Author Topic: my parm make......2nd attempt. troubleshoot/predict turnout?  (Read 835 times)

Offline Tiarella

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Parmesan?

Okay….had 13 quarts of fresh goat milk and decided to make a second wheel of Parmesan.  I hadn’t taken notes on my last one and it hasn’t aged enough to test anyway but I was determined to try again and again and again to try to make sure I have enough next growing season to turn a huge crop of basil into pesto. 
I printed out recipes from the forum, some other website  (whose recipe turned out to be a complete copy of the forum recipe) and from Green Gavin’s site.  I also have Ricki’s book  (which I don’t trust very much) and the “Goats Produce Too” book.  Of course I also consulted Ricki’s website…..I meant to check the recipes on her blog but ended up on the website looking at their recipe for Parm.   I am concerned that perhaps some things went wrong.

Here’s the make:
Brought temp to 100 degrees in sink of hot water.
Added 1 pkt. Of Ricki’s Thermophilic starter  (I’m trying use it up rather than waste and use cultures I know more about)  and a 1/8 tsp of TA61
Let it rehydrate for 3 minutes then stirred it in carefully.
Waited 45 minutes for the cultures to ripen the milk
Added 3/8 tsp of double strength veggie rennet and a bit less than ¼ tsp sheep lipase (dissolved in water previously) and stirred 2 minutes.
It flocculated within 3 minutes of me ending the stirring…..a Floc time of 5 minutes!  Yikes!
Darn, I had hoped that the last time my cheese flocculated too quickly was because I had forgotten to adjust for double strength rennet and that I’d be more on target of 12-15 minutes for this make.
I checked out Ricki’s website recipe in which she or whomever created it tried to recreate the aspects of the traditional parm makers, except in smaller batches.  I waited to cut the curds for a while after the milk flocculated because she says to do that to make for stronger curds.  I cut them 24 minutes after the rennet was added.
Yup, they were nice and firm.  I cut to about 3/8th inch curds…..as accurate as I’m capable which is not too accurate and I followed it up with a whisk. 

Now, Ricki’s website recipe calls for heating it very quickly to mimic how they do it in Parma.  I didn’t manage to meet her goals which meant instead of 93 to 132 degrees in 20 minutes I took it from 98 degrees (mine hadn’t cooled during the culturing period) to 132 degrees in about 90 minutes.  The curds were strong, trying to mat so I did a lot of stirring and monitoring of temperature.  I had trouble raising the temp that fast even with ready pots of boiling water to add to the sink water. 
I noticed that the whey was creamier than I expected so I think the curds lost some of their milk but I can’t tell if this is a normal experience…..on the website the whey looks creamy too. (see photo below)
I did her (or Jim Wallace’s) step of having it a cheesecloth suspended in hot whey to form a curd mass but it broke when I put it in the mold. 
I pressed at around 12 pounds for 30 minutes and when I tried to unwrap it, it fell a bit apart, pieces stuck to the cloth.  I should have worked a lot harder to not have the ball of curd mass break.  Lesson learned.  I decided the better part of valor was to not unwrap it all the way but to just turn it upside down in the mold, cheesecloth ends and all and press again hoping to get more solidity.  We’ll see. 
The are are tasteless pretty much.  I didn’t have a proper follower for the mold I used and in improvising I ended up needing to trim some extrusions which of course I ate.  I hope it is capable of developing flavor over time. 
Any suggestions?
Oh, and here's a link to the recipe on the cheesemaking site: http://www.cheesemaking.com/Parma2.html
It's specifically for raw milk.  They also have one for store bought milk.
first photo is the curds and whey.....is this level of milkiness common?
second photo is of the kitchen daybed littered with recipes and make notes
third photo is of my makeshift pressing......the mold rests upon an upside down pyrex container to give the draining whey a chance to make a moat.


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Offline Tiarella

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Re: my parm make......2nd attempt. troubleshoot/predict turnout?
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2012, 07:19:08 PM »
Oh my gosh!  The photos turned the wrong way again!  They look fine on my computer and I'm not sure why they're all wonky here.  My apologies.
Update: I Took the cheese out if the old and couldn't even successfully cut the cheesecloth off without it pulling chunks of cheese off.  My fault I know.  I cut it off and squished the remaining ragged lump o' cheese into a slightly smaller mold and put it back under pressure......  I'm hoping there is still enough elasticity to become a smoother lump and capable of developing a rind.  I'm open to ideas, critique, or even a few good curses to release the slight frustration of spending all afternoon on a cheese and having a flop.