Sure, why not?
I decided to run through the Maasdam recipe again, with slight variations.
Everything ran pretty close to the first make
, including floc time, pH points, cutting, scalding, whey-drain, putting the curds in the mould, and pressing. What was different this time was, for me, a Eureka!
moment. I had taken an 8-cube vacuum bag of Alp D out of the freezer last night and put it in the fridge to begin thawing. Yesterday morning the first thing I did was to remove the bag of Alp D from the fridge. When I added it to the warming milk later, it was thawed and virtually liquid again. Twenty minutes after adding it to the milk, the pH had dropped from 6.70 to 6.61. At that point I added my CACL and rennet. Never before have I experienced such a rapid pH drop. Perhaps the raw milk contributed some momentum to that drop. I now would like to make a cheese using only creamline (no raw milk) and employ the same thawed cube idea in the process to see whether it was just a fluke or is a repeatable technique.
I left the Holdbac culture out for this make, believing I don’t really need it. I think it’s fairly safe to say the cows are in the pasture grazing lush green grass now. I’ve included a pic of the gallon of raw milk and I drew a line on the plastic jug where the cream reached.
Starting pH: 6.70
3 gallons Twin Brooks whole creamline milk
1 gallon Dungeness Valley whole raw milk (amazing amount of cream...I marked the creamline.)
8 cubes Alp D (mother culture), thawed
1/8 tsp Propionic shermanii (half what I used before)
1 tsp CACL in ¼ cup distilled water (twice what I used before)
1/16 tsp Renco dry calf rennet in ¼ cup chilled distilled water
pH 5.32; recipe calls for 5.30 – 5.60 before brining.
Weighed cheese and placed in light whey-brine for 6 hours. (1 cup salt to 1 gallon whey.)
Flipped cheese; back in brine for another 6 hours.
Out of brine to air-dry at room temp; placed in minicave (ripening box) with lid widely ajar.
Rubbed dry salt over rind. I will remove excess salt after a bit. The light brine and subsequent dry salting are designed to protect the rind and allow the Propionic shermanii to thrive better. Excessive salt levels will kill or impede its progress.
This was one of the quickest cheese makes I have ever done. Nice.