CheeseForum.org ยป Forum

CHEESE TYPE BOARDS (for Cheese Lovers and Cheese Makers) => ADJUNCT - Blue Mold (Penicillium roqueforti) Ripened => Topic started by: chilipepper on February 23, 2009, 08:56:20 PM

Title: Chilipepper's Cheese #018 - Stilton
Post by: chilipepper on February 23, 2009, 08:56:20 PM
2/22/09 - Trying to rebound off the very interesting and not very typical previous Stilton adventure, I've went ahead and attempted another Stilton.  This time taking off of a few things learned over the past couple of weeks.

This batch started with 2 gallons of raw jersey milk at approximately 5.2% butterfat according to typical averages for this type of milk.  I didn't add any extra cream as I feel my butterfat content to be above what would be attained by adding half and half to store bought whole milk.  With this milk I had a very nice curd set and my ripening was pretty much on schedule. 

This was the first time using the pH meter with datalogging so if you click the attached PDF you will see how the pH changed over time as well as the temps.

Milk was allowed heat gradually to 86 degrees before adding the MM101 Meso culture along with the P.Roqueforti mold that I had allowed to dissolve in 1/4 cup of distilled water. Interesting that the pH actually briefly increased when the cultures were added.

I allowed to ripen for 30 minutes before adding 1/2 tsp of liquid veggie rennet.  I allowed the curd to set for 90 minutes.  After which time I didn't cut the curd but rather ladled directly to a cheesecloth lined colander.  I put this colander back into the warm whey to drain and further ripen for another 90 minutes. 

After the 90 minute rest in the whey I hung and allowed to drip drain for another 30 minutes before transferring back to the colander with a follower and approximately 8 lbs of weight for approximately 20 hours. (overnight was suggested but it just didn't work out that way for me)

Raw milk pH was 6.92 and dropped steadily to 5.38 at the time I started the overnight pressing.  pH was measured at 4.70 at the time of milling/salting.

Curd was hand milled to small pieces and salted with 2 Tbsp of flaked salt before transferring to mold for drying over the next 4-5 days, turning at least daily.

I will allow this drying/turning to happen in the open air and without the sealed environment I used in the last attempt.

Observations: I can tell by the curd already that there is definately something more in line for this Stilton.  The curd was not so sticky and soft.  It salted easily and stuck a little to the mixing bowl but didn't shmear the sides like the previous batch.  The other somewhat pleasant observation is that the curd took on a very nice subtle yellow tint.

Thats it for now... hopefully all goes well this time around!

PDF pH results from meter for Stilton 02/22/2009 (http://www.kesabe.com/cheese/Stilton022209.pdf)

(http://www.kesabe.com/cheese/stilton0102.jpg)
curd after pressing overnight. Taking pH reading

(http://www.kesabe.com/cheese/stilton0103.jpg)
pH after overnight pressing

(http://www.kesabe.com/cheese/stilton0104.jpg)
milled and salted curd

(http://www.kesabe.com/cheese/stilton0106.jpg)
curd in mold

(http://www.kesabe.com/cheese/stilton0107.jpg)
mold resting under cover of a dish towel to keep dust out but otherwise open to the air.
Title: Re: Chilipepper's Cheese #018 - Stilton
Post by: Cartierusm on February 24, 2009, 03:01:09 AM
I don't think you care about cheese at all, you just want to show off your super slick datalogging PH/temp meter  ;D

It looks good, I'm sure last time it was a fluke as I know you to be diligent. BTW if I haven't asked before where do you get your raw milk and how much per gallon?
Title: Re: Chilipepper's Cheese #018 - Stilton
Post by: chilipepper on February 24, 2009, 09:30:18 PM
Yeah the datalogging pH was pretty fun to play with, that is for sure! I'm really looking forward to trying it out on a batch of Provolone.

The milk comes from a local family farm that has an excess of raw milk they sell.  I'm pretty sure I'm one of only a very few that get dibs on what they don't use.  I get it for $5/gallon delivered. Not bad at all comparing to what other are having to pay.  If take into account that you can get up to a quart of cream off a gallon as well it really is quite a bargain!
Title: Re: Chilipepper's Cheese #018 - Stilton
Post by: chilipepper on February 27, 2009, 10:16:00 PM
Ok this on is done in the mold flipping for about 5 days.  There was a little bit of mold starting to give it some color.  I was surprised when I removed it how open the texture was which proved a little challenge when smoothing.  Anyway I got it done and put it in my cave.  The shelves are wood so I wiped them down with starsan then dried and put a paper towel down.  On top of that is a layer of the light fixture bezel to give it some space between the Tupperware and the shelf.  Anyway I really want this one to work out.   Here are some picts if you could let me know if you see something that is glaringly wrong otherwise we'll just hope and pray for the best!

(http://www.kesabe.com/cheese/stilton0108.jpg)

(http://www.kesabe.com/cheese/stilton0109.jpg)

(http://www.kesabe.com/cheese/stilton0110.jpg)

(http://www.kesabe.com/cheese/stilton0111.jpg)
Title: Re: Chilipepper's Cheese #018 - Stilton
Post by: chilipepper on February 28, 2009, 11:12:18 AM
My cave is pretty cool right now... about 44 degrees.  Is that too cool for the mold developing stage?  With the setup pictured above and the temps at 44 degrees overnight the hygrometer reads 70% humidity.  I may try a moist towel as Dave described to bump that up a bit. 

Ryan
Title: Re: Chilipepper's Cheese #018 - Stilton
Post by: Wayne Harris on February 28, 2009, 11:27:17 AM
it sounds a bit cool.  Never done a stilton,  but i thought the temp needed to be in the 50s.

Looks good regardless.

Title: Re: Chilipepper's Cheese #018 - Stilton
Post by: Cartierusm on February 28, 2009, 03:20:17 PM
I've always read that it should be 52-55 but I don't think too low will hurt unless it inhibits mold growth as you say.
Title: Re: Chilipepper's Cheese #018 - Stilton
Post by: Likesspace on February 28, 2009, 08:53:54 PM
Ryan,
First of all, the cheese looks great. I think you'll be happy with this one, once it's finished.
I would definately recommend putting a WET paper towel under the container. I completely soak my paper towels and put them under while they are dripping wet. Smaller Stiltons (like I also make) love to dry out at about week 3 - 4 and this will help keep it from happening. You want a dry rind but you don't want it to crack.
As for the temperature, just watch it and see what happens...
Most of mine are aged at 47 degrees and I've never had a problem.
On the other hand, I did try to age one of my first at 52 degrees and quickly noticed a strong ammonia smell after just a couple of days. I immediately lowered the temp and that stopped the problem.
Now that the rind is smoothed, I don't think you will notice much surface growth, rather a wrinkling and drying of the rind.
Once you pierce the cheese, then you will see (not see) what you want to, meaning that the interior bluing will begin to take place even though you have to wait, and wait, and wait to find out for sure.
I like to pierce at week four on a two gallon wheel and eat at 8 weeks.
As long as you keep the cheese nice and moist throughout the aging, this will ensure a nice hardened rind and a very smooth and creamy interior. The flavor is fantastic at this point, with a nice strong bleu cheese flavor.
At this point, I would say that your Stilton looks perfect. Just keep flipping it each day (I wear non-powdered latex gloves to keep from touching the cheese), and keep it well humidified and "breathing". Within 8 weeks you are going to have a cheese that will entice you to keep a Stilton going at all times.

Dave
Title: Re: Chilipepper's Cheese #018 - Stilton
Post by: FineWino on March 01, 2009, 01:00:23 AM
That is one good looking Stilton at this stage.  I kept the local humidity up on mine by putting a gallon ziploc bag over it with the bottom open and flipping the cheese every 4-5 days so the end doesn't dry out.  I had a similar experience to Dave when ripening my first Stilton at too high a temperature and it developed a strong ammoniacal component.  It started in my wine cabinet at about 58 F...I now keep it in the cheese cave that runs 48-52 F.  It will probably be OK at 44 F but expect things to progress more slowly.
Title: Re: Chilipepper's Cheese #018 - Stilton
Post by: chilipepper on March 12, 2009, 10:22:12 AM
3/12/09 Update: Stilton is really doing much better than the previous.  Blue mold intensified in color on the outside after smoothing but it is starting to look pretty good.

(http://www.kesabe.com/cheese/stilton0112.jpg)
Title: Re: Chilipepper's Cheese #018 - Stilton
Post by: Cartierusm on March 12, 2009, 11:23:52 AM
Wow that almost looks like my rouge little multi-mold cheddar, but yours looks edible.
Title: Re: Chilipepper's Cheese #018 - Stilton
Post by: chilipepper on May 04, 2009, 03:43:22 PM
Cut this puppy open today!!!  It was looking pretty interesting from the outside and really smelled wonderful when I would turn it.  Here are the pictures:

(http://www.kesabe.com/cheese/stilton0112b.jpg)

(http://www.kesabe.com/cheese/stilton0113.jpg)

(http://www.kesabe.com/cheese/stilton0114.jpg)

(http://www.kesabe.com/cheese/stilton0115.jpg)

I'm really quite pleased with this as the first successful attempt.  It was a little dryer than the commercial versions I've tried however, appears similar to several pictures I've found.  Taste was actually quite incredible and very flavorful.  Melts to creamy smooth paste on the palate. Nice spicy pungent aftertaste.  I'm also really pleased with the degree of marbling as well.

I hope the big wheel I made turns out this good. I'll be piercing it this weekend!  I may try and up the humidity while aging to see if I can retain a little more moisture.  This one spent most of its aging life at about 80% and right under 50 degrees.

Ryan
Title: Re: Chilipepper's Cheese #018 - Stilton
Post by: Likesspace on May 04, 2009, 04:29:18 PM
Ryan,
Aboslutely perfect!
Great work!!

Dave
Title: Re: Chilipepper's Cheese #018 - Stilton
Post by: FineWino on May 04, 2009, 09:49:58 PM
That is one great looking Stilton.  I think the smaller wheels have a tendency to dry out a bit.  I have my first 8 incher in process that I pierced last week.
Title: Re: Chilipepper's Cheese #018 - Stilton
Post by: chilipepper on May 05, 2009, 12:14:24 PM
Thanks guys!  This is one of those cheeses that I can't seem to stay away from!  We had a fresh garden salad last night with this Stilton crumbled on it...wow did that liven it up!  I have to leave on business for a couple of days and I'm finding myself trying to figure out how to keep a chunk of it cool during my travels. ;D    I think I may end up freezing some of it to keep it around a bit longer.  John seemed to do it successfully so I'm hoping it will be OK.

Thanks again!

Ryan
Title: Re: Chilipepper's Cheese #018 - Stilton
Post by: Cartierusm on May 11, 2009, 06:35:56 PM
Ryan looks awesome and that's only at a few months. I leave my stiltons go for 6 months or so and I hope to achieve what you have.
Title: Re: Chilipepper's Cheese #018 - Stilton
Post by: Wayne Harris on May 12, 2009, 09:24:29 AM
That looks absolutely fantastic.  Do you age that with natural rind cheeses?  How do you avoid cross contamination?
Title: Re: Chilipepper's Cheese #018 - Stilton
Post by: chilipepper on May 12, 2009, 09:46:22 AM
Thanks. I'm going to have to address the whole cross contamination issue pretty soon.  Right now my cave (a.k.a. root cellar) is all for mold ripened or storing waxed cheese.  I have a lagering fridge that I have one natural rind Manchego in there to see how it will work. 

It is amazing the cross contamination that can so innocently happen in the cave.  I had a Parmesan in there in one of those vacuum sealed hard sided containers and it still ended up getting the blues!

I too am working on scouring some stainless. A buddy has a bar and they replaced their under counter beer keg refrigerators recently.  I'm trying to score one of those and convert it to a cheese cave.  They would be really nice for a cheese cave.  Like yours though there isn't any partitions between compartments so I'd have to come up with some mold barrier for different aging compartments.   Anyway that is probably a couple of months out yet.

Ryan
Title: Re: Chilipepper's Cheese #018 - Stilton
Post by: AndrewM on May 12, 2009, 10:23:27 AM
basking in the radiance and bowing to the glory.
Title: Re: Chilipepper's Cheese #018 - Stilton
Post by: Moski on August 26, 2010, 11:09:32 AM
Wow. That looks just like the commercial ones they show to get you hungry. Amazing piece of work.
Title: Re: Chilipepper's Cheese #018 - Stilton
Post by: Brentsbox on September 02, 2010, 05:08:13 AM
That is the best looking cheese I have seen in a while.  Great job!    Where did you get your PH meter/logger?   Do you think it helped or made a difference?     

You said you pay $5 a gallon for your raw milk.  Wow, i feel really blessed.  I pay $3, delivered.   Our milk lady comes to town ever Wednesday.  Im up to 5 gallons a week now and now she is wanting my cheese.  LOL