Author Topic: harvette's Farmhouse Cheddar - Problems  (Read 1176 times)

Offline harvette

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harvette's Farmhouse Cheddar - Problems
« on: January 16, 2010, 06:39:29 PM »
I'm part of the way through my 3rd cheese making experiment (first hard cheese - other two were soft goat cheese and turned out fantastic). I'm following a recipe that I received w/ some supplies from cheesemaking.com.

Things seemed to fall apart when it came time to cut the curds - I didn't really get a clean break, but it didn't seem so bad, so I cut the curds, continued on and used a hot water bath to bring it to 100 degrees. it took 40 minutes to get to 100 degrees though. Nothing really happened with the curds, everything looked exactly the same. I have a few ideas of where I went wrong...

I have the cheese hanging in a cheese cloth right now and it kinda looks more like a soft cheese texture... almost like cream cheese. This is obviously not the way cheddar cheese curds should look... so I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions of anything I can do with this cheese? Should I still press it and age it?? I'd hate to waste 2 gallons of local milk by throwing this all away!!!!


edit... maybe I spoke too soon. it didn't look TOO bad when i got it out of the cheese cloth:


I'm pressing it now...
« Last Edit: January 16, 2010, 07:00:31 PM by harvette »


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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: harvette's Farmhouse Cheddar - Problems
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2010, 11:52:54 PM »
Those curds don't look to bad. Sounds like they wereN'T cooked enough. It starts with a good clean break but cooking is an important step. The curds need to get firmed up and loose whey. Don't rush it by time. Make sure you get uo to temerature and HOLD it for the appropriate length of time or until the curds get springy and bouncey.

Good luck!

Typo! Should have said weren't cook enough ...
« Last Edit: January 17, 2010, 01:34:59 PM by DeejayDebi »

Offline MrsKK

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Re: harvette's Farmhouse Cheddar - Problems
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2010, 08:24:04 AM »
The curds do look good.  I'm thinking you would have had better yield if you had waited longer to get a good clean break.  Cheesemaking is a hobby/art that takes quite a bit of patience.  Since you said you were using local milk, I'm assuming it was raw?  If so, there are more variables that you need to be in tune to, rather than depending on a clock for when to cut the curd or when to quit cooking.

I've never made farmhouse cheddar - is allowing the curds about 10 minutes to heal after cutting necessary to keep them from falling apart, as it is with other cheeses?

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: harvette's Farmhouse Cheddar - Problems
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2010, 01:38:59 PM »
Off hand I can't think of any curds that don't need healing ... even the soft mold ripened ones need healing.

Hmmm Yogurt? But then it that really a cheese?

Offline harvette

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Re: harvette's Farmhouse Cheddar - Problems
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2010, 06:07:02 PM »
The curds do look good.  I'm thinking you would have had better yield if you had waited longer to get a good clean break.  Cheesemaking is a hobby/art that takes quite a bit of patience.  Since you said you were using local milk, I'm assuming it was raw?  If so, there are more variables that you need to be in tune to, rather than depending on a clock for when to cut the curd or when to quit cooking.

I've never made farmhouse cheddar - is allowing the curds about 10 minutes to heal after cutting necessary to keep them from falling apart, as it is with other cheeses?

The milk was actually pasteurized (not ultra though), but it was 1% and I replaced about 1 pt of it with heavy cream. I think I actually messed up a bit with the rennet (mixed the tablet with water WAY too early, like an hour before I needed it) and also didn't even think about the chlorination in my local water that might have effected it. I should have definitely waited longer for the break!

The recipe I followed didn't really include any healing time after cutting the curd, I just put it right into the water bath (though it took forever to warm up, so it did get a bit of healing time there I guess).

I think I've learned that I ought to branch out a bit for more info before following any more recipes from this booklet I have from cheesemaking.com, because it is severely lacking in some important information!!


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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: harvette's Farmhouse Cheddar - Problems
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2010, 08:59:58 PM »
Some people myself included do things so often that they become automatic and you fail to mention the "little" details. There are many experienced people here all willing to help. Ask and you shall receive.

Offline MrsKK

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Re: harvette's Farmhouse Cheddar - Problems
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2010, 06:48:47 AM »
Chlorination in the water and the long wait time probably were factors in poor break on the curd for you.

I have found a lot of inconsistencies in recipes from Ricki Carroll, noticing them the most in her mozzarella recipes.  Every time I see her "recipe" it is different.  I'm not sure if that is true with her other recipes as well or not.

Healing time refers to a 10 minute or so time between cutting the curd and stirring the curd.  That time allows the cut edges of the curd to firm up a bit, which helps them be less fragile and less likely to break apart when they are stirred.  Many recipes will tell you to allow the curd to sit for a few minutes after cutting it, but I never heard of "healing time" until I started hanging out here.  It really made a lot of sense once I got the gist of it.

Keep on trying, though, and keep on asking questions.  There are so many knowledgeable people here who are so willing to help out that it is amazing.  I've never seen anyone be harsh with someone who made a "mistake", just gentle advice and encouragement.  It is a rare forum with an awesome atmosphere to hang out in.


Offline iratherfly

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Re: harvette's Farmhouse Cheddar - Problems
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2010, 02:28:40 AM »
If only my Tomme curds from last night would have looked like that  A)

Anyway, these curds look good. Under press they should knot together, mat and heal. The acidity will drop too. My last farmhouse cheddar looked like that and it came out quite nicely.

RE Ricki Carrol and Jim Wallace; yes, I did notice that their recipes very from one publication to another. Maybe they just improve them? I wanted to make some of the recipes on their site in the past and they seem mostly incomplete and missing key facts such as pressing weights and times, aging conditions, etc.