Author Topic: Pics of my Stiltons.....My eldest and it's baby brother  (Read 4433 times)

Offline Likesspace

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Pics of my Stiltons.....My eldest and it's baby brother
« on: January 02, 2009, 07:38:12 PM »
After my first Stilton problems I’ve become obsessed with making this cheese turn out correctly. I have done a ton of reading on the subject of making Stilton cheese and so far my second attempt is going according to plan.
Since this one was looking so well, I decided to make another one about a week ago so hopefully they will both turn out as they should.
The first pic is of my newest. This one was just removed from the mold tonight and got it’s smoothing with a hot knife.
The second shot is of the one that is three weeks old tomorrow. As you can see, it is getting the classic wrinkled rind and beginning to brown. I’ll pierce this one within another week and then allow it to age for about a month.
As I’ve reported before, the taste and texture of my first Stilton was fantastic, but it was one ugly, pitiful looking cheese.
I’m hoping these turn out much better so I can get a good feel for what this cheese can be with the proper care.
If these do turn out, my next Stilton will be made in an 8” mold with a height of 8 inches, which will be at least somewhat closer to the traditional size. These cheeses are both 4” diameter x 8” tall.
Hope these pics help someone out who is comtemplating a Stilton style cheese.

Dave



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Offline John (CH)

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Re: Pics of my Stiltons.....My eldest and it's baby brother
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2009, 07:43:02 PM »
Likesspace, beautiful looking and very colourful, very similar to my first try.

Are you sure they are supposed to be that colorful?

Offline Likesspace

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Re: Pics of my Stiltons.....My eldest and it's baby brother
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2009, 08:11:12 PM »
John,
From what I've researched, the oldest one looks exactly as it should at the three week mark. Within two more weeks the brown colors should have taken over the outer blues and I should have a nice hardish rind formed.
At that point ( or a little before) I will give it the piercings which should then form the veining.
On my first attempt I did not smooth the surface and therefore it never formed a rind. I also pierced the cheese straight out of the mold which caused some cracking.
My first was a beautiful cheese for the first two weeks of it's life. All of the surface cracks filled with blue mold while outside the cracks it was this bright white color. The problem came from the cracks that happend after piercing and the cheese began to collapse onto itself from too many holes.
I decided to cut my losses and try this cheese at the one month old stage. Even at this young age it was one of the best blues I've ever tasted. My older brother had some on Christmas eve and proclaimed it "the best cheese he has ever tasted". This really did some great things for my cheese making ego. :-)
Since the first one was so good while young and made improperly, I have some high hopes for these two.
Wish me luck.
Dave

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Pics of my Stiltons.....My eldest and it's baby brother
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2009, 08:14:27 PM »
Dave, I have a few questions.

1. How long do you leave it in your mold for, because I didn't know it was going to grow that much mold while sitting in a mold, I leave it in the mold for 4 days then move on to the next stage.

2. Do you press your stiltons at all? I press mine with 8 pounds of pressure (of course modified for the size mold I have) just to give it a solid shape.

3. What kind of milk are you using is it raw or store bought. If store bought what are the times for ripening and allowing rennet to set in your recipe? Also how do you curds look when you cut them?
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Likesspace

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Re: Pics of my Stiltons.....My eldest and it's baby brother
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2009, 08:17:02 PM »
Oh, one more thing......
The second cheese (the one just out of the mold) did have a LOT more blue on the surface than the first one.
When I took the first one out of the mold, and gave it the smoothing, it had just a couple of places where the blue had formed.
This second one had a little bit of bluing on one end of the cheese yesterday, but today nearly every crack and crevice was blue by the time I unmolded it.
It's amazing how quickly this mold grows once it gets started.

Dave


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Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Pics of my Stiltons.....My eldest and it's baby brother
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2009, 08:18:45 PM »
Dave I just gave you a cheese on your rating..congrats..don't let it get to your head, mine did and I'm still coming down from that high.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Likesspace

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Re: Pics of my Stiltons.....My eldest and it's baby brother
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2009, 08:29:11 PM »
Cartier...
As for how long I leave the Stilton in the mold it is on average 6 days. I've left it as long as 7 days but there is no point it that as much as I can tell. The bluing usually starts at 5 days and as posted above the mold can really take over after that point. I also leave the cheese at room temperature (usually about 68 degrees) during the molding stage.
I do not press the cheese at all. I simply flip it over several times a day for the first day or two and then twice a day thereafter. This produces a very loosly knitted surface that is then smoothed out with a knife dipped in hot water.
I use store bought whole milk for this cheese (and for most of my other cheeses as well). I've had good luck with store bought as long as I purchase the right brand. I've contacted several dairies that supply milk in my area and inquired about their pasteurization process. It has definately helped me in choosing milk that will produce a good curd.
The ripening time for my recipe is 90 minutes. I add the cultures and the rennet at the same time.
The curd is usually really soft and has to be handled gently. With the slightest rough handling it will nearly fall apart.
By the time I finish draining and pressing the curd bag (with 10 lbs. of weight) the curd has formed into a solid mass. At this point it breaks into walnut size pieces, nicely, and then gets the salt and is loaded into the mold.
If the cheese cloth bag is what you were talking about (pressing) then I do press. After it goes into the mold, I let it compress by it's own weight.
Hope this information helps (Lord knows you've given me enough helpful information).

Dave

Offline Likesspace

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Re: Pics of my Stiltons.....My eldest and it's baby brother
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2009, 08:35:55 PM »
Thanks for the cheese!
I'm somebody now!

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Pics of my Stiltons.....My eldest and it's baby brother
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2009, 08:39:04 PM »
Ok, glad to hear your curds are loose, not that I want that for you but it's good to hear it's not just me.

Serious Question: Do you get that nice tofu like mass and the clean break like you see in pictures on the web or do you get a break like mine seen here:
http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,611.0.html

Right now I've email every single person on the web who claims to be an expert on cheese making to see if everything I'm doing is correct or if there something I should be doing to get that clean break where it's a solid Jello mass where no residue comes up on your finger.

As far as what the dairies have told you what were you told about the brand you do use, for me and the rest of us who want to call a dairy.

Do you find the shape that comes out, pressed by it's own weight, come out nice?

How does the hot knife and water work, is it easy to smooth out the sides?

Why are you adding the rennet at the same time as the culture. From what I know the purpose of the culture is to produce acid which helps coagulate the milk. If you add it at the same time wouldn't that be a little too late? Not criticising, just curious. Also where did you get your recipe from? Thanks.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Pics of my Stiltons.....My eldest and it's baby brother
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2009, 08:45:09 PM »
I assume you gave me a cheese right back, thanks.

I have a 4" x 8" stilton in the mold right now, it looks massive and way cool. I will post pics when it comes out of my mold with my new follower with my name in it.

I also just picked up an upright freezer to convert into a blue mold cave for all my blue, stilton, gorgonzola and the other blue that I can't think of the name right now. I'll post somehting on that when I get it together.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.


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Offline Likesspace

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Re: Pics of my Stiltons.....My eldest and it's baby brother
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2009, 10:12:00 PM »
Ok, glad to hear your curds are loose, not that I want that for you but it's good to hear it's not just me.

Serious Question: Do you get that nice tofu like mass and the clean break like you see in pictures on the web or do you get a break like mine seen here:
http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,611.0.html

Right now I've email every single person on the web who claims to be an expert on cheese making to see if everything I'm doing is correct or if there something I should be doing to get that clean break where it's a solid Jello mass where no residue comes up on your finger.

As far as what the dairies have told you what were you told about the brand you do use, for me and the rest of us who want to call a dairy.

Do you find the shape that comes out, pressed by it's own weight, come out nice?

How does the hot knife and water work, is it easy to smooth out the sides?

Why are you adding the rennet at the same time as the culture. From what I know the purpose of the culture is to produce acid which helps coagulate the milk. If you add it at the same time wouldn't that be a little too late? Not criticising, just curious. Also where did you get your recipe from? Thanks.


Okay, I had to do the quote thing or I wouldn't have remembered the questions.....

1. I took a look at your curds and I have to say that mine are usually a bit more firm. I have seen sets such as yours but that was on a prarie farms brand of milk that I've never had much luck with.
Once I switched to a different brand (made in Chester, Illinois) I've gotten a good curd that will "break" around my finger.
I will say that it's seldom that I've gotten a curd like I saw on one of Tea's posts. I think it was on her Colby attempt. That was one of the best looking curds I've ever seen.
Usually I will see a good break around my finger and then the gap will fill with whey. It's certainly not a perfect set but it's acceptable for store bought milk.

2. As of this date I've corresponded to two dairies. The first I called and the second I emailed.
The first dairy I simply asked to speak to someone about their pasteurization method and lucked out and got this guy that was a wealth of information.
He actually seemed happy that I called and gave me information concering the history of the diary and the steps of pasteurization.
This particular dairy heats their milk to 186 degrees F for a few seconds and then just as quickly cools it to 38 degree F. This is certainly not optimal for cheese making but this is by far the best cheese milk I have found locally. From what I've read, any milk that is heated over 171 degrees F does get damaged as far as cheese making is concerned so there's no doubt that raw milk would be better.
This gentleman did tell me that they used to make cheese at his dairy with this same milk. That made me think that it was usable and convinced me to give it a try.
As for the Prairie Farms milk (the dairy I emailed). They heat their milk to 176 degrees F for 15 minutes. Now according to what I've read, this should be the better of the two milks to use. Unfortunately I've never been able to get a good curd with this milk, regardless of this fact.
I'd simply suggest calling any local dairy or sending them a quick email. Maybe you will luck out and get someone who is interested in your efforts. The guy I talked to at Chester diary actually seemed fascinated that I was making cheese at home and we talked for probably 10 - 15 minutes.

3. When I unmold my Stiltons they look like they could collapse at any minute. The curd is very grainy looking with large cracks and fissures in the "log". What's surprising is that when I handle the log it is very firm and holds together really well. It's the fissures and crevices that will allow a good veining to take place after the piercing (at least, this is what I've read).
I will say that my first attempt was veined beautifully. Once the ugly outer surface was cut the veining inside was beautiful. Now remember this was on a cheese that was only one month old and was not handled properly from the first.

4. The hot water dipped knife works really well. You do have to put more pressure on the cheese than I would have initially thought, but it doesn't damage the surface at all. What you are basically doing is scraping cheese from the high spots and using it to fill in the low spots. I usually start on the top surface and then move to the sides. After you get the feel of it, it's pretty much like buttering a piece of bread or icing a cake. From what I've read,(and experienced) this step is necessary or the rind will not form.


5. I use the Stilton recipe on schmidling.com. There are a lot of different stilton recipes on the web but this one seemed fairly easy and according to the site, yielded good results. His recipe called for adding the rennet at the same time as the cultures and from what I tasted on my first attempt it worked out well. I'm not sure that you really want to produce a lot of acid with a Stilton. That's probably why both are added at once. If you want to check this recipe out, just google schmidling.com and then go to his recipe section.
One thing I do NOT agree with is using a whisk to cut the curd as he suggests. This will produce a jelly like mass that will not easily seperate from the whey. When I followed this instruction, I did end up with a good final product but it came at lots of extra effort from draining and draining and draining.

From what I've experienced so far, Stilton is not a hard cheese to make but it can be a hard cheese to take to the final product in good shape. Regardless the one that I cracked on Christmas Eve is the best blue cheese I've tasted.
Not too dry, yet not too creamy. Not too salty but with a definate "bite". Great blue flavor and incredible veining. I can't wait to taste one of these after they have aged for the proper two to three months.

Hopefully this answers your questions. You have no idea how big of a kick I'm getting out of being able to offer you advice on a certain type of cheese. I'm pretty sure I've read every one of your posts  on this forum and consider you to be a natural teacher and very knowledgable.
Now, if you will tell me HOW to give you a cheese, I will do so for all of the help you've given me! (believe me, I've looked and can't figure it out)

Dave

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Pics of my Stiltons.....My eldest and it's baby brother
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2009, 11:01:23 PM »
Thanks, I'm like the indiana jones of information. I just keep digging and digging until I get what I think is the correct answer. I never answer posts, in this forum or any other forum, unless I'm sure of the answer. I'm not one to pass along disinformation. I'm all about eduction.

I ask so that I can build a knowledge base of what others are doing that way if something goes wrong or right I have an idea of why. Plus I enjoy being able to help people out with straight forward honest CORRECT answers. I try to be thorough as so many people on forum are so vague they might as well not have answered, and the reason most of us are here is to learn, the correct way, to do something.

Cheese making is really not that hard. There are a few things that make it difficult. Getting humidity in a cold environment. Getting a firm curd out of store bought milk. Getting a curd to knit into a nice wheel without pressing the living day light out of it.

Oh and the curds from Tea Colby are freakin' sweet, you are right those are by far the best curds I've seen on the web.

Tea on you cobly did you use raw milk? I didn't re-read the post right now but I will, I belive you do get raw milk locally. Have you ever used store bought milk and if so did you notice a significant difference in the firmness of the curds?
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Tea

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Re: Pics of my Stiltons.....My eldest and it's baby brother
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2009, 03:16:19 PM »
Thankyou Cartier and Likesspace, although I don't know that my curds deserve such accolades?

Anyway to answer your questions.  If I remember correctly I did use fresh cows milk, that had come warm, straight from the cow in the colby recipe.

When I originally started cheese making, if I couldn't get fresh milk I used to but store bought milk.  The set was definately poorer, but I could make cheese.  Then the industry under went changes and the quality of the store bought milk dropped to the point that getting a curd was almost impossible, so I started looking around for a quality store bought milk.  Finally found one that was full cream and pasturised only. So now I used only either this milk, or when my friend has excess, fresh milk straight from the cow.  The difference in curd quality and yield is unbelievable.
Hope this answers your questions.

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Pics of my Stiltons.....My eldest and it's baby brother
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2009, 03:28:05 PM »
How is the curd from the cream top pastuerized compared to fresh milk. Because I'm going to try some Cream top Past from the store.

You know what's weird is after watching the modern marvels cheese epsiode again I noticed the big cheese makers pastuerized their milk when it comes in and they get a perfectly set curd. I know homogenization has a lot to do with it, though.
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Offline Tea

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Re: Pics of my Stiltons.....My eldest and it's baby brother
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2009, 03:52:22 PM »
I find it depends on how much cream is in the milk.  The store bought full cream pasturised milk will hold the cream in suspension while setting, while the fresh cows milk sometime has too much cream, and some of this tends to want to settle to the top before the milk has set.
You could if you wanted to scrap with cream off the top and use for a cultured butter, but it doesn't worry me having little flecks of set cream throughout the cheese.