Author Topic: My First Tomme  (Read 9249 times)

Offline JeffHamm

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My First Tomme
« on: July 15, 2012, 02:18:22 AM »
Hi,

Well with Bastille day just gone past I decided I should make a French cheese.  Since storming the Bastille isn't something one does every day, I thought I should try something new as well, so I made my first Tomme based upon Pav's instructions.  I had to use buttermilk and Flora Danica as my starter, so it's not quite right, but I'm hoping it will be ok.  Everything seems to have gone ok.  Certainly a much softer feeling cheese than I'm used to when I'm flipping it.  Anyway, will brine it tomorrow and will include photos.  All I've got now is the heat rise chart, and though I reached temperature a coupld minutes early, I think I'm probably ok.


Tomme (Pav’s instructions) Sunday, July 15, 2012
11 L Standard Home Brand
2 ice cubes fd
4 ice cubes buttermilk
¼ tsp 50% CaCl
7 ml Renco

•Warm 11 litres milk 31.10C (??.? C : ??:??)
•add culture @ 7:12, 30.1 continue to heat to 31.1 at 7:15
•Ripen for 30 mins at 31.10C (88 F) (7:15 - 7:45 ; 30.8.?C)
•add CaCl2 diluted in cold water
•add rennet (7:47:30 30.8 C)
• floc time (8:00:45 = 13m 15sec 3x = floc time 39m 15sec = cut time 8:27:15)
•Cut into 1/4 inch cubes, let rest 5 mins (8:35 - 8:40)
•Stir and increase temp to 37.80C (100 F) over 30 mins. Hold at 37.80C (100 F)  until the curd is at the right texture. You can tell this by pressing a tablespoon of curd in your hand. It should mat together slightly and be somewhat firm.
8:45 - 9:12; End temp - 38.1 C – hold 9:12- 10:00)
•Drain in vat or warm colander. pH should be 6.35 or higher. Let curds mat and press slightly under whey. Drained at 10:00 into mould.  Flipped at 11 and 11:15
•Put into cheesecloth lined molds. This cheese sticks, so soak the cheesecloth in pH 5.2 whey beforehand.
•Press under own weight turning at 15 min, 30 min, and 1 hour increments. (flipped through the day; with 2.5 kg as weight)
•Press until pH is 5.4 or overnight. (pressed until 3:00 am)
•Brine in fully saturated brine 3-4 hours per lb of cheese. (1.652kg = 10.9 - 14.5 hours in the brine)
Brined from 3:00 am to 4:30, = 13.5 hours in the brine.  Final weight 1638g ; 15.4cm x 7.9cm = 1471 ccm, for a density of 1.11 g/ccm.  Bigger than my usual makes, but used an additional litre, and also the low press weight seems to leave the cheese quite "spongy" feeling compared to things like caerphilly and other cheddar types.
•Leave at12.8-18.30C  (55-65 F) for a day at ~70% RH for the outer rind to dry a little before moving to the cave.
•Age 3-6 months at 10-12.80C (50-55F), 85-92% RH (or higher if using special rind treatment or making a b linens variant). Natural or oil rubbed rind.

Made a 3% brine solution (129g water, 4g non iodized salt) with 1/40 tsp b.linens on Saturday, July 21 (am).  Washed the cheese with the brine that evening.
Washed again Monday, July 23, am.
Washed again Wednesday, July 25, am.
Washed again Friday, July 27, am.
Washed again, Sunday, July 29, am.  Some hints of an orangish colour may be showing.
Tuesday, July 31, 2012: Washed with above solution again (am).  (tacky surface, perhaps some colour)
Saturday, Aug 4, 2012: Washed with above solution again (am).  (tacky, some colour, some mould)
« Last Edit: August 04, 2012, 12:42:41 PM by JeffHamm »
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Offline Boofer

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Re: My First Tomme
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2012, 02:44:25 AM »
Alright, Jeff! Branching out!

Yeah, you should have some fun with this cheese. Mine are always an adventure.  ;)

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Offline JeffHamm

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Re: My First Tomme
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2012, 10:10:04 AM »
Thanks Boofer.  I might give it a few washes with b.linens after a week or so, but nothing too intense.  Other than that, it will have to pick up whatever it can from the natural environment as I don't have any rind mixes.  Not to fear, there's plenty of wild geo here, and blues aplenty, so it will pick up something in a hurry.  I'll add the b.linens just so I can feel a part of the process. :)

- Jeff
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Offline JeffHamm

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Re: My First Tomme
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2012, 11:43:43 PM »
Here it is out of the brine.  Weighed in at 1638g after the salt baths, and the dimentions are 15.4 x 7.9 cm, which ends up giving a cheese density of 1.11 g/ccm.  It's quite a bit taller and "spongier" than I'm used to, but then, I tend to make a lot of cheddars and such, so no suprise.  The Staffordshire had a similar feel, though it was pressed a bit more.  Anyway, this was the first time I pressed under whey, and there were no disasters.  It's now in the drying room to firm up and will be transported to the cave tomorrow evening.  Should be interesting to see how things develope.

- Jeff
The wise do not always start out on the right path, but they do know when to change course.

Offline iratherfly

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Re: My First Tomme
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2012, 01:04:43 AM »
Nice going Jeff! I like your relaxed aging plan. Makes the best cheeses. Go crazy with natural rind.


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Offline JeffHamm

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Re: My First Tomme
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2012, 02:10:27 AM »
Thanks iratherfly!  I wouldn't be too surprised if this one bulges at the middle a bit as it's quite tall.  I had a butterkase that was quite tall do that before.  Hmm, I think that picked up some wild linens and was quite good.  Anyway, I think the natural rind will turn out fine.  I've had some interesting rinds start to develop, but haven't really aged one out long enough to see how it progresses.  Most of my long term aging projects are waxed.

- Jeff
The wise do not always start out on the right path, but they do know when to change course.

Offline iratherfly

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Re: My First Tomme
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2012, 02:29:35 PM »
As a general rule of thumb, Tommes can get some of their maturation and much of their aroma as surface ripened cheese. If made for that purpose, it is best to make them shorter and wider. so the effects of the rind on both ends meet in the center in a timely manner.

Offline linuxboy

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Re: My First Tomme
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2012, 02:35:51 PM »
Great point. Also, you can try to craft the moisture target to achieve the paste and flavor development you want. Less moisture in the paste = slower flavor development = greater nuance/depth potential (IMHO, not all agree). More moisture = faster maturation, more unctuous, soft paste. One approach, for example is to do a 4"-5" tall wheel, low moisture, and age it out for 6 months with a smear or natural rind for a deeper, cheesy kind of flavor. Or to do a 2.5" wheel and higher moisture for something ready in 60 days with some more funk or earth/mushroom from the rind treatment.
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Offline iratherfly

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Re: My First Tomme
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2012, 02:43:43 PM »
I am just trying to figure out how to make a Pantaleo style... it tastes like lots of helveticus and bulgaricus to me. Closed curd, sweet and milky yet slightly acidic and not too moist. Pressing, milling, salting, and re-pressing would knock of tons of moisture. ...But this is a Sardinian cheese and it's not like the Sardinians to press something, mill it and then re-press it. Too fussy for them. They usually naturally drain everything in baskets and maybe stack things atop each other - yet they still get hard, dry cheeses.

Offline linuxboy

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Re: My First Tomme
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2012, 02:52:26 PM »
I think Pantaleo is made like a pecorino with meso temps. And likely using only classic O type culture.
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Offline JeffHamm

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Re: My First Tomme
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2012, 03:25:47 PM »
Hi,

I hadn't quite realized how much of a difference in the aspect ratio there would be.  The lack of milling, the getting the curds to press themselves (I put 2.5 kg on top, to simulate stacking), has produced for me a much wetter and less compressed cheese.  I was wondering if I should have used my larger mould, but then thought when I made a Dunlop (admittedly a cheddar) and a Butterkase in it, they were both quite thin in the end, and I was thinking they were too thin for this.  I've had some other overly tall cheeses, and they will usually settle somewhat, so I'm thinking this will do the same.  I also expect it to continue draining out whey as the curds are still quite wet.   

This is very much a learning make for me, so I'll be happy if it results in a passable cheese.  I'll give it 3 or 4 light washes with b.linens starting next week, spaced two or three days apart.  I'll get lots of volunteers, but do want to ensure there is a decent base.  I don't expect the ripening to make it all the way to the middle, but if I can get a gradient, then that could be interesting as I could sample different flavour profiles within the same cheese. 

- Jeff
The wise do not always start out on the right path, but they do know when to change course.

Offline iratherfly

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Re: My First Tomme
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2012, 02:13:19 AM »
Don't worry about it being too wet, Tommes are quite liberal. Age it drier until it reaches the desired texture, or use the wet as a great basis to build wild rind.  You can toss some coarse salt on it and wash (abrasive with the salt) with a cotton rag. Do that a few times, a day or two in between and you will get nice, dry, elastic and strong rind.

Next time, increase the cooking time. Sounds like you moulded before the curd was ready

Offline Boofer

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Re: My First Tomme
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2012, 08:57:51 AM »
Jeff, just another point for consideration....

I currently have three different cheese styles in progress (Tomme, Beaufort, Reblochon) using the same rind treatment: PLA. I have favorably used PLA before and had good results. I don't know how all three of these cheeses ended up getting the PLA, but in the end it really is a convenience. Share and share alike.

What they all have in common is the low, slightly-gritty Geo growth with a faint linens color. I like the PLA a lot. It gives good rind protection and seems to give consistently controlled growth of linens and Geo.

Yoav, I have to give you credit for one of my attachments. It's a note I saved from May 2011.

I also attached a file that may help others with natural washed-rind development.

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Offline JeffHamm

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Re: My First Tomme
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2012, 01:45:10 PM »
Thanks iratherfly!  I wouldn't be surprised if I undercooked.  I had to cook until the curds would stick together and be a bit firm, and this requires repeated exposure to the cheese to get a feel for what a bit firm is, and how sticky they should be, etc.  I've not got a good set of tactile representations in my head yet, so I cooked until things seemed to be doing what was described.  But with store bought H/P milk, firm is a bit less firm than one might want.  Anyway, it's in the cave now, with the box lid set up to be wide to allow as much moisture to escape.  It still condenses on the sides a bit, so I wipe it down.  I think it will develope pretty well.

And thanks for the suggestions Boofer.  I haven't found a source for surface cultures other than b.linens.  The choices are pretty limited here.  But, I can get wild geo easy enough, and b.linens I have, so I can do some.  I can get PC from a camembert and blue mould from bought cheeses (not that I'm intending to add either of those to this cheese, but those are what I have access too and how).  I've been following all your rind developments and have learned a lot as a result.  Just don't have the materials to apply theory to practice, so knowledge and ideas are high, but skill set is low. :)

- Jeff
The wise do not always start out on the right path, but they do know when to change course.

Offline iratherfly

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Re: My First Tomme
« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2012, 04:53:50 PM »
You are welcome Jeff, and thanks Boofer!
Say Boofer... have you tried using PLA's little sibling yet? ARN.  Use it the same way but totally different profile of aroma, flavor and presentation. Love it.