After a baker's dozen cheese makes with industrial milk, I finally bought some raw milk. It wasn't an easy decision. The homo/past milk I normally use is $3.69/gallon. These 2 gallons of raw milk set me back $9.99/gallon.
I was in probably the only store that sells raw milk in my area but I had to do it. What was going along fairly well took a nasty turn somewhere along the line.
I followed the Monterey Jack recipe from 200 Easy Cheeses. I used 1/4tsp Choozit MM100 and 1/2 rennet tablet.
When the curds were finished cooking, I scooped them and put them into a cheeseclothed collander to drain and then packed them into small (4.375 inch) Kadova moulds. These were put into the kettle with warm whey and pressed with 5 lbs for 30 minutes. Then I added an additional 10 lbs for a total of 15 lbs for another 30 minutes.
The curds were very squeeky and very yellow.
For the third pressing I excused my brain as it apparently had a previous committment. I kept the moulds in the whey but moved it over to the press where I proceeded to apply 150 lbs for 11 hours. When I returned and took the moulds out of the press...boy, was I surprised. And not in a good way! The cheese curds had pressed out through the leak holes in the mould and created nubbins. OMG! The cheese had virtually become part of the mould. Not a good sign. This raw milk adventure doesn't seem to be going as smoothly as I had first imagined.
Facing an impossible recovery task, I
gently teased the cheese from the mould.
ripped the heart out of my dear cheese getting it free of the mould's death grip.
I placed the two little cheeses into their whey-brine bath. After that, I dried them and left them at room temperature to dry some more. This morning I vacuum-sealed them and put them in the cave. My raw milk dream all but shattered. At this point I'm not sure if . . .
- what I've created is cheese or even edible
- it's cheese, what did I make? Sure doesn't seem like any Monterey Jack I've known.
- I were to invest another paycheck in raw milk for cheesemaking, I'd probably make a Jarlsberg
As always, I welcome all advice, cajoling, catcalls, and amusingly derisive comments.