Author Topic: Dulcelife's Saffron Faux Manchego No. 2  (Read 1563 times)

Offline Dulcelife

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Dulcelife's Saffron Faux Manchego No. 2
« on: June 24, 2012, 08:07:11 PM »
Dulcelife’s Saffron infused Hispanico / Manchego No. 2

My first faux Manchego (cow milk with lipase to simulate sheep), make was so close to the imported aged sheep based version albeit, at a much younger point, that I decided to pursue trying to duplicate it and in this way arriving at a recipe and methodology that I can return to time and time again with a good degree of certainty.
I love Cheddar, Gouda, Edam, Havarti, Leiden and a bunch of other cheeses and have for the most part enjoyed the outcome of my makes.   With the exception of the Cheddar and Leiden, all could use further tweaking galore.  But, and a big but it is, none of my makes have given me so much pleasure as this Hispanico/Manchego make.  The texture, the paste, the ability to simulate the gaminess of sheep milk (the faux part), all at such an early point in the aging process, has a certain fascination for me I want to pursue.  So in that vein, I attempt to make my second Hispanico/Faux Manchego and check my ability to be consistent.

3 gallons raw Jersey milk.
1/8 tsp. MA4001/4002.  This small quantity seemed to be right for my raw milk.
1/8 tsp. Mild lipase from calf.  Again, I like the outcome using this quantity.
½ tsp. Single strength veal rennet. ¼ tsp. less to try and increase floc time.
1/8 tsp. Crushed saffron threads direct in vat versus presoak in hot water.

June 23, 2012
01:55pm:  Inoculate 88F pH 6.7 milk with 1/8 tsp. MA4001.  Let hydrate.
02:00pm:  Stirred down 20 strokes.  Ripen 30 minutes.
02:36pm:  Added lipase and saffron threads.
02:39pm:  Added rennet, stirred down 20 strokes, hit timer, floated cup.
02:50pm:  Flocced at 11 minutes X 3 = 33 minutes = 3:12pm cut time.
   I expected longer floc time with less rennet than prior make.
   Maybe milk is more bio active?
03:12pm:  Good clean break.  Cut curds to 1” squares; vertically only!
03:13pm:  Done with initial 1” vertical cut.  Let heal 5 minutes.
03:18pm: Begin cut to rice grain size with SS wisk over 10 minutes.  Faster cut as time progresses toward end of the 10 minutes.
03:28pm:  Stir for 20 minutes.
03:50pm:  Increase heat 2F every 5 minutes to 97F over 25-30 minutes.
   NOTE:  Reached temperature a lot sooner than called for: 15 or so minutes.
   And, reached 90 or so within the 30 minute time frame.
04:22pm:  Let curds rest and settle.  Total cook time was 32 minutes.
04:28pm:  Drained whey at pH 6.4
04:38pm:  Molded and pressed under whey for 30 minutes.
05:12pm:  Out of whey for first dry press for 30 minutes.
05:50pm:  2nd press for 60 minutes after redressing.
06:57pm:  3rd press for 5 hours.
 June 24, 2012
12:00am:  Released pressure from molds.  Hold until pH 5.2
09:50am:  Curd at pH 5.14; got up late and found curds more acid than desired.
   Thank you tropical storm Debbie for the overly dark morning.
09:50am:   Place in brine for 10 hours.
07:30pm:  Out to dry.
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Offline Dulcelife

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Re: Dulcelife's Saffron Faux Manchego No. 2
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2012, 06:04:32 PM »
The oil rubbed natural rind wheel of Manchego no.2 has mold on one side only.
I brush it off, oil it back up and put back in ripening box.
Any idea what mold it looks like from the pictures?

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Re: Dulcelife's Saffron Faux Manchego No. 2
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2012, 09:05:00 AM »
Looks like primarily an indigenous blue mold.
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Offline Tiarella

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Re: Dulcelife's Saffron Faux Manchego No. 2
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2012, 12:46:35 PM »
I read through your make notes carefully because I am making Manchego this afternoon and I ddin't see your pressing weights.  Can you share  what you did?  Thanks!

Offline Dulcelife

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Re: Dulcelife's Saffron Faux Manchego No. 2
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2012, 02:42:06 PM »
Tiarella, I try to stick to a gradual increase from light to moderate pressure as follows.

    * 30 minutes at 10 lbs.
    * 60 minutes at 20 lbs.
    * 5 hours at 30 - 50 lbs.
    * Overnight no weight

These are press times and lbs. after an initial press under whey at about 8-10 lbs for 30 minutes.
And, I do the whey pressing in the mold so I do not face breaking up the curds.  initial pressing is with muslin, later pressings are with a top and bottom plyban sheet and bare sides. Muslin will stick to this cheese.  If it does throw it in the brine still dressed and remove after a few hours.

PH prior to un-molding and brine is 5.4 or as close to that as you can get.

I hope this helps and feel free to ask if you have any questions.


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Offline bbracken677

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Re: Dulcelife's Saffron Faux Manchego No. 2
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2012, 03:04:04 PM »
Nice looking cheeses!  A little mold wont hurt it, I dont suppose.
The one reason I have fought off the urge to make a blue is the contamination factor...am afraid I would probably have to sanitize the cave after it was finished lol

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Re: Dulcelife's Saffron Faux Manchego No. 2
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2012, 08:07:30 PM »
Nice looking cheeses!  A little mold wont hurt it, I dont suppose.
The one reason I have fought off the urge to make a blue is the contamination factor...am afraid I would probably have to sanitize the cave after it was finished lol
You can use a minicave (ripening box) to corral the blue and confine it to a limited space inside your cave. That has the additional benefit of raising the humidity around the cheese...but then you probably knew all that anyway.  ;)

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Offline Tiarella

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Re: Dulcelife's Saffron Faux Manchego No. 2
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2012, 08:20:18 PM »
Tiarella, I try to stick to a gradual increase from light to moderate pressure as follows.

    * 30 minutes at 10 lbs.
    * 60 minutes at 20 lbs.
    * 5 hours at 30 - 50 lbs.
    * Overnight no weight

These are press times and lbs. after an initial press under whey at about 8-10 lbs for 30 minutes.
And, I do the whey pressing in the mold so I do not face breaking up the curds.  initial pressing is with muslin, later pressings are with a top and bottom plyban sheet and bare sides. Muslin will stick to this cheese.  If it does throw it in the brine still dressed and remove after a few hours.

PH prior to un-molding and brine is 5.4 or as close to that as you can get.

I hope this helps and feel free to ask if you have any questions.

Oh, this is a wonderful help!!  Thank you!  I don't yet have a pH meter so I can't check that aspect out.  I appreciate the hint of putting it in the brine with the cheesecloth still on.  Yes, this one is a bit sticky!  I hope to go to bed soon and it'll have been in it's final press of about 30-40 pounds weight for about 3 hours only when I go to bed.  I can either leave it pressing or leave the weight off overnight I guess?  I don't think I can get my tired self out of bed in the middle of the night.  I have to get up at 6 am so by then it'll have been in the make-shift press for 11 hours.  Got any suggestions for me?  I'm leaning to letting it have a long press but I really have no experience to guide me.  Thanks again for your help!

Offline Dulcelife

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Re: Dulcelife's Saffron Faux Manchego No. 2
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2012, 10:20:59 PM »
I'm probably late in responding but if you get this, I would opt for releasing the pressure.
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Offline Tiarella

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Re: Dulcelife's Saffron Faux Manchego No. 2
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2012, 05:34:06 AM »
Dulce,  Thanks for responding.  Yes, I had already gone to bed and had made a different choice.  Can you help me understand what informed your choice?  Right before bed, in a tired and somewhat befuddled state, I was trying to remember where I could find info about the pH impact of various processes of the make.  I failed to find what I was looking for.  As a beginner I'd love to be pointed towards a good summary of what happens when and why.  I've found bits and pieces of that but so far nothing put together in a way I can get a fuller understanding of it and refer back to it at moments like last night. 

Your hint that I could put it in the brine with cheesecloth still on has been taken.
Thanks again.......


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Offline Dulcelife

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Re: Dulcelife's Saffron Faux Manchego No. 2
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2012, 09:55:06 AM »
My choice is influenced by this type of Spanish tomme style cheese which after consolidating curd sufficiently, calls for being held in mold with no pressure.  So, I would have opted for a shorter firm press: your 3 hours versus 5, and longer rest with no pressure.

PH is an indirect measurement of acidity.  And, acidity has an impact at most every point in the cheese making process.  There is a large amount of information on what is going on in the complex microcosm of milk once acid producing cultures become active whether naturally occurring in the milk or introduced.

I am no expert and still pretty novice in my learning curve.  Suffice it to say that the acidity/PH of the milk/curds at various stages of the cheese making process along with the types and strains of bacteria/cultures present and temperature at which one nurtures along the microbiological activity dictate in very general terms the type and style of cheese.

The search function is your friend on this forum.  There is veritable treasure trove of data and specification here.  MOST IMPORTANTLY:  Don't stress over it.  Have fun.  Use the recipes in all the various resources based on times and temperatures until you become familiar with the process for the type of cheese you are targeting.  What you come out with will be edible if you don't fudge things too much especially sanitation.

If and when you catch the Cheese bug, and decide to stick with and perfect your skills you can acquire a PH meter and start targeting specific improvements and or consistencies.  There are many here whom never really concerned themselves with PH and produce fine specimens of cheesy goodness.  Check our Jeff Hamms posts for example.

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Offline Tiarella

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Re: Dulcelife's Saffron Faux Manchego No. 2
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2012, 08:53:29 PM »
Thanks, Luis.  And now I have a different problem.  (and yes, I do already have the cheese bug. helps to have goats giving me milk everyday, more than I can drink in my tea!)  I had to pick up my daughter and take her for a medical procedure today (she's fine though) and so I had to leave my mountain for the entire day and once again my poor Manchego got neglected.  It was in the brine from 7 am until 7 pm when I got back home.  The outside feels hard and the middle has some give to it when I gently put pressure on it.  I'll attach photos although they won't do much to show hardness.  Can you predict what impact the extra long brining will have?  Or maybe it is not too long for this size cheese?  I forgot to weigh it before the brining but it weighs 3 lb, 2.8 oz now.  It feels sort of like the skin is brittle.  It's air-drying now.....Then I will need to decide on oiled rind, waxing or vacuum packing.  I don't have a vacuum packer so the other two are more likely. 

Oh, and your post talks about the Manchego being held in the mold with no pressure.  I had trouble understanding what that does for it.  Is it giving it a chance to solidify into that molded shape?  Does the development while being in the mold differ from what happens when it's air drying?  Oh and what temps do you prefer for air drying? It's cooled off here after some thunder storms this evening.

Thanks so much for your explanation in your last post. I haven't had great luck with searches on this forum but I'll keep trying.  I've been pointed towards some specific pages of info and will slowly get my cheesemaking balance!

Offline Dulcelife

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Re: Dulcelife's Saffron Faux Manchego No. 2
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2012, 08:54:14 PM »
Before I begin, a cheese for you; for such a beautiful looking cheese.  The pattern makes it very original.  I wish I had goats milk.  Keep in mind that my make was using cow's milk so, there are differences you need to keep in mind due to the differences in the milk composition.

Insofar as salting/brining, you do not have a problem with 12 hours on a three pound wheel.  That is right on target as three to four hours per pound is the norm.

I am not sure what the real reason for the holding in mold with no pressure is but I imagine it influences the final texture of the cheese paste.  Maybe someone with more experience and knowledge can enlighten both of us.  I will say that the cheese is more difficult to remove from the mold than one where pressure is maintained during the final press.
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Offline Tiarella

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Re: Dulcelife's Saffron Faux Manchego No. 2
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2012, 06:01:53 AM »
If you lived nearby I'd supply you with goat milk!  Somedays I look in the fridge and groan, knowing I have to somehow find the time to make another batch of cheese.  It's putting me behind on other work because making cheese is pretty time consuming and to make it 2 or 3 times a week is a huge chunk of time taken away from farm work, business work, laundry, etc.  : >

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Re: Dulcelife's Saffron Faux Manchego No. 2
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2012, 06:13:51 AM »
If you lived nearby I'd supply you with goat milk!  Somedays I look in the fridge and groan, knowing I have to somehow find the time to make another batch of cheese.  It's putting me behind on other work because making cheese is pretty time consuming and to make it 2 or 3 times a week is a huge chunk of time taken away from farm work, business work, laundry, etc.  : >