Author Topic: Stilton Aging ...  (Read 2349 times)

Offline Baby Chee

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Stilton Aging ...
« on: September 08, 2009, 06:15:43 AM »
I love Stilton.

I'm certain I will try to make one or more wheels in the next week or two.  However, I can't find any good, clear, definitive instructions on how to age the cheese!  The preparation of the cheese is clear, but once the curds have settled in the mold, all the information I can find deteriorates into vague details.

What are the temperatures and times?

I know the cheese wants a high humidity for mold propagation, and bluing on the surface is evident, you push a needle through the top and bottom 20 times each.  Is this cheese just a typical "plastic shoe box and cheese cave/root cellar" type thing?  Will the 55-59ºF cave be best?  Or is it better at room temp.??
“For centuries, people thought the moon was made of green cheese. Then the astronauts found that the moon is really a big hard rock. That's what happens to cheese when you leave it out.”


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Offline Bryan

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Re: Stilton Aging ...
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2009, 10:24:58 AM »
Hi babychee, as an Englishman I would find it remiss if I did not try and answer your questions to the best of my ability, or to be more precise the abilities of John Seymour author of The new complete book of self sufficiency.
The following is gleaned from his Stilton method. You state you have the process up to the stage below.
After placing curds in hoops or molds  place it on a wooden board, the curds should now be cool, not more than 65 degrees farenheit or 19 degrees centigrade. Don't press it, just let it sink down.
Take the cheese out and turn it twice during the first two hours, then once a day for for seven days.
When the cheese has shrunk away from the sides of the mold take it out and scrape the surface with a knife to smooth it.
Then bandage it tightly with calico.
Put it back in the hoop and mold.
Take it out of the mold and re- bandage it every day for three days.
Then take it to the drying room which should have a good draught and be around 60f / 16c
Take the bandage off once a week to aid drying, leave it off for the day then put it back on again.
After 14 days remove the cheese to the cellar again about 60f/16c but not with too much draught and plenty of humidity.
Leave it there for approx four months before consdering eating it.
The book does not specify the percentage of humidity just ' plenty of it '
There is no mention of the inserting of copper rods or needles in this recipe but for sure a Stilton starter would help greatly.
There is a widely held belief that there was a tradition of inserting copper rods into the cheese to cause the mould this belief is firmly established in popular folklore in the UK but a recent archeological dig a Roman Stilton Mold was dug up and an expert from Stilton appeared on the program she crushed this folklore and explained the holes can be made with any material they exist only to allow air into the cheese and it's blue mould enter the whole of the cheese interior.
The best stilton is made from Raw Milk from the new rich Spring milk it is then sold in vast quantities to be consumed at Christmas which for me is the perfect maturation period.
After cutting off the top of the Stilton, it is traditionally scooped out with a spoon, scooping out towards the rind but leaving approx one inch of cheese and the rind in place.
When you have had your fill of plain Stilton, you can then add Port wine to the excavation you have made by scooping out the cheese. Dribble the Port gently and leave it to soak through the cheese at least overnight, don't drown the poor cheese, little and often is what's called for this again is scooped out with a spoon.
The feeding of the Cheese with Port over a period of time is called' Porting '
It is sold in ceramic lidded jars as 'Ported Stilton't expect to pay very high prices from top London stores such as Fortnum and Mason's and Harrods.
Hope this info was of some help.
Happy cheesemaking
'You can't scare me I've got grandchildren'

Offline Baby Chee

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Re: Stilton Aging ...
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2009, 11:59:21 AM »
º-º;  Good....GOD.

^-^ ha, well, thanks for the very thorough information!  It's great to read the full scope of Stilton.  I never had any idea that Stilton was scooped and ported.  Darn interesting stuff.

So 60ºF is your recommendation for the Stilton cheese cave.  The bandaging is interesting.  I'll have to try that.  Thank you for the help!
“For centuries, people thought the moon was made of green cheese. Then the astronauts found that the moon is really a big hard rock. That's what happens to cheese when you leave it out.”

Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: Stilton Aging ...
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2009, 01:32:30 PM »
This is THE official Stilton website. Interesting info. Be sure to watch the video "Making Stilton" if you can (it tends to freeze up on some computers).

http://www.stiltoncheese.com/

FYI - They do say on this website that you can freeze aged Stilton. Hmmm... Only place I have ever seen that.
A moldy Stilton is a thing of beauty. Yes, you eat the rind. - Ed
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