Author Topic: My first raw milk cheese: Natural rind pyramid  (Read 109 times)

Offline olikli

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My first raw milk cheese: Natural rind pyramid
« on: April 17, 2016, 05:56:34 AM »
Not sure what classic cheese is the closest relative to this. It is a semi-lactic cow's milk cheese for which I used a pyramid mould, treated pretty much like a crottin.

While not illegal, raw milk is not easy to come by in Germany. Farms are allowed to sell it on premise, but I don't have a car, so this option is out of reach for me. For distribution in shops a special licence is needed. Here in Bavaria there is only one producer with such a licence. In Munich there is a shop selling small quantities of this milk, so I gave it a try two months ago.

I made two parallel 3 litre batches, one with the raw milk and one with the milk I normally use, pasteurized full-fat and non-homogenized. I treated both exactly the same with the exceptiopn that I only used half of the kefir amount for the raw milk. The coagulation time was 48 hours as usual, the the curds were ladled into the moulds to drain for 36 hours. I used pyramid moulds for the raw milk and camembert mould for the pasteurized because I don't have enough pyramid moulds. The cheeses were dry salted to 2% and air dried for another day in the kitchen before being transferred to the cave fridge.

I could soon notice that the ripening of the raw milk cheeses was much slower than usual. It took about two weeks until they showed traces of a geo coating. Also the natural mould was very slow to develop. I made a batch of smaller pyramids (3 instead of 2 for the same amount of milk) one week later and put them into the same box. Those already had large patches of mould on them when the raw milk cheeses still only showed small traces. Also the pasteurized cheeses I made together with the raw milk cheeses developed much more quickly.

My theory is that the pH in the raw milk batch dropped much lower than in the pasteurized milk during the setting phase. Next time when I use raw milk I will try with a shorter setting time.

After two months this cheese still has a rather "fresh" feel to it. It tastes very mild but excellent. I do have the impression that the raw milk gives the cheese additional subtle flavours you would not get with pasteurized milk. I will age the second cheese for at least four weeks more.

Offline Boofer

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Re: My first raw milk cheese: Natural rind pyramid
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2016, 01:12:48 PM »
Did you add PR to this make? Looks like you've got a nice blue going. Are you doing any rind maintenance?

I have found that there is a world of difference when using raw milk over P&H milk. For me there's always a doubt about success when using P&H.

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Offline olikli

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Re: My first raw milk cheese: Natural rind pyramid
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2016, 01:41:23 PM »
Did you add PR to this make? Looks like you've got a nice blue going. Are you doing any rind maintenance?

This has been completely untreated apart from flipping. I have a benevolent atmosphere in my basement that has wild PR and PC. The blue usually dominates. So far I have never added any cultures other than kefir which contains geotrichum (or homegrown PR for my recent blue veined cheese).

By the way, my first non-lactic cheese went into the camembert directon. Currently I am trying to replicate this by washing with brine in the early stages to prevent PR growth. If this doesn't work I may have to add a culture. I am trying to go without as far as possible, but I love bloomy rind cheeses too much to become religious about that ;)

Offline Al Lewis

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Re: My first raw milk cheese: Natural rind pyramid
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2016, 05:46:38 PM »
Well it's certainly shaped like a pyramid.  Considering you've cut it I would say that rind maintenance is out of the question.  How does it taste?  Looks good. :D
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