Okay - I ended my soooo long waiting and cracked this one open - yes, at 12 days.
It actually tasted really good - just like some mild edam cheese that we have available in the stores here in Finland. The natural rind was a bit sharp in taste though (bad way) - I'm thinking maybe too acidic? Unless someone has other suggestions, I'm gonna try a little less starter culture next time (oh, and any suggestions on how to measure acidity without an acid meter would be apprecciated too).
So it seems 12 days is perfectly enough to create a mild, pleasant taste. I wonder why I never see this young cheese in the stores. Well anyway. My better half said we don't need to buy cheese this week because we can eat this one at breakfast. That was some compliment.
Notes on the dryer cheese:
Alright, I definately managed to make it dryer than last time. This one had some teeny-tiny holes in it, and the texture was easy to cut (I bet it also melts beautifully, but haven't tried yet). I think I may have overdone the dryness-thing, but not by much. Next time I think I'm going to cut the curds just a little bigger and cook a little less. But pressing and everything after that seems fine to me, so no changes there.
I need to get my next cheese in the press real soon. Another gouda, I think. Planning on fashioning a new mold too - something that could lessen my "character" situation. Maybe even two molds - then I could do one with seasoning and one without, from the same batch.
This was my first cheese in quite a while, and the first one I made during my current relationship. So the better half commented: "I don't see what's all the fuss about cheese making being so hard, you obviously did it right away". Well, as much as I apprecciate the evaluation of my cheese, I wish he would see the effort I put into it.