Author Topic: cut the cheese ;-)  (Read 1644 times)

Offline reg

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cut the cheese ;-)
« on: May 20, 2008, 07:05:26 AM »
yesterday we had some old friends over for dinner so earlier in the afternoon we cut into our Alpine Farmers cheese so they could taste it. we are very happy with the taste but i was surprised to see that even though it was aged longer it still had about the same texture as the last one.

it seems that we are all very new to this hobby but i wonder how long it would take to firm up. guess it will be trial and error to find out

another thing comes to mind with aging. how can the interior start to dry out and firm up if it is waxed ? am i missing something ?
reg


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Offline John (CH)

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cut the cheese ;-)
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2008, 07:07:19 PM »
Forgive me reg but what is Alpine Cheese that you made ???? Is it a soft fresh cheese or older and where did you get the recipe from :-\?

Learn learn learn, my understanding of waxing is it's after ~1 month maturing and it's to stop the cheese drying out any further. I think there is just as much art in ripening the cheese to avoid excessive drying or mold growing on outside and right temperature to alow the enzymes to flourish and do their job as there is in making it in the first place. I need to get a better cheese cave.

Offline reg

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Re: cut the cheese ;-) very long
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2008, 07:46:05 AM »
the recipe for the Alpine cheese is a mix of two recipes actually. i found both on the internet

INOCULATE THE MILK:  The evening before you plan to make cheese, warm 1 gallon of the freshest milk to 20C (68 o F) in the sterilized pot. Thoroughly blend in the inoculum of  1/3rd cup yogurt as starter . Cover the inoculated milk with the sterilized lid. (The function of this inoculation with bacterial starter is to have the milk fermenting bacteria make lactic acid which lowers the pH so that the rennet will be able to act on the casein.)

INCUBATE OVER NIGHT:   Let sit at room temperature (R.T.) overnight (20-22C).
WARM THE MILK:  The next morning, warm milk up to 30C (take care not to burn it). Meanwhile, dissolve ¼ tablet of Rennet in ¼ cup cold water .   

ADD THE RENNET:   Add dissolved rennet to the warmed milk , stir to mix thoroughly. Cover, let sit undisturbed for approximately an hour.  Be patient.  Do not disturb the milk until it has coagulated.

ACHIEVE A CLEAN BREAK:  Test for completed action of rennet ( "clean break "): Probe a clean finger into the (hopefully) gelled milk and lift. If the gel is firm enough to break cleanly as the finger is lifted, go to next step. (If the milk is gelatenous and flows across your finger , let sit until a clean break is obtained. Do not stir. This may take as long as 1-2 hours.) Be patient, do NOT disturb the milk.  (Here is a link to trouble shoot "clean break" failure .)

CUT THE CURD:  Once a clean break is achieved, cut the curd with a long knife : begin at edge of pot, cut straight down to bottom. Cut repeatedly parallel to first cut, but increasing the angle of the knife until reaching other side of pot. Rotate the pot 90 degrees, cut as before . Rotate and cut two more times, yielding ½ inch cubes of curd .

THIS IS WERE I CHANGED OVER TO THE OTHER RECIPE

 Stirring and cooking the curd

Stir the curd for 10 min while cutting the larger cubes with a knife. Remove some whey and warm it to 50(C and use it to raise the temperature of the curd slowly at the rate of 1°C in every 5 minutes until the temperature of the curds is 38ºC in about 30 minutes.

 Further cooking of the curd and testing curd firmness

Continue stirring at 38(C intermittently for another 30 minutes. While stirring the curd, pick a few curds in your hand and press together. When the curds do not stick together but are firm to the touch with rubbery texture, they are by then well "cooked".

 Draining the whey

Once the curds are sufficiently firm, whey is drained off by either decanting, scooping or pouring through some cheese cloth.

 Pressing the curd

Put the curds in a cylindrical mould. Cover with a piece of cheese cloth. Cover with a fitting wooden follower. Place the cheese press cover in position and put on 10 kg weight for a 1 kg cheese.

After one hour of initial pressing the cheese are turned by quickly flipping the moulds over. Replace the cheese in the moulds upside down. The weight is increased to 15 to 20 kg per 1 kg cheese weight and the cheese is pressed overnight.

 Salting the cheese

After removing the cheese from the mould, place the cheese in brine consisting of 1 1/2 cups salt per quart of water.  Place the cheese in the brine for 6 hours. The cheese will take more salt the more they stay in the brine. Smaller cheese (e.g.500 g) may require shorter time (6 - 8 hours) to absorb same concentration of salt as the big cheese (1-2 kg) will absorb in 12 hours. With experience you will learn to keep each cheese just long enough for the right salt level in the final cheese.  Salting by brine gives uniform salt distribution in the cheese.

Curing the cheese

After removing the cheese from the brine water, the cheese is placed on wooden shelves in a curing room or cabinet.  A cool, clean ripening room is important for good quality cheese.

The cheese is turned once every day for the first 4 a 5 days. In high altitude areas (1700 m) lower and more stable temperatures (17-22° C) and higher humidity may be more easily attained in underground cellars (3-4 m) below ground.

After 1 week the cheese may be turned every other day and wiped with a strong salt solution to remove the moulds. The wooden shelves should also be thoroughly cleaned with brine and occasionally scrubbed with hot water and let dry before replacing the cheese. Strive to keep the surface of the cheese as clean as possible. The cheese is usually ripe in 6-8 weeks.

now sitting here and looking at this recipe i think i may have found something i might like to change. after doing some reading about moisture content in the cheese i see when making some of the other 'hard' cheese they cut the curds into smaller pieces to release more whey. instead of cutting into 1/2" cubes i may cut that down to 1/4" cubes and see if that will give me the internal texture/moisture content i'm looking for

sorry for being so long winded here

reg

reg

Offline reg

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Re: cut the cheese ;-)
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2008, 03:33:52 PM »
well my two small Alpine cheeses are being pressed as we speak. this was my best cheese making day by far. cooked the cheese right in the kitchen sink with hot water. found it to be much easier than trying to do it on the stove top

i'm thinking about cold smoking the cheese before aging it, matter of fact i think i will do just that

reg
« Last Edit: May 22, 2008, 05:21:28 PM by Webmaster »
reg

Offline Webmaster

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cut the cheese ;-)
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2008, 09:26:31 PM »
Reg, hope you don't mind but I copied and added your Alpine Cheese Recipe to the Recipes Board here, added imperial to your metric units for our American friends, and bolded the section headings, thanks very much for the recipe, anything want to change just let me know.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2008, 05:21:03 PM by Webmaster »


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Offline reg

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Re: cut the cheese ;-)
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2008, 07:15:49 AM »
no problem with the recipe CH. its a very good tasting cheese but i would like to have a little stiffer texture with that particular cheese. right now it a bit 'soft' but its a work in progess

reg
« Last Edit: May 22, 2008, 05:18:26 PM by Webmaster »
reg