Author Topic: Stilton milling, and other misc questions  (Read 774 times)

Offline Gina

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Stilton milling, and other misc questions
« on: May 08, 2010, 10:56:51 PM »
I've been reading all the stilton threads/recipes here, and anything else I've been able to find on the web, and everyone seems to say to break the intially pressed/drained curd into walnut or one inch size pieces, then add salt, etc. Yet when I watch one of the youtube videos of them making stilton in the UK in the 'factory', the size of the pieces they use appears to be much smaller - more like nothing over a half inch or so with lots and lots of other small crumbles. (about 1 minute into the video below) Even when they remove the hoop, and before smoothing, the texture seems to be the result of smaller curd pieces.

 Has anyone tried to make a homemade stilton with smaller pieces than the oft-recommended 1 inch?

I started my first one yesterday (3 gallon), and while I'm pleased with how everything is going, I want to make another very soon trying the smaller pieces. Anyone know any reason I shouldnt try this?
 
Making Stilton



« Last Edit: May 09, 2010, 12:20:54 PM by Gina »
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Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: Stilton milling question
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2010, 11:26:29 PM »
I mill mine at 1/2" by pushing the curds through a piece of "eggcrate" (available at most hardware stores).
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Offline Gina

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Re: Stilton milling question
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2010, 10:02:36 AM »
Thanks. I was reading more old threads last night and saw where you have said that before. (As well as using a light weight to compress them in the mold.) :)

So if you are forcing the curd through half-inch eggcrate, in 3-D terms, the result is actually about 1/8 the oft-suggested 1 inch hunk sized, hence many more smaller pieces when compared with hand-tearing. I used to make my own koi food and would force the thick paste through hardware screen before drying, and the results would be similar. That size sure is more in keeping with what the Stilton making videos actually show.

Smaller milled curds would also settle into the mold easier and create many more but smaller air spaces. Perhaps that would aid in getting the finer mold spiderweb pattern. If you look at the delicate pattern of netting in an official stilton, I cant imagine getting that starting with walnut-sized pieces.  ::)
« Last Edit: May 09, 2010, 10:07:59 AM by Gina »
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Offline Gina

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Re: Stilton milling question
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2010, 12:20:21 PM »
In some of the older threads, I've noticed people making Stiltons of all sizes - 4 inches to 15 pounds or so. Obviously there are many reasons for this range.  If, however, one is limited by the size of the stockpot (3-4gallon), is it of any benefit to further divide the resulting curd into smaller size cheeses, or do you get a product better in any way if you can keep the cheese as large as your containers allow? Besides being cuter and giving a higher % of rind, will the smaller cheeses age faster and be ready sooner, or?

Thanks.
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Offline MarkShelton

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Re: Stilton milling, and other misc questions
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2010, 12:55:53 PM »
Maybe by "walnut sized" it means shelled walnuts, not whole walnuts. I think that's about what I did with mine.
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Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: Stilton milling, and other misc questions
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2010, 06:56:48 PM »
Gina - pushing through the eggcrate, I get 1/2" square by 3" long sometimes. Looks like French Fries. Yes a lot of it crumbles and is smaller too, but it is much more consistent than breaking by hand. I do not agree with the recipes that call for walnut sized pieces.

I mill my Cheddars this way too and have been very happy with the results.
A moldy Stilton is a thing of beauty. Yes, you eat the rind. - Ed
www.boonecreekcreamery.com