Author Topic: Air Drying > Bitter Flavour > Rennet Recommendation  (Read 1804 times)

Offline Andrewqld

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Air Drying > Bitter Flavour > Rennet Recommendation
« on: April 21, 2010, 08:25:27 PM »
Hello everyone,
First post today, just discovered your site and I'm amazed at all the technical details here. I've been making a few blues and Cams with good success and decided to give my first hardish cheese a go.
It's a Monterey Jack, all has gone seemingly well but I had a question regarding the air drying phase.
Should the cheese be left out in the open or is it covered by a cloth?
Hopefully I have added a picture of my cheese so comments are welcome.

Andrew


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Offline Brie

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Re: Air Drying > Bitter Flavour > Rennet Recommendation
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2010, 10:00:48 PM »
Welcome to the forum--lots of great people and info here. Assuming you have brined the cheese, you let it dry at room temp (65-75 degrees F) until it feels as though the rind is hardening a bit--only for a day or two and then into then wax or vac pack for aging. Good luck!
Darn, another cheese meltdown--ahh, perfect fondue.

Offline Andrewqld

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Re: Air Drying > Bitter Flavour > Rennet Recommendation
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2010, 10:20:16 PM »
Hi Brie,
Actually I didn't brine the cheese, I salted with 1 tbs of salt per 600g of curds. Should I have Brined it? The recipe didn't say to.

Cheers
Andrew

Offline Brie

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Re: Air Drying > Bitter Flavour > Rennet Recommendation
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2010, 11:59:22 PM »
Brining is normally recommended for aged cheese (other than mold-ripened cheese). The brine helps the cheese form a rind, which protects the inside of the cheese and allows it to age and mellow. Many technical terms for it on the forum--but that's the main gest of it all. Good luck, and ask all of the gurus here for help, if needed--they are more than willing to assist.
Darn, another cheese meltdown--ahh, perfect fondue.

Offline Andrewqld

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Re: Air Drying > Bitter Flavour > Rennet Recommendation
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2010, 02:49:57 AM »
I couldn't resist opening this cheese today because I have had a bad feeling it's not going to turn out (it's 3 weeks old, had a taste and was VERY disappointed. It is severely bitter, the bitterness is at the back of the throat and there is a slight sourness to start with. It also is slightly crumbly.
I've vac packed the 3/4 wheel in the hope it will improve over the next month or two, is this in vain?

Any advice appreciated.

Cheers
Andrew


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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Air Drying > Bitter Flavour > Rennet Recommendation
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2010, 03:00:16 AM »
yes, it will take at least 6 months to get better. That bitterness is caused by too rapid of protein breakdown. These factors often contribute:

too much rennet
too high ripening temp
too much moisture in the curd
not enough salt.

At this point all you can do is wait and maybe rub it down with a little more salt.
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 MrsKK

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Re: Air Drying > Bitter Flavour > Rennet Recommendation
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2010, 07:12:12 AM »
Sorry your cheese is disappointing.  Many do improve with age.

As to brining, I don't brine my hard cheeses except for parmesan, so no worries there.  Sometimes it is recipe-specific, other times it is the preference of the cheesemaker.

Offline Nitai

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Re: Air Drying > Bitter Flavour > Rennet Recommendation
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2010, 01:22:06 PM »
Bitter, sour, crumbly cheese. Welcome to the club!

Offline Andrewqld

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Re: Air Drying > Bitter Flavour > Rennet Recommendation
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2010, 03:59:02 PM »
As per Linuxboys suggestion I have salted and will vac seal and let age for six months, at least I won't be in any hurry to taste this again so I will keep my fingers crossed.

MrsKK, I probably should give brining a try but I was trying to keep it simple to start with, I think I need to read a bit more and not just dive in.

I have also managed to source some non homogenized milk fresh from the farm and I am in the final stage of building my air cylinder press thanks to the great posts I have read on here, here's hoping the new milk will give better results than the store bought stuff.

I have been using rennet tablets but have been tossing up changing to liquid form for easier measurement, can anyone see a benefit in this or is it much of a muchness.

Thanks for the advice.

Andrew

Offline MrsKK

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Re: Air Drying > Bitter Flavour > Rennet Recommendation
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2010, 08:04:53 AM »
Kudos on finding a source for fresh milk.

That's all I've used, so can't give comparisons, but from what I've read of other members here, there is a difference that might take time to get used to.  I guess what I'm trying to say is that I wouldn't start out with a huge batch of cheese for your first raw milk experience.

I started out with liquid calf rennet but was very discouraged when it got weak after just six months (we can't know how old that vat was that it came from though).  I then found a great deal on Junket rennet (Walmart wasn't going to carry it anymore, so they sold all their stock for 75 cents a box and I bought them all).  It took some adjustment, but I was able to make cheeses of all sorts very successfully with it.

When that ran low, I decided to try powdered calf rennet from TheCheesemaker.com.  It is stored in the freezer and doesn't have the problem of losing strength.  For a five gallon batch of cheese, I just use 1/8 teaspoon dissolved in 1/4 cup of cool water.  As liquid and tablet rennets need to be dissolved in water anyway I don't find it to be any more troublesome.

Keep us posted on your results with raw milk.


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