Author Topic: Swiss Wheel From The Great Milk Experiment Curd  (Read 5577 times)

Offline Likesspace

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Swiss Wheel From The Great Milk Experiment Curd
« on: January 19, 2009, 09:00:32 PM »
Okay guys, here's the swiss wheel that came from my milk experiment.
I am really happy with this one.
It's not that it looks any better than my other swiss cheeses (except the one I underpressed) but the fact that the curd looked so good makes me think this one might be superior to any other that I've made.
So, here's the pics....

Dave


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Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Swiss Wheel From The Great Milk Experiment Curd
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2009, 02:03:33 AM »
Dave, I like your signature at the bottom of your posts.

As for the cheese looks great. Nice clean knit on the curds. What was the final pressure? Are you milling the curds by hand before going into the mold? Are the curds still warm before going into the mold? What is your pressing procedure?
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Likesspace

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Re: Swiss Wheel From The Great Milk Experiment Curd
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2009, 12:08:14 PM »
Carter,
I'm at work right now, but I believe my final press weight was 52 lbs.
I used your calculations for a 7-1/2" Tomme mold.
As for milling, I really didn't have the need. During draining the curd stayed nicely seperated and went into the press nice and loose.
I do make sure to load the press with the curd as warm as possible.
Once I start the draining procedure, I hurry as much as I can so that the curd will knit properly. This is something that is stressed as being a very important part of getting a swiss to turn out well.
On some of my other cheeses, it's more difficult to keep the curd warm before going into the press.
Some, like Colby call for a long draining period (like 20 minutes) and the curd does cool a lot in that amount of time.
I really wish I had something along the lines of a steam table so that the curd could be warmed while draining.
So, there's your next project....
Build me a custom, stainless steel steam table and try to keep the cost under $50.00 shipped. Should be a piece of cake for you.  :)
Oh, I checked out your web site a few minutes ago and it looks great. Very professional.
Can't wait to see it once everything is finished.

Dave

Offline Tea

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Re: Swiss Wheel From The Great Milk Experiment Curd
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2009, 02:32:13 PM »
That one impressive looking cheese you've got there. 

Love the bumps too.

Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: Swiss Wheel From The Great Milk Experiment Curd
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2009, 03:51:27 PM »
Bumps = Character!      ;D
Wayne A. Harris - in vino veritas


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Offline Likesspace

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Re: Swiss Wheel From The Great Milk Experiment Curd
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2009, 07:23:57 PM »
Wayne,
The bumps might equal character but I really hate the bumps!
The only thing I hate worse than the bumps is the really rugged look of the top of the cheese from the cloth markings.

Because of that I've started doing my final press without cheesecloth. I do believe the cloth is necessary during the earlier pressings but I've not had any problem by losing it at the last.

With most cheese types (Gouda, Colby, Cheddar, etc.) the bumps aren't a problem. I simply do as Carter suggested and trim them of with a knife.
With a swiss, this really isn't possible since the wheel is so elastic.
If I were to trim off the bumps I would then be left with a small opening in the wheel which would no doubt get infected with mold during the sweating.

After this cheese forms a nice rind, the bumps will be barely noticeable. I just wish I could figure out how to turn out one of those nice perfectly smooth wheels that I sometimes see posted.

One of these days I might be forced to splurge on one of the Kordova molds. I have to say they are sweet and turn out a perfect wheel of cheese.

If I do decide to buy one, I guess I'll have to tell my wife that I spent the money on a hooker and a motel room. I think she would accept this more easily than more money going on cheese making equipment.  ;D

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Swiss Wheel From The Great Milk Experiment Curd
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2009, 08:39:45 PM »
Dave, now that's my kind of humor.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline John (CH)

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Re: Swiss Wheel From The Great Milk Experiment Curd
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2009, 06:03:37 AM »
Ha, thanks for the mornin smile Dave, I like the bumps, gives it a kind of industrial riveted look ;D.

I think we are all very envious of Wayne's Kadova Brand molds soo expensive?

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Swiss Wheel From The Great Milk Experiment Curd
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2009, 02:32:40 PM »
John, yes we are, mold that is. Since I'm starting to sell some equipment I'm going to look into vacuum forming some fine mesh into my molds and see if I can create the keep in place rigid mesh like wayne's molds.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: Swiss Wheel From The Great Milk Experiment Curd
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2009, 02:46:37 PM »
A word of warning. 

I vacuum sealed my kadova molded cheddar cheese.

the vacuum was so strong that a month later,  wrinkles were permanently etched into my cheese.
Wayne A. Harris - in vino veritas


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Offline Tea

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Re: Swiss Wheel From The Great Milk Experiment Curd
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2009, 03:33:26 PM »
Oh no!! after all that beautiful work.  Oh well, a lesson learnt.

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Swiss Wheel From The Great Milk Experiment Curd
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2009, 05:24:00 PM »
Wrinkles=Character.... ;D Sorry Wayne had to do it.

That does suck, but how bad could the wrinkles be? What are you going to do next time? BTW have you opened any that have been vacuum sealed for a while? How was the moisture content? Did any pool in the bag?
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Likesspace

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Re: Swiss Wheel From The Great Milk Experiment Curd
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2009, 09:12:58 PM »
Hey guys....
Here's an update on this cheese.
If you look at the original pics (right out of the press) and this pic, it really doesn't look like the same cheese.
I've gotten better swelling, by far, on this swiss than any other I've made.
This is only about two weeks old and I plan on letting it sweat for 4 weeks. I just hope the wheel holds together since this one is swelling so much.
I am getting a couple of surface cracks in the cheese (from the swelling) but they really shouldn't hurt anything since I'll be waxing this one after the sweating stage.
This should keep the cracks from getting any worse and will also greatly reduce the chance of mold forming in the cracks.
The cheese is still very moist and very elastic so it should continue to swell even further.
Hopefully, I'll finally see some "real" eyes in this one.

Dave

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Swiss Wheel From The Great Milk Experiment Curd
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2009, 09:15:40 PM »
That looks cool. Dave would you wipe the outside with a brine solution and let dry a few minutes before waxing to help prevent mold?

Also during the sweating stage would it benefit from having some humidity in there to help with cracks from forming or do you already have humidity. How do the big producers get it done without cracks?
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Likesspace

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Re: Swiss Wheel From The Great Milk Experiment Curd
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2009, 09:27:02 PM »
Carter..
Before waxing, I actually rub the surface with extra fine cheese salt. I will only wax this one once the oily "sweat" stops coming to the surface.
I usually see the oily sweat stop after about 3 weeks but this one shows no sign of slowing down at this point. This is definately a different swiss than any I've made before.

I do keep a really high humidity while sweating this style of cheese.
I have a large tupperware container turned upside down over the wheel and then wet a paper towel (formed into a pyramid shape) under the "lid". The pyramid shape is simply to conserve space since this wheel does take up most of the space under the tupperware.

From everything that I've read, the reason that commercial swiss makers don't have this cracking/splitting problem is because they are dealing with 100 lb. wheels of cheese.
Of course their wheels do expand but there is so much surface area to their cheeses the large elastic area can handle the expansion.

Like I said, I would rather this wheel NOT crack but I don't forsee it as a problem (other than the appearance). I honestly would be happy if this wheel cracked nearly in half as long as I could see some major eye formation once it's finished.

It does look cool, doesn't it?
My kids tell me I'm obsessed with this wheel since I'm always checking on it, wiping it with brine, or turning.
Btw, when the wheel is turned over, the other side has nearly as much swelling and the sides are really beginning to bulge as well.
Hopefully I'll be celebrating some eyes within a few months time.

Dave