I made my first Queso Fresco this weekend, using FiasCo Farm’s recipe
Ripened 4 gallons storebought whole milk + 8 frozen cubes meso primer culture (~1.5%) for 1 hour, 90F. Added CaCl2.
Floc time = 11 min x 2.5 multiplier.
Curd cutting: 1/4". Poor curd set
(I ended up waiting 40 min. total to see if it would firm up more.)
Heal curds 5min.
Up to 99F over next 20 min, stirring every few minutes to distribute heat (stovetop) and avoid clumps.
Let the curds settle for 5 minutes, drain all whey from curds by pouring thru colander. All clumped together.
Maintain curds (in pot) at 96F for 20 minutes, curds were matted/clumped- broke up by hand occasionally. Whey was VERY milky.
Add 4TB salt.
Press cheese (in two side by side 5” cheese molds in the same press):
14 lb. for 10 minutes
39 pounds for 1 hour
60 pounds overnight
Air dry about 6 hrs, wrap and refrigerate.
Tasting notes: Smells tangy and fresh. Texture: firm with a few mechanical openings. Slices well, some crumble. Inside glossy and firm, NOT creamy/matte. Taste: tangy, cottage-cheese/mozzarella taste. Does not melt at all. I’m wondering about a few things:-Yield:
5lb 1.2 oz yield from 4 gallons- Is this normal??-Curds didn’t set very well
- I think I’ve got rennet about right, since I’m getting floc times of 10-12 minutes now. Could I add more CaCl2 (I currently use 1/8 tsp per gallon)? Or perhaps my acidity wasn’t in the right range for rennetting after 1 hr- no way to tell w/o a pH meter, I guess…-Why the firm glossy texture (vs. creamy, crumbly, matte)? Is this related to the milky whey?
I drained curds by pouring the whole lot thru a cheesecloth lined colander and I now think this is too rough because my whey after draining was very cloudy, and curds got very firm. I’m learning (thanks John (CH)!!
) that many folks siphon off whey, or bail it- will learn more about this. Or maybe I pressed too hard?
-I use direct stovetop heat to make cheese- a 5.5 gallon stainless steel (18/10) pot with heavy bottom- which I realize is not ideal. I don’t have problems scalding milk, but it is hard to distribute heat without stirring all the time, and I end up stirring curds too much I think
. Does everyone else on the planet use some type of water bath or double boiler system?? (I am eyeballing the turkey roaster posts very closely these days…)