Author Topic: My second romano - what milk to use?  (Read 1521 times)

Offline margaretsmall

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My second romano - what milk to use?
« on: March 09, 2012, 03:40:32 PM »
My first romano is looking very happy in my cave, so, with the welcome advice from the forum, I'm intending to make another next week. I've armed myself with the largest whisk I've ever seen in readiness. My question regards the fat percentage of the milk - there's a variety of suggestions in the recipes, including Ricki Carroll's 2 gallons of 2% fat milk plus 6 oz. heavy cream, which seems odd. Given that parmesan is made with low fat milk, I wonder if that is the way to go with romano?

Margaret


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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: My second romano - what milk to use?
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2012, 04:37:41 PM »
I switched to Peter Dixsons recipe about 5 years ago and really liked the consistancy of the make. Of course I also switched to rawmilk and commercial culttures at the same time so.... I don't really have access to  reasonably priced milk goats so I use all cows milk and just chill and skim the cream. probably near 2 to 2.5%. I have made it with 2% store bought milk and it is pretty close.

http://www.dairyfoodsconsulting.com/recipes_Romano.shtml

Offline margaretsmall

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Re: My second romano - what milk to use?
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2012, 05:05:59 PM »
Thanks DeejayDebi. I'll aim for 2% and see how it goes.
Margaret

Offline margaretsmall

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Re: My second romano - what milk to use?
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2012, 07:59:24 PM »
With this good advice onboard, a brand new huge (60cm long!) whisk, and a new double boiler setup I was ready to go to Romano no. 2 on 22nd March. Until now I have been heating milk in a couple of batches in my largest (but still small) boiler, tranferring it to a shallow plastic container with a lid inside a foam box with a lid and proceeding from there. Works fine except when you need to raise the temperature of the curd - the space between the inner and outer boxes isn't great enough to take a lot of hot water, and the shape of the box also mitigated against a decent temperature rise. Double boiler definitely worked better.

The milk - not quite the 2% I was thinking of - 4l Peel Valley Gold Top (4.8% fat), 2l Coles Light P/H (1.4%), 2l Ivyhome low fat organic,P/non-H (0.9%).

Heated to 32oC (no. 1 was 38oC). Added 3/8tspn. Thermo C and 1/4tspn. CaCl (may not have needed the CaCl, but no idea how Peel pasteurises their milk, so thought it wouldn't hurt). Ripened 30 min.

Added scant 1/8tspn. lipase and 1ml DS calf rennet, both diluted.

Floated the boat and waited. After 16 min. there was definite thickening but not the dramatic flocculation I've experienced in the past. Waited another 2 minutes, and it was the same, so decided  to take 18 min. as the time. Waited another 18 min (flocc. time for Romano 2-2.5), thought the curd was still a bit soft, waited another 9 min.

Cut into little columns, tried the diagonal cut thing to make cubes (not very successful), then used my whisk as suggested by Jeff, worked a treat.
Stirred 10 min.

Turned on the heat, still stirring, reached 46oC in half an hour - too fast, need to work on regulating this a bit better, but it's my first time, remember. Very pleased with the separation of curds and whey - romano 1 had very milky curds, so much so that I made some ricotta; not even tempted to try this time.

Drained the whey and packed the dry curds into a 15cm basket hoop, lined with a sterilized Chux. Pressed with 2.3kg for an hour.

Redressed, pressed with 4.6kg for 2 hours.

Redressed and pressed with 12.6kg weights for another 6.5 hrs. (The thread only a few days later about pressing under whey and in warm conditions suggests that I need not have used so much).

Removed from press and into a saturated brine bath overnight.

23th March, a.m. Put out to dry off.

24th March. Dry enough to go in the cave. Weighted it, and dismayed to find it weighed 875g. Romano 1 was 1175g at the same point. After I calmed down, I remembered the difference in fat content - this make had a total of 238g of fat, romano 1 which was all Peel Gold Top, had 384g, so that would have been some of the difference (although I lost more milk solids in no. 1), and I suppose the rest can be accounted for by my much better expulsion of whey.  Romano 1 has lost 200gr over 6 weeks (ie average of 4.8g. per day) while no. 2 this morning had lost 50 gr in 23 days (ie 2.2g per day) which seems to support this assumption. I see Margaret Morris says an 8% yield, which would mean a cheese weighing 640gr at the end of ageing, so maybe I'm not too far from the mark. 

Both cheeses are progressing satisfactorily. I rubbed no. 1 with EVOO last week and again this week, it has a very solid looking and feeling  rind, and the oil rub seems to have discouraged mold growth. I needed to rub off some PC and blue mold from both cheeses initially, and there's still a bit of blue arriving on no. 2. Both have a dusting of a white mold which I think is OK, but not so impressed with the black pinhead mold which keeps appearing. The vinegar rub takes it off, but the white mold goes too.

All in all, I'm pretty happy with the way this one has gone, now comes the waiting!  My husband was around when I was fussing with them yesterday and he said that they certainly smelt like cheese (I have no sense of smell, I need his nose) as well as looking like cheese.

I'm not sure how to continue to age these - unusually we will be home most of the time for the next couple of months, so I can safely leave them 'naked' in the cave, but I suspect I'll lose patience with the mold fighting (although it seems that no. 1 is now taking care of herself, so maybe this will be less of a chore as time goes on). But I could vacuum them, and I also have the cream wax that we have been discussing lately - so any advice on how to proceed would be most welcome.

I intend to make another one soon, this time with lower fat milk. Will be interesting to compare them in 6+ months.
Margaret

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: My second romano - what milk to use?
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2012, 07:16:32 PM »
That's looking very good!


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Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: My second romano - what milk to use?
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2012, 08:33:40 PM »
Margaret, Just for reference, almost all "organic" milk is ultrapasteurized and not a good choice for cheesemaking.
A moldy Stilton is a thing of beauty. Yes, you eat the rind. - Ed
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Offline margaretsmall

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Re: My second romano - what milk to use?
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2012, 07:05:22 AM »
Dear Sailor,

This isn't the case in Australia. I emailed Ivyhome and their reply is -

We pasteurise our milk at 63 degrees for 30 minutes, which is the lowest temperature to achieve appropriate pasteursing

The Cheesemakingworkshop at Coffs Harbour uses Norco organic non-homogenised milk exclusively in their workshops with good results. There's a list of non-homogenised milk available in Australia and suitable for cheesemaking at http://www.cheeselinks.com.au/infomilk.html, which includes some other organic milks. On the other hand Coles own brand organic milk is labelled ultrahigh pasteurized. Peel Valley Gold Top, which isn't organic certified, is what I use mostly because it's considerably cheaper than Norco and Ivyhome, the only other non-homogenised milk available where I live.  And is also more acceptable in terms of food miles - it's produced only about 150km away, Ivyhome comes from Queensland, and heaven only knows where Norco come from. While UHT is on all the supermarket shelves here it hasn't taken the place of fresh  milk to the same extent as I have observed  (sadly) in Europe. I am still looking for some kind soul who is milking a cow and is prepared to give/sell swap raw milk. You would have thought that living in a rural area that would not be difficult, but it is. I'm told that raw milk for bathing is available, but I've never seen it for sale. Not sure that I'd risk it anyway.

I've decided to let romano no. 1 continue on for a while yet and lose a bit more moisture before bagging it. I'm conscious of the fact that such a relatively small cheese could in time turn into 100% rind, which I don't want, so it will be something of a balancing act I guess. Will probably oil no. 2 as well.
Margaret

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: My second romano - what milk to use?
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2012, 09:51:52 PM »
Oiling works particularly well with the hard cheeses.

Offline tinysar

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Re: My second romano - what milk to use?
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2012, 09:35:41 AM »
Yes, the situation seems to be different in Australia. I've worked in the organic food industry for a few years now, and fresh organic milks here tend to be minimally-pasteurised (with a few exceptions like the Coles-brand and "Organic Valley"). They are also often unhomogenised, and there seems to be a lot of lovely Jersey milk. There is even the famous "bath milk" (the only legal way to sell raw milk here), and another enterprising lot - Elgaar - who add cultures back into their [unhomogenised] milk after pasteurisation to mimic it's raw state. I have used these milks for cheesemaking for many years with great success - I used some regular p+h homebrand milk from the supermarket this week for the first time and it caused me no end of trouble, I won't be repeating that again in a hurry. That's a great link Margaret, thankyou. As for the source of Norco's milk, I had thought it was called "Norco" because the co-op was based on the North Coast of NSW?

Offline margaretsmall

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Re: My second romano - what milk to use?
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2012, 05:58:21 PM »
Hi Tinysar,
I'd forgotten that about Norco. Started at Byron Bay in fact. I guess I assumed that since they are in every supermarket they must be produced in some far distant place. According to their website they process at the Gold Coast and Coffs Harbour, and Coffs is even within the 160km radius of Armidale. I'm not fanatical about that (I would starve if I was) but I do try to buy locally produced food. Have you used the bath milk?
Margaret


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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: My second romano - what milk to use?
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2012, 06:56:12 PM »
How handy is that? They ruin our organic milk here.

Offline tinysar

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Re: My second romano - what milk to use?
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2012, 07:17:20 PM »
Yes, I've used the bath milk. It made excellent mozzarella, as I recall. Very expensive though - I think some farmer-direct deal would be preferable as long as you were sure about their hygiene.