Author Topic: Pepper Jack - Pressing & pH Marker Recommendations  (Read 1352 times)

Offline Zinger

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Pepper Jack - Pressing & pH Marker Recommendations
« on: January 01, 2010, 12:27:50 PM »
I am making my first Pepper Jack and using for reference both Ricki Carroll's recipe and a recipe out"Making Artisan Cheese" by Tim Smith. The recipes are basically the same except for pressing weights.

Ricki Carrol calls for 3 pounds at 15 minutes followed by 10 pounds for 12 hours.

Tim Smith calls for 10 pounds for 15 minutes, then 30 pounds for 30 minutes and finally 40 pounds for 12 hours.

Based upon my experience with Cheddars and other hard cheeses the Tim Smith instructions seem more appropriate. I am using a 6 inch mold and I will make adjustments accordingly, but for the sake of discussion let's assume that I am using the smaller mold which are called for in both recipes.

Any thoughts from your experience.

Thanks,
Steve


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Offline FarmerJD

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Re: Pepper Jack - Pressing & pH Marker Recommendations
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2010, 04:40:49 PM »
I press my jack with everything I've got (15+ psi on my 12 inch wheel). Ideal is 25+ psi according to Peter Dixon's site but that is difficult at home so just press it with as much weight as you can. For a six inch mold, that is 600-700 lbs or "everything you can stack on top of it without destroying your house." ;D  By the way, I have had great success with making Jack recently. It is just an easy recipe to get good results with. Good luck.

Offline Zinger

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Re: Pepper Jack - Pressing & pH Marker Recommendations
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2010, 06:40:53 PM »
Wow Farmer, that is a lot of weight. I opted to follow Tim Smith's recommendations, but that is nowhere near the weight that you are suggesting. It's in the press now, so we'll see how it turns out. Thanks for your feedback.

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Pepper Jack - Pressing & pH Marker Recommendations
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2010, 11:11:29 PM »
I normally use 8 pounds for a few hours then 16 pounds over night.

Offline Alex

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Re: Pepper Jack - Pressing & pH Marker Recommendations
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2010, 02:32:59 AM »
Jack Cheese, 6" mould filled with curds from 10 liters of raw unpasteurized milk.
My pressing schedule:
2 kg for 20 min, flip
2.4 kg for 20 min, flip
4.2 kg for 7 hrs, flip
4.8 kg for 9 hrs.
Alex-The Cheesepenter


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Offline FarmerJD

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Re: Pepper Jack - Pressing & pH Marker Recommendations
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2010, 08:19:48 AM »
Alex, Do you use the molds with drain holes?

Offline Zinger

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Re: Pepper Jack - Pressing & pH Marker Recommendations
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2010, 08:25:54 AM »
As with the two recipes to which I referred, you all have given feedback using two distinctly different weight regimens when pressing. Can anyone tell me what specifically is the role of the amount of weight during pressing?

I pulled my cheese from the press this morning and it looks good at this point, three months or so will tell the final tale.

Thanks all.

Offline Alex

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Re: Pepper Jack - Pressing & pH Marker Recommendations
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2010, 11:30:12 AM »
Alex, Do you use the molds with drain holes?

Yes, actually my mold is a water pipe segment with some 3/16" drilled holes.
Alex-The Cheesepenter

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Pepper Jack - Pressing & pH Marker Recommendations
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2010, 12:36:38 PM »
Pressing is simply used to fuse cheese curds together. It has no other purpose.

Contray to popular belief it does not expel the whey from the curds, that is done during the cooking phase.

It is very important that the curds be at the right temperature when pressing. To hot and you will expel fat, which will form between the curds making mechanical holes because the curds can not stick together. If the curds are to cold and they will not meld properly. That being said I believe Sailor has a recipe for a cheese that the curds were presed chilled or something. I don't know the entire process he used. So there is an exception to everything!

I believe the temperature has a lot to do with the room you are pressing in. Having an air condtioner blowing on your curds is a guarentee of mechanical holes. This also holds true for a heating vent blowing on the curds.

I always dip the molds and clothes in hot water or whey to pre heat them before pressing. This helps the outter curds to form nicely and keep the cloth from sticking. Cloth sticking to the curds can also be caused by excessive acidity.

Offline Zinger

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Re: Pepper Jack - Pressing & pH Marker Recommendations
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2010, 12:50:02 PM »
Always an education to be had in this forum. Thanks, Debi for your info on pressing. You always seem to have a helping hand.


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Offline Likesspace

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Re: Pepper Jack - Pressing & pH Marker Recommendations
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2010, 07:32:55 PM »
Zinger...
If  you get this cheese figured out, please let me know.
I absolutely love commercial pepper jack cheese but I haven't been able to make anything in the home that even comes close.
Mine have all been dry and crumbly and did not have the Jack flavor that I was looking for. 
I'd really like to get a handle on this type of cheese.
There's no doubt that my problem has to do with acid production but I haven't done a lot of research on this variety.
Hopefully you will get it figured out and save all of us a lot of time and effort!

Dave

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Pepper Jack - Pressing & pH Marker Recommendations
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2010, 12:48:18 PM »
Dave, I think you already figured out the dry and crumbly problem - pH at drain, and to a lesser degree pH at brining. The pH is influenced by the bacteria acid production rate, as you already said in your notes on MM vs MA cultures. For jack, target a pH of 6.2 or higher at whey drain, settle and press lightly under the whey to form an initial mass. At this point, after most of the whey is drained off, you're ready to salt. pH here should be 6.0. If you miss the first target, it's a good indication of too fast of a culture or too much culture used, and it will be very difficult to hit the second target. Salt, hoop, press, and wait until pH is ~5.5, and you're done. The smooth plasticity of the paste in your gouda was because of the high pH at drain.
Taking an extended leave (until 2015) from the forums to build out my farm and dairy. Please e-mail or PM if you need anything.

Offline Likesspace

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Re: Pepper Jack - Pressing & pH Marker Recommendations
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2010, 07:09:56 PM »
Linuxboy....
This is the exact reason that I always look forward to your posts.
I might have figured out the way to keep a Jack from being dry and crumbly but I didn't REALIZE that I had figured it out. Especially since I didn't have Ph markers for that type of cheese.
I really appreciate the information. I love Monterey Jack but after several failures I had pretty much given up on it.
Thanks again for the markers and I'll give this one a try before my season comes to an end.

Dave