Author Topic: My first Parmesan  (Read 215 times)

Offline Shane

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Australia
  • Posts: 488
  • Cheeses: 38
  • Default personal text
My first Parmesan
« on: July 07, 2015, 06:46:12 PM »
Hi all,

Yesterday I attempted a parmesan. I based it off the following recipe, but doubled the batch size.

http://www.countrybrewer.com.au/pages/how-to-make-parmesan-cheese.html

The ingredients were as follows:

15L Farmers Own Low Fat (2%) Milk
1tsp TA61 prepared overnight in boiled the cooled milk
1tsp LH100 prepared as above
1/2tsp Lamb Lipase mixed in an egg cup of demin water
3ml Chymax Plus 200IMCU/ml Vegetable Rennet
4ml 30% Calcium Chloride diluted in an egg cup of demin water

The basic steps were as follows:

Preparing the cultures the night before:
- Bring 400ml of the milk to a boil.
- Cool the milk to around 30°C and mix in the starter cultures and leave to sit overnight (around 12 hours) at around 25°C.
- It should be set like yoghurt in the morning.

The make:

- Heat the remainder of the 15L of milk to 32°C
- Add the calcium chloride and mix through
- Add the prepared starter cultures and mix through thoroughly.
- Add the Lipase
- Leave to ripen for 30 minutes
- Add the diluted Rennet and let to set for around 30 minutes. I used the floc method with a multiplier of 2.5, but found I needed a bit longer to get a clean break. It was around 28 minutes though, so the time suggested was pretty close.
- Check for clean break and cut into 6mm cubes.
- Heat curds to 38°C over 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Heat further to 50°C stirring to cook the curds. They should end up the size of grains of rice and be squeaky between the teeth.
- Let curds settle for 5 min at 50°C
- Drain into a cheesecloth lined mould (2kg mould in my case).
- Press for 15 min at 5kg.
- Flip and press for 30 min at 8kg.
- Flip and press for 2hrs at 15kg.
- Flip and press for 12hrs at 20kg.
- Heavy brine for 24hrs.

There were quite a few errors in my make and I guess I'll find out in time what the result of them was.

- My timing was all over the place. I'm still getting used to the new Bain Marie. Heating times were much slower than desired. I wasn't being aggressive enough with my heating rates. Something to work on with vats of water...
- My curds were cut a little large and cooked curds were around pea sized, but rice. They were definitely squeaky though.
- The final pressing was longer than 12hrs as I didn't feel like waking at 4am to take it out. It was more like 15hrs. I can't check the ph of the cheese to see how low it got.

I've attached my make sheet and photos.

I have a question on brining. The recipe called for 24hrs. My cheese is nearly twice the weight. Data is as follows:
Weight: 1310g
Diameter: 16cm
Height: 7cm

I'll put it in the brine shortly.

Thanks for your help.

Shane

Offline awakephd

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: North Carolina
  • Posts: 726
  • Cheeses: 105
  • compounding the benefits of a free press
Re: My first Parmesan
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2015, 02:29:41 PM »
Shane, I've made Parmesan-style cheese only 3 times, so not a huge amount of experience. The first, made very early in my cheese-making learning, was okay but not a lot of flavor (didn't have any LH100 or lipase in it, just ST). The second, now about 15 months old, has done very well; it included LH100 but no lipase; not an intense flavor (yet), but definitely on the right track, and texture is good. The third is only about 3 months old, so it still has a long time to go before I will know how it turned out; this one includes ST, LH100, and lipase, so hopefully it will have full flavor!

All that to say that the recipe(s) I have followed are similar to yours, but with a couple of significant differences:

1) WAY less culture -- I used 3/8 tsp TA061, 1/8 tsp LH100, and 1/4 tsp lipase in my last make, which was just under 4 gallons. However, I added the cultures directly to the milk rather than pre-culturing; I don't know how that might affect the outcome, though it seems like doing it that way (pre-culturing) would require even less, rather than more -- ??

2) The last one I made, the ~4-gallon make, called for brining 36-48 hours, so yes, quite a bit longer than your recipe. That said ... for some reason I did not write down exactly how long I DID brine it, so even when I cut into it in another year or so, I will have to guess on how to adjust if the salt level is off -- or even on how to maintain the same salt level if it is perfect!  :o
-- Andy

Offline Shane

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Australia
  • Posts: 488
  • Cheeses: 38
  • Default personal text
Re: My first Parmesan
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2015, 04:19:57 PM »
Thanks very much Andy. On the culture quantities I agree it seems too much. I do wonder if the company I bought these cultures from (same company as who the recipe is from) dilute them somehow. The reason I say that is that they sell the cultures in sachets for 50L, however there is a heap of powder in each one. I did occasionally check the pH and it didn't seem to be doing ridiculously quickly. I guess I won't know until at least 9 months.

Thanks for the detail on your brining. I'll go for glory at 48 hrs then. Good luck on trying to reproduce it. :-)

All the best.

Shane



Offline JeffHamm

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Auckland, New Zealand
  • Posts: 2,845
  • Cheeses: 195
  • As goes the cheesemaker, so goes the cheese
Re: My first Parmesan
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2015, 03:28:48 AM »
Hi Shane,

Hmmm, 48 hours for 1.3 kg cheese seems a long time.  There's a "rule of thumb" someone posted years ago that I tend to follow, which is 1 hour per lbs per inch of thickness (so a 2 lb cheese that was 2.5 inches thick you would brine for 2 * 2.5 = 5 hours).  In your case, that rule suggests only 8 hours of brine bath.  Now, that's 8 hours at a saturated solution (about 26.5%), so if your brine is less than that, then just adjust by multiplying 8 * 26.5/your saturation (so if you had 18% then 8 * 26.5/18 = about 12 hours. 

Of course, this is general guide, and some cheeses may require more time and some less.  Parm is a dense cheese, more time would not be surprising.  But 48 hours seems long.  I would go 24 at most. But I suspect it will be fine either way.

- Jeff
The wise do not always start out on the right path, but they do know when to change course.

Offline Shane

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Australia
  • Posts: 488
  • Cheeses: 38
  • Default personal text
Re: My first Parmesan
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2015, 03:44:29 AM »
Thanks Jeff. You have me worried now. It is certainly much longer than I've brined a cheese of a similar size. The recipe called for 24hrs on a 700g cheese. It was a saturated brine with CC and a small amount of white vinegar as suggested by Caldwell.

I've taken it out of the brine just in case. It's been in there for around 32hrs, so I guess that's a reasonable length of time. I've noticed there are a few small cracks on the sides. I'm not sure if that is a result of poor knitting or not. Do you think it's worth persevering with a natural rind out do I just vacuum pack it once dry enough? It's presently in the cave somewhere between 85 & 90% humidity and 11°C to dry off a little from the brining.

Shane

Offline qdog1955

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: York, Pa. USA
  • Posts: 513
  • Cheeses: 44
  • Just because we can----doesn't mean we should
Re: My first Parmesan
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2015, 05:45:18 AM »
Caldwell calls for 7 to 12 hrs. per pound----because of the slow uptake in Grana style cheese---it takes a long time to reach the center. Parma is a really salty cheese.
Qdog
Worrying----is like sitting in a rocking chair---- a lot of motion-----but it gets you no where.

Offline Shane

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Australia
  • Posts: 488
  • Cheeses: 38
  • Default personal text
Re: My first Parmesan
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2015, 05:53:48 AM »
Thanks Qdog. That equates to 19.6 to 33.6hrs for my cheese. I've had it in for 32hrs, so I don't think I'd like to push out any further then. I have Caldwell's book, but for some reason didn't think to look in there for the answer.....  ::)

Shane

Offline awakephd

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: North Carolina
  • Posts: 726
  • Cheeses: 105
  • compounding the benefits of a free press
Re: My first Parmesan
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2015, 10:37:53 AM »
Hmm ... I'm pretty sure I have been using the recipe from Rikki Carroll's book. I'll have to go back and check what it calls for. Maybe my cheese log is wrong ...
-- Andy

Offline JeffHamm

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Auckland, New Zealand
  • Posts: 2,845
  • Cheeses: 195
  • As goes the cheesemaker, so goes the cheese
Re: My first Parmesan
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2015, 04:44:32 PM »
It sounds like 32 will be fine.  I wouldn't wax or seal it for at least 3 months, and I wouldn't hesitate to just leave it open for a year.  Parm needs to dry out properly.  The goal isn't a moist cheese after all.  I've aged some cheddar types out to over a year as natural rinds, and they don't dry out too much and are a real treat.  Provided your cave has a decent humidity so that it doesn't crack, you should be fine.  Keep an eye on it though, as you don't want mold or b.linens to grow. 
The wise do not always start out on the right path, but they do know when to change course.

Offline Shane

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Australia
  • Posts: 488
  • Cheeses: 38
  • Default personal text
Re: My first Parmesan
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2015, 04:51:16 PM »
Thanks guys. I'll try and keep it natural then. Is it worth patching cracks up with lard or just leave it? The cracks I'm talking about are quite small.

Shane

Offline JeffHamm

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Auckland, New Zealand
  • Posts: 2,845
  • Cheeses: 195
  • As goes the cheesemaker, so goes the cheese
Re: My first Parmesan
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2015, 04:10:04 AM »
Keep an eye on them.  Don't let them expand.  If they are tiny, they'll seal as you brush the cheese (give it a brush once a week).
The wise do not always start out on the right path, but they do know when to change course.

Offline Shane

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Australia
  • Posts: 488
  • Cheeses: 38
  • Default personal text
Re: My first Parmesan
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2015, 09:08:13 PM »
Thanks Jeff. I've started brushing it. I'll keep on them. They are tiny at this stage.

Shane