Thanks so much, Alex. Here are my questions:
How much rennet do you use? I've not made any of these soft, ripened cheeses, save some whole milk "cream cheese" that was not ripened. The amount for that was similar to a chevre, 1/5 a drop of full strength calf rennet (I know, not very accurate) for a gallon of milk. Would that be, roughly, the correct amount of rennet?
What do you do with cream that rises to the top? Does this get combined after draining when you mix or knead in herbs?
In the version you made above, how long did you drain? That cheese looks drier than others I have seen.
I'll try to answer. The rennet I use is vegetarian liquid, Maxiren 600, recommended dosage 1 drop/1 liter of milk. That wasn't helpfull I guess
. I never noticed that cream raised during ripening. Anyway, if so, it'll be combined when you transfer curds to draining bag. You have to mix the draining curds from time to time, as the outer layer close to the wall tends to dry more than the inside. By mixing, you encourage draining. Ambient temp and humidity also affect drainig time. As far as I can remember, that specific cheese was dried for about 48 hours. Anihow, the consistency has to be such that you are able to shape the cheese by hand. Be warned, the process is messy
. My cheese looks dry because it is dry
, so it came out after 3 months of affinage and washing with beer.