Caerphilly Cheese Recipe - adapted from recipes by Peter Dixson
Caerphilly is a light-coloured (almost white), crumbly cheese made from cow's milk, and generally has a fat content of around 48%. It has a mild taste, with its most noticeable feature being a not unpleasant slightly sour tang.
The cheese is typically made in a wheel, which is 10 in. diameter x 3 in. thick and weighs 7-9 lb.. The rind is thin with a brushed mold coat. The interior texture is fairly close with a few mechanical openings (not due to gas) and cake-like due to the acidity. The body is semi-firm. The flavor is slightly acid and fresh when young (2 weeks-2 months); when more mature (3-4 months) the flavor is mild and smooth.
Method for Making:
Whole raw milk may be used if the cheese is aged longer than 60 days at a temperature higher than 35° F.
EZAL RA series (blended thermo/meso)
Add starter: Use EZAL RA series (blended thermo/meso) at the rate of 1U per 50lb. milk.
Add rennet: 9 ml single-strength
Milk at 86° (summer) to 89° (winter) Ripen with starter for 45-90 min.
Add rennet: 9 ml single-strength
Calculate Check for curdling point and multiply by 4 to get time from adding rennet to cutting the curd, e.g., 12 min. x 4 = 48 min.
Cut curd into pea-sized particles; rest curds in whey for 5 min. Whey pH 6.4-6.5 (titratable acidity .13-.14)
Heat while gently stirring curds to 93° F in 20 min. ( a steady rise of 1 degree per minute)
30 to 50 minutes
Continue stirring curds in whey at 93° F with increasing speed as the curds become firmer (so that some curds are always visible on top of whey surface). After 30-50 min., the curds should be firm enough and springy in the hand. Higher solids milk will cause curds to firm faster.
Settle the curds under the whey for 20 min.
Move curds to the back half of the vat and let settle again for 2 min.
Drain off whey down to the level of the curds and then begin trenching the curds to either side of the vat, leaving a channel down the center for the whey to drain away from the two packs of curds. Whey pH 5.9-6.0 (titratable acidity .18-.20
After 5 min.,
the curd packs should be firm enough to cut into wedge-shaped pieces about the size of a dinner plate. Pile these at the back end of the vat; higher for a moister cheese and lower for a drier cheese.
When the whey is pH 5.7-5.8 (titratable acidity .25-.28)
Mill the curd wedges into 1 in. cubes.
Mix in coarse dry salt at the rate of 1 lb. per 100 lb. of curd
Mellow the curds for 5 min.
Pack the curds into cloth-lined hoops
Press with enough pressure so that drops of whey are dripping from the hoops shortly after applying pressure.
After 20 min., take off press, turn the wheels and return them to the hoops. Press again at the same rate. After 20 min. repeat the process. Leave on the press overnight under increased pressure. Press room should be 68-72 F.
12 to 18 hours
Next morning remove the wheels of cheese from the hoops and place in the saturated brine for 2 to 2.5 hours per lb. of cheese. Turn the wheels at least once during the brining period. Brine temp. is 50-55° F.
Cheeses are removed from the brine and allowed to drain in a well ventilated area at 50-55° F before moving to aging shelving.
Cheeses are aged for up to 4 months at 50-55° F, during which time the rind is developed:
In the first month, molds are scrubbed off using scrub-sponge pads dipped in 5% brine.
After this, molds can be brushed off with a moderately-stiff, kitchen-type scrub brush.
The goal of affinage is to produce a uniformly-colored, thin, dry rind.
If the rind is not drying and is sticky, use a stronger brine solution, e.g. 10-15%, which will inhibit the yeasts that proliferate and cause this condition.
This case may indicate insufficient acid development during the make process.
The cheese should not develop gas during aging. If this occurs, there was insufficient acid development and contamination from rogue bacteria during the make process. If gassing occurs later on during aging, the flavor may be good but not characteristic of Caerphilly cheese.
If the rind is cracking, the humidity of the aging room is too low.
The wheels of cheese can also be waxed after brining for a milder-flavored cheese.