Author Topic: I'm making Stilton right...oh Crap I'm making Blue  (Read 4587 times)

Offline Cartierusm

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,864
  • Cheeses: 17
I'm making Stilton right...oh Crap I'm making Blue
« on: December 30, 2008, 07:44:05 PM »
So I was going to make Stilton, but I didn't have any light cream on hand so I guess I'm making Blue Cheese, I'll make Stilton Tomorrow. Here are some pics, I'll post more today as the batch progresses.

P.S. This is my new system I've been posting about. I works great, totally effortless, I don't have to watch temps at all, just set and go.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Cartierusm

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,864
  • Cheeses: 17
Re: I'm making Stilton right...oh Crap I'm making Blue
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2008, 09:05:17 PM »
Carter is not happy. With my new setup i built an automatic stirrer and with all equipment that comes near the vat I clean. Even if it's a drill I wipe the outside with soap and water. Of course the only thing I didn't sterilize was the chuck key and what friggin' happened I dropped the chuck key in the vat...It's not a total loss as I can never do a dry run on equipment I make and really know what's going to come up without actually doing a batch. I'm only out $10 for the milk. I did get the chuck key out instantly but it smells like grease. I also realized that the drill, even on a separate variable transformer, was way to fast for stirring cheese. It's probably 60-80 rpms, and really needs to be 15-25 rpms. I know where I'm going to get my motor. I'll still finish the cheese to see what happens as I don't think I got the curds very firm.

The only thing I did differently was add the Calcium Chloride and Blue Mold while the milk was heating up, instead of adding it at the same time as the starter, but I don't think that would make a difference. With the blue cheese recipe it calls for 1/2 tsp or rennet per gallon, so I used 2 1/2 tsp. for my 5 gallons of milk. It used the same cultures and milk as a cheddar, kind of, and cheddar uses a lot less rennet so it should have been way firmer. I've posted pics to show the time differences. The first 3 are from 45 minutes from adding the rennet as the recipe indicates and it looks too loose. The last picture shows the break after 15 more minutes, still too loose, to me this is the hardest part of cheese making is knowing what to look for in a break and how to determine what to do, wait longer or cut. I decided to cut as all breaks look to loose until I cut them. This cut fine but does seem more mushy. I also turned on my stirrer and before checking again and this may have liquified it more. I'm supposed to stir gently for 60 minutes. I decided to turn the motor off and let it clump to regain it's form. Let me know what everyone thinks. Quinlan I would love to hear from you on the state of my curds. I will post a pic of a handful of the mush in a few minutes. The other pics are just for entertainment.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Cartierusm

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,864
  • Cheeses: 17
Re: I'm making Stilton right...oh Crap I'm making Blue
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2008, 09:08:12 PM »
More pics.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Cartierusm

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,864
  • Cheeses: 17
Re: I'm making Stilton right...oh Crap I'm making Blue
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2008, 09:12:02 PM »
Oh, here is a link to a video I shot of the automatic stirrer.
http://www.smokeproductions.com/stir.avi
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Cartierusm

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,864
  • Cheeses: 17
Re: I'm making Stilton right...oh Crap I'm making Blue
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2008, 09:16:53 PM »
Here is a picture of curds after setting 40 mintues. It looks the same as when I stopped the stirrer.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Cartierusm

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,864
  • Cheeses: 17
Re: I'm making Stilton right...oh Crap I'm making Blue
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2008, 02:36:35 AM »
So I'm running through all the possibilities why I didn't get a clean break.

1. Not enough acid produced.
2. Not fresh enough milk.
3. Bad rennet.
4. Wrong Temp.
5. Slight aggitation while setting.
6. Bad Calcium Chloride.

Most of these are probably not the problem because the curd set some. I think I just didn't give it enough time. I thought with all the rennet the recipe calls for it should have been firm.

Not enough acid produced could be one of the culprits as the recipe I used is from Ricki Carrolls book and I know it's wrought with errors. It says to heat the milk up to 90F and use Meso starter. Well we all know that at 90 you should be using thermo. So I think the temp she has for this recipe is wrong, it probably should be 86F. Plus other books with blue cheese recipes say 86 as well. Who knows, it so hard to trust any "home cheese making" books as they really as so inconsistent. But I don't know if this is the problem.

Not fresh enough milk, probably not the case.

Bad rennet, probably not this either as it's only about 3 weeks old and has been in the frig the entire time, although it could have been over heated in the mail. But the curd did start to set.

I had my circulation pump on, in the boiler, which makes the milk in the vat wiggle just the very slightest, but this may not be the problem as the milk wiggles every so slightly when I walk by anyway. Next time I'll turn the pump off while the rennet is working, doesn't need to be on anyway as everything is up to temp and holding steady.

Bad calcium chloride. I don't know how long i've had it as I keep lots of various chemicles for wine making. It's probably 1 1/2 years old. It was in a clump when I opened the pack, moisture getting in. But I called a home brew store and asked them if Calcium Chloride can go bad, he actually went on his database and said it can't go bad. I agree.

So what's the verdict? I don't think it was any of these things, probably just didn't wait long enough. I'm always paranoid that it's taking too long. When I was looking at Faukhausers webpage he says, "...if it doesn't set within 12 hours, it will probably never set...it should set within an hour or two". So I think tomorrow, rather today, I'll just let it sit until it sets and chart the results.

All my other conditions are right on, but I don't know if I've ever got that picture perfect clean break where your finger comes out of the curd with zero residue and it's just firm as hell.

Question for all of you who use Pastuerized and Homogenized milk have you ever had that perfect clean break or do you get it consistently?
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline John (CH)

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Katy, Houston, Texas, USA
  • Posts: 4,070
  • Cheeses: 60
Re: I'm making Stilton right...oh Crap I'm making Blue
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2008, 07:55:55 AM »
Carter, great info and pics, first congrats on such a huge batch!

I know what you mean about Cheese Making books, when I went through and read Tim's Smith's 2005 Book, Making Artisan Cheese, I maybe wrong, but I also didn't get the feeling that he'd actually made all those different cheeses. Then again there are so many variables.

On your curd set, as you say and from pictures, it's not bad, just not perfect. Batch to batch, mine are also inconsistent. On your list, I didn't see amount of CaCl2 and dilution of CaCl2 during your standardizing phase. I got a really good set earlier this week when I whisked in the CaCl2.

Also on your potential causes and notes, I didn't see dilution of rennet or how you did that, I got a very string set on my Camembert #5 and that was with just 1/16 of a teaspoon of rennet, which is 1/8 of what you are using so we must have different rennets. I diluted that rennet in water and then trickled in while whisking, it was actually setting up while I was whisking so I had to stop. Did you trickle straight in or dilute in water and then trickle in?

Just my couple ideas . . . like I said, mine are hit and miss as well.

Offline saycheese

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Posts: 156
  • Cheeses: 1
Re: I'm making Stilton right...oh Crap I'm making Blue
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2008, 12:03:18 PM »
Yes, Ricki Carroll's book is LOADED with errors -- if 1/4 tsp liquid rennet = 1/4 rennet tablet then that should be consistent throughout the book and it's not  in her book -- threw me for a loop when I was making Parmesan -- had to wait and wait and wait for the curds to set because I used too little rennet.

Offline Cartierusm

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,864
  • Cheeses: 17
Re: I'm making Stilton right...oh Crap I'm making Blue
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2008, 01:58:46 PM »
Say Cheese, what rennet tablet are you using, because if it's junket rennet then that is not nearly as powerful as rennet tablets you get from Cheese Making Supply Stores.

CH, I did dilute it in 1 cup of water and drizzle it in over a slot spoon.

I'm using regular animal rennet from thecheesemaker.com.

Yours actually started to set as you were stirring it in? Wow, how many gallons were you making?
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline John (CH)

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Katy, Houston, Texas, USA
  • Posts: 4,070
  • Cheeses: 60
Re: I'm making Stilton right...oh Crap I'm making Blue
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2008, 03:36:03 PM »
Just a 1 US gallon Camembert batch, well wasn't exactly as was drizzling in but after whisking in I wentI got distracted for 10 seconds and went back to do some more whisking and found that it was already gelling so I stopped immediately.

Reason immediately is that I'v had a batch that very poorly set with renet, evan after 1 hour, so I added some more and whisked it in, what a mess, basically got 1/8" / 3-4 mm sized curds, won't do that again >:(.

Offline Cartierusm

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,864
  • Cheeses: 17
Re: I'm making Stilton right...oh Crap I'm making Blue
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2008, 04:04:41 PM »
I notice my stilton I'm making right now as starting to gel by the time I was finished stirring it in. I stir for 1 full minute. I guess I just should have waiting longer on the blue, but it's gone.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline saycheese

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Posts: 156
  • Cheeses: 1
Re: I'm making Stilton right...oh Crap I'm making Blue
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2008, 06:33:30 PM »
Cartierusm-
I'm using the rennet tablets from Chessemaking Supply.  The parmesan recipe called for 1 tsp liquid rennet or 1/4 tablet.  That doesn't make sense to me when elsewhere in the book it states 1/4 tsp liquid rennet or 1/4 tablet.  I guess my question is this -- is 1/4 tablet of rennet equal to 1/4 tsp liquid rennet or what?  There are some real inconsistencies in the book's recipes.

Offline Cartierusm

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,864
  • Cheeses: 17
Re: I'm making Stilton right...oh Crap I'm making Blue
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2008, 07:09:08 PM »
I have about 4 books, they all have different info and most are very inconsistent with in themselves, that's why I'm so frustrated.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Cartierusm

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,864
  • Cheeses: 17
Re: I'm making Stilton right...oh Crap I'm making Blue
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2009, 02:43:36 PM »
I emailed a whole bunch of "professionals" about my curd and they all said that's basically what you get from store bought milk.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Cartierusm

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,864
  • Cheeses: 17
Re: I'm making Stilton right...oh Crap I'm making Blue
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2009, 04:54:33 PM »
Here is a pic of my silton. Still wet, but out of the mold, very crumbly and fragile. Notice how the embossing came out great. Will post this pic in the follower post.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.