CheeseForum.org » Forum

CHEESE TYPE BOARDS (for Cheese Lovers and Cheese Makers) => RENNET COAGULATED - Hard Cheddared (Normally Stacked & Milled) => Topic started by: Boofer on April 27, 2012, 10:51:22 AM

Title: Cheddar me that
Post by: Boofer on April 27, 2012, 10:51:22 AM
Another week...another cheese.  :)

I had a whole bunch of glass milk bottles to return to the store. I pondered whether I should just return them...or exchange them. I decided it would be interesting to duplicate my Cheddar effort from last week (http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,9548.0.html)...with slight variations.

This is my second try at Cheddar and my 49th cheese overall. I proved to myself that I'm still learning with each make following this effort. The pH curve was off the rails, owing to the use of a fresh primer and the change in culture. Pretty potent culture!

Initial pH: 6.84
Renneting pH: 6.59    (target: 6.55)
Cutting pH: 6.47    (target: 6.5)
Drain pH: 6.10    (target: 6.5)
Milling pH: ?    (target: 6.45)
Moulding/Pressing pH: 5.49    (target: 6.4)
Out of press pH: 5.12    (target: 5.4)

4 gallons Twin Brooks whole creamline milk
8 ounces fresh Alp D mother culture
1 tsp annatto, in ¼ cup distilled water
1 tsp CACL, ¼ cup in distilled water
1/16 tsp Renco dry calf rennet, dissolved in ¼ cup cold distilled water
3 TBS pickling salt

Followed same guidelines as last week regarding temperatures, floc'ing, pressing, and air-drying.

The make went more rapidly than last week and the acidity started off okay, but then accelerated. Some of my pH points were missed but I am hoping that the long affinage will bring any correction needed.

The wheel wasn't pressed as long as last week's (only 4 hours), but the acidity encouraged me to stop the pressing. It seemed dry enough after 15 hours, so I sealed it and put it in the cave with the other one.

Now we wait....  8)

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Cheddar me that
Post by: JeffHamm on April 27, 2012, 12:30:47 PM
Very nice looking cheddar Boofer.  With two makes so close to each other, you could really age one of them out to 18 or 24 months for some really nice vintage stock.  Yum!

- Jeff
Title: Re: Cheddar me that
Post by: Caseus on April 27, 2012, 01:12:09 PM
That is a lovely cheese, Boofer. 

I hope you won't mind of I ask you a couple of tangential semi-related questions rather than start a new thread for them.  These are questions I've been meaning to ask you for a while.

I see you are using a double boiler arrangement.  What size pots did you use for this make with 4 gallons of milk? 

Why do you like to use a double boiler arrangement?  The reason I'm asking is that I am using direct heat on a gas stove, and it seems to work quite well.  I'm just wondering if I'm missing some advantage of a double boiler.  Unfortunately, my big pot holds 25 quarts and my next biggest one is way too big for the stove (100 quarts), so I don't think it's practical for me.  Still, I'd like to know what I'm missing, if anything.

I see you are using dry calf rennet, and I saw you mention it in another thread.  What made you choose that over using liquid rennet?

TIA, and hope you don't mind the sidebar.
Title: Re: Cheddar me that
Post by: Boofer on April 27, 2012, 02:30:24 PM
That is a lovely cheese, Boofer. 

I hope you won't mind of I ask you a couple of tangential semi-related questions rather than start a new thread for them.  These are questions I've been meaning to ask you for a while.

I see you are using a double boiler arrangement.  What size pots did you use for this make with 4 gallons of milk? 

Why do you like to use a double boiler arrangement?  The reason I'm asking is that I am using direct heat on a gas stove, and it seems to work quite well.  I'm just wondering if I'm missing some advantage of a double boiler.  Unfortunately, my big pot holds 25 quarts and my next biggest one is way too big for the stove (100 quarts), so I don't think it's practical for me.  Still, I'd like to know what I'm missing, if anything.

I see you are using dry calf rennet, and I saw you mention it in another thread.  What made you choose that over using liquid rennet?

TIA, and hope you don't mind the sidebar.
Thanks, Caseus.

Alright, questions! Good on you!

The double-boiler is something I have done since I began several years ago now. I looked around and sized up the pots and kettles I had from brewing and boiling lobsters (the clawless, Pacific type I would get from kayaking & hooping{of another sort}). I came up with the big aluminum lobster pot to serve as my water bath and a 33-quart brewing kettle to hold my milk (up to 4 gallons comfortably). The milk kettle's handles rest on the rim of the water pot. The lobster pot was inexpensive too.

There is a danger of scalding/burning the milk if it's heated directly. You'll probably read that most setups on the forum use a water bath similar to mine or they use hot water added to the kitchen sink. I tried the sink and figured it wasn't right for me so I use my double-boiler. The beauty of a water bath, besides indirectly and safely heating the milk, is that it will hold the heat in the milk kettle for the length of time it takes to ripen & rennet.

I originally started using Marschall mucor rennet tablets that were included in Leeners cheesemaking kit. Upon learning that they may induce bitterness in my cheeses, I moved to Renco dry calf rennet. The dry format seemed to be a decent choice for me because I don't make cheese that often. ::)  I was concerned that the liquid rennet would somehow go bad or get too old to use. Meanwhile, the dry version seems to work fine for the little bit of cheesing that I do. I take the whole culture bag out of the freezer, scissor open the bag, remove what I need, and vacuum-seal the whole thing up again. It helps to reduce the incidence of moisture ruining the bag contents.

Let's see, does that cover everything?

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Cheddar me that
Post by: Caseus on April 27, 2012, 04:22:56 PM
Thank you Boofer, yes, that pretty much covered it all.  So far...   >:D

You'd think a 33 quart brewing kettle would hold a bit more than 4 gallons (16 quarts)  comfortably.   :)    I measured my 25 quart pot and decided I could comfortably fit 5 gallons in it, maybe 5 and a quarter if I'm very careful when stirring.

Does it take longer to heat the milk in a water bath than it does via direct heat, or is it faster because there is a greater surface area of the milk vat that is exposed to heat?   

How hard is it to avoid overshooting the target milk temp?  That is, by the time the milk is up to your target temp, does residual heat in the outer water bath tend to keep pushing it higher?

I bet the milk heats faster in the double boiler.  I have to heat very slowly to avoid burning the milk.  I may have to find a larger pot to put my 25 quart one in.  My 100 quart crawfish pot is definitely too big, and my 15.5 gallon brewing pots (keggles) are too tall and narrow, not to mention being pretty heavy.

Title: Re: Cheddar me that
Post by: Boofer on April 27, 2012, 07:37:47 PM
You'd think a 33 quart brewing kettle would hold a bit more than 4 gallons (16 quarts)  comfortably.   :)
I guess I was dreaming of the pot I'd like to have when I typed that. ;)  I believe I meant 17 quart. The lid has a dimple where the handle is and that just barely touches the milk surface. The milk is about an inch down from the lip.

There's a discussion on the forum about turning off the heat just prior to hitting your temp target...then letting the water bath slowly pull the milk temp up to where you want it. I have started off with the water bath hotter and then put the kettle in and added the milk. The milk reaches temp pretty fast. You have to watch it, stir to distribute the heat, and sometimes lift the kettle out of the bath if it's heating too well. I wouldn't necessarily say that is appropriate for everyone. Lifting that much liquid up over the lip of the double boiler may be challenging for some. Be very very careful!  :o

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Cheddar me that
Post by: MrsKK on April 28, 2012, 07:12:48 AM
One of the community centers where I teach cheesemaking has an old gas stove.  I didn't realize how hot the pilot light on it was until I saw that the temperature of the milk just kept on climbing.  Because my SS kettles are high quality, with triple layered bottoms, they hold heat for a LONG time.  I had to fill the outer kettle with cool water in order to bring the temp down.  Very very heavy, too, because the kettles themselves weigh almost ten pounds, plus four and a half gallons of milk.  The very definition of strength training!

That cheddar is looking really good, Boofer.  I just made one last week, too.  My first since the fiasco's of four years ago when I didn't have a clue what I was doing.  It looks good, but I guess I won't know a thing for six months, at least.
Title: Re: Cheddar me that
Post by: Boofer on May 09, 2012, 04:58:06 PM
I had already pulled this out of the vacuum bag, dried it off, rebagged it, and returned it to the cave.

No good. After several days there is still some moisture between the cheese and the bag, so I removed it, dried it off, and put it in a minicave and into the cave for a few more days of cool drying. The first Cheddar (http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,9548.0.html) is doing fine and hasn't needed this care. It's nice and dry inside its bag. Go figure.

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Cheddar me that
Post by: JeffHamm on May 09, 2012, 06:00:13 PM
Hi Boofer,

I had similar things happen with waxing.  Sometimes waxing early and all is well, other times, it's like an badly capped oil well.  I now try to just age them out 3 to 5 weeks, then wax or bag.  For a cheddar intended for long aging, 5 to 8 weeks in the cave for good rind development wouldn't hurt.  Each one is different.


- Jeff
Title: Re: Cheddar me that
Post by: Caseus on May 09, 2012, 06:27:08 PM
Jeff, when you age them for 3 to 5 weeks before waxing, do you need to do that in your cave at a proper temperature and humidity?  Do you get molds growing on the surface during that time?  If so, do you brush or wash that off before waxing?
Title: Re: Cheddar me that
Post by: JeffHamm on May 09, 2012, 07:14:47 PM
Hi Caseus,

I air dry them for about 4 or 5 days, then cave them for a month or so.  I brush them to keep unwanted growth to a minimum.  On the day of waxing, I give them a really good brushing and do the best I can to clean the rind up. 

- Jeff
Title: Re: Cheddar me that
Post by: Caseus on May 09, 2012, 08:24:02 PM
So after brushing them thoroughly, then waxing, does that keep the mold from coming back under the wax? 

I have to admit that, aside from the white molds used for Camembert and similar cheeses, I find the appearance of mold on cheese quite disturbing. 
Title: Re: Cheddar me that
Post by: JeffHamm on May 09, 2012, 09:16:54 PM
Sometimes mould still grows, usually this means there's a pinhole in the wax coating.  Mould doesn't penetrate the cheese though, and I'm more concerned with the cheese being kept in a wet environment, which breaks it down and could lead to rot.  If you give it a good brush to knock back the mould as much as you can, keep the cheese cool in the fridge while melting the wax, then apply good hot wax on a cold cheese surface the heat from the wax should help kill off the surface mould.  A week before waxing, start a good brushing then wash down with strong brine and vinegar every two or three days.  Just don't brine wash and then wax right away, give it 24 hours to dry again.  This should help knock back the mould.  After awhile, you won't fear the mould so much and you can just cut the rind off. 

- Jeff
Title: Re: Cheddar me that
Post by: Boofer on May 11, 2012, 09:59:23 PM
My Cheddar had dried sufficiently in the cave, so I resealed it yesterday. I will of course be checking it regularly for any residual moisture coming out. That really screws up a rind over time.

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Cheddar me that
Post by: MrsKK on May 13, 2012, 10:10:12 AM
I've been keeping my cheeses in the cave for about 2 months now before vacuum sealing them.  If they start looking dry, I coat them with lard.  It's a bit messy for turning for a couple of weeks, but then it just kind of dries up and almost assimilates into the rind.
Title: Re: Cheddar me that
Post by: max1 on August 18, 2012, 11:49:54 AM
6.4 milling target?  That seems a bit high.  I think you mean 5.4, no?
Title: Re: Cheddar me that
Post by: Boofer on August 19, 2012, 10:45:02 AM
No, 6.4 is correct. The initial pH of the milk was 6.89, which is pretty high for milk in my area.

I realize that a lot of Cheddar recipes call for milling around 5.4, but I wanted to try to avoid a dry, crumbly cheese so I milled earlier to slow the progress of the acidity. The cheese came out of the press later at 5.14, so it will have some tang to it. The problem is...I won't know for another 6-9 months whether this cheese is a success or not.

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Cheddar me that
Post by: bbracken677 on September 19, 2012, 11:27:41 AM
Boofer! Have you tried this cheese yet?  I am wondering about the use of ALP D for cheddars, whether that is a good option or not.
Title: Re: Cheddar me that
Post by: Boofer on September 20, 2012, 02:09:28 AM
Too early, Bruce.

I looked at a number of Cheddar makes in the forum and tried to analyze Hansen's Cheddar brief (http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=593.0;attach=1410) to determine what direction I should take. The brief states that Cheddar-type cheeses are primarily mesophilic-based and considers Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis and Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris. It also talks about blending mesophilic and thermophilic strains. Add to this a desire to possibly highlight flavor and texture through the use of Lactobacillus helveticus and Lactobacillus casei.

I played the Mad Scientist and figured that Alp D might be a suitable candidate to offer up most of these cultures in a Cheddar. Time will tell, I'm afraid. My desire is to not break into Cheddar Me This (http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,9548.0.html) and Cheddar Me That (http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,9589.0.html) for 12 months. Sometime in between now and then I have a Wasabi Cheddar on the docket. That little can of wasabi powder stares at me whenever I open the pantry door.  :P

You may notice that both of those makes have a similar culture mix, but arrive at it from different directions.

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Cheddar me that
Post by: bbracken677 on September 20, 2012, 04:31:38 AM
Yeah...I was particularly interested in your slow acidification approach, which makes sense to me. I think a faster acidification approach would be an approach for a short aged cheese. I think I am going to try both methods, cutting into one early and the other much later.
Title: Re: Cheddar me that
Post by: tnbquilt on December 23, 2012, 09:19:15 AM

I realize that a lot of Cheddar recipes call for milling around 5.4, but I wanted to try to avoid a dry, crumbly cheese so I milled earlier to slow the progress of the acidity. The cheese came out of the press later at 5.14, so it will have some tang to it. The problem is...I won't know for another 6-9 months whether this cheese is a success or not.

-Boofer-
[/quote]

I want to know what you mean by "so the cheese will have some tang to it". Does the low ph cause the tang or a high ph? I have some cheddar I made last year and it has a tang to it so I didn't know it was the ph level that might cause it. I have been calling it the "It's not ready to eat yet tang", but it's a year old.

I have learned so much about cheddar in the past 2 weeks since I started reading this forum. I haven't made cheddar since last February because I wasn't able to get it to knit properly. I read on one of Boofer's posts about pressing in the pot and WALAHH I took one out of the press this morning and it was all knitted this time.
Title: Re: Cheddar me that
Post by: Boofer on December 23, 2012, 10:34:45 AM
Yeah, Tammy, sour foods (http://www.livestrong.com/article/286772-list-of-sour-foods/) have an acidic "tang". Some is good. Too much, not so good, and the cheese may be dry, crumbly, overly acidic.

Typical calibration levels:
Congrats on your voilà moment. The "pressing in the pot" idea comes to us from Sailor. Duly credited. ;)

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Cheddar me that
Post by: bbracken677 on December 23, 2012, 10:52:49 AM

Congrats on your voilà moment. The "pressing in the pot" idea comes to us from Sailor. Duly credited. ;)

-Boofer-

Outstanding! I suspected as much, but I entered the scene, apparently, after that introduction and was not really sure who to credit. I think, Boofer, that at one time you sent me a document illustrating how to do it which was originally from Linuxboy...but I knew that there was further history I was not aware of.

Thanks for the clarification, and thank you Sailor! (and Boofer, Linuxboy, for the document that helped me out). I have since developed my methodology for pressing around that document in a way that made it easier for me to implement. Also, I would like to thank JeffHamm for some points he clarified for me, personally.
Title: Re: Cheddar me that
Post by: tnbquilt on December 23, 2012, 11:41:34 AM
So bbracken is sailor?

I appreciate the pressing in the pot technique share. I have tried wrapping hot towels around it, and pressing it harder. While wrapping hot towels around it helped, the towels get cold pretty quick. The pressing in the pot holds the heat in nicely and it worked just fine.
Title: Re: Cheddar me that
Post by: bbracken677 on December 23, 2012, 02:47:46 PM
No no no...I am a rank amateur (stress the rank)  lol Sailor Qon Queso  is the pro!  :)
Title: Re: Cheddar me that
Post by: Boofer on March 27, 2013, 12:33:14 AM
Well, I decided to cut into this wheel this afternoon. Seemed like a good time.

There has been some residual moisture in the bag which I have attempted to dry up on several occasions. The rind is whitish because of that moisture.

Cutting into this cheese causes it to cleave before I have finished my cut. It spalls off at the cleave point. I would expect some spalling for an aged Cheddar. The taste is mildly sharp. It could have used a little more salt. Undoubtedly some was lost at milling. The flavor is more prominent when the cheese is melted. This could possibly be an excellent grilled cheese sandwich candidate. ;)

I cut into six sections and vacuum-sealed them.

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Cheddar me that
Post by: JeffHamm on March 27, 2013, 01:42:31 AM
Now that is a fine looking cheddar Boofer!  I tried to give you a cheese for it, but I have to wait as I just cheesed your garlic gouda. 

- Jeff

There, my hour is up a few times over now, so a cheese to you!
Title: Re: Cheddar me that
Post by: bbracken677 on March 27, 2013, 07:20:53 AM
Nice job on the Cheddar!  A cheese for you Boofer!