Author Topic: How to find a cheese mentor?  (Read 4015 times)

Offline Annie

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Re: How to find a cheese mentor?
« Reply #15 on: September 16, 2011, 10:29:24 AM »
It took 7 tries over the course of a couple of hours before I got that last one posted from my ipod, so I already bave an update.

Well, all went well. The curds were much softer than they have been, which I thought boded well, but when I checked the bottom, the curds were more like lightly cooked scrambled eggs--that's happened before and comes from not stirring enough when I put in the rennet--but now, of course, I have very differently-sized curds. So I will carry on and hope for the best, whjch may be a sort of swirled cheese...

So 8 put water at 105 degrees F in my big pot and put the little pot in it and wrapped the whole thing up in towels. Hope my husband doesn't think I'm shirking on the laundry ;) and will check the temp every half hour or so.

Our kitchen sink is a little bit broken so I couldn't do that.

So, I still have hope for this cheese. And I am shocked, just shocked!, at the differen e between measuring sppons! One has 20 drops per 1/4 ts, the other 25, and today I used 15 in 2 or so gallons.

Thanks so much Mina!!

And to everyone--i have been very encouraged by all your replies, thanks to all of you as well :D

Offline JeffHamm

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Re: How to find a cheese mentor?
« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2011, 02:19:22 PM »
Hi Annie,

I would recommend reading up on the floculation method for determining when to cut your cheese and also how to adjust your rennet amounts. 

It's actually pretty simple.  First, when you add your rennet to your milk, float a small plastic bowl on your milk surface.  Something like a small tub that cottage cheese comes in.  If you nudge this, it will sail around quite freely.

Every two minutes, tap it.  Eventually, you will notice it doesn't float so freely, more like it's wading through thick mud.  Start nudging it every 30 seconds until it just sticks in place; like it's got it's feet in glue.

That is the point when the milk has "gelled".  Check your time.  What you are aiming for is for that gell time to be 10 to 15 minutes after the point you added your rennet.  If it's faster than 10 minutes, use less rennet next time.  If it's longer than 15 minutes, use a bit more.  This allows you to adjust your rennet to your milk.  Since you're using raw milk, you will also find things like seasons, time since calving, etc, will effect how the rennet and milk work together.  Just keep notes.

Anyway, let's say your gell time was 10 minutes.  Different cheeses have different "multipliers" associated with them.  For example, cheddar uses a 3x multiplier.  That means, multiply your 10 minute gell time by 3, so 30 minutes, and cut your cheese 30 minutes after adding the rennet (do not forget that you've already used up 10 of those minutes just getting to the gell time.)  You then cut your cheese at that specified time, rather than testing for a "clean break".

You can find on this board information about the multipliers for specific cheeses.  But the general rule is, the moister the final cheese, the larger the multiplier.  Cheddar =3x, camembert = 6x.

It takes longer to explain than do.

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

Offline Boofer

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Re: How to find a cheese mentor?
« Reply #17 on: September 20, 2011, 07:15:01 AM »
Good job, Jeff.

Wayne and someone else did videos on it somewhere in here, in case you need visual clues, but this verbal description paints a pretty vivid image.

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Offline smilingcalico

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Re: How to find a cheese mentor?
« Reply #18 on: September 20, 2011, 09:26:31 PM »
Don't listen to linuxboy when he says everybody starts off knowing nothing.  He was born with a wedge of St. Andres in his mouth.  He also had written 5 fantastic recipes while still in the womb.
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Offline george (MaryJ)

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Re: How to find a cheese mentor?
« Reply #19 on: September 21, 2011, 04:46:52 AM »
Actually, it was 7 recipes.
If I have to be a grownup, can I at least be telekinetic too?