Author Topic: Stilton #2  (Read 5278 times)

Offline Cartierusm

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Stilton #2
« on: January 06, 2009, 09:51:46 PM »
Well my friends here we are again. Stilton...can I get a Booo YAAA. Ok, that was pathetic all I heard was Dave...Oh well Dave and I will eat Stilton until the cows come home, then make more becasue the cows came home.

I did things a little different this time. First off making bigger batches of a new cheese presents some difficulties as far as what to have on hand. I learned that the last time with the stilton. This time everything went according to plan.

I used milk that I bought a week ago, I know kind of old, but I don't care it was an experiment to get the curd firmer. The professionals I talked to this week said store bought milk degrades pretty rapidly because of the processing. I also used 3 cups of heavy cream that I've had for a couple of weeks. Yes I even threw in the kitchen sink. Nothing was expired mind you. Normal recipe for Stilton calls for 1 cup of light cream or half and half per gallon of milk. I used the heavy cream as a sub because I wanted to get rid of it before it went bad. So that part of the recipe changed. Oh and the cream was UHT.

Talking with Dave I decided to add a little extra Calcium Chloride. Instead of 5/8 tsp. per 5 gallons I put in 1 tsp. I also let it ripen 1 hour instead of the normal recipes of 30 minutes. The recipe I have now from Egon at Danlac says ripen 1 hour. And I trust him as he knows his cultures and that's what I'm using. I read somewhere once that Direct Vat cultures don't start working for 30 minutes anyway. So I'm increasing all my time by a little now. I knew this for a long time but figured that the person writing the book would have compensated, yeah right. Now I'm going on my information not somone elses. In a few years when I've eaten some of this cheese and I can compare PHs then I can go analytical.

I added the same amount of rennet as last time and let set 90 mintues as usually. I did get a better curd this time. The break in the center was just a hair better than last time, see post and pics, but when I make a break closer to the walls of vat the break was even better, almost good. Still a little residue, though. There were still bits of curds in it as in the other pics. But not bad. After I drained it I realized I probably should have let it set about 30-45 mintues more as the whey wasn't clear. The whey was definately milky, but that could be attributed to many things such as UHT cream, old milk or not enough setting time.

All in all for cheap and crappy ingredients I'm happy. I'll post some pics of the milky whey (no pun intended) and the curds when they're out of the press. I want to start making my bigger wheels I just don't have the drive to build a whole assembly to just cut the dam PVC. I called a few dairies and found out how they pasteurize and I'm going to try different store bought milks before trying Past Only and then Raw. The price double everytime you moove up a grade. $3.50 Local Past/Homo Milk per Gallon, $6.75 Past Only Local Milk 1 Gallon, Raw Fresh Local Milk (at Whole Foods) $14 a gallon.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.


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Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Stilton #2
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2009, 09:31:43 PM »
Here are some pics of the curds after they have been milled and salted. They are really crumbly and creamy almost as if the blue cheese were already mature. They look perfect. Not sure if it was the UHT cream, more Calcium or love, but it came out great.

The first pic is of the whey that I said was not clear but milky.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Likesspace

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Re: Stilton #2
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2009, 09:50:50 PM »
Carter....
I honestly don't think that you could have gotten a more perfect Stilton curd. That really does look perfect.
Are you really using your 8" hard cheese mold for the Stilton??????
Man, do you realize how much cheese you are going to get out of that??????????????
I would be surprised if the curd shrinks much more than an inch (maybe two at the absolute most) so you are going to have one big honkin' head of some of the best cheese you've ever tasted.
The good news is that I've frozen some of my previous Stilton and it tastes perfect when it comes out of the freezer.
Unless you have a digestive tract made of steel, this will be information that is very useful to you.  ;D
Honestly, that is going to be an impressive cheese. I can't wait to see some pics after it has aged some.
Now....
DON'T FORGET THE OLIVE OIL AND CRACKED PEPPER TRISCUITS!

Dave

Offline Likesspace

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Re: Stilton #2
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2009, 09:54:13 PM »
Hmmm...
I didn't put all of those little question mark frowny type guys in my post. Must be some sort of conspiracy.

Offline Webmaster

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Re: Stilton #2
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2009, 06:08:35 AM »
Carter, Likespace is right that is a big good look pile o' curd you have there :-*! You aced the first step, good luck with remained of your Stilton making and in 1 year you can have a great party!

Likesspace, Conspiracy Theory was a great movie but that wasn't it. You got?????? as you typed six ? in a row immediately after your text. Three in a row ? after a space is the forum code for a ??? Smiley button shown above the post edit area, so when you typed six ? I think the software got confused and displayed a single ? as immediately after text and then a ??? for the next 3 ? and then another ?? as they weren't code.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2009, 06:14:21 AM by Webmaster »


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Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Stilton #2
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2009, 12:51:46 PM »
 ???LOL ??? Yes the curds looks good but they are already creamy as a good blue should be. Which is good and bad I hope it firms up, I want my blue cheese to be creamy and my stiltons to be a little more of a crumbly blued cheddar, as opposed to a rubbery cheddar. Anyway. I'm going to be making 10" wheels next week. I don't mind having too much cheese. I either let it age and have 2 and 3 year old aged stiltons or cut them up and give them away. You know we have a huge homeless population here, they could be the best fed homeless anywhere.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Stilton #2
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2009, 04:56:02 PM »
Here are some pics of the stilton after 4 days of draining and after I smoothed out the rind, which I'm getting pretty good at. At first it's hard your knocking curds out all over the place.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline John (CH)

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Re: Stilton #2
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2009, 05:01:10 PM »
Carter, looks great both cheese and embossing, you should be proud!

Hope you aren't going to use that long screwdriver in the picture as a needle to get air and blueing inside :o. I used one for the two blues I made, too big, cracked my first soft cheese.

Offline Bella

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Re: Stilton #2
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2009, 05:51:27 PM »
Hi Carter
Your cheese looks great - sure hope mine turns out like that - did you smooth with a hot knife?

In the past hour, I have put my stilton curds into a mould and am currently turning them every 15 minutes - they have a yeasty smell about them, and in fact looked a little like risen bread when I broke it up into small pieces prior to moulding.  Is this as it should be, or have I made a boo-boo somewhere along the line?

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Stilton #2
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2009, 06:52:04 PM »
Bella every one's perception is different so don't just take my word for it, but that doesn't sound correct. Any way you can post a picture? It shouldn't have a yeasty smell and definitely shouldn't look like risen bread. But take it from me and others on here you've made it this far don't ever throw a cheese away by looks alone. Nothing in it, unless your raw milk was tainted from the cow, will hurt you and it may turn out to be the best tasting cheese ever. Just age it no matter what eat it and decide from there, but I'm not saying this about your cheese. I would have to see some pictures to make a better call.

As for smoothing out, it's one of those human learning things. At first you will knock curds loose from the edge and pull some up out of the wheel, but by the time you get to your second Stilton it will start to work better. This applies to the handling of the cheese too at first I was timid to handle it as it was so fragile but after your mind and body learn from handling it, it will go much easier.

Here is my procedure. I slide the cheese from the mold, my mold releases cheeses easy since the cheese is still wet it slides right out. I leave the follower on as way to move the cheese without damaging it by holding it. My follower has embossing on it and suctions itself to the cheese you follower may or may not, more than likely it will hold, just be careful so it doesn't slide off of the follower. I then use the follower as a plate and take a glass of warm/hot water and a large spoon. I dip the spoon in and rub the top, basically what I'm doing is dissolving the cheese with the wet and slight heat, not melting so I wouldn't use super hot water (plus the hot water might kill the Blue Mold). I use the edge of the spoon to burnish with a little water the edge of the cheese on the top, I work from the outside in. If you work the reverse you'll break the edge. You'll know when you need more water which is about every few seconds, not a ton of water but it needs to be slick, too much water won't hurt anything, it's better than too dry. When it gets too dry the cheese will stick to the spoon and you'll start to pull curds from the wheel. DON'T be afraid to touch the cheese, if a curd pulls loose push it back with a wet spoon or push it in with your fingers. Since you are basically dissolving the cheese surface and using it as Spackle to fill in the holes and cracks it will make the surface slightly uneven, there is no way around this but doesn't look bad.

So I start on the top and then work on the sides. The sides because they have been against a mold are a little more solid and you'll have to use more water to start the dissolving process, but just work your way around like you are decorating a cake.

When the sides and top are done I take a bamboo (sushi mat) mat and place in on top of the cheese. On that I stick a piece of plastic made out of cutting board material, Tap Plastics or any plastic place will sell it, make sure it's either cutting board material or food safe or a piece of wood. Make sure it's slightly bigger than the cheese. So place that on the mat and flip the cheese. Hold tight so it doesn't slip when flipping. Next pull off the follower and work on the top, now you're done. If you do buy or make the plastic board get a couple. I always have my cheese sitting on a bamboo mat and board or else when you go to flip the bamboo will fold up and crush the edges of the wheel.
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: Stilton #2
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2009, 08:20:31 PM »
Carter..
Great description on how to smooth a Stilton. I've always used a knife but I think I'll try your spoon method on my next one.  It sounds as if it will work great.
As for the piercing, I tried something different yesterday.
Before I used bamboo skewers which did work pretty well. The only problem is that the wood did put quite a bit of "drag" on the cheese when removing.
Well yesterday I was standing at the sink, getting ready to sterilize my bamboo skewer when I looked over and saw my long cheese thermometer.
Well I immediately realized that this thermometer was made of stainless steel and sure enough, it was the same diameter as the bamboo skewers. Well needless to say, instead of sterilizing the skewer, I sterilized the thermometer and gave it a try.
Now remember that I use 4" molds that are a little over 8" tall. I've now decided that these are too small of a diameter since I did put a crack in my cheese while skewering.
I have also decided that my biggest mistake was trying to skewer both the top and the sides of the cheese. There is really no reason to skewer the top (or bottom) since the side piercings will take care of these areas.
On my next one I will try piercing only the sides and see how it goes. As for using the thermometer as a skewer, it worked perfectly.
I was able to pinch the crack closed but it still really ticked me off to crack yet another one. Oh well, I'm learning as I go and this should still turn out to be a great cheese, even with this minor defect.
Also, check your private messages Carter. You made a sale. :-)
Looking forward to talking to you tomorrow, if possible.

Dave

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Stilton #2
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2009, 08:48:40 PM »
Dave are you wetting the SS with water that might help to lube it. The spoon gives me more control as a knife I'd have to concentrate on a large area.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Bella

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Re: Stilton #2
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2009, 10:37:23 PM »
Sorry, Carter, I didn't take any pictures, but it sure is my intention to proceed to the finished product and see what happens.  There will also be another stilton sometime down the track (hopefully sooner rather than later) and if the same thing happens, I will make sure I have my camera at the read. The milk isn't tainted, so that shouldn't be an issue.

Thanks for the great explanation of smoothing - I have copied that into a resource file for future reference.  Great job!

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Stilton #2
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2009, 12:21:52 AM »
No problem.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Likesspace

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Re: Stilton #2
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2009, 05:37:06 AM »
Honestly I didn't think of wetting the probe until after I saw the crack appear. I think that between wetting the needle and piercing only from the side I will see more success when it comes time to pierce the younger one.
I'll be able to let you know in another couple of weeks. :-)