Author Topic: My First Caerphilly: Drying And Other Newb Questions  (Read 1315 times)

Offline harlond

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My First Caerphilly: Drying And Other Newb Questions
« on: April 21, 2012, 11:22:09 AM »
I made my first cheese, a Caerphilly, based on the recipe in 200 Easy Homemade Cheeses.  I started with 1 gallon of non-homogenized milk.  Following pressing, the cheese weighed 407 grams.  I wasn't able to weigh it after brining because my battery died.  Anyway, it's now been drying for 51 hours and weighs 357 grams.  The humidity here is above 60%.  The cheese feels completely dry to the touch all over.  Into the cheese cave?

Another question, as this is my first cheese and it's not clear that I'll get another one done before cracking this one open, do I need a ripening container, or can I just stick it in the cave?*

Thanks.


*It's just a dorm fridge, but I really like saying cheese cave.  My second cheese is going to be a Wensleydale because I like the way Wallace (of Wallace and Gromit) says, "maybe a nice Wensleydale."


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Offline Tomer1

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Re: My First Caerphilly: Drying And Other Newb Questions
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2012, 11:45:35 AM »
If you cant maintain 80-85% humidity then yes, you should use a slightly opened plastic box to try and minimize moisture lose.
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Offline JeffHamm

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Re: My First Caerphilly: Drying And Other Newb Questions
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2012, 01:22:51 PM »
Hi harlond,

As Tomer1 says, the box is as much, if not more, about being able to get the humidity up as preventing cross-contamination. 

Anyway, I usually air dry mine for 3 to 5 days, flipping morning and evening.  But, I make a 10 L make which is larger so woudl take longer to dry.  Two days sounds reasonable, so if it's dry to the touch then to the bat cheese cave it goes. 

I've made Wensleydale's 3 times, with the 3rd one still waiting to be cut.  That one looks to be turning out as one of my best cheeses, so if you have time, I would suggest the make procedure I posted there.  I extracted it from information a small dairy had posted on how they make Wensleydale and it is quite straight forward.  It's just, in their words, a "long slow traditional make" - but it seems to be worth it if this one I've made is typical.

- Jeff
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Offline harlond

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Re: My First Caerphilly: Drying And Other Newb Questions
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2012, 10:39:45 AM »
Thanks, Tomer1 and Jeff, it's in a box in the cave.  Probably need to add a tray of water as the cave RH is at around 75%.

Jeff, I've read that Wensleydale thread, as well as all you Caerphilly threads, thanks.

Offline Threelittlepiggiescheese

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Re: My First Caerphilly: Drying And Other Newb Questions
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2012, 07:43:28 AM »
is that an oscilloscope in the background?


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Offline harlond

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Re: My First Caerphilly: Drying And Other Newb Questions
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2012, 08:34:09 AM »
is that an oscilloscope in the background?
Sorry, just saw this.  No, it's a satellite radio.

This cheese did not turn out so well, at least not at first.  The texture was very rubbery, and the taste did not make up for that.  I'm not sure why; reading my 200 recipes book makes me wonder whether I used too much rennet.

Anyway I stuck it back in the cave in a container and pretty much forgot about it for a month.  Yesterday I took it out to wipe off the mold.  The texture is much improved, and the taste not bad at all.  I think I'll leave it for another month.

In the meantime I made a Wensleydale and another Caerphilly, which I need to wax.  The Wensleydale turned out out pretty good even though it was underpressed.  I cut the follower too large and it got stuck.  Even so, my 9-year-old liked it, and several other people spoke highly of it.  My brother and sister-in-law said it was "too cheesey."  I don't really know what that means.

Offline JeffHamm

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Re: My First Caerphilly: Drying And Other Newb Questions
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2012, 01:36:11 PM »
Hi harlond,

Yes, too rubbery could be too much rennet.  Are you using the floc method or just following the book to the letter?  The amount of rennet they suggest in the books really depends upon how strong the rennet they are using is.  If you have rennet that is twice as strong, you would need to use half as much.  Do a search on floc, or floating bowl, and you should find some descriptions.  If your "floc time" (which will make sense once you read the threads on floc) is faster than 10 minutes, then use less rennet next time, and keep adjusting, more or less, until you get in the 10-15 minute range. 

Sounds like it improved with age though, so well done.  And the Wensleydale sounds like a big success. 

- Jeff
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Offline harlond

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Re: My First Caerphilly: Drying And Other Newb Questions
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2012, 03:13:12 PM »
Hi harlond,

Yes, too rubbery could be too much rennet.  Are you using the floc method or just following the book to the letter?  The amount of rennet they suggest in the books really depends upon how strong the rennet they are using is.  If you have rennet that is twice as strong, you would need to use half as much.  Do a search on floc, or floating bowl, and you should find some descriptions.  If your "floc time" (which will make sense once you read the threads on floc) is faster than 10 minutes, then use less rennet next time, and keep adjusting, more or less, until you get in the 10-15 minute range.- Jeff
Thanks, Jeff.  When I made the Caerphilly, I tried to figure floc time, but the bowl stopped spinning so quickly that it would have resulted in a very, very short coagulation time.  So I ended up letting it go longer.  For the Wensleydale, I went by floc time.  Both of those times, I was using veg. rennet tablets.  For the latest Caerphilly, I got some liquid rennet, which I hoped would give me more precise results than trying to chop tablets into pieces.  The bottle says that the specified amount should achieve coagulation of 2 gallons in 45 minutes.  Again I tried to figure floc time, but again this would have resulted in a coagulation time much shorter than specified either in the book or on the bottle.  And so again, I let it go longer until I got a clean break, but not all 45 minutes.  Maybe I'm not using too much rennet, I'm just letting it sit too long.  I'll see how this one comes out, and if the texture is off, I'll reduce the amount of rennet I'm using.

Offline JeffHamm

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Re: My First Caerphilly: Drying And Other Newb Questions
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2012, 04:32:03 PM »
Hi harlond,

I've found that the amount on the bottle is often more than required for a 10-15 minute floc time.  It sounds to me  like it's too much rennet though.  The temperature and acidity plays a part too, so if your culture is acidifying the milk more in one make than another (which it may if it's a make that uses warmer renneting temperatures), the rennet amounts needed can be different.  For example, when I make Butterkase I have to ease back on my rennet compared to caerphilly or it flocs too quickly.  I would suggest easing back next make and keep adjusting your amounts until you're in the time range.

- Jeff
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Offline harlond

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Re: My First Caerphilly: Drying And Other Newb Questions
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2012, 08:50:19 AM »
I saw a post by Sailor Con Queso indicating that CaCl can reduce floc time.  For the Caraway Gouda I made last night, I omitted the CaCl and used the amount of rennet called for on the bottle (1/4 tsp for 2 gallons for 45 minutes).  My floc time was 12 minutes, so I let it go 36 minutes and had a clean break at that time.  Maybe I don't need to add CaCl for the creamline milk I'm using.


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Offline dbudge55

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Re: My First Caerphilly: Drying And Other Newb Questions
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2012, 05:51:20 PM »
Hi, Harlond,

My experience with rennet is that, like Jeff says, causes both a rubbery texture and kind of a bitter taste. But I've also noticed that both those characteristics diminish quite a lot over time. I finally just decided that I won't crack most hard and semi-hard cheeses for 90 days. The problem is, of course, getting enough inventory in your cave so you're not tempted to crack any of them early. That really was a challenge for me in the beginning since curiosity always had me wanting to see if my early cheeses were even edible. But patience brings its own rewards and time corrects a lot of make mistakes it seems.

I also had a difficult time with too much rennet in the beginning with curd coagulation way too fast. It really helped learning about floc times as well as looking for guidance with floc multipliers for different varieties. The biggest benefit I've found using the floc method is that even the same brand of rennet is not always the same strengh from batch to batch. I've had calf rennet where using the full amount recommended by the manufacturer gave me floc times below five minutes and had to cut it in half. Then, when I get my next supply I do a make near the manufactures mid-point recommendation and see how it behaves. Then I use that to guide me for subsequent makes. If you search I think linuxboy had a good process he follows each time he gets a new batch.

Anyhow, looks like you're making a good go of it. If you're like me you might soon find yourself addicted to cheese making. I did three makes last week and plan three more this week (but you'll have to upgrade your cave soon if you really get going.)
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Offline harlond

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Re: My First Caerphilly: Drying And Other Newb Questions
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2012, 07:59:26 PM »
OK, so I tried my second Caerphilly. It is a bit crumbly and pretty sharp, or maybe the right word is tangy.   Didn't strike me as salty at all, so I may have under salted.   About 4 months old. I sorta expected it to be milder and creamier. Did I do it wrong or is this within normal parameters? 

It's edible, really not bad at all. I'm thinking it might make a nice grilled cheese if it melts well. Anyway, if anyone has any comments, I'd appreciate them

Offline JeffHamm

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Re: My First Caerphilly: Drying And Other Newb Questions
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2012, 11:42:09 AM »
Hi harlond,

I don't think I've ever aged a caerphilly 4 months.  I took one out to 3 months, but I prefer them really young (I cut at 3 weeks).  I think the saltiness deminishes as they age though.  It's nice as a fresh cheese, and personally, I've found others that I make if I'm going to take them out a bit.  The Wensleydale I mentioned above (my 3rd make) was brilliante at 4-5 months, and I'm hoping the one I've got aging now will be as well.  I've got a bunch of cheddar types that will be a year old in Jan, so I'm hoping there are some winners in that lot too. 

Anyway, play around with different makes and find some that are good quick, others that can age a bit (Lancashire is good around 2 to 3 months), then middle and long term agers as well (the 6 month to 1year plus makes).  Get a bunch that are similar in make procedure, and you're away.  Sounds like this one was fine though, so a cheese to you.

- Jeff
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