Unless someone wants me to post the recipe, which originally came from Ricki Carroll's book, I won't. Mostly because I made this cheese as an experiment to compare to previous Colby's I made earlier in the month. I also wanted to experiment with a couple of techniques I have read about others on the forum using.
My four test situations:
1)I've been skimming a lot of milk to make Mascarpone from the cream, so I had 3 gallons of skimmed milk to use up. Not in the mood for making mozz, I decided to follow a Colby recipe using 3 gallons skimmed and 2 gallons whole milk. My milk is raw.
Results: about 1/3 less cheese curd than when I have used all whole milk for making Colby. It will take time to see how it affects the texture, moisture and flavor of the cheese. In future, I will use my skim for cheeses that call for it specifically.
2) I have homemade cream cheese culture (originally started out as clabbered milk several generations ago). I've been using this culture to make sour cream and cream cheese with excellent results both in flavor and texture and I wanted to see how it might affect the flavor of my Colby. The previous two Colby batches I made with mesophilic culture.
Results: The curd had a very pleasant smell to it and a good flavor for fresh curds. Further results will have to be noted after the cheese ages.
3) I normally use a water bath on my stove, but the outer kettle is six inches shorter than the milk kettle and less 2 inches wider, leaving little room for water around the milk kettle. For this cheese, I used my utility sink and hot tap water for warming the milk.
Results: The milk heated up a lot faster than it does on the stovetop with a water bath, and I had a lot more control over the
temperature of the milk, simply raising the level of the water when I needed more heat and lowering the level to stop heating or to cool it off. I like!
4) Upon FarmerJD's recommendations, I made a curd bag to fit inside the cheese mold.
Results: I just turned the cheese from an overnight pressing and there are no crease marks on the cheese. I will definitely make more of these bags for future use. I do plan on widening out the top of the bag, so that I can turn it down around the outside of the mold. I like!