Hi Vertlook- I came by this post by LB from an earlier thread, maybe it will be of help.
Re: flocculation factor
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2010, 07:05:44 PM »
mm, you could, with 1/2" curd, but your moisture might be a touch low in a normal cook, and if you're actually using sheep's milk, the curd might be a bit too delicate, so you'd need to heal longer.
So, in terms of Manchego, you're trying to balance the rate of acid development with the moisture level. So long as you hit those moisture targets, it's pretty forgiving on the acid. A drain of 6.1-6.3 works just fine because it's acidified mostly in the mold. A 6.3 would take longer to age and would need brine pH of 5.3. A 6.1 could be normal brined at 5.4.
The Manchego flavor mostly comes from the bacilli adjunct in commercial manchego because the milk is pasteurized, and to a degree, the l lactis ssp cremoris also contributes, so it's not drastic if your drain targets aren't that exact.
For the summer milk, if you used a 2x, that Manchego will age for you for a long time with the lower moisture. If you hit 35%, it could age for 2-3 years easy and have awesome flavor.