Author Topic: My first Derby based upon my own recipe  (Read 2106 times)

Offline JeffHamm

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My first Derby based upon my own recipe
« on: January 06, 2012, 09:43:54 PM »
Hi,

Ok, this could be a complete failure, but I thought I would give it a go.    I became interested in Derby in particular after reading on the British Cheese board web site that Derby is not cheddared, but all the recipies I've seen for it involved a cheddaring step.  So, I went hunting around for some information and found a thread with a link to an old book (available at archive.org as a free legal download because it's out of copywrite).  Anyway, here's what I found (any typo's are mine):

Derby Cheese (pages 87-89) from The Dairy of the Farm, James Long and J.C. Morton, 1885.
Derbyshire Cheese-making does not differ materially from that which obtains in Gloucestershire in making a thick (double Gloucester) cheese.  It is usual to make but once a day, unless in very hot weather, when it may be doubtful if the milk can be got cool and kept sweet during the night, in which case cheese is made in the evening as well as morning.  In general, however, the evening’s milk is put in thin layers in the cheese-tub and other vessels to cool during the night, tin vessels of cold water being put to stand it in in order to subject it to as large a cooling surface as possible.  In the morning, if much cream has risen, it is partly skimmed, and, if necessary, warmed up with some milk and added to the morning’s milk, so as to bring the whole to about 80.  In the summer time, however, the rennet has often to be added when the milk is naturally warmer than this.  Enough fresh-made rennet is added to set the whole in an hour or less.  After the curd has been broken with the common sieve curd-braker, used gently for a sufficient time, a presser is used – a sort of heavy metallic sieve “follower,” which sinks gradually through the whey and ultimately lies upon the curd, enabling the baling out of the whey.  After this has been for the most part taken out, this follower is forced hard down on the curd so as to squeeze and still further separate the whey from it.  The curd may then be slightly salted, thought this is not always done at that time.  It is broken by hand into a vat and pressed ; taken out and broke up again, re-vatted and again pressed ; and this may be done more than once – as often, indeed, as seems to be required.  It is at length finally vatted,  in sizes of about 4 to the cwt. ; (note ; 1 cwt = 100 lbs in the US, but it’s 112 lbs in the UK). Its whole surface is made to take in as much salt as it will hold by rubbing and pressing ; this gets liquefied by the exuding moisture and is absorbed.  It is dry-clothed and changed in the press daily, and is in the press four or five days being finally removed to the cheese-room, where it is turned at gradually-increasing intervals until ready for the market.
   In some districts, and notably in Lancashire, no salt is put in the curd, but the cheeses, after two or three days’ pressing, are placed in brine for a week, in which they float, going in soft at first and coming out hardened.  They are taken thence to the cheese-room, and turned daily until sold.


Dave has already experimented with the repeated pressing and milling procedure and reported that it seems to really aid in whey removal, and we figured this replaced the cheddaring step.

Anyway, from the above I put the following make together.  There's no scalding period, just a long hold at temp (steps 10 and 11), which I've seen in Wenslydale.  pH targets would be called for here, but I don't have a meter yet.  All in all everything seemed to go well.  Curds were vgood and dry after 3 press and mills.  Now, will see how things turn out without a dutch press!

Derby : Saturday, Jan 7, 2012; overcast, raining; temp 24 C

10 L Homebrand standard
3 ice cubes buttermilk
1.6 ml calf rennet
½ tsp CaCl2 (50% solution)
2 tbls salt
6.25” diameter mould

1)   Warm to 80 (26.7 C) (start time 10:10 – finish 10:17 Start temp 10.7 C Finish temp 30.6 C oops, but this is not an atypical temp for cheddar types, so I just went with it but took it off the heat)
2)   Add ice cubes
3)   Ripen 1 hour (time: 10:17 - 11:26 temp 30.6 C - 29.1 C)
4)   Add CaCl2
5)   Add Rennet (time 11:28:30 temp 29.1 C)
6)   Floc time 11:38:30 3x multipler = cut time of 11:58:30
7)   Cut to 1 cm cubes
8)   Rest 10-20 minutes (start 12:07-12:25 temp 28.8 C – 28.8C)
9)   Raise temperature back to 30 C (start 12:25 – 12:30 Final temp 30.0 C ish (warm patches around 30, probably closer to 29 overall)
10)   stirred gently for 45 minutes (start time 12:30 - 1:15)
11)   Rest at temp 45 minutes stir every 15 minutes to reduce matting (1:15 – 2:00)
12)   press curds to bottom (failed, didn't have anything really suited to doing this.  My large follower was not large enough)
13)   Remove whey to level of curds
14)   Press more firmly in cheesecloth bag to remove more whey (4 litres of whey as the weight, pressed for 15 minutes ; 2:09-2:24)
15)   Remove whey, mill to olive size (into cheesecloth) and transfer to mould,
16)   press again with 10 kg (0.72 PSI) in the pot for 15 minutes then mill into olive sized (repeat until no whey expelled) (2:30-2:45; 3:00-3:15 3:25-3:40; only a little whey expelled after last press)
17)   Salt the curds and transfer back to cheesecloth lined mould, punch curds down as you load up
18)   Press 15 kg (1.08 PSI; in the pot) 45 minutes (start time: 4:00-4:45)
19)   Flip and redress, press 20 kg (1.43 PSI; in the pot 45 minutes (start time 4:50 - 5:35; by this point have extracted over 8 litres of whey, maybe 8.5)
20)   Flip and redress, press overnight 35.2 kg (2.53 PSI; start time 5:35 pm - 5.45 am)
21)   Flip and redress, press through the day 35.2 kg (2.53 PSI; start time 5:50 am – 5:20 pm)
Weight after press 1102g, 15.5x4.7 cm, 1.24 g/cm3.  Knit quality = was still poor on one face after night press, so flipped and pressed through the day.  Final knit = mostly excellent, but weak spots on one side

- Jeff
« Last Edit: January 11, 2012, 01:47:08 AM by JeffHamm »
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Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: My first Derby based upon my own recipe
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2012, 11:28:06 AM »
Remilling is not a substitute for cheddaring. True cheddaring produces a curd mass with a texture similar to fried chicken, with the fibers mostly running in one direction. That contributes to the long term texture of the finished cheese.

If you are remilling to remove whey, there are many other ways to accomplish that, such as cheddaring. Lower floc time, smaller curd size, more aggressive stirring, longer draining, etc all will help with residual whey. If your concern is acidity or sour flavors, then use less starter and/or drain a little sooner. Just my personal opinion, but remilling seems to be a LOT of extra work and will require a huge amount of extra pressure to obtain a good knit. Cold, salted curds are not easy to press.
A moldy Stilton is a thing of beauty. Yes, you eat the rind. - Ed
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Offline JeffHamm

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Re: My first Derby based upon my own recipe
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2012, 11:42:57 AM »
Hi Sailor,

My interest here was due to having read that Derby, according to the British Cheese Board, is not cheddared. (http://www.britishcheese.com/derby ; note where they say it doesn't go through the cheddaring process).  So, having looked at some older books, I found the above description of how to make it.  I've tried to adapt those notes to a make procedure. 

You are spot on with the extra work and time.  This did take a long time to make.  And the knit was poor on one side this morning so I've flipped it again, and will press for another 12 hours.  Will see if it closes up or not.

Thanks for the info on what cheddaring does.  The texture should be different then. 

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

Offline fied

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Re: My first Derby based upon my own recipe
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2012, 01:43:00 PM »
There's a cheat's way of getting a knit when re-milling small cheeses and a weight limitation on your press. Keep back some of the whey from the make, heat it to the  temp. it was after renneting. Put in the re-milled curds, bring back to temp. and hold for a minute (you only want the outside of the curds warmed). Drain quickly, salt curds quickly in the warm pot and then do the first pressing, if you can, in the pot.

Offline JeffHamm

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Re: My first Derby based upon my own recipe
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2012, 01:51:00 PM »
Thanks for the tip fied.  Sounds easy enough to do.

- Jeff
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Offline JeffHamm

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Re: My first Derby based upon my own recipe
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2012, 10:38:59 PM »
Hi,

Well, it's now been in the press for about 24 hours.  The final knit is weak on this side, though the bottom is excellent.  Still, it's better than it was earlier this morning.  The final weight was 1102g, and it was 15.5 x 4.7 cm, so that works out to a density of 1.24 g/ccm.  For a first go, I'm pretty pleased with the outcome.  Will see how it ages now. 

- Jeff
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Offline anutcanfly

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Re: My first Derby based upon my own recipe
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2012, 11:50:40 AM »
I love experiments! I think you learn way more with tinkering, than you do by just following recipes! Go Jeff!  :)
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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: My first Derby based upon my own recipe
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2012, 01:19:35 PM »
I don't know how this will taste but it looks like a good start to a fine Derby. Nice job!

Offline JeffHamm

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Re: My first Derby based upon my own recipe
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2012, 02:55:35 PM »
Thanks anut and DejayDebi,

This make was quite time consuming, around 8 hours until in the press for the night.  I'm thinking it should turn out ok, and given that it was quite dry this morning, I think it will air dry quickly and be ready for caving quite soon.  Given the weak spots in the rind,  I might give it a good salt rub this evening to attempt to prevent blue mold from taking hold until it's ready for waxing in two or three weeks.  I'm going to target six months, but possibly will take it out to next Christmas if my Cheddar doesn't recover (it may be deflating as it didn't seem to be as swollen this morning, but I'll check more closely this evening).  Even if it does, I might age these together for a taste comparison test.

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

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: My first Derby based upon my own recipe
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2012, 02:57:37 PM »
Well it sure looks like a proper Derby!


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Offline dthelmers

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Re: My first Derby based upon my own recipe
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2012, 10:12:52 PM »
Remilling is not a substitute for cheddaring. True cheddaring produces a curd mass with a texture similar to fried chicken, with the fibers mostly running in one direction. That contributes to the long term texture of the finished cheese.

If you are remilling to remove whey, there are many other ways to accomplish that, such as cheddaring. Lower floc time, smaller curd size, more aggressive stirring, longer draining, etc all will help with residual whey. If your concern is acidity or sour flavors, then use less starter and/or drain a little sooner. Just my personal opinion, but remilling seems to be a LOT of extra work and will require a huge amount of extra pressure to obtain a good knit. Cold, salted curds are not easy to press.
Well, it's certainly time consuming to do the re-milling, and I've noticed a definite grain direction to the cheeses that I have been pressing and milling instead of cheddaring. When i use a cheese plane, it works from top to bottom, pulling a long thin unbroken slice, but if I cut the cheese in half and try using the cheese plane along the cut surface, it breaks. I'm thinking that the cheddaring process develops a grain in the cheese and affects texture. My latest experiment with pressing and re-milling the cheese worked out OK, but I'm able to bring a lot of pressure to bear on my press, and it seemed like it needed it. The cheese also seemed dryer than usual, but the house is quite dry right now with forced hot air heating, so that may be throwing it off. It's in the cave now, time will tell.
Dave in CT

Offline JeffHamm

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Re: My first Derby based upon my own recipe
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2012, 10:20:54 PM »
Hi Dave,

Just to let you know, the Derby I've just made was also much drier than other makes, and the final knit was not as good as others I've made (including a traditional cheddar).  I think part of the knit problem was there was a fair amount of "crumbs" rather than "curds" on the bottom face and they don't seem to knit as well for me.  Also, my max PSI is only about 2.5.  I think if I could get up to 6, or even just 5, it would have knit fine.  Still, I've had worse knits in the past (my first Wensleydale was pretty bad, but my max PSI then was only about 1.4).

- Jeff
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Offline JeffHamm

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Re: My first Derby based upon my own recipe
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2012, 02:56:40 PM »
I've moved this into the cave now.  The rind is forming up, though it's not as smooth as my other makes so mould could be a problem, but the cracks aren't increasing so I'm pleased by that.  It's now down to 990g, so it's lost 112g of moisture.  I'll probably wax this one in a week.  Overall, it seems to be progressing nicely. 

- Jeff
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Offline anutcanfly

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Re: My first Derby based upon my own recipe
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2012, 04:37:05 PM »
Yes, it does help to be able to load on the extra weight!  I am so glad I finally got a dutch press!  5 - 7 psi will tame even the most difficult cheddar styles.  :)
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Offline JeffHamm

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Re: My first Derby based upon my own recipe
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2012, 05:09:33 PM »
Hi,

This one is now down to 962g, and the rind has formed up nicely.  A patch on one face developed some b.linen contamination, but it hasn't spread or developed any further than when it first appeared.  So, today this has been waxed for long term aging.

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