Author Topic: Cheddar me this  (Read 1233 times)

Offline Boofer

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Cheddar me this
« on: April 20, 2012, 12:54:55 AM »
Wednesday was time for cheese-making once again. My wife was out of town so I had the kitchen all to myself!

I took inspiration for my first Cheddar from anutcanfly, 200 Easy Homemade Cheese Recipes, and CHR Hansen’s Cheddar Cheese brochure. I didn’t want a dry, crumbly, excessively tangy cheese when I finished. I was shooting for a softer, more malleable, creamy cheese with a slight tang. I expect this cheese to age out to at least 12 months.

Initial pH: 6.83
Renneting pH: 6.69    (target: 6.55)
Cutting pH: 6.62    (target: 6.5)
Drain pH: 6.5    (target: 6.5)
Milling pH: 6.45    (target: 6.45)
Moulding/Pressing pH: 5.68    (target: 6.4)
Out of press pH: 5.40    (target: 5.4)

4 gallons Dungeness Valley whole raw milk
8 cubes MA4001 mother culture (LL, LC, LD, ST)
1/16 tsp LH100 (LL, LH)
1/64 tsp LR (alluded to in the CHR Hansen's paper)
1 tsp annatto, in ¼ cup distilled water
½ tsp CACL, ¼ cup in distilled water
1/16 tsp Renco dry calf rennet, dissolved in ¼ cup cold distilled water
3 TBS pickling salt
  • ·   Began heating milk to 90F; added cubes, LH100 & LR
  • ·   Although my target for renneting was lower, I figured a drop from my starting point was a good place to add annatto, CACL, and rennet.
  • ·   Using a floc multiplier of 3.5, it floc’d in 10 minutes and I waited for 25 minutes.
  • ·   I cut to ½ inch and rested for 5 minutes.
  • ·   I began to raise the heat to 101F, stirring gently and continuing to cut any large pieces that showed themselves. This heating took 45 minutes.
  • ·   Then I put the lid on and held it in the double boiler at 101F for 30 minutes.
  • ·   I drained the whey, cut the curd mass into 4 or 5 slabs, and stacked them.
  • ·   After 10 minutes I shuffled the slabs, moving the sides that hadn’t been down.
  • ·   Whenever I noticed whey had collected, I drained it off.
  • ·   After about 45 minutes, I put the slabs on a clean cutting board and diced them into ¾ inch cubes.
  • ·   I drained the remaining whey from the pot the curds had been in and returned the cubed curds to it.
  • ·   I salted and turned the curds to ensure they all received salt coverage.
  • ·   At first I thought I’d need my larger Tomme mould and I lined it with PlyBan and began to press the cheese in the pot. It became apparent that this would give me a thinner wheel than I wanted, so I prepped the standard Tomme mould and wedged the larger wheel into the smaller form. Not a problem.
  • ·   I pressed for 30 minutes with 2.9 psi (126 lbs).
  • ·   Then I flipped & redressed, pressing at 2.9 psi for 30 minutes.
  • ·   Then I flipped & redressed, pressing at 5.6 psi (241 lbs) overnight.
  • ·   Sometime after I started the final pressing, I checked and found that my junction box plate center slug was being punched out (I need to find a better pressure plate.). I needed something to block that hole access. Hey, there’s a silver dollar over there! I’ll use that! Worked like a champ.
  • ·   The next morning I was pleasantly surprised to see that the pH was a comfortable 5.40 coming off the press.
  • ·   The wheel was pretty dry but also had a nice “give” when I pressed it…not too dry and hard (like my earlier Double Gloucester was).
  • ·   I put the cheese in a minicave to air dry for a bit.
  • ·   After 14 hours air drying I vacuum-sealed it and put it in the cave for long-term aging.

The Streptococcus thermophilus (ST) and Lactobacillus helveticus (LH) should help the aging and lend a more complex nature to the flavor profile down the road. I wasn't sure if the Hansen's guide really intended that Coryneforms such as LR should be added, but I decided to include a little bit.

 -Boofer-
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Online JeffHamm

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Re: Cheddar me this
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2012, 01:32:43 AM »
That looks very nice.  Are you sure 14 hours of air drying will be enough?  I would keep an eye on it just to make sure it doesn't leak in the bag.  Mind you, my ability to press only goes up to a bit over 2 psi, so perhaps you're ok.

Nice job.

- Jeff
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Offline hoeklijn

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Re: Cheddar me this
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2012, 05:23:13 AM »
Nice wheel Boofer! Another cheese I never tried but I surely want to make sometimes! I only have the opportunity to make cheese in the weekends but not every weekend... Next weekend I'm going to prepare some more glass shelves for the cave to gain more space to age the cheeses. And after that I have a list of cheeses I want to try and a list of cheeses my wife and children want to eat (different variations on Gouda mostly).
- Herman -

Offline H-K-J

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Re: Cheddar me this
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2012, 09:14:17 AM »
Nice wheel Boofer, I was thinking about making a cheddar but have decided on a Swiss
http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,9541.msg69275.html#new

A cheese to you for such a nice wheel  :)
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Offline Boofer

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Re: Cheddar me this
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2012, 09:49:05 AM »
That looks very nice.  Are you sure 14 hours of air drying will be enough?  I would keep an eye on it just to make sure it doesn't leak in the bag.  Mind you, my ability to press only goes up to a bit over 2 psi, so perhaps you're ok.

Nice job.

- Jeff
It seemed dry enough and I didn't want it exposed to the elements any longer than it needed. Both caves have new blues coming on so that also presented a source of unwanted innoculation. You know I'll be closely watching it.

Nice wheel Boofer, I was thinking about making a cheddar but have decided on a Swiss
http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,9541.msg69275.html#new

A cheese to you for such a nice wheel  :)
Looking forward to seeing how that new masterful (and artful) Dutch press works out along with your new cheese mould.

-Boofer-
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Offline anutcanfly

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Re: Cheddar me this
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2012, 11:14:09 AM »
Your cheese looks great!  It conforms to the standard for this type of cheese.  The real test is in the aging.  I'll post the results in 6 months on my overweight cheeses.  I quite curious about it too.
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Offline Boofer

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Re: Cheddar me this
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2013, 09:50:57 AM »
I couldn't wait another day to cut this cheese.

There was some moisture accumulated in the vacuum bag. I dried the cheese off when I removed it from the bag. Looks pretty good, slices well with few crumbly bits coming off. The texture is good and the flavor is slightly sharp which reflects the 11 month affinage. The cheese melts well which would lend itself well to cooking and grilled cheese sandwiches. :D

-Boofer-


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Offline CWREBEL

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Re: Cheddar me this
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2013, 10:02:21 AM »
Sure looks like cheddar to me! Mmmm... homemade mac n cheese! A cheese to you Boofer!
-Chris

Offline Boofer

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Re: Cheddar me this
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2013, 10:51:08 AM »
Thanks for the cheese, Chris. :)

-Boofer-
Let's ferment something!
Bread, beer, wine, cheese...it's all good.

Online JeffHamm

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Re: Cheddar me this
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2013, 11:03:42 AM »
Great looking cheddar.  A cheese to you boofer. 

- Jeff
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Offline mdmoore00

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Re: Cheddar me this
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2013, 01:07:39 PM »
Wonderful! I love the dramatic lighting in one shot.

Offline george (MaryJ)

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Re: Cheddar me this
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2013, 05:56:36 AM »
Awesome, Boofer, congrats!!  (And especially on your patience!)  I'm having the same problem eyeing that Double Gloucester - but it's only 3 months old and I want to wait as long as you did (6 or 7 months, I believe).  It's so haaaaaarrrrrddddddd!!!!!!
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Offline Boofer

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Re: Cheddar me this
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2013, 08:26:20 AM »
Hang in there, george. Find some other cheese to divert your attention. :)

-Boofer-
Let's ferment something!
Bread, beer, wine, cheese...it's all good.

Offline H-K-J

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Re: Cheddar me this
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2013, 11:04:14 AM »
Looks good enough tuh eat
A cheese for your perseverance (Wow 11 months ^-^) A cheese for you  ;D
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Offline Al Lewis

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Re: Cheddar me this
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2013, 12:05:57 PM »
Beautiful looking cheddar!!  Great job and a cheese to you for patience and skill!