I picked up a piece of blue cheese yesterday at the local farmer's market. As my semi-lactic white mould cheese is doing well, and just about fully covered, I thought I would try something similar to make a blue cheese. I saw some creme fresh at the grocery store as well, so thought I would try that as the culture too.
It's worked quite well. There was a lot more curds this time around and it took about 2 hours to get them into the mold. I've got two baskets, one inverted on the other like a shaker, and this way I can flip the cheese. Whereas the first time the curds fit into one basket, this time they are a touch more. It will eventually drain down to under one basket, but until then, it's quite full (see photo).
Once it firms, and the mold sprouts, I'll have to poke some holes. Will see how that goes when the time comes.
Jeff’s Semi-Lactic Blue
Saturday, Nov 12, 2011 (overcast, 20-22 C)
2 L Farmhouse creamline milk
2 tbls crème fresh
Scrapings of mold from NZ Cheeseman bought blue (Onewhero blue: strong and earthy)
1 drop rennet in 1 tbls water
1) Mix starter in some warm milk, place in hot water cupboard for an hour or so (to get it going)
2) Place scrapings of mold directly in milk; make sure it’s fine
3) Warm milk to 25 C
4) Add starter milk (12:22 pm Saturday)
5) Cover, and place in hot water cupboard (time: 12:25)
6) After 6-8 hours at 1 drop rennet diluted in 1 tbls water (time: 7:15)
7) Wait until curd forms and separates from whey (12-24 hours:)
8) Ladle curd into mold (6:51-8:50 am next day: Sunday; temp 28.4 C; huge amount of curd; took about 2 hours to get it all into the mold! Even then, had to stack two molds and flip once)
9) Drain, flipping every 2-3 of hours or so until night, then drain overnight (flipped @ 8:50am – 10:00am – 11:40 am – 4:00 pm; final flip at 8:15 pm and will drain until Monday pm).
10) Salt each face of the cheese (Monday, 5:00 pm ish; weight 453g)
11) Tuesday Nov 15th, after work place in cave (10 C 4:30 pm, weight 426g), flip daily, until mould covers the cheese
12) Wrap and age 2 – 4 weeks.
Wednesday, Nov 16: 7:00 am. Pierced length wise multiple times (one centre, 2 “rings”). Curd feels soft, but firm. Will see if the piercings stay open.
Nov 17, 2011: first signs of mould bloom? (maybe a couple pinhead sized spots? Not sure).
Nov 18, 2011: definite blue mould spots. One odd mould spot (longish black hairs; Pol du chat? Removed this by cutting away the surface with a knife. Will monitor for its return) Piercings still open