Author Topic: Farmer's first Blue/Stilton  (Read 2185 times)

Offline FarmerJD

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Farmer's first Blue/Stilton
« on: March 08, 2010, 08:08:18 PM »
I officially began my experience with blues this weekend by trying what I think is a Stilton. I could not find a complete Stilton recipe so I kind of put together an amalgamation of all the ideas I read on here. Please correct for future reference if there are glaring problems.


15 gallons of raw milk (this included extra cream from 4 gallons)
1.5 tsp dvi meso11
1/3 tsp Roquefort powder
2/3 cup salt


  • I added Roquefort powder and mixed thoroughly with cold milk.
  • I went old school here and brought milk to 86 degrees on my wood stove; then set it in front of the stove to maintain. Worked well and temp actually rose to 89 during process.
  • When temp reached 86, I added meso culture which had been sitting in a cup of warm milk to activate, and let it set for 1 hour.
  • After 1 hour, I added 2/3 tablespoon of rennet dissolved in 2/3 cup of water.
  • Checked flocculation (14 minutes) and used multiplier of 6, so i cut curd after 1hr and 24 min.
  • I cut curd in 1 inch cubes then let set for 15 min then stirred briefly.
  • After 30 min I began draining whey. (ph meter non functional so flying blind- ahhhhhh!)
  • Draining whey took fifty forevers and several various methods including draining board, draining bag(s), colander, and intense pleading.
  • At approximately the 2 hr point from the beginning of whey drain, I milled the various globs of curd from the different sources (gosh this was a lot of curd) and salted.
  • Packed into cloth bag and hoop and gave firm pressure with hands to level the top. This open ended hoop was placed in pot and flipped every 15 min (or when I remembered) then left overnight
  • Flipped every 2 hrs on the following day and the day after that (except at night when I was rocking a sick child who probably needed some Roquefort powder himself :) )
  • I took cheese out of hoop tonite and set it on a drying rack. Most of whey drain is over.

What now? Do I let it sit at room temp another 2 days and then pierce and cave it? That was my plan but i am open to suggestions. I was amazed at how much curd there was at first compared to my cheddars. I know it was the whey not being cooked out but it surprised me. I also could not smooth this as I saw them do in the videos. Curd was too hard by the time it left the hoop. I am attaching a pic of my first "whatever this is" -stilton I hope.



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Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: Farmer's first Blue/Stilton
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2010, 10:38:09 PM »
There's more than one way to skin a cat but here are a few major points:

  • Don't cut the curd into cubes like other hard cheeses. Simply ladle into a colander in a covered pot.
  • Drain for 1-1/2 hours and leave sitting in the whey that collects.
  • Stilton should have a very light pressing overnight before milling and salting.
  • You salted way too early and your pH would have been too high. Blue mold usually needs a lower pH to really take hold. Theoretically the pH drops overnight and then you salt to stall further acidification.
  • Then you put the salted curds into a mold and turn often (in the mold) for the next 4 or 5 days.
  • Blue mold is going to form best in a cool, humid environment. I shoot for 55-60F and 80% humidity.
  • A ripening box is really handy to control humidity.
  • Blue mold should show up in 10-14 days. THAT's when you start piercing.
  • With a big cheese like that you will need to re-pierce several times over the next 2-3 weeks to keep the holes open and oxygen flowing to the interior.

"The blues changed my life." - Van Morrison
"Don't waste your time away thinkin' 'bout yesterday's blues." - Jon Bon Jovi
A moldy Stilton is a thing of beauty. Yes, you eat the rind. - Ed
www.boonecreekcreamery.com

Offline FarmerJD

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Re: Farmer's first Blue/Stilton
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2010, 11:10:44 PM »
OK Sailor, I decide to make a blue and you disappear for a few days! :o :)


A few questions:
1. Is there suppose to be a cooking time? Do I just ladle directly after coagulation?
2. I am not sure I understand draining and then sitting in whey. Do you mean drain in a colander or bag for 1.5 hrs and then putting mass back in whey?
3. I thought I saw that some people were waiting and others were salting right off. I'll wait til am next time. Do you mean to leave the curdmass in the whey overnight?
4. When the curd is in the mold for 4-5 days, is this at room temp and then move to cave at 55 and 80%?
5. Don't pierce til after blue shows which should be in 10-14 days? Will blue ever form with the high ph mine probably has?


Thanks again for the input. I feel like I am starting over in cheesemaking on this one. I wish this were as easy as playing the "blues" on my harmonica with b.b. king. (another favorite pasttime)




Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: Farmer's first Blue/Stilton
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2010, 11:03:16 PM »
There may be other techniques ??? but here is what I do for Stilton.
  • The curds are NOT cooked so they are super soft and full of whey. Yes, immediately after the curds set (clean break) just ladle thin slices into a cheesecloth lined colander. Don't cube the curds. They are too soft and you will lose a lot of the good stuff :o
  • The colander should be in an empty pot. I guess you could do this with just cheesecloth, but it shouldn't sit flat on the bottom of the pot so it can drain. As they drain, the curds will be sitting in the accumulated whey to facilitate acidification. Cover and maintain temperature.
  • I occasionally lift the cheesecloth and turn the curds to gently break into smaller pieces. This  helps firm up the curd pieces. I do this for 1-1/2 hours. Then pull the curd filled cheesecloth out, suspend and drain for 30 minutes or until dripping has stopped. The pH should be somewhere around 4.65 at hooping, so you can see this is a fairly acidic cheese. Then I take the cheesecloth wrapped curds and put the whole thing in a mold and press VERY lightly (1/4 psi or less) overnight. Mill, salt, and hoop the next morning.
  • Stilton is not pressed after salting. Yes, keep it in the hoop at room temperature and turn as often as possible for the first 24 hours. Turn a couple of times a day for 4 more days then remove from hoop.
  • That's right. Wait until there is a good blue bloom started before you pierce. If you pierce too early you risk pushing contaminants down into the cheese. I re-pierce weekly for the next month.
  • If you manage the temperature, humidity and piercings, you can still get a great blue cheese, but not a Stilton. As you can see, the whole process for a Stilton is to end up with an acidic environment that is favorable to the blue mold. During aging, the blue and proteolysis gobble up the rampaging acid molecules and you end up with a cheese with a pH around 6.15 - not acidic tasting at all.
  • Blue mold is pretty aggressive, so you may be fine. However, since you salted so early, you stalled the acidification long before it had a chance to reach target. If you can, test the surface pH. If it's really high, which I suspect, then you might be able to do an acidic brine wash to encourage the blue. I've never had to do that, so I can't say for sure. LinuxBoy or Francois might be able to jump in here.
A moldy Stilton is a thing of beauty. Yes, you eat the rind. - Ed
www.boonecreekcreamery.com

Offline FarmerJD

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Re: Farmer's first Blue/Stilton
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2010, 08:13:10 AM »
Great info. Beginning to get it. I will bookmark this thread for next time. Thanks.


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Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: Farmer's first Blue/Stilton
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2010, 10:59:51 AM »
I actually find Blue's really easy to make and are by far the most popular with my friends. My envionment seems to be just perfect for what they need.

How do you bookmark? I can't find that function.
A moldy Stilton is a thing of beauty. Yes, you eat the rind. - Ed
www.boonecreekcreamery.com

Offline FarmerJD

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Re: Farmer's first Blue/Stilton
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2010, 11:05:33 AM »
Quote
How do you bookmark? I can't find that function.
I just meant I was going to bookmark it in my browser.

Offline humble_servant7

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Re: Farmer's first Blue/Stilton
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2010, 12:02:37 PM »

  • I occasionally lift the cheesecloth and turn the curds to gently break into smaller pieces. This  helps firm up the curd pieces. I do this for 1-1/2 hours. .

Wow you literally lift and turn the cheese curds for an hour?

Or do you mean in hourly intervals?

And you would mill in the same as you do a cheddar, right? In 1/2 inch pieces?

Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: Farmer's first Blue/Stilton
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2010, 08:54:15 PM »
No just lift up the edges of the cheese cloth every 15 minutes or so, shift it around, and rotate it. This helps the whey drain and breaks up the curds a little. Stilton is not milled like cheddar, just broken up into 1" chunks.
A moldy Stilton is a thing of beauty. Yes, you eat the rind. - Ed
www.boonecreekcreamery.com