Author Topic: Milling with Honey...  (Read 3828 times)

Offline Baby Chee

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Milling with Honey...
« on: October 14, 2009, 04:34:40 PM »
Odd choice, but I had the idea today.

Out in my brewing room is a good amount of honey.  Gotta use it somehow.
Is there a way to mill in a good drizzle of honey and then press.  My hopes would be a honey gouda or honey cheddar with a lacing of honey through the cheese.

Any ideas?  Honey is antiseptic, so it might inhibit cheese bacteria, or is the moisture a problem?
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Offline zenith1

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Re: Milling with Honey...
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2009, 04:39:29 PM »
mmmmmm! I like the concept and I love the raw local honey that we get here. I have not tried honey in a cheese ,but I have made honey ice cream that was very tasty.
Keith

Offline FRANCOIS

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Re: Milling with Honey...
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2009, 07:11:46 PM »
If you are talking anything but fresh cheese, there will also be issues with differences in water activity and you will get weird pasty and crunchy bits as well as dispersion.  Depending on your honey and the cheese you could get some fermentation too before the dispersal, giving you a nasty flavor.

This is experience talking.  An aged or ripened cheese with mixed in honey, jelly or jam is like the holy grail of cheese.

Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: Milling with Honey...
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2009, 07:13:35 PM »
Just thinking out loud, but the honey is going to add more food (sugar) than normal for the bacteria. That potentially leads to higher acid production. I would probably innoculate with less starter bacteria. I might also use a little more direct salt or brine a little longer than normal to slow the bacteria down.

What happens when you use honey in your homebrew? Do use sugar and honey at the same time?
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Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: Milling with Honey...
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2009, 07:20:59 PM »
An aged or ripened cheese with mixed in honey, jelly or jam is like the holy grail of cheese.

Francois. Please explain. Do you mean that nobody has done that successfully? Why not?

I have a vacuum bagged Emmental with blueberries aging right now. Looks fantastic but it needs at least another 30 days before I open it.

How about making a layer of jam in the center of the cheese? Put curds in the hoop, add the jam, and then add the rest of the curds.
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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Milling with Honey...
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2009, 08:14:56 PM »
An aged or ripened cheese with mixed in honey, jelly or jam is like the holy grail of cheese.

Francois. Please explain. Do you mean that nobody has done that successfully? Why not?

I have a vacuum bagged Emmental with blueberries aging right now. Looks fantastic but it needs at least another 30 days before I open it.

How about making a layer of jam in the center of the cheese? Put curds in the hoop, add the jam, and then add the rest of the curds.

About the only thing that's worked for me is using a solidified or partly dehydrated addition. Dried cranberries, blueberries, bits of mango, etc.

Many reasons it doesn't work. First of all, lactic bacteria eat primarily lactose. Other bacteria and yeasts glucose, sucrose, fructose, etc. Lactic bacteria will consume a small amount of other sugars, but the byproducts are usually not pleasant. Same with other bacteria and other sugars. The solid fruit bits work because they have a few things going for them. One, usually a skin of some sorts that naturally prevents bacterial penetration. Two, a similar moisture level as curd. And three, they're typically incorporated into the curd and pressed inside, and are not liquid, so there are no weird seepage/water issues like Francois noted.

One way you may be able to accomplish an addition (I've given this a lot of thought lately because it's technically challenging), is to encase the more liquidy part in a casing of some sort, so that nothing will penetrate it, yet that would not show up when cutting. Maybe some sort of modified starch or gelatin. Another option may be to inject a filling inside, like you do with a puff pastry. Perhaps use a dissolveable ball, put it inside and press, and then inject a jelly into the resulting cavity after the cheese has aged?
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Offline Baby Chee

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Re: Milling with Honey...
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2009, 08:30:01 PM »
Wow!  Sounds like trouble.  Could it be pressed as well?  Honey does get crusty with time.

What happens when you use honey in your homebrew? Do use sugar and honey at the same time?
Yes, you can use sugars of any sort in brewing at any stage.  The sugar then gets metabolized into alcohol during fermentation in the fermenters or even bottle/keg.  A person could put a drop of honey in each bottle before closing to give it the CO2 pressure and leaving the honey flavor.

Usually you want to add flavored sugars (like honey) at a time when flavor is maximized, so better after the boil.  I would always put my sugars into the primary fermentor and drop the beer on top to dissolve the sugars.  Honey is also very antiseptic, so it does help with the yeast keeping pure by inhibiting other awful bacteria from setting up shop in the wort (grain juice).
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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Milling with Honey...
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2009, 08:38:51 PM »
Wow!  Sounds like trouble.  Could it be pressed as well?  Honey does get crusty with time.

During pressing, you're taking the small bits of curd and through pressure (and initially heat if moving from the pot/vat), actually causing molecular bonding of the casein matrix via calcium until the entire mass is homogeneous. With honey, what would happen is bits of honey would get trapped between curds that mat together, meaning the curds could never mat. Depending on when you press, the curds may still be expelling whey, which would just create a sticky mess that would wind up fermenting.

If you try to re-press aged pieces, you'd need to mix in the honey into fresh curd, and similar story there. You'd have better adhesion, but diluting honey dilutes its antifungal and antiseptic properties. Honey is usually something like 18% water IIRC, and if you take it above 25-30%, it ferments.
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Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: Milling with Honey...
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2009, 08:44:05 PM »
Our local cheese shops carry what I would describe as layered cheeses. Visually they are a one inch layer of yellow, then white, then yellow, etc. Looks very cool and they seem to be selling well (I've not tried one). I'm sure the cheesemakers must be cutting aged or semi-aged cheeses, putting them together and then re-pressing. So, why not take an aged Gouda wheel for example cut it in half, scoop out some cheese from one half (leaving the rind), replace with jam, and re-press. The rind could also be melded back together with a little hot water. Since the cheese is already aged, this jammed cheese would go directly into refrigeration and would be sold or eatten fairly quickly. Technically, an unopened jar of jam should be sterile from the canning process.

My wife makes a killer Jalapeno Pepper jelly. Hmmm....  ::)
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Offline Michelle

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Re: Milling with Honey...
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2009, 09:55:44 PM »
Guys, 10/10 for creative effort!  But, call me an old fashioned purest if you will...these ideas sound quite revolting   ;)

Feel free to adorn or adulterate your cheese once sliced and on a cracker etc.  But to mess with its purity during manufacture is just plain wrong!

Remember, just because you can, doesn't mean you should...

Sailor Con Queso you asked: "Do you mean that nobody has done that successfully? Why not?"  To that I reply: "You want to do that! Why?"    ;D

Does anyone else out there agree with me?  :D

Take a look at the following link for other cheese monstrosities

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2009/sep/29/cheese-with-bits-in
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Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: Milling with Honey...
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2009, 11:07:50 PM »
Pepper Jack, Sage Derby, any "Blue" cheese, the bloomy rind cheeses (how DISGUSTING) .... wouldn't exist without a little experimentation.  ;D
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Offline Michelle

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Re: Milling with Honey...
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2009, 02:57:02 AM »
Very true Sailor, I'm all for experimentation.  Which is why I laud your creative suggestions on this thread.  But, I must still insist that cheese does better without 'bits' added . ;D 

But there's always the exception to the rule.  Cumin seeds in aged gouda for example.  I will permit cheese 'rolled' in stuff.  For example cracked pepper or ash...  so I guess I'm really contradicting myself here. :D :-\

There's a range of bries in the supermarket here with pesto or berries added to it.  Now I love brie on a cracker with pesto on top, but the mix in the cheese just tastes weird.

If you do end up making your jammy cheese I'd love to see a photo...
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Offline Michelle

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Re: Milling with Honey...
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2009, 03:01:36 AM »
So, pepper jack and sage derby...are these american cheeses, I haven't seen these before?  I'm guessing they include peppercorns and sage.  Are they hard cheeses or kind of like a gouda etc?

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Offline FRANCOIS

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Re: Milling with Honey...
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2009, 04:35:34 AM »
An aged or ripened cheese with mixed in honey, jelly or jam is like the holy grail of cheese.

Francois. Please explain. Do you mean that nobody has done that successfully? Why not?

I have a vacuum bagged Emmental with blueberries aging right now. Looks fantastic but it needs at least another 30 days before I open it.

How about making a layer of jam in the center of the cheese? Put curds in the hoop, add the jam, and then add the rest of the curds.

If you could make an aged cheese or, more importantly, a ripened cheese with jam in the middle you'd be a millionaire.  Many companies have spent oodles of money trying to develop such a product.  Even I have made some humble attempts.  The company I work for has a multi-million dollar research facility that couldn't crack it.

Berries, yes.  Pesto, yes.  We can add lots of semi solids.  The problem comes in with high water activity fills.  We have tried the scoop out method.  No luck.  Remember that commercial cheeses are going to be in transit quite a while, by the time they are graded, shipped, stocked and sold.  If we took a wheel of gouda, filled it with jam  and then packed pieces it could be up to two months later before the consumer actually picks it up off a shelf.

Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: Milling with Honey...
« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2009, 08:52:23 AM »
Francois - So, what happens? Does the jam (liquid) just ferment, produce alcohol, and spoil the cheese? Or does it soften the cheese inside and ruin the texture? Have you tried additives to stop or at least slow down spoilage?

Michelle - Pepper Jack is VERY popular in the USA. There are several references about it in this forum. It is essentially a Monterrey Jack with pieces of red and/or green peppers - Bell Peppers, Jalapenos, Anchos, Pablanos, or whatever suits your fancy. It can be mild or very spicy.

Derby is a well known English cheese in the Cheddar family - not as dry and it ages much quicker. Sage Derby is a Derby with sage mixed into the curds during processing. I grow herbs in hydroponics and have TONS of basil all year round so I also do a Basil Derby, A Basil Havarti, and a Basil Manchego.
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