Author Topic: Seeking Colby advice  (Read 3423 times)

Offline MrsKK

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Seeking Colby advice
« on: November 18, 2009, 12:39:49 PM »
I made a 5 gallon colby last week and liked the process so much that I made another yesterday.

My problem arises from the fact that it had been over 3 months since I'd last used my press, which is two wooden boards with holes drilled in each corner for wooden dowels.  Evidently, the wood warped just a bit and didn't allow for freedom of movement for the top board.  So my colby from last week wasn't pressed nearly as well as it should have been.  I pressed according to directions, ending up with 50 lbs pressure overnight, but the curd was still not knit very well.

I sanded out the holes for the dowels some more, then pressed the cheese for another 8 hours at 60 lbs, at which point the curd looked well knit.  However, it has been out of the press for 8 days now and still gets wet on the bottom.  I am turning it every day.

I'm thinking that not enough whey got pressed out - will this cheese ever dry out enough to coat (I'm planning on a lard coating for aging) or should I just eat it as a new cheese?  I expect it will be quite bland.

Any advice/input is appreciated.

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Seeking Colby advice
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2009, 01:14:10 PM »
Seems like you drained the whey while the curds were still too moist, making for a more moist cheese. If there's too much moisture, it will not age well beyond 60 days because proteolysis will be too fast. It will be bitter and sour/crumbly. How much salt did you use? I'd target a 2.5%-3% to try and slow down proteolysis and keep bitterness down.

I'd salt the rind and keep drying it out until there's no whey seepage, then wrap in a plastic wrap and age at 55F for 4-6 weeks. It's a middle ground between tasteless young cheese and overaged, too moist cheese.
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Offline MrsKK

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Re: Seeking Colby advice
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2009, 07:10:38 AM »
Thanks for the input, Linux.  I have started to salt the rind and it seems to have slowed down the seepage.

It really isn't seeping a lot, just that the bottom has been really moist when I turn it, so maybe not all is lost.  This recipe recommends aging for 1-2 months.

Offline FarmerJD

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Re: Seeking Colby advice
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2009, 07:31:35 AM »
Mrskk, I have had the same problem with colby. It took forever to dry out and when I cut into it, it looked like swiss on the inside. And it had plentyyyy of pressure! I am going to try again now that I have a ph meter and see if maybe I have been making some kind of mistake with my process. I wound up not being able to wax mine; I just cut it and vacuum sealed it.

Offline MrsKK

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Re: Seeking Colby advice
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2009, 07:40:54 AM »
So how did your's taste, JD?  I don't care if it is open/holey, just so long as it has good flavor.

I don't wax cheeses anymore anyway, so I'm just planning on coating it with lard for the ageing.

In all honesty, I will probably never buy a pH meter or even test strips.  This is a hobby for me and I'll live with my results!

Offline Alex

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Re: Seeking Colby advice
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2009, 09:15:27 AM »
In all honesty, I will probably never buy a pH meter or even test strips.  This is a hobby for me and I'll live with my results!

I liked that alot.
Alex-The Cheesepenter

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Seeking Colby advice
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2009, 12:31:05 AM »
I may get different opinions here but I find colby more likely to have openess in the curd than cheddar when pressed.

Offline FarmerJD

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Re: Seeking Colby advice
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2009, 07:11:28 AM »
I went ahead last night and opened this cheese (6 days before a full month) because the seal was compromised and I was going reseal it. Wow! I was very shocked. It tasted great except that I added too much salt. The texture was exactly right. My daughter gave it the ultimate compliment: "Dad this is good, it almost tastes like real cheese."  :)
I did press in it the 12 inch hoop which doesn't get as much pressure as the 10 inch hoop but I think Debi is right about open texture because this is twice this has happened.

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Seeking Colby advice
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2009, 12:59:22 PM »
My daughter gave it the ultimate compliment: "Dad this is good, it almost tastes like real cheese."  :)

Kids can be are best and worst critics!   ;D

Offline MrsKK

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Re: Seeking Colby advice
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2009, 04:17:35 PM »
I'm glad to hear that you had good results in just under a month, JD, as my first Colby will be about 6-7 weeks "old" just in time for giving for Christmas.  I have one friend in particular who has been asking me to learn how to make Colby ever since I started tinkering around with cheesemaking.  She's been waiting almost two years now...not sure why I haven't tried this one before.

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Seeking Colby advice
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2009, 06:59:49 PM »
I like Colby with pickled jalapenos ... yummmm!

but then I like almost everything with pickled jalapenos!  ;)

Offline MrsKK

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Re: Seeking Colby advice
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2009, 09:05:39 AM »
I finally larded the wet Colby early this week, two weeks after making it.  I also larded the second Colby.  It dried in a more predictable manner than the first one did.  I'm really eager to taste them, but will wait a couple of weeks yet to sample the first one.

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Seeking Colby advice
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2009, 10:09:24 AM »
Good luck Karen. Colby is a little wetter than cheddar it will be fine!

Offline Ben

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Re: Seeking Colby advice
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2009, 01:40:19 PM »
Karen,

What did you do differant this time that allowed it to dry more predictably?

Offline MrsKK

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Re: Seeking Colby advice
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2009, 01:43:02 PM »
My cheese press was operating properly!

The press is made of two hardwood boards that slide on dowels in each corner.  I hadn't used it for several months and I think it was warped.  As a result, the top board didn't move freely, so the cheese wasn't pressed properly at first.  I did sand out the holes and pressed it some more, but I don't think it was enough.

The second cheese was at least an inch shorter when it was done pressing than the first one was.