Author Topic: My first Cantal  (Read 3406 times)

Offline anutcanfly

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My first Cantal
« on: October 14, 2011, 06:58:17 PM »
My new pH meter arrived and my source for raw cows milk called to say milk was now available.  So happy as could be I got 4 gallons and went to process my first Cantal.  I checked the pH of the milk prior to adding culture and discovered it was 6.4...   :o  That's a little acidic for cow milk.  Checked online and sure enough colostrum is normally around pH 6.4, and has  much higher total solids >18% vs normal milk at 12-13%.  Oops! I should have asked just how long ago her cow freshened...  :-[  Too late now, we are all going to find out what happens when you use colostrum to make cheese!

After an hour of adding, pressing, adding, pressing, adding, pressing... finally, all the curds are barely squeezed into the mold.  I'm pressing at 25# for the next 24 hours, redressing after 12.  Hopefully enough whey will be expelled to make the next step easier!

Stay tuned for the continuing saga of Anut's first colostrum Cantal
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Offline Boofer

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Re: My first Cantal
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2011, 01:57:06 AM »
Stay tuned for the continuing saga of Anut's first colostrum Cantal
Well, alright! Breaking new ground in cheesemaking. That's what we like to see. This should be exciting.

I'm clueless about the constitution of colostrum. Seems like it would have a lot more good stuff in it. Organic Pastures Dairy down in Fresno, CA, used to sell it semi-regularly through their retail outlets. I bought it and drank it from time to time. Probably added a few pounds because of it, like a young calf would.

You may start a trend.  :)

I'll be watching your progress with interest.

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Offline MrsKK

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Re: My first Cantal
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2011, 09:45:46 AM »
Boofer - if you want to make the trip, I'll let you know when my cow freshens and you can have all the colostrum that the calf won't drink.  I personally almost gag at the thought of ingesting it.  But I can't stand thickened liquids at all, like egg nog.  Brrrrr!

Anut - You should really find out if the cow did freshen just recently.  If not, there might be some mastitis brewing there that is affecting the pH of the milk.

Offline Boofer

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Re: My first Cantal
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2011, 10:51:30 AM »
Boofer - if you want to make the trip, I'll let you know when my cow freshens and you can have all the colostrum that the calf won't drink.  I personally almost gag at the thought of ingesting it.  But I can't stand thickened liquids at all, like egg nog.  Brrrrr!
Yeah...thanks, Karen. That's a bit of a commute for me. I'll have to pass.

As I recall, the product that Organic Pastures retailed was a chocolate colostrum. Unusual, but not bad at all.

Hey, that's a great idea, Karen. Eggnog made with colostrum. Double yum!  ;D  Quit shoving, get in line!

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Offline anutcanfly

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Re: My first Cantal
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2011, 02:34:44 PM »
 ??? But I don't want to break new ground...I like comfortable safe familiar ground!   ::)  I didn't think to taste the milk! Darn, it had to have been very rich!  The cow was due to freshen in October, but I didn't think to ask when she actually had.  I worried about mastitis too and checked online.  Mastitis normally makes milk more alkaline, where as souring milk is more acid.  The milk was collected chilled and processed the same day.  Also the yield is going to be high as you would expect it to be.  The fun part is trying to guess just how much higher!  I figured it would likely yield 5 pounds as I did everything but jump on the follower to get the cheese in my 6 pound mold!  :)  After 18 hours, when I got up in this morning, I checked the pH and it had dropped to 4.9.  Should have started this cheese later in the day so first check would be in 12 hours...  The weight prior to salting was 6 pounds and I'm still guessing I'll get a yield close to 5 pounds.  Hope so, as I used 5 tablespoons of salt!  I tasted the cheese I trimmed off the rim before salting and the cheddar flavor was definitely there, so I think this cheese will be very tasty, but too acidic and crumbly.  No grilled cheese sandwiches here!  Moisture content should be okay.  I did the squeeze test and it felt right, but I haven't got the feel yet!  Sigh, nothing we can do but move forward.  I am now pressing at 200 pounds for the next two days.  Crossing my fingers and toes yet again!  :D
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Offline Tomer1

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Re: My first Cantal
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2011, 04:58:58 PM »
Imagine the kind of premium price you can charge for cheese made from such milk.
I would ask for atleast 4 times the price :)
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Offline anutcanfly

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Re: My first Cantal
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2011, 10:10:47 PM »
I never seem to have enough excess to sale!  There's always room for one more piece!   A)

28 hours into pressing (44 hours to go) I think the cheese has drained most the whey it's going to.  It weighed in at 4 1/2 pounds (1 1/4 pounds more than normal)  I am pretty sure that's not whey.  So I added a little more salt then it needed, but not so much that flavor will be adversely affected I think.  The cheese is very firm and other than some press cloth marks the rind is looking reasonably smooth.  If ever I work with colostrum again I will use 1/3 less rennet as it set up a very firm curd in 30 minutes.  For 4 gallons of milk I used 1/4 tsp of x3 rennet and 1/6 tsp would have been plenty.  Pity I let the pH get out of hand...I think this would have been a good cheese.  At this point I'm just hoping for tasty... never had any problem inhaling past cheeses that got too acidic; I like the extra tang, but not the crumbly texture.

That's about it for this cheese.  I'll post the results when I test it in a few months.   :)  I'll likely try cantal again next week and see if I can get it right! I liked what should have been the simplicity of the process.
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Offline MrsKK

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Re: My first Cantal
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2011, 08:47:57 AM »
That looks great, Anut!  That is a high yield for 4 gallons of milk, but colostrum does have more solids, so that's probably why.  If it is crumbly when you crack into it, try wrapping or vacuum sealing some of it and try to forget about it for another 6 months or so.  You may be very pleasantly surprised at the difference.

Hm, maybe I should try to make cheese with colostrum when my cow freshens.  I won't drink it, but if it is converted into cheese, that I can handle.

Offline anutcanfly

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Re: My first Cantal
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2011, 01:28:22 PM »
Thanks for the tip MrsKK!  I'll try that!  When I was web surfing I did run across a site that told you how to convert a reading from a hydrometer, brix scale into the percent total solids so you could then calculate the yield.  Too late for my cheese, but useful for future cheeses!  If I can find that site again (dummy me I didn't bookmark it  ::)) I'll post it.
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Offline Tomer1

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Re: My first Cantal
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2011, 02:57:06 PM »
You mean calculating the waste whey for density to see how much fat and protein was "wasted" ?
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Offline anutcanfly

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Re: My first Cantal
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2011, 07:38:22 PM »
Hi Tomer,

No, the article I was reading was on using the brix scale to determine total solids in waste milk.  Bring the milk to the temperature appropriate for the hydrometer you are using and add 2% the reading on the brix scale.  So a reading of 10 on the brix scale would be 12% total solids in milk.  The articles I found today were using a refractometer, not a hydrometer.  I don't know if it makes a difference so I'll try to verify this with store bought milk.  Total solids for whole milk are supposed to be 12.5% to 13%.  It would be nice if I could use one hydrometer for everything; sugar, salt, and milk!  Let me know if you unearth anything on this topic.

Happy thoughts,
anut
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Offline anutcanfly

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My 2nd Cantal..????
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2011, 03:25:26 PM »
My first cantal's pH dropped to 4.8 after light pressing overnight.  I assumed this was an error.  I just made my 2nd cantal and this time I ran it later in the day, and I only used 1/4 tsp MA11 (I used 1/2 tsp in the first cantal).  Again the pH was again very low in the morning--4.9  After a little web surfing I came to the conclusion that maybe that was supposed to happen for this unusual cheese.   Can anyone who's made cantal advise????:-\
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Offline iratherfly

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Re: My first Cantal
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2011, 04:30:15 PM »
Well, first off, colostrum is kind of yellowish and thick; doesn't look like milk exactly.

Secondly, I suggest you check your pH meter calibration. Did you do a 2 point calibration? (4 and 7) What kind of meter is this?

Third thing, I am not sure what you did with the pressing. You said your cheese was firm. Did you break it up? Cantal is a bit strange this way, it's like a French take on Cheddar (actually it's 1000 years older than Cheddar). You are suppose to mould it to a brick or tomme, then mill the curd (break up that beautiful cheese) the next day, then salt the curd and mould it again for 1-2 days. Is that what you did?

As for the pH level, I have never actually made it but 4.9 after overnight pressing sounds possible. You may want to change your starter bacteria to something that has a better recovery curve where the pH drop tapers off sooner and it begins to go up.  (MA4001 would work very well). In any event, using the pH meter is like driving a car using a GPS. Sometimes you just have to use your senses and figure it out. Use it for quality control and logging purposes, just avoid letting it take ownership of the fabrication process.

The wheels look really nice! Keep us posted, would love to see the rind grow on it!

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Re: My first Cantal
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2011, 06:01:38 PM »
Cantal does have a big pH drop because, unlike Cheddar, it is not salted prior to the initial pressing. And after 2 days, it will be even more acidic. Cantal needs to age for quite a while, to balance things out. Definitely not good young.
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Offline anutcanfly

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Re: My first Cantal
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2011, 08:26:42 PM »
Thank you Sailor Con Queso, that makes me feel sooo much better!  Was worried that I now had 8 lbs of poor quality cheese to eat!   ^-^

Thank you iratherfly.  I thought I had already responded to you, only to find out the post didn't post! I think Sailor Con Queso's post makes most of what I had said to you on the missing post irrelevant.  It had seemed like everything went well except for that scary pH drop.  But thank you for responding!

PS.  What do you fly?  :)

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