Author Topic: My second Colby effort  (Read 3355 times)

Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: My second Colby effort
« Reply #15 on: September 17, 2009, 09:21:40 PM »
It's intersting that you had ongoing mold problems. The little buggers generally don't like salt. I have NOT done any bloomy rinds, but I do a lot of blue cheeses and have had zero problems with salting and frequent rotation.
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Offline Boofer

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Re: My second Colby effort
« Reply #16 on: September 18, 2009, 02:01:08 AM »
That happened to a swiss I had placed a bowl over. It got a little too humid really quick. It was sitting on a bamboo mat but that wasn't enough to prevent a quick mold bloom.  :'(

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Offline Rich

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Re: My second Colby effort
« Reply #17 on: September 18, 2009, 09:23:17 AM »
That's a good looking wheel of cheese.  I can sympathize with your dismay over the excess whey in the finished wheel.  I had the same experience with a recent Colby.  The last one I did, however, is quite dry and nice.  The difference is that I let it drain for a good 20 minutes before I milled the curd.  It turned out beautifully.  I also pressed a bit on the heavy side:  143 lbs on a 6" mold for 15 hours.

To encourage you, once the whey finishes dripping and you have a nice dry rind formed, you should still have a very good cheese.  I'd recommend wiping the dried wheel with vinegar to discourage any mold growth prior to waxing.

Offline Boofer

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Re: My second Colby effort
« Reply #18 on: September 18, 2009, 09:53:18 AM »
Wow, 143 pounds!!!  :o  :o Wasn't the wheel like a chariot wheel then?

I cracked open the cabinet where I'm drying my Colby. The humidity dropped from 70-75% down to 60%. The wheel wasn't dripping this morning...just moist on the bottom.

I had wiped previous cheeses with white vinegar just prior to waxing. I think that helps a lot to discourage any last minute buggers.

Rich, how did your Colby finally end up? Good taste...not too salty? Good texture...not too hard nor soft? How long did you let it age?

I have been melting wax just before quartering a wheel. Then I'll wax the cut sides of three of the quarters and taste/savor the fourth. It seems to help preserve the wheel optimally.

Thanks for your inputs.

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Offline Boofer

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Re: My second Colby effort
« Reply #19 on: September 19, 2009, 11:45:27 PM »
I'm feeling pretty good now. The humidity in the drying cabinet has dropped to 50%, down from 70%+. That's since I gapped the door open about an inch or so. No bad guys have shown up and I'm brine-wiping and turning twice daily. Looking good.

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Offline Boofer

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Re: My second Colby effort
« Reply #20 on: September 22, 2009, 11:58:25 AM »
Okay, this will close out my second Colby effort. I am pleased with the prospects for excellent Colby after a 60 day aging period. I'm anticipating some fresh-baked bread and my own cheese selection at Thanksgiving.

Gapping the kitchen cabinet door dramatically altered the drying process from the first Colby effort. In one week the humidity dropped from 75% at 74 degrees F to 47% at 68 degrees F. The wheel went from 4.75 pounds to just under 4 pounds. It evaporated 3/4 of a pound of moisture! Today I waxed it. The surface was dry with just a touch of residual milkfat on the bottom.

The change from bamboo mats to the germ-resistant Rubbermaid sink mat, combined with a plastic mesh, does a great job draining and repelling the nasties.

The other change that isn't visible here is the Johnson Controls fridge controller that has brought my cave up from 46 degrees F to 55 degrees F.

I haven't yet dipped into pH monitoring/controlling but I can see that's probably on my cheese horizon.

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Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: My second Colby effort
« Reply #21 on: September 22, 2009, 01:15:56 PM »
What is this plastic mesh? Where did you get it?
A moldy Stilton is a thing of beauty. Yes, you eat the rind. - Ed
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Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: My second Colby effort
« Reply #22 on: September 22, 2009, 01:30:27 PM »
I get mine from McMaster-Carr
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Offline Boofer

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Re: My second Colby effort
« Reply #23 on: September 22, 2009, 02:18:49 PM »
Sailor - I originally got that mesh years ago when I was keeping koi. Don't recall much more except I had a bunch stored away unused.

Wayne - Thanks for that link. Good stuff. I'm a firm believer in doing the best job possible if you have the best/right tools and equipment for the job. I believe the drain mat and mesh answers that call and meets the requirement for a sanitary cheese drainer/drier.

Of course if you can't find anyone or any place that markets the equipment that a task demands, then necessity is a mother (of invention). No one on this forum would know that more than you, Wayne (tip o' the hat).  ;)

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Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: My second Colby effort
« Reply #24 on: September 22, 2009, 02:38:43 PM »
I am a pond keeper. Why would you use that with Koi??? Netting?

You could use ceiling grid, also called egg crate, instead of the sink drain. That way it could be cut to smaller sizes. And it's cheap.
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Offline Boofer

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Re: My second Colby effort
« Reply #25 on: September 22, 2009, 06:03:02 PM »
Not to stray too far off topic...I had to shield some small fry from the hungry mouths of the koi. Hence the mesh shielding.

Thanks for the egg crate tip. I don't have a need right now for large quantities of drain material, but I'll file it away for future reference. I trimmed the sink drainer to match my in-fridge plastic mini-cave.

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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: My second Colby effort
« Reply #26 on: September 22, 2009, 08:02:42 PM »
Hey Boofer that cheese is looking great! Way to go! 

Offline Boofer

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Re: My second Colby effort
« Reply #27 on: September 23, 2009, 01:59:37 AM »
Thanks, Debi. I'm very satisfied with the way the whole thing went.

Now I'm in somewhat of a puzzled state, trying to decide what kind to do next. Today I bought 4 gallons of 2% Darigold milk. I had originally thought I'd try swiss for the fourth time, but now I'm not so sure. I'm thinking my chances for swiss success will be improved with cooler weather.

I've also decided to postpone the caciocavallo for now. No also on the manchego for now. So that leaves me wondering what to do. Perhaps gouda or a second edam. I'm hoping for a flash of brilliance...some inspiration. Tomorrow I'll sit down with some cheese & crackers and a bit of wine and come up with something to satisfy my inner cheese quest.

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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: My second Colby effort
« Reply #28 on: September 23, 2009, 09:36:58 PM »
Have you done Manchego? A very fast aging quick to make cheese that has a flavor that seems likes it's aged forever in just a few months. Only takes about 4 hours to make. It does use lipase though if you have some I'd give it a go. Very rewarding and practically fool proof (I think) as long as you get a good curd set and your got a handle on that one.

Offline Boofer

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Re: My second Colby effort
« Reply #29 on: December 09, 2009, 10:18:07 AM »
Last night was cheese-cutting night. Among the Edam and Gouda, I also opened my second Colby. This cheese was started on September 14th. I had a high level of anticipation. Almost 3 months of aging....

The texture was crumbly, very similar to the Gouda I cut. I had added 2 TBS of salt to the curds and the level of salt was not excessive. Seemed just about right. It's the crumbliness that has me stumped. On another thread I discuss the Edam which was not crumbly. Different techniques, I know. At 33 drops of annatto, you would think the final color of the wheel would be off the charts. Not the case at all...just cream-colored.  ???

I put some on a slice of sourdough,  toasted it, and then added a slice of roast beef. Yumm!  ;D

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