Author Topic: Trying a Stiltonesque this time  (Read 4245 times)

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Trying a Stiltonesque this time
« Reply #15 on: April 16, 2012, 04:12:16 PM »
Looking good, Jeff. I always try to watch temp and humidity, and surface flora. It's a deceptively easy cheese to make, but there are all these subtleties that make a big difference. usually, even when it doesn't turn out fantastic, it's still really good. One of my favs. Hope it turns out well.

Re: the whole temp and wrapping issue... for a Stilton, it is crucial to have a dedicated space that is not infected by geo, random yeasts, or other flora. If it does, not the end of the world, but it makes proper blue development harder because it will infect the openings. For this reason, I like to overinoculate with a milder blue strain so I get a rapid growth, and then after a good bloom, lower the temp down to 8C or so, and let it age out slowly for more nuanced flavors and aromas. It's just one approach, though. Classically, it is aged in the cave the entire time and the surface crust forms a sort of protective barrier. This is hard to do in a small aging chamber so sometimes, one needs to cheat.

You can wrap, but that's typically done for surface salted blues. I suppose overall point is listen to what your cheese is telling you. If it looks like it's doing something other than what you expected, figure out what it's doing, and see where you want to go, and then figure out how to get there. Post pics and descriptions if you want help. Right now, the draining and acidification step is pretty crucial. If it has stopped draining at 3-4 days, you're done. It needs to be able to retain its shape. With less fat in the milk, it may not need the full 5 days.
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Online JeffHamm

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Re: Trying a Stiltonesque this time
« Reply #16 on: April 16, 2012, 09:49:27 PM »
Thanks Pav! 

I can dedicate a ripening box to it, which I'll give a good cleaning and sterilisation wash first.  That's about as good as I can do to prevent cross contamination.  I'll start it off on the top shelf, and later in the ripening process move it to the bottom and see how it's developing.  I can lower the cave to 8C as well if necessary.

Anyway, will post some photos in a few days when it's finished draining.  I put a fair amount of blue mould in from the cheese I borrowed it from, but will have to see how quickly the blue develops.  Seems to do quite well when I'm not trying, so there's some wild blues around that I'll have to compete with.  Fun stuff.

As you can see in my notes, the temp got  a couple of degrees warmer than target, but the curds seem to be good and doing what I'm expecting - as in they seem to be fusing together so the cheese won't fall apart when I remove the mould, etc. 

- Jeff
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Online JeffHamm

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Re: Trying a Stiltonesque this time
« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2012, 02:11:48 AM »
Hi,

Well, this is the 3rd day of flipping morning and evening and I noted the first blue mould development after flipping this evening.  Has a good blue smell developing as well.  I'm pleased so far.  Anyway, after tomorrow I'll smooth things out and into the cave it goes.  Nice.

- Jeff
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Online JeffHamm

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Re: Trying a Stiltonesque this time
« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2012, 01:57:14 PM »
Hi,

Ok, as the blue is well forming up this am, I decided to smooth this morning rather than this evening.  The cheese weighed in at 1490g from 10L.  The curds have fused, and during the smoothing only one "chunk" broke away, but I was able to mortar it back in, so all is not lost.  The crumbs have a definate blue taste, but it's very young and hasn't any depth.  Still, the paste seemed creamy enough to smooth and the blue is developing rapidly and, hopefully, will soon cover and protect the whole cheese.

I'm curious though, the smoothing, is this primarily to improve the appearance and/or structural integrety early on?  Or, by sealing the cracks, is the idea to slow down the blue development internally so that it doesn't develop bitter and off flavours due to rapid growth?  This latter seems to contradict the notion that the rind, which is exposed, is edible (so I suspect I'm wrong on that, just trying to cover all the bases).

Anyway, this seems to be going well so far.  But there is a journy ahead, and things to see along the way, not all of which will be expected.

- Jeff
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Offline beechercreature

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Re: Trying a Stiltonesque this time
« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2012, 03:08:14 PM »
that's a purdy lookin blue. good job.


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Offline anutcanfly

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Re: Trying a Stiltonesque this time
« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2012, 06:09:51 PM »
Somehow I missed this post.  Lovely looking blue Jeff.  I don't really understand the purpose of smoothing either.
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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Trying a Stiltonesque this time
« Reply #21 on: April 18, 2012, 06:14:01 PM »
That is a pretty colored cheese Jeff good luck with it.

Online JeffHamm

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Re: Trying a Stiltonesque this time
« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2012, 06:34:43 PM »
Thanks everyone!  I'm keeping my fingers crossed for this one.  Must remember to take it out to air each day.

- Jeff
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Offline anutcanfly

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Re: Trying a Stiltonesque this time
« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2012, 07:27:36 PM »
Kinda like a pet.  :)
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Online JeffHamm

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Re: Trying a Stiltonesque this time
« Reply #24 on: April 19, 2012, 02:01:12 AM »
Yes.  I'm expecting it to start scratching at the door to get out in a couple weeks.  Still, cheese doesn't make a good pet.  It's too quiet, and hard to get them to come in at night. (If you can spot that obscure movie reference a cheese to you!)

- Jeff
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Offline Boofer

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Re: Trying a Stiltonesque this time
« Reply #25 on: April 19, 2012, 08:34:52 AM »
Yes.  I'm expecting it to start scratching at the door to get out in a couple weeks.  Still, cheese doesn't make a good pet.  It's too quiet, and hard to get them to come in at night. (If you can spot that obscure movie reference a cheese to you!)

- Jeff
When you can finally get them to stop wetting the paper...that's really nice.  ;)

Good progress, Jeff. I can smell it from up here.  :D

Movie reference, huh? Let's see..."Wolf" with Jack Nicholson? How about "The Thing" with James Arness? Wrong track?

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Re: Trying a Stiltonesque this time
« Reply #26 on: April 19, 2012, 08:59:16 AM »
Lookin very nice Jeff, :) the main reason I smooth mine is that they do it at Stilton and everyone told me to :P
and why I smoothed my second one? the first one turned out excellent ;D
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Offline anutcanfly

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Re: Trying a Stiltonesque this time
« Reply #27 on: April 19, 2012, 10:36:48 AM »
I'm stumped!  Guess I don't get that cheese.  Good thing I make my own!  ;)
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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Trying a Stiltonesque this time
« Reply #28 on: April 19, 2012, 10:44:46 AM »
Quote

I'm curious though, the smoothing, is this primarily to improve the appearance and/or structural integrety early on?  Or, by sealing the cracks, is the idea to slow down the blue development internally so that it doesn't develop bitter and off flavours due to rapid growth?  This latter seems to contradict the notion that the rind, which is exposed, is edible (so I suspect I'm wrong on that, just trying to cover all the bases).
Covered this in more detail somewhere before, but point of smoothing is for appearance and to decrease rind inclusions. You want the yeast and blue to create a "skin". This skin doesn't form too well with all sorts of crevices... can get inside the cheese. So when smooth out, gives a higher yield and a prettier finished cheese. Idea of rind as skin is extremely important in cheesemaking. All cheeses require skin management... whether natural (flora sequence), or fake (plastic, nat, wax, etc).
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Online JeffHamm

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Re: Trying a Stiltonesque this time
« Reply #29 on: April 19, 2012, 12:20:05 PM »
Ah, thanks linuxboy.  So appearance and rind/skin integrety are the primary functions of smoothing. 

Hmmm, for those playing movie trivia, the quote from the movie is about eggs not making good pets.  They're too quiet and hard to get them to come in at night.  The actor who delivers the line is Peter Sellers.  I'll leave it at that for now I think.

- Jeff

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