Comte Recipe – metric
20 litres of skimmed cow’s milk, store bought
CaCl2 is required as the milk is pasteurised
OK, but understand what you will make will not really be a comte. I doubt you would get close, not out of anything you do or don't, but out of the differences in location and milk. It should still be very edible, though.
Streptococcus Salivarius Thermophilus (20 DCU - per 100 litres) (TA60)
Lactobacillus Helveticus (5 DCU - per 100 litres) (LH100 from Danisco but one more different bacteria comes in with it which actually might help as it is Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. lactis which you (LB) listed at first reply)
Propionibacterium freudenreichii subsp. shermanii (0,05 – 0,1 unit - per 100 litres)
And LD Type starter, that is Flora Danica
Yes, this is one very classic approach
Option 2 – LD Type and PS
Danisco Choozit Feta B LYO
And add Propionibacterium freudenreichii subsp. Shermanii
This might work, but I don't know the ratio in Feta B. Overall, I feel like you will not get the right flavor balance here, especially without native FHL (without raw milk).
Option 3 – O Type and PS
Danisco Choozit ALP LYO
And add Propionibacterium freudenreichii subsp. shermanii
This should also be OK.
Overall, what you have to remember is that Comte flavor comes largely from mesophilic lactobacilli. Sure, LH plays a part, and so do various delbrueckii, but it is the FHL like rhamnosus, casei, paracasei, etc that give it nuance and depth. You could get away with in in pasteurized milk by using specific strains of LH, to help with that nutty flavor development.
First with PLA or maybe LAF3
And later with B. Linens
Why are you thinking of cascading the wash? It should cascade naturally. Make up a stinky one and it will have everything you need.
Add CaCl2 and mix in well.
Heat milk to 32°C to 33°C. Add the cultures. Wait till pH drops 0.1.
You don't really need to wait for .1. You need to try and get the acidity curve right for the culture, and the set time to coincide with the make. I don't have good guidance because I don't know how your blend will play out. Typically, for gruyere types I try to line it all up so I am draining at no less than 6.4, preferably around 6.45.
Add rennet, mix well. Place the floc bowl.
Target flocculation is 12 minutes. Multiply this 2 or 3 to find the cutting time.
Longer is fine. 15 mins is OK. High pH, so it sometimes takes more time.
Cut to 4mm pieces (or rice size), rest and heal 10 min.
Good, this is exactly right. if curd is strong, don't heal as long
Stir and find the big pieces of curd, cut them. They may create whey-wells on the surface during aging!
Moisture gradients exist not only on the surface. Vital to have even size curd.
Increase the temp from 32°C to 51°C (Is this in half an hour or as quickly as possible?)
I think you are starting to state make details that are not detailed enough. Here's the schedule for comte (all gruyeres are similar to this):
First phase: stir gently to help firm up the curd and start syneresis. This is before scalding. Do this for 10-15 mins.
Second phase: start scalding to around the temp you listed, or a tad higher, to 53-55C. And yes, it's a fast scald over 30 mins.
Third phase: This is post scalding, where you are targetting the right curd moisture at the right acidity. Meaning, this is the artisan skill. If you have overdry curds, but your acidity is not there, you barely stir, and let it settle. If the curd is moist, too moist, you stir and try to get that moisture down. If the acidity is running away, you try and wrap it up and press as soon as you can. But the point is that you turn off the heat and get the curds down to the right point over the next 15-45 mins. Wide range is because of variability.
Increase the temp from 51°C to 57°C in 45 minutes.
Eh, you could, but I don't see the point.
Keep the temp at 57°C and stir from time to time till the pH reaches to 6.3.
This is too low of a pH for me. Cheese will be decent, but I like a high calcium, high drain comte style. And stir schedule is not from time to time, it depends on curd moisture.
When pH is 6.3 let the curd settle at the bottom. Press under whey to make PS work better.
Under whey press is key. 6.3 is too low for me.
Transfer the curds in to press and press with 10-15 psi till the pH becomes 5.4.
This is quite decent.
Remove from the press and dry salt with %2 salt 5 or 6 times. How many days? Till dry?
Yes, to form that thicker outer rind. And honestly, I would brine. Less work.
Take it to cave at 10°C to 13°C for 3 to 4 weeks
This is about right. Let's clarify comte aging:
First phase: at 50-55F, for 20-30 days. Usually 3 weeks, or a few days over. This is to get the curd to have that initial fuse and prep it for warm room. Read over the alpine thread where I respond to Jim (NE Cheesemaking) and explain the dynamics.
Second phase: at around 65F, for 40-55 days. This is when you move to the warm room for propionic action, and where you can also start the morge. By this time, there should be a decent rind on the cheese, and you can start the wash.
Third phase: back to 50-55F, keep washing with morge.
Increase the temp to 16°C to 19°C for 6 to 8 weeks and smear at teh same time. Smear everday for 2 weeks and every second day then on.
Once a healthy skin produced, take it to 11°C cave with 85% humidity for a year or so. What about humidity here? Is 85% enough? Continue smearing once a week.
Your second part is of affinage is decent. Overall, you want humidity to be pretty high when you first start with the morge. And after, there's no single right answer. During extended aging, you are really trying to balance the rate of moisture loss, so the wheels do not dry out. 85% will work. Somewhere around 90% is better. But in a small cave like you will use, do the best you can. The dynamics are different anyway, so 85% vs 90% doesn't make a dramatic difference. Keep it dry enough so it doesn't turn into a limburger or have a wet rind.