Author Topic: Pics of my nasty looking, cracked surface, underpressed swiss  (Read 4948 times)

Offline Likesspace

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Pics of my nasty looking, cracked surface, underpressed swiss
« on: January 19, 2009, 09:13:50 PM »
I don't know if you all remember this cheese, but it was my first experience moving to an eight inch mold.
I had gotten so used to turning out nice looking wheels that this was a major bummer when it came out full of cracks and fissures, due to underpressing the curd.
Thanks to the work that Carter and Wayne have done I finally accepted that pressing weight MUST go up as the size of the wheel goes up. This has made a huge difference in the results I have gotten.
When this cheese first came out of the brine I was ready to throw it in the trash. It was so ugly  that it hurt me to look at it and I was sure that mold would be a major issue when the swiss entered the sweating stage. Well long story short, I was not disappointed concerning this fact because I fought mold the entire way.
The mold (of course) formed in the fissures so no amount of wiping with brine or vinegar would get rid of it. I had to literally carve this wheel up, cutting out the moldy places when they appeared.
In many places I had 1/4" deep pock marks on the surface of this cheese and I have to say that it is without a doubt the ugliest wheel I've ever produced.
Now, having said all of that I will say this......
I am so happy that I did not give up on this cheese.
Tonight finished the three week sweating stage of the cheese and since it was so ugly I was not going to waste time trying to age it any further.
I instead decided to cut it into wedges......trim off the rind and give it a try. Well folks, this cheese turned out to be an excellent example of swiss.
For the first time I did form some eyes in the cheese (although very small) and the texture and taste are pretty much perfect. After one small slice my wife pronounced it the best cheese that I've ever made.
It has a nice swiss cheese taste and a perfect texture (nice and elastic and quite moist).
Of course it does not have a really strong swiss flavor since it is so young, but it gives me high hopes for the two month old swiss I have in the cave.
Anyway, here are a couple of pics of the swiss after being cut and trimmed.
Please let me know what you think.

Dave


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Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Pics of my nasty looking, cracked surface, underpressed swiss
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2009, 02:07:23 AM »
Aside from the small holes it does look like swiss. Taste is afterall, all that is important. We must remember experience is the key to making good cheese. So I don't go all over the place, I stick to a handful of types, trying to perfect these. Sounds as though you continually turn out swiss which is good.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

beeman

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Re: Pics of my nasty looking, cracked surface, underpressed swiss
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2009, 08:45:43 AM »
I am certainly not disputing what you've found, but I'm still at a loss as to the need for pressing.
Watching the various videos, plus the photos taken on factory sites, I note that pressing does not seem to be obvious when making original cheeses.
To date I've watched Stilton, Parmesan, Grana Padarma, Swiss and none stress or talk of pressing. In fact Stilton stress it is never pressed. I am wondering if it is associated with the sheer size of professional wheels, or could it be more to do with the curd preparation?

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Pics of my nasty looking, cracked surface, underpressed swiss
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2009, 11:25:25 AM »
All the videos I've seen show pressing. Stilton is not a hard cheese BTW. You know most videos you find are not instructional but just informative. They leave a lot out. Trust me you have to press cheeses.
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 nasty looking, cracked surface, underpressed swiss
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2009, 02:36:18 PM »
Dave I am surprised at the amount of eyes.  Is that normal or do some join up as they get bigger?  Never made a swiss, but that looks interesting.  Might have to give one a go now.


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Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Pics of my nasty looking, cracked surface, underpressed swiss
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2009, 04:10:55 PM »
Yes, they start as little colonys and then merge.
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 nasty looking, cracked surface, underpressed swiss
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2009, 04:34:20 PM »
Tea,
I'll defer to Carter's statement on the eyes. This is the first swiss I've made where there was anything more than very minor eye formation.
Now I wish I would have aged this one longer to see if it did form larger eyes and so that the taste would have gotten more mature. I was just positive that it was a lost cause so I cut it way too early.
As for making swiss, the most important part is the recipe you use. I tried three recipes before I found one that always seems to turn out good results. The key is in limiting acid production (only a 10 minute ripening stage) and foreworking the curd. If these two procedures are followed closely I think it would be hard not to turn out at least a good edible cheese.
If you are interested in using the recipe I use I can post a link. It's from an E-how article and it really is the best I've found, by far.

Dave

Offline Likesspace

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Re: Pics of my nasty looking, cracked surface, underpressed swiss
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2009, 06:05:19 PM »
Tea..
After having give this a little more thought, I decided to post this follow up.....
I've spoken with quite a few home swiss makers and none of us have been able to form large eyes in our wheels.

We have discussed this to the point of weariness (since we ALL want to form the eyes you see in store bought cheese), but none of us have have been successful.

I honestly think that the problem lies in the size of the wheel we are limited to making.
If you're not a Carter (you know, one that spends a couple of hours in the shop and builds a new enormous press, capable of putting 35,000 lbs. of pressure on a cheese), we simply aren't capable of turning out a 100 lb. wheel of cheese like the professionals do.
From what I understand, most commercial swiss cheese is cut out of a much larger wheel.
For instance you might buy a 5 lb. wheel of baby swiss but that was more than likely cut out of a 50 - 100 lb. original wheel....hence the lack of a rind on the wheel you purchased.

I honestly don't know if it's possible to form large eyes in a small wheel.
By far the best example of barrelling is on the little wheel of swiss that Wayne has in his cave. Honestly I can't wait until he cracks it open to see what type of eye formation he has.

I have sweated some of my swiss attempts for up to a month but after the three week mark I've not noticed any extra swelling of the cheese.
It could be that if I left it longer, I would see the numerous small wheels consolidate. That might be something that I try with this new swiss.

Wayne....if you are reading this, when do you plan on opening the "round" swiss I've seen in your past posts?
I'd really like to see an interior example of a swiss that has this much swelling.
Also, is there anything special you did to get the great swelling?
My flavor and texture are both there....now I need to work on eye formation.

Dave

Offline jillyphish

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Re: Pics of my nasty looking, cracked surface, underpressed swiss
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2009, 06:32:56 PM »
Ok - as a newby - all I can say is "WOW - that cheese looks great to me!"  and if it tastes great too... CONGRATS!!  Thanks for the fun updates on the "holey-ness" - fascinating.  I have SOOOO much to learn.

Thanks for sharing the pics.
Jill

Offline Likesspace

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Re: Pics of my nasty looking, cracked surface, underpressed swiss
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2009, 07:14:11 PM »
Jill,
Thanks for the compliment. I do appreciate it.
As for cheesemaking, it's really all about practice.
Believe me, I've turned out my share of unsavory cheeses but even the bad ones are edible.
The key is to make as much cheese as you have time for and like Carter said earlier....focus on one or two varieties until you are satisfied with the end result.
With each batch you make you will see areas in which you can improve.
Even the smallest changes can have drastic results and it's a craft that you can (and will) continually improve upon.
For instance I've been making cheese for three years and just recently found that pressing weight is not as simple as it always seemed.
Thanks to information found on this forum I've now found a way to greatly improve my success.
Good luck in your cheese making and believe me, the knowledge will come. At times it comes in such large amounts that it can seem overwhelming.  :)

Dave


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Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Pics of my nasty looking, cracked surface, underpressed swiss
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2009, 08:33:35 PM »
Jill, I like your handle (jillyphish) are you a Phish fan, the band that is.

Anyway, basically since you're introducing bacteria into the entire cheese of course you're going to find numerous holes. It's not until they get bigger and merge that you have huge eye formation. Or if you have colonies that are grouped from the beginning. Hey as long as the taste is there then everything else is aesthetics.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline jillyphish

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Re: Pics of my nasty looking, cracked surface, underpressed swiss
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2009, 08:06:36 AM »
Just a quick reply - not to take away from the "swiss" details...

While I do enjoy Phish... the nickname originated when I had time and money for scuba diving... "jellyfish"... "jillyphish"  (with some influence from Phish the band).

Now I have an 11 year old daughter and two dogs... which replaced any time and money that I had back then!  HA...  but am happy with the exchange. I'm hoping to someday do some diving again - but not now.

I'll keep reading and absorbing everyone's blogs.  Need to find my next easy recipe.  I'll keep you posted.

Jillyphish

Offline John (CH)

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Re: Pics of my nasty looking, cracked surface, underpressed swiss
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2009, 10:06:42 AM »
Jill, just FYI, but I now have 25 Cheese Making Recipes on the website :).

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Pics of my nasty looking, cracked surface, underpressed swiss
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2009, 02:22:42 PM »
Jill, me too when I was younger I used to dive down in Southern Califorina and other places, I miss it but have other things to occupy my time.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Terfst

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Re: Pics of my nasty looking, cracked surface, underpressed swiss
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2009, 05:55:00 PM »
I have a question. Has anyone tried using the propionibacteria used for Swiss and then freezing the whey or using it the next day in the next batch? I have tried it with other cheeses with great success and since they say it is not culturable.............I think I beg to differ. How else could they do it from season to season in the Alps? I have yet to try Swiss but I am interested in comment. In addition, from what I have read, a lot depends upon the temp at different stages of development. Namely cold to warm and then back to cold. Then storage at cold until the eyes meld together. Let me know.