheese.

But in general, I completely agree. Have you ever had some of these "beer-washed artisan cheeses"? The ones where people use a microbrew and try to make it all fancy. It's like someone dumped bread yeast on the surface.
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Offline Brentsbox

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Re: Tomme Cheese Making Recipe
« Reply #72 on: September 24, 2010, 08:19:48 AM »
linuxboy,

Southern Pecan Nut Brown Ale is the first beer in the world, to our knowledge, made with whole roasted pecans. The pecans are used just like grain and provide a nutty characteristic and a delightful depth to the flavor profile. This beer is very lightly hopped to allow the malty, caramel, and nutty flavors shine through. The color is dark mahogany. Southern Pecan won a Bronze Medal in the 2006 World Beer Cup in the Specialty Beer category.

Click here to see the beers whole profile.
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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Tomme Cheese Making Recipe
« Reply #73 on: September 24, 2010, 08:35:19 AM »
The only thing you can do with it is a drunken tomme. Way too much residual sugar. If you want nut flavors, you could also emulsify the oil and/or extract and add to the milk.

if you wanted, you could also add salt to make a near saturated brine wash with it, if you wanted to use brine to knock back some mold... but that will impart no flavor, might as well use brine.
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Offline iratherfly

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Re: Tomme Cheese Making Recipe
« Reply #74 on: September 25, 2010, 12:49:56 AM »
This is a terrific idea. If you make a brine like Linuxboy says with the ale and salt, then dip-dry two or 3 times and vacuum it for two months it will be nice and "drunken". Done it with wine before with great success.  However that sweet and yeasty flavor Linuxboy is talkign about - I think it will stay there. Some like it, others don't. (I do i it's not too yeasty, I want to feel the hops and nuts rather than the yeast).
But - if  you age it as is, you may get interesting development. Wash the rind with a bacterial brine and the yeast layer will change its character by helping B.Linen and Geo develop. Wash it enough and their flavors will take over and combined with the nuttiness of the ale may give you an interesting cheese.

To avoid the breadiness, I first dip the cheese in brine and dry it for 2-4 days in room temp. This creates a good rind so that it isn't as affected by the wine. I then dip it in the wine brine (wine, salt, Calcium) and dry it again for 24-48 hours. I then do it once or twice more. This essentially build external layers of wine coatings and doesn't penetrate the paste. (Linuxboy/Francois, what do you think? It worked out for me with "drunken cow" Tomme de Syrah that I've made a few times now)

Linuxboy/Francois - do you think that adding vinegar to the beer brine will kill the yeast due to the pH level drop?
« Last Edit: September 25, 2010, 01:02:45 AM by iratherfly »