Author Topic: Mmmm...Montasio #2  (Read 300 times)

Offline Boofer

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Parkland, Washington
  • Posts: 4,222
  • Cheeses: 201
  • Contemplating cheese
Mmmm...Montasio #2
« on: August 24, 2014, 11:31:27 AM »
Diverging from my first Montasio effort, this make loosely follows Gianaclis Caldwell's Montasio ("Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking", p. 294).

Where she called for a floc factor of 2-2.5, I used 3. At a younger age, this might be an excellent slicing table cheese, while later in the affinage it would ease into a grating cheese. That's what I'm aiming for anyway.

initial pH: 6.72

4 gallons Dungeness Valley whole raw milk
1/4 tsp Thermo C (TA + LH)
1/64 tsp Propionic shermanii
1/32 tsp dry calf rennet

Gianaclis's recipe called for stirring the cultures in at 95°F(35°C) followed by the rennet without any ripening time. Perhaps that's why it took 30 minutes to flocculate where previously my times have been more in line with the target 12-15 minutes. I believe the rennet works best with a little acidity.

I pressed with 16 lbs (7.25kg) under warm whey to knit the rind, flipping and rewrapping several times. The plyban wanted to stick to the cheese, but I was able to gently peel it away. I was tempted to haul out the vinegar to ease it away, but I decided I didn't want to complicate the pH measurements I was taking. While the cheese is in the press, I check the pH every 2 hours or so to see if it has dropped into the magical 5.3-5.4 range. If I had used the vinegar to help separate the plyban from the cheese, I really wouldn't know if I was reading residual whey pH or vinegar pH + whey. A cheese make from a couple years ago was allowed to go overnight in the press. When I removed it from the press and tried to remove the plyban, the cheese curds had become one with the plyban. Not pretty. :o  :(

After knitting the rind, I drained the whey and pressed in the warm pot with 1.9 psi. I press in the pot that is placed inside a big aluminum lobster kettle in which I have warm water. This creates a warm cozy containment in which the cultures can continue to do their thing and the press can also perform its valuable work. The lobster kettle is 13 inches (33cm) tall and my press was built to accommodate it easily.

Okay, so when the pH read 5.46, I decided that was close enough to the sweet spot. Out of the press and into the whey-brine for 8 hours. After that, I flipped it and put it back into the whey-brine for another 8 hours. Gianaclis calls for 4 hours per pound, so this meant 16 hours for this cheese.

After the brining, the weigh-in showed 1617 grams (3.5 lbs). The cheese was dried off and placed into a minicave this morning where it will airdry and continue to drain whey at ambient air temperature overnight. Tomorrow morning it will move to the cave for its 6-12 month affinage. I coated my first Montasio effort with honey. This cheese will get an EVOO treatment to the rind.

My first Montasio effort was made with 3 gallons  (11.4 litres) and one of those gallons was goat milk. This cheese was made with 4 gallons (15 litres), added PS, and no goat milk. It will be interesting to compare these two variations on a theme after they have properly aged.

-Boofer-
Let's ferment something!
Bread, beer, wine, cheese...it's all good.


Guests, join the CheeseForum.org community to remove this ad.


Offline JeffHamm

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Auckland, New Zealand
  • Posts: 2,681
  • Cheeses: 162
  • As goes the cheesemaker, so goes the cheese
Re: Mmmm...Montasio #2
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2014, 05:35:17 PM »
What a nice looking cheese again Boofer, well done.  A cheese to you.
The wise do not always start out on the right path, but they do know when to change course.

Offline Reflector

  • Medium Cheese
  • ***
  • Location: South Africa
  • Posts: 21
  • Cheeses: 3
  • Default personal text
Re: Mmmm...Montasio #2
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2014, 08:50:18 AM »
I find that if I dip and lightly wring out my cheesecloth in the brine bath (salt saturate whey), it looses much of its affinity for the cheese, and peels away easily during the later stages of pressing. Not sure if it will be of any help during the initial sub-whey pressing or with plastic mesh, though.

Your Montasio certainly looks very nice, and I've added a cybercheese.

Offline H-K-J

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: South-east ID
  • Posts: 1,308
  • Cheeses: 85
  • Act as if it were impossible to fail.
    • Cookin with uh dash dogs hair
Re: Mmmm...Montasio #2
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2014, 09:21:37 AM »
Another great looking cheese Boofer :P
this is one I am thinking of trying next, soon I hope :-\
Have another cheese
"Happiness is not the absence of conflict,
But the ability to cope with it."

Offline Spoons

  • Sailing The Seas of Cheese
  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Ottawa, ON, Canada
  • Posts: 652
  • Cheeses: 49
  • Default personal text
Re: Mmmm...Montasio #2
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2014, 07:27:04 PM »
Cool experiment, Boofer! Olive oil rub vs honey rub. My sweet tooth is rootin' for the honey rub  ;) But I know it most likely won't have a sweetness impact on the cheese. Trying to tell that to my sweet tooth, just doesn't want to understand.

A cheese for you, Boofer! Well done!
- Eric


Guests, join the CheeseForum.org community to remove this ad.


Offline Boofer

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Parkland, Washington
  • Posts: 4,222
  • Cheeses: 201
  • Contemplating cheese
Re: Mmmm...Montasio #2
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2014, 07:44:52 AM »
Not sure if it will be of any help during the initial sub-whey pressing or with plastic mesh, though.
Yeah, I've been down this road before.... ;)

The problem is that the plastic is very resistant to absorbing the brine. :( ::)  Actually not that much of an issue, really.

Thanks for the cheeses, guys. The jury is still out on both efforts for this cheese style. I've never had the pleasure of tasting Montasio. Perhaps I'll see if there's a commercial example available so I can have some perspective. Otherwise, it's a bit of an unknown.

I saw a posting that offered a recipe that seems to be out of step with everything else I have seen. It calls this cheese a washed curd variety. Neither of these two makes of mine were washed curd.  IMHO, the idea of washing the curds here would wash away a lot of the character. So...no.

-Boofer-
Let's ferment something!
Bread, beer, wine, cheese...it's all good.

Online Savu

  • Young Cheese
  • **
  • Location: Auckland, New Zealand
  • Posts: 17
  • Cheeses: 1
  • Default personal text
Re: Mmmm...Montasio #2
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2014, 05:37:32 PM »

Offline Boofer

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Parkland, Washington
  • Posts: 4,222
  • Cheeses: 201
  • Contemplating cheese
Re: Mmmm...Montasio #2
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2014, 09:24:18 AM »
Boofer, maybe this is more to your liking
http://www.mylittleitaliankitchen.com/the-making-of-italian-montasio-cheese-the-traditional-way/
Pretty much what I'm tuned into. I don't have a copper kettle which supposedly contributes to the final product. I don't see any mention there of washing the curds.

The process in those pics could match that for a Parmegiano or Grana.

-Boofer-
Let's ferment something!
Bread, beer, wine, cheese...it's all good.