I wanted to get some of the last milk of the summer. I wasn't sure what I wanted to make, but I decided to get 4 gallons of whole raw Jersey milk and a half gallon of whole raw goat milk. My thinking was that I wanted to have some lipase character to the end product but I don't particularly like lipase powder added to my cheeses.
I considered Sbrinz
as a possible candidate for this cheese, but the two recipes I had were completely different. The Gianaclis Caldwell version called for washing the curds and a 12 hour per pound brining
. The 200 Easy Cheeses recipe called for a 4-6 week sweating period at 65°F(31°C). As far as I know there is only one member here that has made Sbrinz. So I decided to make another Montasio.
I had already decided to buy a piece of Montasio so that I would have a better perspective on what the character, taste, and texture was. I believe that piece I bought was part of a wheel that had just arrived at the cheese purveyor's door. It was semihard (similar to an alpine), nutty, only slightly
tangy, and possessing a captivating cheesey aroma.
Made this morning, August 30.
initial cow pH: 6.69
initial goat pH: 6.64
4 gallons Dungeness Valley whole raw Jersey milk
1/2 gallon Lucky Hook Farm whole raw goat milk
8 cubes TA-61 MC (from the freezer vacuum bag, dated Feb 6, 2012)
1/8 tsp LH-100 (from the freezer vacuum bag, dated 2011)
1/32 tsp PS
1/16 tsp dry calf rennet, dissolved in cold distilled water
The really usable volume of my kettle is slightly under 4 gallons. When I added the goat milk to the mix, the milk level came very close to the spillover zone. Much care had to be used in cutting, stirring, whisking, etc. Once I had curds & whey, then I could dip out enough to make the rest of the process more comfortable.
Followed recipe as before (#1
Floc factor: 3
floc'd in 15 minutes
Shortly after the curds were cooked, the temperature was 111°F, and the pH was 6.40, I moulded the curds.
I knitted the rind under warm whey using the weight of my level & piston (11 lbs) plus a 5 lb weight which I hung on the end of the lever for a total weight of 16 lbs.
After the rind was knitted, then I drained the whey and started pressing at 1.9 psi.
When I checked an hour later, the pH was 5.40! Holy cow! What's going on here? What a quick pressing! I would surmise that the natural culture in the two milks contributed mightily to some cultures from my freezer that were also still very potent. There normally could be a lot of residual moisture in a cheese not in the press for very long. However, I think the cooking time and temperature combined with the extended brine time could mitigate any excess retained whey.
The wheel will be brined for 9 hours, flipped, and brined for 9 more hours.
I expect this Montasio will be aged, brushed, oiled, and aged some more. This could possibly be 12-18 months affinage.