Author Topic: My first large batch of cheese and my thoughts.......  (Read 2764 times)

Offline Likesspace

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Re: My first large batch of cheese and my thoughts.......
« Reply #15 on: December 29, 2008, 08:45:07 PM »
Cartiersum...
As for my swiss, I do only press at 14 lbs..
When I mentioned 50# I was talking about doing a stirred curd cheddar.
As for building a press like Waynes (which is very nice btw)...... Let's just say I'm constructionally challenged.
I can do very simple carpentry work. I make my living with a computer even though I grew up on a farm.
My dad is an excellent carpenter (not to mention welder, engineer & electrician) but I did not get a single one of those genes from him. Unfortunately due to health problems my dad is not able to help me out with any project at this time.
I have figured out a way to get up to about 130 lbs. on my simple press so maybe I'll just stick to a  6-1/2" mold for the cheddar and work on my swiss in the 8" mold. That way I'll be pretty close to the weights you have mentioned.
The only thing that bothers me about your theory (and believe me, I'm really not wanting to try your patience on this), is that I have had no problem whatsoever using my 6-1/2" mold with the same pressing weight that I used on a 4" mold.
I understand the logic behind what you are saying but I'm not totally convinced that I need to press at such extreme weight.
I will say that I have no doubt you have given this MUCH more thought than I have and I can't deny the fact that you and Wayne both turn out some fantastic looking cheese. I'm just wondering if I can get by with less weight and still turn out a good final product.
Please don't get me wrong.
I can't thank you enough for the time you've spent trying to help me with this problem. I also can tell from your posts that you have a very analytical mind and that you have done the math to prove your theory. I'm also sure that you have proven your theory in your own cheesemaking which is of course the true test of what you've told me.
I guess that I'm just more of a "tinkering" type that likes to live by a "trial by error" method.
If I had a proper press or if I had the means by which to press at the weight you've given me, I would definately give it a try. I just need to figure out if what I have available to me will give a satisfactory result.
Honestly, thanks a lot for the time you've taken on this problem and I will let you know my results, even if they fail. It won't be easy admitting that I was wrong, but I will do it if it turns out to be the case.

Dave



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Offline Cartierusm

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Re: My first large batch of cheese and my thoughts.......
« Reply #16 on: December 29, 2008, 11:06:36 PM »
When wayne's not making cheese he's using his press as a medieval torture device...LOL
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Likesspace

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Re: My first large batch of cheese and my thoughts.......
« Reply #17 on: December 31, 2008, 12:37:22 PM »
Cartier and Wayne.....
Okay, you are right. I have to up my press weights.
Below are two responses concerning this subject that I got from another site. They both agree exactly with what you have been saying and one is from Jim at New England cheesemaking supply:

I just sent a message to Jim Wallace, who provides “technical support” for Ricki Carroll. Here is his response regarding the pressing instructions in her recipes:
“the recipe weights are dead weights on our 4” molds .. if you make a larger cheese increase the weight proportionate to the surface area”


Here is the second response from a fellow cheesemaker:

The physicist side of me is compelled to speak.

It is important to understand the fundamental difference between Force and Pressure.  What we measure and call Weight is a certain type of Force, specifically, it is m*g where m is the mass of the object and g is the acceleration of gravity (often casually, but incorrectly called the “force of gravity”).  Here in the U.S. we most commonly measure weight in pounds and ounces.  Pressure is Force/Area, and we most commonly measure this in units of pounds per square inch, or psi.  Rick’s examples above are spot on regarding the change in pressure when the surface area increases.

I believe it is correct that the weight required for pressing does increase proportional to the surface area of the cheese.  There is a certain amont of force that is required to expel whey and knit the curds together for a particular cheese, and it is the distributed force, i.e., the pressure that is actually “felt” in the cheese (if you could imagine yourself inside the cheese.)  It can be helpful to imagine an extreme case, for example a 4 in wheel vs. a 12 in wheel with a 50 lb weight applying pressure to the wheel.  I suspect the thickness of the cheese may also be a factor, and I have a feeling this topic is probably covered in some of the more technical (and expensive) cheese making texts that I have not yet purchased.

If you are looking for a more personal experience, try the following:  Take off your shoes, and stand on a solid floor.  For most people, the pressure on the soles of your feet is somewhere in the range of 1-2 psi (it is your weight divided by the surface area of your feet.)  Now find a small object, preferably between 1 and 2 inches in its largest dimension, and put it under one heel.  If you lift up the other foot, and try to put all of your weight (FORCE) on that heel with the small object under it, I can almost guarantee it will hurt.  Same FORCE,  greater PRESSURE.

The reason the plastic followers that come with many cheese molds have the raised circle on the backside is to help distribute the force uniformly over the follower.  The plastic follower, if pressed in the center, will flex more than a metal or wood follower which is stiffer.  By pressing on the ring it helps distribute the force more evenly between the center and the edge.  It also makes it easier to keep the follower level.



Thanks for all of the information you gave me concerning this subject.
I should have just listened to you guys from the first. It would have saved a lot of typing. :-)

Dave



Offline Cartierusm

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Re: My first large batch of cheese and my thoughts.......
« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2008, 02:04:03 PM »
See I told ya...LOL
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: My first large batch of cheese and my thoughts.......
« Reply #19 on: December 31, 2008, 02:15:51 PM »
Agreement! Awesome.

OK,  now that we all agree,  who wants to translate the book/recipes to PSI rather than force?

I vote for Cartierusm.



Wayne A. Harris - in vino veritas


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Offline Cartierusm

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Re: My first large batch of cheese and my thoughts.......
« Reply #20 on: December 31, 2008, 02:46:28 PM »
Fine by me, I've already done it. Now we have to set a standard, because I use a pneumatic cylinder and that pressure goes by PSI as well so maybe for actual pounds per square inch for the mold we use PSI and if were, mainly I, are talking about PSI as pressure on a gauge I'll say Line Pressure.

I just decided as I was typing this I'll just make a PDF. The figures to the exteme right are the original pressure the recipes say, they are there for reference so you don't have to remember what 200 pounds on an 8" mold is in reference to.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.