Author Topic: My 4th cheddar  (Read 598 times)

Offline awakephd

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My 4th cheddar
« on: July 01, 2014, 11:33:34 AM »
Here are a few pictures of my fourth cheddar; it is my third using the "traditional cheddar" recipe found in the Ricki Carroll book, but I did modify just a bit this time by adding a little thermo to the culture. I also added annatto, my first time using that. One other change was that I did this as a 3-gallon make; I could only find 2 gallons of whole milk that were really fresh, so I also used 1 gallon of 2% plus a pint of heavy cream.

The curd seemed a bit fragile, especially at first, even after allowing some extra time to set -- perhaps the result of the annatto? or perhaps of the addition of the UP cream?? However, once it began to shrink and cook, it firmed up nicely. It is now in the press ... and in 6 months or more, I can tell you how it turned out!

-- Andy

Offline H-K-J

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Re: My 4th cheddar
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2014, 05:23:20 PM »
for using  P/H milk that looks nice, I never seem to get that good of curd out of that type milk.
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Offline awakephd

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Re: My 4th cheddar
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2014, 08:26:38 PM »
There is a local grocery chain that has a "premium" house brand milk -- only a little more expensive than the regular -- which was said (in the one and only beginner cheesemaking class that I took) to be the best P/H choice in the area for cheesemaking. I've used it for all my cheeses (18 or so thus far), with one exception, and I've had no failures yet (knock on wood) . . . except for, you guessed it, that one time I used a different brand. To be fair, that one failure was a recent attempt to make 30-minute mozarella to use up a gallon of the wrong kind of milk bought in error, and I've seen many reports here of sketchy results with that recipe.
-- Andy

Offline Spoons

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Re: My 4th cheddar
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2014, 11:01:28 AM »
Nice cheese! That's going to end up being a real creamy cheddar (higher fat content). Adding thermo as an adjunct to cheddar is the way to go these days. I've seen this referred to as "new world cheddar". If you're curious about the effect of thermo adjunct in cheddar, here's a brochure with a chart that shows the effects of different LH strains. I recently bought some FLAV 54 and have already made 2 cheeses with it, my 3rd will be a cheddar this Friday.

http://www.orchard-dairy.co.uk/downloads/ChoozitCheddarBrochure_20022009102841.pdf

Offline Stu

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Re: My 4th cheddar
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2014, 11:09:51 AM »
The cubes in that last picture look great!

A quick question though. When you say "a little thermo" how much are you talking about? I'm using the the NEC cultures, and sticking with two gallon makes (so it's just one packet). Would you add like half a packet of thermo? More? Less?

Offline awakephd

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Re: My 4th cheddar
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2014, 04:47:25 PM »
Stu, roughly the equivalent of half-a-packet. I am using bulk cultures, so in terms of measurements, I used 3/16 tsp MA011 (meso) and 1/8 tsp TA061 (thermo). I just took it out of the press (pictures below) and had to trim a bit where it got past the follower -- yum! Already has a nice taste.

The first picture below is after pressing for 12 hours at 50 lbs. It was knit enough to take it out and flip it, but it looked like one good shake would reduce it back to the individual cubes!

The second and third picture show the cheese after additional pressing at 100 lbs. for 24 hours. Still not quite a perfect knit, as can be seen. The RC book calls for 40 lbs for 12 hours and 50 lbs for 24 hours with a 2 gallon make; I thought 50 and 100 might be overkill, but apparently not. Probably would have done better if I had milled by tearing it into chunks rather than cutting, but I was in a hurry, as it was already 1:00 am by that point ... :)
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Offline awakephd

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Re: My 4th cheddar
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2014, 02:37:45 PM »
Not so good -- what was a single crack in the knit has become a multitude of cracks as it has dried! I had to go ahead and wax it and hope for the best, as I was headed out of town. Hopefully the wax was hot enough to prevent any mold from getting going ... time will tell.
-- Andy

Offline H-K-J

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Re: My 4th cheddar
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2014, 09:52:11 PM »
Vacuum bag it now ???
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Offline awakephd

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Re: My 4th cheddar
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2014, 11:11:36 PM »
Don't have a vacuum bagger (yet)!
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Offline awakephd

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Re: My 4th cheddar
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2015, 06:48:30 PM »
I managed to make it almost 9 months before trying this ... and oh, my, it was worth the wait! This is the first cheddar I've made that really came out tasting like cheddar. The texture seems just right -- crumbly when it is sliced -- or attempt to slice -- but creamy in the mouth. Nice sharp cheddar!

The wax did keep this mold- and problem-free ... but it also got into the cracks, and didn't want to come out of the cracks along with the rest of the wax. So I now have red "veins" of wax -- but they are easy to pick out of a slice.

I had gotten discouraged on making cheddars, based on my previous results, but after this one ... I definitely need to make some more cheddar!
-- Andy

Offline JeffHamm

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Re: My 4th cheddar
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2015, 02:29:23 AM »
A cheese to you for waiting!  And for the nice looking result.  Cheddars, and most cheddar types, really do require a fair bit of aging to really come into their own.  Traditional cheddars are really nice, and if you're looking for other cheddar types that age well, look for fied's Cheshire make (I've posted my makes following her protocol; fied was a member from Scotland, though I've not see her around for a few years now).  Also I've had very consistent and good results with a Dunlop (Scottish cheddar) protocol that someone posted from a book (I forget which one).  I developed my own Derby make based upon an old dairy book (from The Dairy of the Farm, James Long and J.C. Morton, 1885) which is now out of copyright and can be found online at the internet archives (http://www.archive.org/).  Also, there's a couple of good wensleydale protocols floating around too.  For a good quick (i.e. ready in 2 months type thing), try Mrs KK's Lancashire.  If you wanted to age it out, stir more and use a lower floc multiplier (drop from 3.5 to 3.0), otherwise that one is intended to be eaten quickly.

- Jeff
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Offline awakephd

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Re: My 4th cheddar
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2015, 10:24:49 AM »
Thanks, Jeff. I have noted with interest your makes of Cheshire, Dunlop, and Derby -- looking forward to trying one or more of those at some point. And Mrs.KK's Lanc is one of my regular rotation of cheese makes -- one of my favorites, and one that helps me to be patient waiting for the ones that need longer to age!
-- Andy

Offline MAK

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Re: My 4th cheddar
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2015, 10:29:25 AM »
Not so good -- what was a single crack in the knit has become a multitude of cracks as it has dried! I had to go ahead and wax it and hope for the best, as I was headed out of town. Hopefully the wax was hot enough to prevent any mold from getting going ... time will tell.

I think the reason why your knit wasn't so tight was because you started off with to much weight.  You need to start with low weight and gradually increase.  I make my cheddar in 4 gallon batches and use a 6" mold.  I start off with 12lbs for 30 minutes.  Increase to 20 lbs. for 1 hour.  50 lbs. for 4 hours.  56.5 lbs. for 24 hours.  I turn and re wrap between each weight increase. 

If you put The heavy weight on in the beginning.  You will also trap in extra whey.

Also if you over cook your curds even by a little bit will also affect your knit.  Check your thermometer for accuracy.  If you let your curds cool down after you mill them.  They will create a skin and also not knit correctly.

I'm glad your cheese still tasted great.

Dave

Offline John@PC

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Re: My 4th cheddar
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2015, 07:18:56 PM »
If you put The heavy weight on in the beginning.  You will also trap in extra whey.
Dave, that sounds logical but is it because it's a milled curd?  Or would this apply to other pressed cheeses? 

Offline awakephd

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Re: My 4th cheddar
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2015, 05:43:12 PM »
Dave,

I should have been more specific -- when I talked about pressing at 50 lbs for 12 hours, that was the final weight, not the initial weight. I did indeed work my way up from a small amount of weight over several flips and re-wraps. There is no evidence that whey was trapped, and the texture is spot-on with other cheddars that I have had, so I'm not too worried about the surface cracks. :)
-- Andy