OK, so revelations and questions.
So my goal was to see a change in PH during ripening without going over or waiting forever. I waited the standard time of 1 1/2 hours, 1 hour for regular recipe and 30 minutes more because I'm using a DVI. PH at end of draining was 5.5. I am going out soon to pick up some PH papers and test the surface and I'll post back. My other goal was to have a smooth beautiful rind, which I did. The bunching of the cheese cloth was the probelem with the surface defects, but over all I'm happy and have ideas on what to do next time.
So that leads to question one. I never seen a video to date professional or otherwise that doesn't use cheese cloth during pressing. I've also talked to professionals that say it is necessary to wick away moisture. What I hate about cheese cloth is three fold, I hate cleaning it, the wrinkles it leaves in the cheese ok so that's only 2 fold. The question is how important is the cloth on the sides if the mold doesn't have holes? Most professional HARD cheese molds I've seen don't have side holes. Because moisture is not going to migrate to the sides to drain it's going to go down. So my idea is to do what I did once with the last Parmesan use 2 round pieces of cheese cloth on the top and bottom. That way I get no bunching and it won't distrub my embossing plates.
A little backgroud on the pressing, I use the press pictured below. It rotates down so I don't have to remove the cheese for flipping because I don't want to disturb the embossing plates. Both top and bottom followers have drain holes. Aside from letting the butterfat and whey distribute evenly is there really any other reason to flip? I mean you're not really losing any by removing the cheese from the mold during flipping?
The pics above show how much whey was expelled by pressing. Not much but then again my recipe calls for 1 hour of hanging/draining so most whey was lost that way. Weird part is the press whey was milky but the whey dripping off from hanging was as clear as water.
So I'm not sure with all these variables what I should be looking for. The cheddar is air drying right now and is moist and is starting to mushroom but that may just be from the weight as it's a heavy wheel, very heavy.
If you've made it this far in the post I'll sum up the question, do you think not flipping but use my flipping press and just 2 circles of cheese cloth will achieve the same as using a whole piece of cheees cloth?