Author Topic: My Colby turned out soft and spongey ?  (Read 1345 times)

Offline mgable

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My Colby turned out soft and spongey ?
« on: September 05, 2009, 04:21:14 PM »
I made a 3 pound Colby cheese last night. I used the Ricki Carroll's recipe from her book. My final press was at 110 lbs for 15 hours on a 6 1/4 inch mold. It was still just as soft as it was when I put it in from the previous press at 60 lbs. for and hour flipped then repeated.Any suggestions on what to do from here? just let it age and see how it turns out? It is starting to crack a little now and is buldging a little in the middle. can I fix it? maybe vac seal it and wait?
« Last Edit: September 05, 2009, 08:13:41 PM by mgable »

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: My Colby turned out soft and spongey ?
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2009, 08:37:54 PM »
Bulging could indicate an contamination. It has been drying?

Offline mgable

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Re: My Colby turned out soft and spongey ?
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2009, 09:29:20 PM »
I think the bulging is from its own weight it is that soft and fragile. the outside is drying but the bottom is moist I have been flipping it. here is a picture of it next to a caraway Havarti I made earlier in the day

Offline John (CH)

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Re: My Colby turned out soft and spongey ?
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2009, 07:58:43 AM »
mgable, congrats on two cheeses in one day, beautiful Caraway Havarti, agree your Colby doesn't look happy.

As your Colby is soft and fragile I think the problem is the moisture content is too high. There are several paths that I can think of to obtain lower moisture content, from largest to smallest effect they are:
  • Making Phase - Longer times or higher acidification before pressing.
  • Making Phase - Higher heating / cooking or for Colby washing times and temperatures.
  • Making Phase - Higher salt levels.
  • Aging Phase - Drying of cheese after pressing through humidity control.

As your cheese is on the last of these steps it will be very hard to dehydrate it now. I would not vac seal it as all the excess moisture will be trapped inside and ferment. Options that I can think of are re-brining it and extended aging to try and remove the moisture by lower humidity. This will be very tough, good luck.

Offline Boofer

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Re: My Colby turned out soft and spongey ?
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2009, 10:51:55 AM »
Using Ricki's recipe, I too ended up with a too-moist, spongey, crumbly Colby. I would have thought that 50 pounds for 12 hours would squeeze enough whey out. Obviously not. When the cheese was in the air-drying phase, it developed some mold on the surfaces. Tough to keep at bay.

Has anyone successfully used this recipe to produce a Colby that is not too moist, too salty, and/or too acidic?

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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: My Colby turned out soft and spongey ?
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2009, 11:07:05 AM »
I think I had issues with most of the recipes I tried from Riccis book. I had to do some kind of damage control on all of them, but I have the original volume. That was many moons ago.

Offline John (CH)

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Re: My Colby turned out soft and spongey ?
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2009, 07:08:41 PM »
Boofer, there are a few reviews of that and other books in our library.

Offline FRANCOIS

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Re: My Colby turned out soft and spongey ?
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2009, 10:52:11 PM »
If the moisture is bound in the curd, you can press until the cows come home and you'll still get a wet mess of curd out.  What temp was your curd wash?  Did you check your floculaiton time?  I don't have the book handy, but I recall her recipes were mostly wonky.

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: My Colby turned out soft and spongey ?
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2009, 12:36:26 PM »
Very poor editing for a published book. To many errors IMHO.

Offline Boofer

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Re: My Colby turned out soft and spongey ?
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2009, 06:50:22 PM »
Francois - I cooked at 102 degrees for 30 min and then washed with cold tap water (63 degrees) to reach a temp of 83 degrees which I then held for 15 min. The next time I make colby I will attempt to wash with warmer water so as not to absorb as much water in the curds.

Debi - Curious about other points/errors I may have overlooked in Ricki's book.

I had also purchased "And that's how you make cheese..." at the same time and it is absolutely rife with typos and measurement errors. I believe the text is a good starting point. I wanted more info and I'm still looking for it...that's why I'm glad I found the CheeseForum. Good consensus builder from folks in the trenches.

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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: My Colby turned out soft and spongey ?
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2009, 09:00:45 PM »
Gee Boffer off the top of my head I can't remember the errors I haven't looked at it for years but seems like they were all through recipes in the book. I do believe some are even mentioned here on the forum.

Some as I recall were just leaving out processes - which I do all the time. After ahwile some things are just automatic and you don't realy think to much about it. May be the same with her.

I did see "And that's how you make cheese"  somewhere but passed it by for a new bread book.

Offline mgable

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Re: My Colby turned out soft and spongey ?
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2009, 03:52:55 PM »
I did about the same as Boofer cooked at 102 added cool (65  deg.) water till a Temp of about 81 deg but took me a while to get down to 81 degrees and then held for 15 minutes. then drained in a collander lined with cheesecloth for 20 minutes.added salt then into the press. I wonder if my curds were too cool and if I took too long to get my temp. down
                                                                                                               Mark

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: My Colby turned out soft and spongey ?
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2009, 06:10:15 PM »
If you don't get down to the proper temperature when adding the cool water you can just add more water. The change in acidity is what makes it work not necessarily how much water you used.