I am in the pressing phase of my first cheese with PS following the recipe in Artisan Cheese Making. I think my pH meter may not be functioning correctly, because though the make has progressed along just fine, my pH meter keeps reading no lower than 6.5. So either the acid level is developing more slowly than I expect, or is it broken?
Jarlsberg –type cheese
2 gal non-homoginized whole milk, pH 6.7
1 pre-measured packet Thermo C (ST and LH) about ½ tsp
1/8 tsp ps
¼ tsp calcium chloride
1.75 ml calf rennet
12:00: heating in heavy bottomed pot on diffuser plate over low flame
12:30: temperature at 92 degrees
12:38: done stirring in cultures, resting at 92 degrees for about 45 mins
1:35: done stirring in calcium chloride and rennet (each diluted in ¼ cup water)
Flocculation at 14 mins, clean break at 49 mins
Curd cut about 3/8 inch and rested 5 mins.
2:30: Temperature 90 degrees, pH 6.6
Stirred gently for 20 mins, with flame as low as possible to bring it back to 92 degrees.
3:05: Whey removed to level of curd, replacing with 140 degree water to bring to 100 degrees
3:45: Temperature now 108 degrees, pH still says 6.6
I think something might be wrong with the meter, because the curd feels ready. It is squeaky, and readily wants to knit together when I stop stirring. So I go ahead with draining the whey.
Pressed in mold in whey for 10 mins with 10 #
Removed from whey into standard press with 10 # for 30 mins, and meter now says pH 6.7
Cheese flipped and re-dressed and pressed with 20 # for 1 hour.
Cheese flipped and re-dressed and pressing with 30 # for I am not sure how long to go.... pH is 6.5 then 6.6.
9:00: Getting anxious because I would like to go to bed at some point. Now at 40 # to try and get some whey to measure and I am now at 5.9 pH.
10:15: Time for bed, so it had to be done pressing. Last pH measurement 5.7, weight 2# 2oz. Into the brine for 7 hours.
Next evening weight 1# 14oz
So my main question is regarding the pH... Should it have been so slow to drop? In comparison to Anut's recent posting on Jarlsberg, this seemed very slow.
Next question... If the meter was accurate, what can I expect with this cheese given the pH at into brine?