Author Topic: What's the difference between swiss and alpine?  (Read 2047 times)

Offline Boofer

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What's the difference between swiss and alpine?
« on: September 25, 2009, 06:35:54 PM »
This morning I made what the recipe called an "Alpine Cheese". It sure seems like I was making a swiss. There's a fine line, right? Must be in the nuances of technique. Sure seems the same though.  ???

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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: What's the difference between swiss and alpine?
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2009, 09:07:26 PM »
This is a tricky question because in the US we call the cheese with big holes in it swiss more because of it's origins than what it is. Emmentaler.

Alpine cheeses can be Gruyère, Abondance, Beaufort, Morbier and Comté or any cheese made in the French or Swiss alps or it can be like the recipe in the recipe section.

 

Offline Boofer

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Re: What's the difference between swiss and alpine?
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2009, 01:50:54 AM »
I'll go with that. I want this one (actually, #4) to be a good little cheese. I will do my utmost to make sure that the surface molds that come will be promptly controlled. After a reasonable curing period to allow eye development (please, please, please), I'll move the cheese to the cave. I've got the temperature set at 55 degrees and the humidity will be in the 80's or 90's in its private suite. What more could a young cheese ask for? Ah yes, olive oil was mentioned. That sounds good.

You know what really amazes me? This Alpine Cheese is half the height of the Colby I just made. Same mold. Almost the same amount of milk, although the Colby did get an extra quart of whipping cream, but that shouldn't make that much difference. The size of the wheel really shrinks on cooking the curds.

Call me when it's cheese.  :D

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Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: What's the difference between swiss and alpine?
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2009, 08:39:11 AM »
The time for coagulation until you cut the curds and the size of your cut curds have a bigger impact than "cooking". That's what flocculation multiplier is all about (search the forum).

The longer the coagulation time, the more whey that stays inside the curds. The larger your curds, the more whey that is retained. So, in general if you want a drier cheese, don't wait as long to cut the curds and cut them smaller. If you want a moister cheese wait longer, even if you have a clean break, to cut the curds, and make your curds larger.

Cream is a concentrated source of milk fats and calcium. Can make a big difference in your yield.
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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: What's the difference between swiss and alpine?
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2009, 06:28:10 PM »
Yes like Sailor said the cream makes a big difference. I can see a HUGE difference between my raw milk cheese ( lots of cream) and store bought pasteurized whole milk (that tastes like water).


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Offline Boofer

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Re: What's the difference between swiss and alpine?
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2009, 08:24:23 PM »
That's a good point...one I had all but forgotten. Last year when I lived close to Ventura, California, I had close access to a raw milk retailer. That raw whole milk really was a lot richer than store-bought pasteurized (shudder!) whole milk. Since my relocation further north, my raw milk access has not improved.

Question: If I wanted to approximate the richness of raw whole milk, using pasteurized (shudder!!) store-bought milk and non-UHT whipping cream, what might a reasonable ratio be? I know, I know...I'll never be able to duplicate the richness of raw whole milk. Come on, work with me here...humor me. Believing that store-bought whole milk is not quite up to the fullness/richness of raw milk, I'd like to be somewhat on-par.

Sailor - So the curd size makes more of an impact than cooking the curds? I wouldn't have thought that to be the case.

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Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: What's the difference between swiss and alpine?
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2009, 09:43:54 PM »
Curds shrink during cooking because they lose whey. But coagulation time and curd size determine the rate that whey leaves the curds. Longer coag time toughens the curds so they don't lose whey as quickly. Smaller curds means there is more surface area exposed.

I made two cheese this week at different ends of the spectrum - an Asiago and a Castle Blue. The Asiago used a short coag time and called for very small curds. The Castle Blue had a much longer coag time and used huge 1 inch curds. The Asiago will turn out to be a drier grating type cheese. The Castle Blue will be very moist.

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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: What's the difference between swiss and alpine?
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2009, 10:13:31 PM »
Of course if you heat the curds to fast the outside can harden holding in the whey throwing everything off.

Boofer -

My thought on the cream addition based on the raw milk I get. I would estimate the top 4 or 5 inches of each half gallon bottle is cream or about 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 cups of cream pr half gallon. I don't know if that helps.

Offline Boofer

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Re: What's the difference between swiss and alpine?
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2009, 02:23:51 AM »
4 to 5 inches in a half gallon. Boy, that's more than I recall Organic Pastures (Fresno, CA) milk having. Theirs was maybe 2 to 3 inches. Factors considered: type of cow, time of year, type of feed.

Yes, it does help. I'm definitely more curious now how my Colby #2 will turn out with its added cream.

The alpine I just did came up slowly on the heat, stayed on the money with the cooking temp, and released a lot of whey. I collected 2 gallons easily and have saved it as I said that I would. Freezing and vac-bagging for soup and bread additions during the winter months.

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Offline Boofer

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Re: What's the difference between swiss and alpine?
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2009, 09:21:12 AM »
At two weeks curing, I decided to seal up the wheel with EVOO to help prevent rind cracking. Probably within 24 hours I had a significant surface mold attack. Thankfully I had handy my new cheese brushes and I was able to easily & gently scrub off the offending invader with brine. I bought a twin-pack of refill brushes from Bed, Bath, & Beyond for $3.99. The bristles are about an inch long and soft & flexible. Easy to wash clean too.

My question is: Is it possible that the application of the EVOO creates a more hospitable environment for molds and other nasties to come in and set up shop? Seems like that's what happened here. I'm not so sure the oil is a good way to go now. Until I put that on the wheel, my cheese was looking good.

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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: What's the difference between swiss and alpine?
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2009, 07:33:51 PM »
The oil should be put on when the rind is dry. You may still have a lot of moisture coming form the cheese to make the mold grow but the oil keeps the rind from drying out.

Offline Boofer

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Re: What's the difference between swiss and alpine?
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2009, 01:02:50 AM »
Seemed like the rind was dry. I guess I'll need to better judge the dryness of my cheeses in the future.

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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: What's the difference between swiss and alpine?
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2009, 01:10:48 AM »
Cheese can be hard to judge there is moisture inside and out. With your little fan setup in the cave after a dry feel at room temperature a few weeks in the cave will make a big difference.

Also keep in mind as you wash your cheese they will need to dry out again.