Author Topic: 15 Gallon Farmhouse Cheddar  (Read 5331 times)

Offline Cartierusm

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15 Gallon Farmhouse Cheddar
« on: January 24, 2009, 02:45:20 AM »
So I'll be making a 15 gallon Farmhouse Cheddar today when the sun comes up. I'm going to bed right now.

My objectives this time are to see a change in PH during cooking, get some PH test papers and check the PH during aging, to get a nice smooth pressing with no voids. I'm not worried about PH during ripening. I'll just let it go the regular time. I'll also be checking the curds with my fingers for toughness instead of just cooking them based on time.
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Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: 15 Gallon Farmhouse Cheddar
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2009, 06:45:24 AM »
I would love to see your pH data over time during your cooking, then cheddaring/milling phases.
 
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Offline Cartierusm

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Re: 15 Gallon Farmhouse Cheddar
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2009, 01:24:39 PM »
I'm doing a Farmhouse so I don't know if there is a milling stage and I don't have any PH papers yet, anyone know where to find some on a saturday. I think the More Beer near me should have them, but I won't need to test the surface for a few days.
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Offline John (CH)

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Re: 15 Gallon Farmhouse Cheddar
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2009, 01:54:56 PM »
Dang, here in Houston I was just in WalMart for milk et al and I forgot to pick up litmus strips, I am very sure they have them in the pool supplies department, assuming they still have that equipment out. Also, I think there are two ranges of litmus papers. Pool supply shops will also have them :).

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: 15 Gallon Farmhouse Cheddar
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2009, 06:40:01 PM »
Thanks, I was hoping to get to the brew shop but haven't been able to get away, maybe while it's setting I can go. I want to make sure the ones I get are non-toxic as I'll be touching the surface of the cheese. They might be all non-toxic I have no idea.
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Offline Likesspace

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Re: 15 Gallon Farmhouse Cheddar
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2009, 08:14:45 PM »
Carter,
Just made it online a few minutes ago.....
How did the large cheddar work out?
Looking forward to seeing some pics of the process.

Dave

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: 15 Gallon Farmhouse Cheddar
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2009, 08:26:22 PM »
Still working on it Dave, I went real slow on the heat up 3+ hours for the initial heat up, taking a cue from you. I'm at the set point and it's a little mushy giving it another 15 minutes.
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Offline Cartierusm

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Re: 15 Gallon Farmhouse Cheddar
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2009, 10:09:45 PM »
"The Brick" didn't come out, but the curd was the best set I've had to date, but I also ripened for 3 hours.

This batch I wanted to replicate and used the same milk that SayCheese suggested, Bayview Farms.

I didn't get a great set but a decent one. Lots of little bits but they held together. I only ripened 1 1/2 hours but did get a drop in PH of 6.7 from 6.8. So at least it's moving. I decided that I will add 30 minutes to any recipe for ripening time as I read somewhere that DVI cultures have a lag time of 30 minutes and until I'm corrected I'll continue to do so, plus half and hour here and there can't hurt much...LOL, as I wipe a tear from my face.

So my starting PH was 6.9, after heating up to the starter temp it was 6.8, which I always get a .1 drop after heating. My PH at end of ripening before adding rennet was 6.7. I'm in the cooking stages now and my auto mixer seems to be doing a great job, so far. We'll see if any of the curds are matted. I'll post pics tomorrow when I'm done.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: 15 Gallon Farmhouse Cheddar
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2009, 03:37:42 PM »
Pics first them explanation.
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Offline Cartierusm

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Re: 15 Gallon Farmhouse Cheddar
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2009, 03:39:50 PM »
The pics really don't do it justice as the wheel is 10" in diameter and 6" high. It's a biggun.
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Offline Cartierusm

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Re: 15 Gallon Farmhouse Cheddar
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2009, 03:56:43 PM »
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?
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: 15 Gallon Farmhouse Cheddar
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2009, 04:12:45 PM »
Wow,  nice looking Cheese. 
Flipping,  I've watch enough videos to know that not only do the pros flip,  but they re-wrap the cheese in the cheesecloth too. Sorry.

Are you goingto wax or wrap this?
Wayne A. Harris - in vino veritas

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: 15 Gallon Farmhouse Cheddar
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2009, 04:25:24 PM »
Yeah Wayne, but are they removing the cloth just so it doesn't stick as much later on? And I'll be flipping using my rigged press but not removing the cheese from the mold, but turning upside down, like you're supposed to do in making blue and stilton.

Haven't decided what to do, what are my options wax or brine? I tried bandaging on a small cheddar a few months ago and smeared it with lard and it's nasty to work with, you have to wash your hand every time you flip and it smell, so I couldn't put it in general population.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: 15 Gallon Farmhouse Cheddar
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2009, 04:40:27 PM »
That really depends on your aging plan...  how long do you plan on letting this baby mature?

You are going to need a rind,  bottom line,  a year down the road, you will loose just too much moisture. 

god,  i dunno.


I guess I will say that i am not qualified to answer.

If i had to guess, i would let it suface dry and then wax.  But i really need to stew on that.



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Offline Likesspace

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Re: 15 Gallon Farmhouse Cheddar
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2009, 04:47:56 PM »
Carter..
Sorry that I don't have an answer to your question since I have always flipped and also do as Wayne said, re-wrap the cheese at each flip.
I do think that the top and bottom cloth method will work just fine if you are using a mold without holes in the side.
The reason that I feel this would work is simply because the downward pressure on the cheese will push the curd out towards the side of the mold. The only problem might come from the fact that there are imperfections on the interior walls of PVC pipe that might show up on the surface of the cheese.
One thing that I have found is that once the cheese is out of the press for a day or two, the imperfections from the cheese cloth do mellow.
This is especially true if you give the cheese a light rub with flake salt or wipe the wheel as you do with a swiss.
I don't think it would hurt a bit to rub some flake salt into the surface of this wheel so you might give that a try.

Other than that, all I can say is that is one FANTASTIC looking wheel of cheese!
I always look forward to seeing how your large batches turn out.
Thanks for the post and the pics.

Dave