Author Topic: My Eight Week Old Stilton  (Read 2561 times)

Offline Likesspace

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My Eight Week Old Stilton
« on: February 06, 2009, 08:33:39 PM »
Hi everyone and happy Friday!
Well tonight I opened up my Stilton that has been aging for 8 weeks.
Some will think this is too early to open a Stilton....cough (Carter) cough..... but the recipe I followed said the cheese will be excellent at this stage.  :)

Well even though this cheese probably would have improved with a little more age I had three reasons for going ahead and cracking it open.

1. First and foremost I was dying to see what was inside
2. I had another Stilton "room aging" and it really needed to go into the cave tonight since it has been at room temperature for a week.
3. When I pierced this wheel I gave it a couple of cracks and the cracks continued to get worse the more the cheese aged.

Well anyway, I am not sorry that I cracked this wheel when I did.
The texture is nice and firm yet extremely creamy.

I was also very thrilled with the amount of veining on this wheel, especially at this age.
From what I have read the veining begins at 6 weeks so I was expecting at least some veining to have taken place, but honestly this exceeded my expectations.

I have compared this cheese to some pics I pulled up on google and I feel that mine are at least comparable to the photos I looked at.
Not as nice as some but better than others and that is something that I can live with.
I have tasted a small piece of this cheese and it does have a very nice and very strong blue flavor. Exactly what I was hoping for since I love a strong blue cheese.
Anway, here's a couple of pics.
I feel that if nothing else, this vindicates me of my recent Camembert failure.

Dave

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: My Eight Week Old Stilton
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2009, 10:25:58 PM »
WOW That looks freakin' awesome. I'm glad you took pics Dave becasue I've been dying to see a Home Made Stilton. I can't believe your rind is so brown. Mine is still blue and wrinkly. Good job.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Captain Caprine

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Re: My Eight Week Old Stilton
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2009, 10:47:53 PM »
Wow Dave!
That veining looks great, nice job.
CC
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I want to make cheese with no border collie hair in it!!!

Offline chilipepper

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Re: My Eight Week Old Stilton
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2009, 10:59:24 PM »
Dave that does look great. Both the rind development and the veining.  Cudos for that one!  I'm suddenly craving some Stilton!  We really need to start collectively putting some thought behind a cheeseforum exclusive "chese teleporter"!

Offline Likesspace

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Re: My Eight Week Old Stilton
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2009, 07:21:20 AM »
Thanks guys, I'm happy with this one.
I think I need to cut back on the amount of p. roq. I've been using since the veining is too heavy in most places.
Also, my third attempt (6 weeks old at this point) did not form nearly as good of a rind and only has browing occuring in certain places on the wheel.
I'm not sure what happened but the rind is quite hard on the other example whereas the rind on this one still had a bit of moisture to it.
I've still got a lot to work out on the process but if they all have the taste and texture of this one it will be fun doing the work.
Thanks again for the replies.

Dave

Offline Tea

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Re: My Eight Week Old Stilton
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2009, 03:03:53 PM »
Well Dave that is certainly one stunning cheese.  Well done!!  Is that rind colour normal for this cheese?  It certainly gives it a great professional looking finish.  Lets hope that you can replicate this one again.

Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: My Eight Week Old Stilton
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2009, 07:24:37 PM »
I just had a bit of Stilton this weekend. 

all I can say is WOW.

"i GOTS to get me some of that!"

I will be hitting Dave up for his recipe.
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Offline John (CH)

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Re: My Eight Week Old Stilton
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2009, 07:43:45 PM »
Looks great Dave, very envious, this height-width ratio is much better for making blue cheeses than the disks I made last spring.

Still don't know how you got that solid great brown rind, but it does look good.

Not sure if cutting back on amount of Penicillium roqueforti will reduce amount of blueing because as a mold it will self replicate. I'm just using some ground up store bought blue cheese rather than manufactured mold, still grows like crazy.

Anyway congrats, if you wanted to age some more, you could just place the two halves back together?

Offline Likesspace

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Re: My Eight Week Old Stilton
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2009, 09:00:53 PM »
Quote: Anyway congrats, if you wanted to age some more, you could just place the two halves back together.

NO, NO, NO!
Aging is overrated. Eating is the key!  :D

Honestly, I don't think this size of wheel needs to age any farther. I sampled a little (a lot) more of this cheese tonight and the taste/texture really is perfect.
I've heard many things described as "melting in your mouth" but this one really fits the bill.
Now if I can only make another one that looks/tastes like this one.
My next batch certainly ins't filling the bill but luckily I keep good records. I guess it's time to go back and see what I did to this one that made it work.
Thanks to everyone for the comments. This is one cheese that I felt I needed to perfect before I could be considered a "real" cheese maker. The other two are Swiss and Parmesan and I still have work to do on all three.
Regardless, I'm at least on my way.

Dave




Offline Cartierusm

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Re: My Eight Week Old Stilton
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2009, 11:41:08 PM »
Dave seeing as you're so impatients I'm going to impose upon you to figure out if you remember or your notes say if you did anything differently, especially in the aging phase.

I heartily agree with John, mold is mold, it will grow, maybe make your holes smaller next time.

Also this was store bought milk?
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline chilipepper

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Re: My Eight Week Old Stilton
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2009, 11:49:16 PM »
Wow you set the bar pretty high for yourself Dave!  But good to have clear goals! :)

I, however, really like the bar you set.  I think you and I share a lot of the same aspirations in this hobby as well as the same flaws... patience being the hardest to overcome which will make the parmesan and swiss an even greater challenge!!  You are definately several notches above me but I certainly enjoy your posts and really enjoy your progress and pictures!!   ;D ;D

I'm actually making parmesan #2 tomorrow so I have 2 in the cave for aging and then back to the moldy ones.... I'm counting the days until I can crack into my Camemberts but they are only getting mushy about 1 inch in from the edge. The center is still somewhat firm.  I need more cheese in the cave so it isn't so hard to wait!

Ok my blah, blah, blah is over now and congrats on completing phase 1 of your personal cheesemaking certification program!

Offline Likesspace

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Re: My Eight Week Old Stilton
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2009, 07:13:23 AM »
Chili....stage one isn't complete just yet. There are still some things I'd like to do better on this cheese. I do feel that I'm a little closer than I was but still not there.  :)
I'm honestly not sure that I will ever be satisfied with the cheese I produce but as long as I keep seeing improvement I can deal with it.

Carter....The only thing I did differently on this one was to smooth the rind at the VERY first hint of bluing taking place.
On all of my other batches I had a good covering of blue before taking them out of the mold.
I've since looked at the Stilton making site and it looks to me that they also smooth the surface before bluing takes place and I'm thinking this is what helps the rind to form.
This was made with store bought milk with the addition of whipping cream. Again, the only thing I did differently was in the smoothing stage.
I think I'll give Tom's idea a try next time and use a 15 gauge bicycle spoke for the piercing.
This will not only make smaller holes that might slow down the amount of bluing but it should also stop the problems I've had with cracking the wheels. Yeah, I still have a lot of work on this variety before it's "right".
Thanks for the posts, everyone.

Dave

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: My Eight Week Old Stilton
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2009, 01:27:39 PM »
It's funny how we all are so concerned about the look of the cheese but we should really be focused on the taste. We do this as we can't taste it for months and months so we want the part we can control now to be prefect.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Captain Caprine

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Re: My Eight Week Old Stilton
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2009, 01:52:50 PM »
Carter,
You are absolutely correct.  I think that most of us got into cheese making to mimic the taste of really good artisan cheeses that we have turned to because the taste of mass-produced cheese has taken a back seat to appearance and ease of production.  We should celebrate our ugly masterpieces.
CC
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I want to make cheese with no border collie hair in it!!!

Offline Likesspace

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Re: My Eight Week Old Stilton
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2009, 05:21:52 PM »
Carter and C.C.....
Of course you both are right. Taste is the key but to me it's all about perfection.
I don't care if it's cheesemaking, winemaking, ice cream making or the perfect racquetball or golf swing.
Everything I've ever done, I've poured myself into it, to the point of obsession. Sometimes I even feel guilty about how much time/effort/money I will put into a given hobby but I've also found that this obsessive nature has it's rewards.
I've come to realize that there will always be failures and that it's very difficult (if not next to impossible) to reach perfection, but that's what makes my hobbies fun and keeps me involved.
One of the greatest compliments I ever got was from my brother.
He told me one night (after several glasses of a good Cab) that he's never seen anyone that does so many things so well. My cousin was there that same night and his comment was that when someone gets involved in something, to the point of obsession, the results will nearly always be better than someone that has only a passing interest in the same thing. I thought he pretty much hit the nail on the head with that statement.
First and foremost I want my cheese to taste good. That's by far the most important thing but texture, appearance, ability to melt and all of the other aspects of cheesemaking are also very important to me.
I don't feel that I'm asking for much...you know, jus that whole perfection thing.  ;D

Dave