Thanks for the information.
Instead of doing a Pepper Jack, I instead tried a Toscano Pepato, partly from the New England Cheese making website.
I say partly because the recipe on that site is pretty vague in places and also I only added red and green jalepenos instead of cracked peppercorns.
I did stay with 3 gallons of two percent and 1 gallon of whole and added 24 oz. of whipping cream to the mix.
The resultant curd set was one of the best I've ever gotten.
I would love to try some real cream, Tea, but I haven't been able to find anything other than whipping cream in my area. Sort of ironic since I am sitting smack in the middle of Illinois dairy country. :-)
I did take your advice and treated the curd very gently and limited the amout of stirring I did on this cheese.
According to the website (cheesemaking.com) you can control the firmness of this cheese by stirring more (for a harder cheese) or less (for a softer, more moist cheese).
Since I'm looking for something with a soft, creamy texture I figured I'd give it a try.
This is not only the first time I've attempted this cheese, I've also never tasted the style so it should be interesting.
Not sure what made me change my mind at the last minute, other than the cheese looked good and appeard to be more interesting than a Jack style.
I think I'll give the pepper jack another go next weekend. Tomorrow I'm doing a provolone if I can find the time and that will be the limits of my cheese making for this week.
The pepato is in the press for another 4 hours or so and then I'll give it a brine bath.
Once it is removed, I'll snap a couple of pics.
Thanks again for your help, Tea.