Author Topic: Chilipepper's Cheese #011 - Chokecherry Stout Cheddar  (Read 3523 times)

Offline chilipepper

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Chilipepper's Cheese #011 - Chokecherry Stout Cheddar
« on: January 21, 2009, 04:57:03 PM »
Ok, first off take the info provided hereafter as a work in progress and I, in no means have a clue what I'm doing but rather fumbling through cheese making on the shirttails of those who really know what they are doing.  So thanks to all those  who provided the much needed advice regarding this cheese in This Post!

Alright now on to what I did find and what the outcome was.  I decided to take kind of a brute force approach to deciding on when to introduce the beer into the procedure. 

The recipe was the same farmhouse cheddar recipe used in Chilipepper's Cheese #009 so I will not detail it here but rather the variances to get to where we are trying to get with the nice marbled texture of this type of cheese.

I took samples of the curd at a couple of stages in development and soaked them in the beer to see what effect it would have and how much it would absorb into the curd.

Surprisingly the curd right after cutting and in its most fragile state didn't absorb as much color from the beer as I expected.  Also this early in the game you wouldn't get the proper texture to get a good cheese either but it satisfied my curiosity and proved the point.


Tender curd soaking in beer.


Curd cut after 30 minutes in beer at 90 degrees.

So where I changed the process and added the beer was after you drain the cooked curd and have the mass of curd in the cheddaring phase.  I milled this curd by hand, salted and added 1 pint (2 cups) of my chokecherry stout that was warmed to 100 degress.  NOTE: this 'stout' ended up not quite as dark as I planned and then takes on a little of a ruby hue from the chokecherries.  I let this soak for 30 minutes in the beer to transfer the color/flavor from the beer.


Milled and salted curd soaking in warm beer.

At this point I did a squeeze test to see what would happen.  The curd pressed together nicely and when cut had a fairly positive looking cross-section.


Cross-section of hand pressed curd.  Taste also indicated a good transfer of the beer flavor and malt.

Curd temperature at this point had dropped to 95 degrees.  I did have the bowl of curd soaking in beer over a water bath to try and maintain the temps close to 100 degrees.  I used a smaller bucket to do this and the water cooled faster than I was used to so the temps dropped slightly. 

I drained again through some cheese cloth and transferred to the mold and press.  From here on out it was pretty much the same procedure.  15 lbs for 10 minutes, turn and redress, 25 lbs for 10 minutes, turn and redress then 55 lbs for 15 hours (in this case).

And the outcome... well it looks fairly positive!


Out of the press.  Coloring is not the black/chocolate look of the commercial variety but that is due to my 'ligher' stout.  Looks like wine instead...Hmmm maybe another experiment there! :)


Close-up of cheese.

Some after-the-fact notes I made to keep in the back of my mind for the next go around and after this one ages and I can cut it to see how the structure looks....

1. Mill the curd: I think rather than crumbling the curd with your fingers to mill it, I think one should cut it to get the same visual texture shown in the commercial examples.  Also, possibly cutting 2/3's of the curd into larger pieces and 1/3 into small pieces might come closer to the target texture.

2. Study the effects of temps and Ph to better understand the curd development process and how the introduction of the beer may effect the cheese.

Well now it is all down to patience and praying for this one... I did cut the sign of the cross into the curd as shown in some of those video's from Italy.  I can always use all the help I can get! :)

I'll be waxing it in a couple of days when it dries out and then my thought is to age for one month before cutting.  Would it be beneficial to wait longer? if so why?

Thanks and sorry for the LONG post!
« Last Edit: January 21, 2009, 05:02:26 PM by chilipepper »


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Offline Tea

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Re: Chilipepper's Cheese #011 - Chokecherry Stout Cheddar
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2009, 05:10:20 PM »
For a first try, that looks excellent.  Well done.  Hope that ages well.  Keep us posted.

Offline John (CH)

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Re: Chilipepper's Cheese #011 - Chokecherry Stout Cheddar
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2009, 06:28:54 PM »
Thanks Chili, very nice post and thanks for being the guinea pig :). Looks great!

I also like your after thoughts and agree. I'm think like you take 1/3 of curds and fine grind/mill and soak in stout (for example) as the mortar between the bricks. But for the other 2/3, press somewhat, then dice or crumble it up into large chunks. Then finally recombine with drained 1/3 mortar and then go to final pressing? Just my 2 cents.

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Chilipepper's Cheese #011 - Chokecherry Stout Cheddar
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2009, 08:05:06 PM »
Long posts to me are good, the more info the better. And BTW that looks beautiful, you get such good knitting, I love it. Longer aging? Who knows I've never had any of the type you pictured, what does their package say, is it aged?
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Offline Likesspace

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Re: Chilipepper's Cheese #011 - Chokecherry Stout Cheddar
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2009, 09:57:40 PM »
Chili...
I really don't think you'll need to age this cheese over .....hmmm....say another couple of hours. Of course that's only because I really want to see what this cheese looks like after it's cut.  :D
Honestly, that is a very nice looking wheel of cheese. I admire your sense of adventure.
I'll be looking forward to seeing pics of the wheel after cutting and also hearing info on the taste/texture.
Good work!

Dave


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Offline chilipepper

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Re: Chilipepper's Cheese #011 - Chokecherry Stout Cheddar
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2009, 11:49:13 AM »
Thanks guys and I'm so please I got a cheese  ::)

I just thought I'd update the process a little as there are a couple of things to report regarding this cheese.

First off as it is trying the color is getting much deeper.  I'm not sure if that is just the rind that will be deeper or if it will carry through to the interior.  But kind of interesting none-the-less.


I tried to get my camera settings as close as possible to the previous shots to accurately show the change.  It still shows up a little more subtle than it really is.

Also, there still seems to be a lot of liquid still coming out of the ends of this cheese too.  Most likely due to the introduction of a second liquid (beer) into this cheese after it drained the first time.

Lastly, I've not been able to find any info about the Cahills version in regards to time it ages.  They have not responded to my emails either and I'm not sure I want to try a phone call to England for a quick question....  :)

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Chilipepper's Cheese #011 - Chokecherry Stout Cheddar
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2009, 01:04:50 PM »
Use Skype to make the call, it would be real cheap. I have a suggestion for next time, try maybe reducing the beer down first, evaproating some water first over low heat so you get more of a thick gravy so it may congeal inbetween the curds like the picture of the Eddie Cahill.
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Offline cozcoester

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Re: Chilipepper's Cheese #011 - Chokecherry Stout Cheddar
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2009, 09:46:30 PM »
Wow chili, that looks sweet!  Thank you for jumping right into this one.  I tried to contact cahills and got nowhere, but this looks extremely promising.  Chokecherry stout cheddar, I'm drooling just thinking about it.

Offline narelle

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Re: Chilipepper's Cheese #011 - Chokecherry Stout Cheddar
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2009, 07:33:02 AM »
what is chokecherry . i know what stout is but here in aus i have never heard of chokecherry some explination would be helpful thanx  ::)
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Offline chilipepper

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Re: Chilipepper's Cheese #011 - Chokecherry Stout Cheddar
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2009, 09:19:47 AM »
narelle, good question.  Chokecherry Wiki.  These grow wild in our area and we have quite a few in our yard.  They produce a fairly tart (well really tart) fruit in small bunches.  They have a stone (seed) about 1/2 the size of the fruit so the yield is pretty small.  In the document above there are some references to similar fruit trees.  If any of the brewers here would like the recipe I can certainly post it.

As for the chokecherry stout it has a nice roasted malt flavor with a very mild bitterness due to the dehusked malt used.  It also has a very mild hop profile. The Chokecherries add a subtle aroma and a hint of the sour cherry taste to the beer.  It really is quite nice.

Now it certainly is in no means tied to this recipe it rather was what I had on tap in a darker beer that I thought would go nicely in the cheese.  That is the beauty of a DIY cheese... pick your favorite beer and give it a try! :)  I would certainly pick and ale and a darker one... Bud Lite Cheddar just doesn't sound very appealing!


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Offline saycheese

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Re: Chilipepper's Cheese #011 - Chokecherry Stout Cheddar
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2009, 04:37:03 PM »
That is one beautiful cheese!  The colors are great.  I wonder how you could get a darker color?

Offline chilipepper

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Re: Chilipepper's Cheese #011 - Chokecherry Stout Cheddar
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2009, 04:46:37 PM »
Thanks, I hope to wax this little guy tonight.

As for the coloring and trying to intensify or darken it... I think I will try a combination of two concepts discussed here next time.  First as Carter pointed out try reducing the beer down before mixing it in so that it is a more concentrated mixture.  I would of course have to keep and eye on the flavor and make sure it didn't develop any funk from cooking it down.   Secondly, I would try the dividing of the curd and milling to two different sizes and as John said create a dark mortar to knit the larger curd together with.

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Chilipepper's Cheese #011 - Chokecherry Stout Cheddar
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2009, 05:59:01 PM »
I was thinking about that but have no idea of how to reduce without 'cooking' the beer. What about leaving it in an open tupperware with a fan on it for a few hours and let natural evaporation have at it?
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline narelle

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Re: Chilipepper's Cheese #011 - Chokecherry Stout Cheddar
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2009, 07:55:00 PM »
my partner makes a great very dark beer i might just snavell some before he drinks it all i'll hide it in my cheese cave he will never look in there it will be safe till i use it :D
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Offline John (CH)

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Re: Chilipepper's Cheese #011 - Chokecherry Stout Cheddar
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2009, 09:42:48 AM »
chilipepper

Hope your Chokecherry Stout Cheddar is aging well?

I just found some more info on Cahill's Irish Porter Cheese and posted it in your info thread rather this thread which is for records of your cheese making.