Author Topic: Havarti Cheese question  (Read 4316 times)

Offline Tea

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Havarti Cheese question
« on: November 24, 2008, 03:58:58 PM »
I am wanting to try my hand at making this cheese.  Was reading the recipe yesterday and came across this statement  "The cheese should have an open texture.  If the texture of the cheese is not open enough, you may need to either keep the curds and whey stirring for longer before wheying off, or give the curds more dry stirring before hooping."

What would they mean by an open texture?  I bought some havarti yesterday to see if I could work out what they were talking about, and it had a texture very similar to mozz, which I would call a closed texture, certainly not open.  So I am confused as to what I am aiming for.

Any help much appreciated.

Offline John (CH)

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Re: Havarti Cheese question
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2008, 06:03:35 AM »
Tea, I put my understanding of the cheese term Open in the Glossary page and sounds like the same as yours, most Havarti I have seen is closed, but at the back of my mind I remember seeing some open, so maybe it's just a variation ????



Offline Tea

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Re: Havarti Cheese question
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2008, 02:24:24 PM »
Thanks Cheese Head, and your explaination was what I was thinking they were meaning.  So makes you wonder what "cheese" it was that I trialled the other day as it definately didn't have an open curd at all.

Wayne how did your's turn out?

Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: Havarti Cheese question
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2008, 04:58:19 PM »
Mine turned out GREAT.  I have made 8lbs in the past week. (2 batches of 4lbs each)

the only difference is the second batch has just enough annatto in it to make it a cream color.

I posted some pics here.

It smells wonderfull and has a great taste already.
Wayne A. Harris - in vino veritas

Offline Tea

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Re: Havarti Cheese question
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2008, 05:16:21 PM »
What would you describe the curd texture as?  I can wait to see these cut, and I am getting conflicting opinions.
Are you still going to go ahead with the bacteria linens wash?

Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: Havarti Cheese question
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2008, 06:55:37 PM »
Right now the outside of all blocks is tacky.  I would only have to guess about the inside.  I can say that i lightly pressed the curds, so there may in fact be voids.  However the cheese blocks "feel" heavy.  So, I guess the definitive answer is perhaps.  :)

I will let you know in about 60 days. (will take pictures.)

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Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: Havarti Cheese question
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2008, 07:08:08 PM »
I have actually cut my 4lb Havarti wheel.  I think I posted pictures of the wheel in it's whole form somewhere here before.

I am currently traveling on business, and cannot post pictures of it, but i will describe it.

The curd is every moist.  I actually need a spatula to pry it from the pine board it rests on.

The curd, while very damp, is open internally.  It is not a solid curd.   

I promise to post pics when i get back to Cleveland.
(next week)
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Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: Havarti Cheese question
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2008, 08:34:34 PM »
I just got word from my wife that my havarti, which is very  very tacky, is now growing fuzz.

I have kept this cheese in a tub,  in 90% humidity, at about 60deg F. 
This cheese is now 3 weeks old.


And now i have mold/fuzz.

Is this lost?
Wayne A. Harris - in vino veritas

Offline Tea

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Re: Havarti Cheese question
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2008, 01:29:56 PM »
I just checked my recipe and after allowing the surface to completely dry for upto three days, then the surface wash is started every second day. 
Mine says nothing about a humid environment.  What colour is the mould.  If it is orange/red in colour and is a sticky surface growth, then maybe it is on track.  It if is white or black, then maybe you could restart with a strong brine wash for a couple of days, get it out of the humidity and let is dry again, and see if that gets rid of the mould.
Other than that, maybe rubbing in some salt, and if necessary, thinly slicing off the mould.
Keep us updated, and best of luck.

Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: Havarti Cheese question
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2008, 06:23:52 PM »
OK,  I was out of town for about 9 days.
My Havarti was a mess.

It was all moldy and fuzzy.
I scalded it in 140degF water. 
scrubbed
Dunked in Vinegar
Wiped dry
Dunked in strong brine (3tsp/qt)
wiped driy.
Letting dry

I will resume turning and brining.
The outside has some black on it.  but the inside is pristine.
I will keep this batch and let you all know.
Pictures will follow.

Wayne A. Harris - in vino veritas

Offline John (CH)

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Re: Havarti Cheese question
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2008, 05:02:27 PM »
Wayne, wlecome to the misery of low temp and high humidity aging, too high a humidity and presto, exterior mold, too low and uneven drying and cracks >:(.

Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: Havarti Cheese question
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2008, 05:50:09 PM »
Well, here it is.  In all its ugliness:

My Havarti. 

What is mildly interesting is that while these are both havarti from the same recipe, the batch on the right had 3 drops of annatto added for a creamier color.
Wayne A. Harris - in vino veritas

Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: Havarti Cheese question
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2008, 05:57:56 PM »
I have more pics.  I hit enter too soon.


A Closeup of the mold.


the havarti stuck to the board and some came off when i flipped it.


So, unless someone here says otherwise.  I think i am gonna chalk this up to learning. 

My lessons learned:
-Dry the cheese after pressing and brining.
-Turn cheese daily.
-Brine ever over say.
-Maintain the temp and humidity, but move the air a bit.

I think (because i went out of town), I violated almost all of those lessons.
Wayne A. Harris - in vino veritas

Offline Tea

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Re: Havarti Cheese question
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2008, 04:40:42 PM »
Hi Wayne and thanks for the pics.  I agree that some of this is going to have to be chalked up as lessons learnt.

Interesting that the cheese stuck to the board.  I have that trouble with brie like cheeses sticking to the board.  I tend to run a very thin knife between the cheese and board to encourage "lift off".

Have you tried thinly slicing off the offending mould, brining and starting again.  Interested in whether the mould would regrow.

Also interesting how the annatto has coloured up with the drying.  It didn't seem to make that much of a difference while making?

You are going to continue maturing this lot aren't you?  They don't look to be completely lost.

Thanks for all this, it gives me something to work with when I get around to making mine.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2008, 09:05:58 PM by Tea »

Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: Havarti Cheese question
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2008, 07:04:55 PM »
wow,
When I read back what I type,  it's really amazing how bad I type.

Back to my Havarti.   I went back and forth on whether or not to toss the lot.

When i decided to sacrifice one, and cut it down the middle. I took a smell.

The smell was decidedly not pleasent.  My wife, (who used to work at Pepperidge farms cheese) said it smelled rotted.

That, plus the look of the outside,  convinced me that this lot was lost.
(I was not interested in eating it...)


I did take some pictures of the cut curd,  i will post them in  couple of hours.    I am in the middle of re-building my PC....  again.  :(


 
Wayne A. Harris - in vino veritas