Author Topic: Gouda help for a newbie  (Read 1198 times)

Offline Myrrh

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Gouda help for a newbie
« on: January 01, 2010, 12:13:52 AM »
Hi Everyone!
I've been stalking this board for a while, and have reached the point that I could really use some of wisdom from you more experienced cheese-makers. I started making cheese about a year ago, and have mostly made lactic cheese, mozz, and feta (which I am quite happy with). I finally started trying to make hard cheese about a week ago, and have had mixed success. I made a farmhouse cheddar a few days ago that is happily drying on my counter, and now I am struggling with gouda. It doesn't seem to be working for me at all, so I thought I would see if you more experienced hands had some recommendations for me.

I'm working from Ricki Carrolls book, and am using store bought whole milk. Here is the recipe below:
Heat milk to 90 degrees
Add mesophilic starter (1/2 teaspoon from leeners)
Add calcium chloride (1/4 teaspoon in 1/2 cup water)
let sit 10 min
Add 1/2 teaspoon rennet in the 1/4 cup water
Let ripen for 1 hour, then cut curd.

Here is where I run into problems. After 1 hour, I get no clean break. Today I let it ripen for 2.5 hours, and the curds were clearly separating from the whey (looked like yogurt under whey). I cut the curds, but when I tried to to stir after letting sit for 10 min and then adding 175 degree water, the curds pretty much disintegrated. Now I have a pot of white mush and white watery whey.

I tried to look for other recipes, but everything I found looked pretty similar to this point. My next thought is to add more rennet, but I thought I would check with the experts first. I would hate to do that, have everything look ok, and then discover after 3 months of aging that more rennet gives me a gouda shaped rubber ball or some such thing.

Thanks in advance for sharing your cheese wisdom!


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Offline Likesspace

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Re: Gouda help for a newbie
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2010, 07:34:45 PM »
Hi Myrrh and welcome to the forum!
I'm not really sure that I can offer a lot of advice at this point......
Could you please post the amount of milk you used in this recipe and also whether it was store bought or raw? My thinking is that you may have purchased ultra pasteurized milk which is causing your problems.
Another thing that seems odd to me is that you used 175 degree water to cook with. Of course this would not cause a problem with getting a clean break but it does seem excessive.
I normally add 130 degree water when doing the washing phase of this style of cheese.
Also, the amount of calcium chloride seems low to me.
For a 4 gallon batch I normally add 2 tsps., mixed with 1/2 cup of distilled water. This brings up another question, are you using distilled water? If you are using regular tap water it may contain chlorine which could be making your rennet ineffective.
One other thing that strikes me is that you are using double the amount of starter culture than I use for a 4 gallon batch. I've used Leener's cultures before and they seem to be good quality.
One of the main problems I've seen with Gouda recipes on the web is that they produce a highly acidic cheese that is crumbly in texture and almost bitter in flavor. If you are using too much culture this will simply make this problem worse.
If you could please post the step by step recipe you use as well as giving a bit more information concerning your ingredients I'm sure that someone here can help you out with this. Gouda is a cheese that I've been working with for the past few weeks and I feel that I am finally getting a handle on it.
I will be more than happy to post a recipe I've built for this style of cheese but until we figure out the problem with not getting a clean break I don't think that it will help you, much.
Please let us know the amount and type of milk you are using, the type of rennet and any other information you can think of.
This forum has a great group of very helpful people and I'm sure that together we can come up with a solution to your problem.

Dave

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Gouda help for a newbie
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2010, 10:54:19 PM »
I agree with what Likespace says. I am thinking that is yet another typo in Ricci's book.

I have have great suscess with this recipe.

http://www.dairyfoodsconsulting.com/recipes_gouda.shtml

Offline Myrrh

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Re: Gouda help for a newbie
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2010, 12:50:56 AM »
Thanks so much for the willingness to help! I really appreciate all of your input.

I am using 2 gallons of store bought milk, and it is definitely not ultra-pasteurized. I use the same brand (though 2%) to make feta, and it has always turned out great.

The recipe that I am working from does not give quantities for CaCl, so I just added the same amount I use for feta, but I could add more.

I live in Davis CA, and the water here is well water. I just looked up the citys' info, and they do say that it is chlorinated. Hopefully that is my problem. I'm guessing that it is only slightly chlorinated, since I cant taste it at all, and it doesn't seem to effect my other cheeses. I will now use distilled water.

With respect to culture quantity, I used to quantity listed on the side of the container doubled since I am working with 2 gallons. Looking again though, it seems that the listed volume is for 2 gallons. Now I wonder if the reason the chlorinated water wasn't bothering my feta is because I was using twice the normal volume of culture. Interesting.

Ok, so my plan for next time is to use 1 teaspoon CaCl instead of 0.5, distilled water, and half the amount of culture. I will try chedder again under those conditions as well.

The step by step directions:
1. Heat 2 gallons of milk to 90. Add starter and let sit for 10 min
2. Add diluted CaCl if neccessary
3. Add rennet (1/2 teaspoon in 1/4c water)
4. Let milk sit at 90 fo 1 hour or until it gives a clean break
5. Cut curds into 1/2 inch cubes and let sit for 10 min
6. Drain off 1/3 of the whey, and raise the temp to 92 by adding 175 degree water
7. Let curds sit for 10 min and drain off whey to level of curds
8. Add enough 175 degree water to bring the temp up to 100
9. Keep at 100 for 15 min
10. Let curds set for 30 min
11. Pour off remaining whey
I read about pressing the curds lightly in whey before putting in the cheese press, and was planning to try it if I got to that stage
12. Place curds in mold and press at 20 lb for 20 min, 40 lb for 20 min, and then 50 lb for 12-16 hours
13. Soak cheese in brine for 12 hours
14. Air dry for 3 weeks the wax and age for 3-4 months

So I will try that with adjusted quantities. It sounds like you think 130 is better then 175 degrees. I can do that instead of what my book recommends.

I looked at the recipe from dairyfoodsconsulting, and was wondering about the pressing weights. It doesn't seem like 3 lbs on my 2 lb cheese would get me very far. Am I mistaken?

Thank you so much for all of the information and insight. Hopefully my previous lack of success was just due to my confusion about quantities and chlorination. I will give it another try tomorrow, and will hopefully have a cheese to show for my effort. At least the milk hasn't been wasted - my chickens don't mind mushy curds in the least.

Thanks again, Myrrh

Offline Likesspace

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Re: Gouda help for a newbie
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2010, 01:44:27 PM »
Myrrh.....
I'm sort of limited on time right now (waiting for clean break as I type), but I wanted to let you know that I just posted my Gouda recipe in the thread "Gouda 12-18-2009". Although this recipe relies heavily on Ph markers it should give you a good idea of the process I use.
I'm not saying that this is the perfect Gouda recipe but I was very happy with the first taste test from this recipe. Time will tell if I can duplicate that success but I feel pretty comfortable with the chances.
I really do believe that a Ph meter is a critical piece of equipment for making Gouda (or any cheese for that matter). Each recipe I build has certain Ph markers that I try not to vary from.
Hopefully some others will chime in with their own opinions. There are plenty of people on this forum with FAR more knowledge than I possess.

Dave


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Offline Myrrh

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Re: Gouda help for a newbie
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2010, 02:32:26 AM »
Thanks so much for all your help! I started another gouda tonight, and I got proper curd formation. Yay! I used the recipe you posted Dave, but for 2 gallons rather then 4. Hopefully it will come out of the press looking goudaesque tomorrow, and I will brine it. I am planning to repeat my cheddar experience tomorrow with some of your relevant suggestions. Thanks again for all the help!