Author Topic: My first Traditional Cheddar.  (Read 3412 times)

Offline JeffHamm

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My first Traditional Cheddar.
« on: December 17, 2011, 08:56:48 PM »
Hi,

My wife and kids were going to be out for the day, so I decided to make a traditional cheddar.  I've made other cheeses in the cheddar family, but not an actual cheddar itself.  I decided to follow the recipe in 200 Homemade Cheese Recipies, but I extended the cheddaring time to 2 hours from the 45 minutes indicated in the book.  I cheddar/mill Wensleydale for 2 hours, and the Riki Carrol book lists 2 hours, and I've always understood it was a fairly lengthy procedure.  45 minutes seems like nothing, so, after following the "flip every 10 minutes for 45) I decided to continue with every 15 until 2 hours was reached. 

So, all in all things have gone pretty well.  My plan is to wax this one and keep it until next Christmas / New Years.  No photos yet, but will get one tomorrow morning when it's completed the press.  I'm thinking I'll make another gouda to age for a year too given how nice this one turned out.

Anyway, here are my make notes.  The only picture to go with it is the heat rise chart.  That went really well, with just one blip early on.  I also had a longer floc with the calf rennet then last time (15 min 30 seconds) so might have to increase to 1.7 ml next time.


Traditional Cheddar Sunday, Dec 18, 2011.  Overcast, 21.5 C (fr 200 Easy Homemade .but extended cheddaring time..)
10 L Homebrand Standard
2 ice cubes buttermilk, 1 ice cube FD
¼ tsp CaCl (50%)
1.6 ml Calf Rennet
2 tbls salt

1)   Warm milk to 31 C
2)   Add culture (added and melted with temp reached at 8:31 31.4 C, moved to counter)
3)   Ripen 40 min (start 8:31-9:11)
4)   Add CaCl
5)   Add Rennet (added at 9:13:30)
6)   Floc time 9:29:00  3x 15:30 = cut wait 46 min 30 sec Cut time 10:00:00
7)   Cut into 1.25 cm cubes
8)   Heal 5 minutes (10:05-10:10 temp 30.8)
9)   Raise heat to 39 C over 45 minutes (start 10:10 @ 30.8 – finish 10:55 @ 39.2 C – good rise profile)
10)   Hold at temp for 40 min (start 10:55 – 11:35)
11)   Drain whey (11:35; temp 37.7)
12)   Return curds to pot in water bath at 39, to form a cake (put jug with 2 l whey to press into cake)
13)   Flip every 10 minutes for 45 minutes flip at 11:55, 12:05, 12:15, 12:25, done at 12:35)
14)   Flip every 15 minutes for 1 hour 15 min (flip at 12:50, 1:05, 1:20, 1:35, 1:50 done)
15)   Cut into 5 x 1.25 cm French fry strips (mill into hazelnut sized curds)
16)   Add salt
17)   Put in mold
18)   Press in the pot 1 hour flip redress (2:05 - 3:25 w 15 kg ; 1.08 PSI – knit progressing well; got busy with other things, so pressed an extra 20 minutes)
19)   Press in the pot 1 hour (3:25 – 4:25 w 20 kg; 1.43 PSI)
20)   Press over night (35.2 kg; 2.53 PSI; finished 5:40 am; final weight 1248g; 15.6 x 5.5 cm gives 1.19 g/cm3 density)

Made ricotta from 8+ l  whey & ¼ cup white vinegar: heat to 93.3.  Tried without vinegar, got a bit.  Then, let it sit for a while and GL dumbed all the vinegar in at once and a lot more formed.  Seemed like the biggest, fluffiest batch yet.  Will add 1 tsp salt when drained. recovered 356g.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2011, 10:57:58 AM by JeffHamm »
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Offline JeffHamm

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Re: My first Traditional Cheddar.
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2011, 11:00:37 AM »
Ok, I've updated the make notes with the final result.  The knit is really good.  The combination of pressing in the pot and the increase in my pressing weights to get me around 2.5 ish PSI seems to have really made the difference.  Well, I'll probably air dry this for a few days, then cave it for a couple weeks, then it gets a wax job and will go into hibernation for a year or so.  Or so goes the intention.

- Jeff
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Offline DustinBlodgett

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Re: My first Traditional Cheddar.
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2011, 11:43:26 AM »
Wow, Jeff. It looks great! Your note taking and organization is very impressive.  Definitely something for me to aspire, too. 

It's gonna be hard to sit on that thing for a year!  Good luck.

Offline Cloversmilker

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Re: My first Traditional Cheddar.
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2011, 11:49:12 AM »
Looks great! 

I'm waiting to make more cheddars until I have a dutch press.  I just can't crank my screw press down hard enough to make the curds knit well. 

Offline JeffHamm

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Re: My first Traditional Cheddar.
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2011, 11:54:02 AM »
Hi DunstinBlodgett,

I keep a Word Document with recipies and edit them down to steps like this.  Then, when I make the cheese on the day, I copy the make notes over and fill in the details (start time, end times, temperatures, etc).  Sometimes I do things other than what I intended, and I note this and if I think it's the new best next step, I update the make notes in the recipe document.  I find this works well during the make too, because I've tried to keep the notes fairly terse (quick read then on to the next step.  That way it doesn't overflow my memory and have me forget what I was to do between computer and cheese vat! :) )

- Jeff
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Offline JeffHamm

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Re: My first Traditional Cheddar.
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2011, 11:55:27 AM »
Looks great! 

I'm waiting to make more cheddars until I have a dutch press.  I just can't crank my screw press down hard enough to make the curds knit well.

Hi Cloversmilker,

I stack weights on top of mine.  I don't have a screw press.  I think you'll find a dutch press will really help things in the pressed cheese department.

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

Offline anutcanfly

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Re: My first Traditional Cheddar.
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2011, 01:41:28 PM »
Looks great!  I ran the recipe in 200 easy recipes and found I had to cheddar about 20 minutes extra, both times, to reach whey pH 5.5.  Good luck in keeping your hands off!  I still haven't aged one more than 6 months!  ::)
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Offline JeffHamm

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Re: My first Traditional Cheddar.
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2011, 06:18:00 PM »
Hi anut,

So that would be just over an hour (65 minutes) cheddaring.  Hmmm, I really need to get a ph meter at some point.

- Jeff
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Offline fied

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Re: My first Traditional Cheddar.
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2011, 02:03:49 AM »
I don't use a meter, but I do cheddar for at least an hour. Past experience taught me that the longer cheddaring time increases the flavour factor. Good luck with this one, Jeff.

Offline JeffHamm

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Re: My first Traditional Cheddar.
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2011, 01:28:03 PM »
Thanks fied,

I may be able to back off on the cheddaring to just over an hour then.  I think I got 2 hours from the Wensleydale recipe I have, where you keep the curds warm in a cheesecloth "bag" for two hours while you mill them every 15 minutes.  I've only made this twice, with the 2nd one to be ready for Christmas (so very soon; will be about 4 months).  The first one I added sage to, and ate it around the 2 month mark.  It was a great cooking cheese, but not versitile.  I've decided it's easier to add herbs than remove them.

Anyway, increased flavour factor combined with the 1 year aging should, if all goes well, produce a nice treat when the time comes.  I'm building up a stock pile of aged cheeses now, which is nice.  I have a gouda that will be 1 year on New Year's eve (have eaten 1/4 of it so far, and it's really good), a manchego that will be 1 year in Feb, a romano that will be 1 year in march.  I've also got some Montasio's moved into long term hibernation mode, so next year should end up with a number of nice cheeses coming online (or delayed disasters, depending upon how they've behaved - yes, I blame the cheese not the cheesemaker if it doesn't turn out!).  I've moved this one to the cave, where it will be kept for a couple weeks before waxing. 

- Jeff
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Offline Tomer1

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Re: My first Traditional Cheddar.
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2011, 03:06:38 PM »
Man... waiting a year for a cheese.  Thats madness...
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Offline Crystal

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Re: My first Traditional Cheddar.
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2011, 03:42:29 PM »
Im considering opening up my first farmhouse cheddar and its only 4 weeks, dont know i could last a year!
I dont know what to put here...
Crystal ;-)

Offline JeffHamm

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Re: My first Traditional Cheddar.
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2011, 03:46:26 PM »
I like to have a few that are in it for the long haul, but these survive because I also make quick ones, like caerphilly, butterkase, and lancashire.  Those I get to eat, and that helps me let the others just rest and wait.  Also, I might make another cheddar, just so I can open it sooner to see how it tastes.  The semi-lactics are another good one to get one into cheese quickly, which keeps the others safe from harm.

- Jeff
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Offline Crystal

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Re: My first Traditional Cheddar.
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2011, 05:31:20 PM »
Thats a lotta cheese Jeff!
I dont know what to put here...
Crystal ;-)

Offline anutcanfly

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Re: My first Traditional Cheddar.
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2011, 07:43:56 PM »
I'm with you Jeff!  I finally decided to just pack my cave and make quickies for in the meantime.  After 6 months to a year they will be ready on a regular basis with out having to cut in them early!  My sweet is really starting to wonder if my cave is magical, I keeping making cheese every week and the cave never seems to be full... it' only 5 cubic feet after all.  See if I don't pack a 100 pounds in there before I'm done!  8)
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