Author Topic: My First Cheshire  (Read 2133 times)

Offline JeffHamm

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My First Cheshire
« on: October 21, 2011, 08:55:35 PM »
Hi Everyone,

Well, I decided to give fied's Cheshire recipe a go this weekend.  I'm currently about 1/2 way through the make.  I blew the cooking heat curve (below).  Basically, I tried doing this in the double boiler set up rather than in the sink.  What I find happens is that early on, it seems nothing much is happening temperature wise, and this is because the heat is transfering around the perimeter and the thermometer sits a bit in towards the centre of the pot.  Because the curds have not shrunk, and are a bit fragile at the early stages, there's not much mixture of the warm outer ring of whey and the inner cooler stuff.  Then, once I get move it around, blamo, temperature spike.  Easier to do in the sink because I can better monitor the temperature of the bath water.  If that's not too warm, it can't cause a spike.  Lesson learned.

I suppose this will mean I may get a drier cheese.  The curds have continued to shrink, so I don't think I've cooked them to the point of creating a skin that will retain moisture.  I'm now 13 minutes away from the 50 minutes "stir occasionally" period that follows the 1 hour temperature rise period, and I'm just about down to 32 C.  After this, I'll put it in the skink with water at 33 or 34 and that should allow it to maintain temperature for the 40 minute period where it just settles.

Anyway, a bit of a slip and a stumble but it hasn't crashed and burned.  Should still be a good cheese.  Will post photos and the make notes, in all their glory, once it's done.

- Jeff
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Offline JeffHamm

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Re: My First Cheshire
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2011, 10:26:30 PM »
Hi,

Ok.  One of the steps is to pour off the whey but keep the curd cake whole.  I've never really had a cheese where, when I pour off the whey, the curds have matted.  Even with this make, the curds are still a collection of small curds, not a big mat of curds.  I had to put a follower on top and press them under a 2 litre jug of water for a few minutes to get them to mat, then cut them into fist size pieces. 

The curds settled to the bottom (some continued to float, but not the majority), or at least they settled under the surface, but they don't form a cake.  What does that mean with respect to my makes?  Unfortunately, I don't have a ph meter yet.

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

Offline JeffHamm

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Re: My First Cheshire
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2011, 02:38:18 AM »
Well, it's into the press for a 16 hour go.  I've got 35 kg on it, which puts it around 2.5 psi.  I pressed it in the pot for an hour (under lighter pressures) and the knit is comming together.  Still not perfect, but I've had similar looking cheeses come out near perfect after 12 hours with less weight, so I'm hopeful (provided my stack of weight doesn't come crashing down in the night of course).  We'll see how it goes.

- Jeff
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Offline fied

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Re: My First Cheshire
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2011, 01:05:02 PM »
Hi, Jeff.

Sorry about the lack of clarity in step 5 of the recipe and the fact that I've since been out of Glasgow. I've put the correction on my thread, but, roughly here, it's a hour all told to raise temps, 50  mins of which is intermittent stirring and 10 mins of pitching/settling. That's before moving on to step 6.

From your make, as you explain above, you're likely to get a drier cheese and with the hour and 50 mins. temp. raising and then stirring you'll very likely get a sharper tasting cheese. Still, drier and sharper will make for an interesting cheese, I'm sure, so let us know how it goes. Once made and well knitted, it's quite a forgiving cheese. Cheshire, ideally, should be mildly strong, with a buttery/creamy aftertaste. I like it strong, though, so tend to age it further, but, then, I'm an unredeemable cheese heathen!

I had to leave my current Cheshire unturned for 5 days while I was out of Glasgow as my husband objected to it travelling with us so it could be turned daily. It seems to be fine and no sign of mould (!). I'll leave it turned for a couple of days to even out the moisture, but it'll be ready to be caved tomorrow or Monday.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2011, 02:59:21 AM by fied »

Offline JeffHamm

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Re: My First Cheshire
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2011, 01:50:32 PM »
Thanks again fied.  Dry and sharp is fine by me.  No harm done.

- Jeff
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Offline JeffHamm

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Re: My First Cheshire
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2011, 02:36:13 PM »
Hi

Well, here are my make notes for fied's Cheshire cheese.  Still in the 16 hour press.  I flipped it this morning (had to have a peak, but also had to move it out of the way for breakfast), and the knit is looking really good.  A few cracks, but hopefully with flipping the pressure will distribute a bit differently and those will fuse up.

- Jeff

Cheshire Cheese (Saturday, Oct 22, 2011)  Sunny, air temp 20-21 C

10 L homebrand Standard milk
40 mls homebrand cream
1 ice cube Flora danica
2 ice cubes buttermilk
½ tsp CaCl
0.6 ml rennet (was just under the line in the small syringe)
30-32.5 ml salt
(written time: 8 hours until over night press)

1. Warm milk to 30 C (actual temp 31.0 C; removed from heat, sat on towel on stove top; over poured cream, ~100 ml this make)
2. Add starters, cover, and ripen 30 minutes. (start time 11:35 -12:05 end temp ??.? C),
3. ensure temp. 30 C
4. Add Calc. Chlor., and mix
5. Add rennet and mix. Time: 12:09 Floc time 12:25:45 floc length 16 min 45 sec
6. 3x floc.= 50 min 15 sec cut time = 12:59:15
7. Cut curd into 1.25 cm pieces. Let stand for 5 mins (start time 1:06 -1:13 end temp 29.7 C)
8.Drain whey until the curds can be seen just below the level of the whey.
9. Cook curds, raising temp. gradually to 32 C over an hour. (start time 1:13 -2:13 end temp 33.3 C) Blew the temp raise, hit 35.0 after 20 odd minutes.  Removed from heat to cool down
10. Stir gently and intermittently for 50 mins. (start time 2:13 -3:03 end temp 31.6 C) (NOTE: This should be part of step 9, the heat raising)
11. Cover and blanket 40 minutes (start time 3:03 -3:43 end temp 31.7 C)   (sink water 35).
12. Tip off rest of whey, keeping curd cake whole, then cut curd into equal fist-sized chunks. Return to pot, cover and keep at 32 C for 3 hours. (start time 4:00 -7:00) (had to press with a follower and 2 litre jug of water to get the curds into a cake for cutting into “fist sized”)
13. Tip off any whey in the pot and tear chunks into 1" pieces and salt in the pot.
14. Press into cheesecloth lined mould and add weight at 10kg (0.72psi) for 30 min. (7:10-7:40)
15. Turn cheese, adjust cloth and weight at 20 kgs (1.43 psi) for 30 mins. (7:50-8:20)
16. Turn cheese, adjust cloth and press at between 35.2 kg (2.53psi) for 16 hours. (8:20pm-12:20pm Sunday; flipped and redressed at 7:50 am; looking good)
17. Take off cloth, turn cheese and put back in press at the same press weights for 3 hours to get rid of cloth marks. (??:??-?:??; sunday)
18. Salt cheese all over with 1 tsp salt and dry on cheese mat/rack at room temp., under gauze, for a day. Next day wipe off brine and return to drying at room temp. for 7 to 10 days, depending on when the rind, bottom and top, feels dry to the touch and there's no more seepage of whey. Turn once a day.
19. Then either bandage cheese and age at 60F/16C for 2 months and up to a year, turning cheese daily for three months then twice a week up until time of eating, OR don't bandage, but leave to develop a natural rind with the same aging conditions as a bandaged one.


Here it is in the press:

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: My First Cheshire
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2011, 02:54:55 PM »
Impressive press!  :)

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Offline Hande

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Re: My First Cheshire
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2011, 03:22:33 PM »
Oh Jeff, I think that you can't sleep when you have cheese in press  ;D

Hande

Offline ellenspn

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Re: My First Cheshire
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2011, 03:32:17 PM »
Wow! The pressing tower.
Ellen Bloomfield
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Offline darius

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Re: My First Cheshire
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2011, 05:22:38 PM »
Your press is too funny, Jeff... love the Molcajete on top, crowning touch!


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Offline JeffHamm

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Re: My First Cheshire
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2011, 07:13:45 PM »
Thanks all!  The Mortar and Pestle weigh 5.2 kg, so it's a great addition!  Although it looks precarious, I've built a spreader/support out of Duplo (large size Leggo).  It's a cross with arms the width of the mold and is a few blocks high, this basically makes it impossible for the follower to tilt.  I came up with this after my Dunlop Disaster a while back.  It's still a few hours to go in the press, but once it's out I'll try and get a photo of what I mean.

Yes, the many uses of Leggo.

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

Offline JeffHamm

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Re: My First Cheshire
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2011, 09:45:45 PM »
Hi,

Well, it's out of the press and I'm very pleased with the result.  The cheese weighs in at 1274g, and was 15.7 x 5.8 (volume 1122 cm3; cheese density 1.14g/cm3).  The knit looks to be fantastic, though any incomplete fusings may show up once it air dries over the next few days.  Still, I'm very pleased.  Thanks fied.

Here are a couple photos.  The first showing the "leggo support" for my press.  This helps prevent the follower from tilting because the support pillars keep it all upright. 

The 2nd is the cheese itself. 

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

Offline fied

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Re: My First Cheshire
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2011, 03:07:06 AM »
That looks good, Jeff. Kudos! You might, with the 1" pre-pressed chunks, get a couple of tiny splits as it air dries. I just fill them immediately with salted butter as a blue mould prevention and then cave them.

Offline Boofer

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Re: My First Cheshire
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2011, 10:58:13 AM »
Sweet-looking cheese, Jeff.

I liked the Duplo idea. Necessity is a mother.

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Offline JeffHamm

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Re: My First Cheshire
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2011, 01:27:36 PM »
Hi fied,

Yes, I've noticed one or two spots around the edges where the curds have not quited fused.  I've had worse with some other cheddar types (wensleydale particularly).  I've only recently picked up 2 more 5 kg weights, so this is the first time I've had a chance to use them.  That, and the longer pressing schedule, seem to help a great deal.  I'm looking forward to this one.  I'm hoping I'll be able to take it out to a decent age.

Thanks Boofer.  The Duplo has worked really well.  I might draw up some plans and make a wooden one at some point.

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