Author Topic: Tea's cheddar experiences  (Read 3049 times)

Offline Tea

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Tea's cheddar experiences
« on: September 25, 2008, 03:04:28 PM »
My friend and I both decided that we would try a cheddar this week.  We both tried the same recipe and we were both disappointed with the results.

After setting and cutting the curd, it was to be stirred for 2 1/2 hr and temp brought up and half the whey drained off half way through.  The curds were not to matt though.  Note in recipe says "failure to get the correct firmness at this stage will result in asoft curd cheese, or a hard crumbly cheese" but saddly no notation as to what was too hard or soft.  My ph was correct though.
Then we drained off all the curd and allowed it to knit together draining off any whey for another 2 hours.  Again my ph test was right.
Then it said to break up curd using either your hands, or cut into chip size strips.  I did by hand, my friend cut her's.
My fingers and forearms were cramping by the time I finished as the curd was so rubbery and knitted together there was no way it was going to break apart.  It was then salted and pressed for 1/2 hour.  Turned and pressed overnight using 20kg.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2008, 03:19:17 PM by Tea »


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Offline Tea

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Re: Tea's cheddar experiences
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2008, 03:10:17 PM »
We both used this press, and my friend said that she just cranked it down until she couldn't go any further and left over night.
Mine fell apart and crumbled at the first turn, so I omitted the cheesecloth for the second press, and cranked it right down to, tightening a few times before leaving it.  Mine had quite a bit of whey still coming out, my friend said that she had almost no whey come out.

Offline Tea

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Re: Tea's cheddar experiences
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2008, 03:18:18 PM »
Note that uneven pocked effect on the surface.  My friends was not quite as bad as that, but still was not a smooth surface.  Her's too was much softer than mine.
So here comes the fun part.  Yesterday we decided to have a cheese day at her place.  As her cheddar appeared from all appearances to be dry she wanted to wax it so we decided to do that while I was there.
So here I was waxing the cheese while she was attending to a couple of other cheeses we had on the go and the unthinkable happened.
Her cheddar broke in two just as I was lifting it out of the wax, and splosh!! straight back into the wax, and wax went everwhere. All over us, the kitchen, stove, floor, us  :o  These pics were after we had done some of the clean up.
But what was interesting was the interior surface of the cheese.

Offline John (CH)

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Re: Tea's cheddar experiences
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2008, 03:23:58 PM »
Wow, big Cheddar Cheese and blood splatters all over, looks like a Halloween Movie in the making ;D ;D ;D.

Seriously, what a mess and staining cooling wax to clean, yuck. At least it sounds like you are having fun, tough luck on broken Cheddar.

Offline Tea

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Re: Tea's cheddar experiences
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2008, 03:26:15 PM »
So we finished waxing the two halves, and I will wax mine probably on Sunday.  It is going to be interesing to see what the final result is.

Michael, could you possibly post the recipe that you used, as I want to try this again, but using a different recipe.  Thought I might try the one that Cheese Head as posted in the recipe section, but I will wait and see.
So any thoughts or suggestions would be much welcomed.\
BTY, we had the kitchen clean before I left.   :-[


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Offline Tea

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Re: Tea's cheddar experiences
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2008, 03:28:44 PM »
Cheese Head, I could have crawled into a hole.  All I could think was why do things like this happen at other peoples places.  It could have happened at my place, then I wouldn't have felt so bad.

Offline SalMac

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Re: Tea's cheddar experiences
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2008, 04:08:38 PM »
Very sorry to see that Tea. I had problems with a cheese approximately those dimensions too, it's very weak in the middle. I'll try and post a pic shortly.

Err from similar experience <cough> cleaning wax is easily done using boiling water poured on the wax on rough surfaces and trapping the melted wax in a sponge or something. An old method acc my mother is to use brown paper and an iron on flat surfaces/material.

Probably a little late for that but its a topic relatively dear to my heart as i dip the cheese, forget where my fingers are, burn em, twitch and flick a perfectly formed 'CSI' style blood spatter of wax (red) across the kitchen. I believe the technical term is 'cast off'   8)

But this does bring up a point I've got a little confused on looking at a few other cheese's that've been made. I have very high humidity here and it takes forever for the things to dry out. Like 4 weeks? Everyone else seems to be able to wax cheese in days!

My recipe says for Gouda ripen for three weeks at 85% and then wax and then I get the mould issues. I now treat the cheeses once a week with a vinegar bath whether I can see mould or not! Seems to be working but whats everyones criteria for dry enough to wax?

Sal
« Last Edit: September 25, 2008, 04:15:24 PM by SalMac »

Offline SalMac

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Re: Tea's cheddar experiences
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2008, 04:23:55 PM »
It took ten days to get from Pic 1 to Pic 2

Offline Tea

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Re: Tea's cheddar experiences
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2008, 01:40:13 PM »
Hi Sal, we eventually cleaned up most of the mess with very hot water, and I just kept scrapping with a knife to get into the hard to get places.  I have used the brown paper and hot iron method many times to remove wax, it is very efficient.

As to drying a cheese.  I noted that my friend dried hers by an open window, and it has been blowing a gale here.  The outside surface was very dry to touch, and was quite opaque and darker yellow.  She has dried her on it's side, and it had gone elliptical in shape, where as I dry mine like you and get a milder barreling than what you have got.
Mine feels very dry and hard after three days drying, and I am going to wax it this morning.  This one hasn't had any barreling at all.
Usually though I go by what the recipe says in regards to length of drying time.  Sometimes it says to leave one day, others say 3-4 days, and others just say into the cheese edges start to go a darker yellow. 

Offline Tea

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Re: Tea's cheddar experiences
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2008, 03:03:46 PM »
Ok here are pics of the final product.  Hopefully I have been able to capture the colour of the cheese when dry.  The last is of it waxed.  The pot hole were difficult to wax properly, but eventually got the whole cheese covered.



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Offline Tea

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Re: Tea's cheddar experiences
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2008, 03:06:36 PM »
Forgot to add that I didn't put on the PVA cheese coating with this wax, and I didn't notice any difference without it.  At least for this cheese.  The wax coated just as well.

Offline SalMac

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Re: Tea's cheddar experiences
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2008, 04:47:31 PM »
Tea

Actually that looks great how old is it? It looks well dry enough.


Sal

Offline Tea

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Re: Tea's cheddar experiences
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2008, 05:07:18 PM »
I made it Wednesday afternoon, and it is now Sunday morning here.
I had it covered with a tea towel by an open window, and to touch it feels very dry.

Offline Michael

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Re: Tea's cheddar experiences
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2008, 10:59:25 AM »
Ok Tea, I posted my farmhouse cheddar in the recipe section. If you make it please let me know what your results are. Looks like you had fun with your last one.

I am not sure you want any advice from me, but it looks like your curds were too firm, which keeps happening to me. I have started dropping the temp and time that the recipes call for after adding the rennet, and it is helping me a lot. I suspect it has something to do with fresh verses pasteurized milk.
For example, I dropped the cheddar temp from 105F to 100F.

Good luck
"I don't know... it's like no cheese I've ever tasted..."  Wallace

Offline Tea

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Re: Tea's cheddar experiences
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2008, 01:48:27 PM »
Michael, advice, help, and plain ole "hit me over the head" is always welcome.  It is the reason I am here is to learn and try new ideas and methods.
Yes I agree that the curd was probably too dry, but unfortunately the recipe doesn't give any clue as to what is too dry and what is too wet.  I checked ph levels as I was going, and they were in the right ball park for what the recipe said.

Yes I will try your recipe and I will definately post my results, but that might not be until the weekend now.