I haven't been here since December. We got married in April, so that has been keeping me quite busy, and only now have I had time to concentrate fully on cheese making again.
So, I am really eager to duplicate this cheese again:http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,2369.0.html
Only I made another batch on December, and opened it in February. I made a mistake - pressed it longer, which resulted in a longer overall time that it spent in room temperature. Result: more crumbly and acidic cheese. We weren't so keen on eating it as it was, so I ended up grating the whole lot (4,5kg) and freezing it for later use as a food ingredient. So it wasn't such a huge loss after all, the grated cheese melted really well and when used in hot food, it actually tasted fine. I make a lot of pizza at home, so it's all been long gone already.
But - I really don't want to redo this error and I was wondering on the exact issues involved. What are the most crucial points when acidification occurs? Should I pay most attention to pressing time, brining, or does it still acidify when I'm air drying it? Somewhere I think I've read that the brining would stop acidification, but I can't find the source right now.
I'm pretty sure the over-acidification didn't occur earlier than pressing time, since all of that went just as it did the time before.
I've been thinking of getting pH-strips (since that's all I can afford right now) but how do you measure the pH of a dry substance? If I measure the pH of the moisture on top of my cheese , is that the same as the pH inside the cheese? If so, does this work in all phases (pressing, brining etc)?