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CHEESE TYPE BOARDS (for Cheese Lovers and Cheese Makers) => RENNET COAGULATED - Hard Other => Topic started by: Smurfmacaw on April 07, 2013, 05:23:19 PM

Title: Caerphilly #1
Post by: Smurfmacaw on April 07, 2013, 05:23:19 PM
Yes, it's another Caerphilly.  My first hard cheese make.  I was intrigued to find that Caerphilly is a standard beginner cheese.  I learned to like it over 30 years ago when I was at school in Houston.  Details:

2 Gallons of Organic P/H milk from Sprouts
1/4 tsp FD aromatic starter
1/4 tsp C101 meso starter
1/2 tsp liquid rennet (dissolved in 1/4 cup water)
1/2 tsp Calcium Chloride (dissolved in 1/4 cup water)

Pitched starter cultures at 90 degrees and let it set one hour.  Lost less than one degree during the ripening time.  Added Calcium Chloride then renned and stirred well for one minute.  Decided to jump in with both feet so measured the floc time which was much faster than I expected....7.5 minutes Bottle said 1/2 tsp would coagulate 2 gal milk in 45 minutes.  I guess I'll use less next time.  Is there a rule of thumb on how much less to get the desired coagulation time?.  Used a multiplier of 4 so cut the curd at 30 minutes (checked for clean break and it was as described.)  Cut the curd into 1/2 inch cubes and allowed 5 minute rest.  Raised temp to 95 over 25 minutes while stirring gently (was difficult not to break up the curds).  After that it rested 40 minutes at 95 degrees.  Drained curds 5 minutes in colinder.  First press 8 pounds for 10 minutes.  Flipped, second press 15 pounds for 30 minutes, flipped third press 20 pounds for 60 minutes, flipped again and pressed at 20 pounds for 12 hours.  Whey expelled during pressing was clear and not at all milky.  It's now brining for 12 hours (flipping it periodically).

Now it's just a matter of waiting....I think.  Question I have though is what should the cheese feel like after pressing?  I was expecting a much less springy feel.  Maybe it takes ripening etc.  Seems to have a good knit and no mechanical holes.  Some wrinkles in the surface from the cheesecloth but nothing major.  Yield was right where I expected it at 980g (2.18 lbs).  I'm glad this is a fast aging cheese.



Title: Re: Caerphilly #1
Post by: Smurfmacaw on April 07, 2013, 05:28:05 PM
Not totally sure why the pictures are coming out sideways.  Anyway here's a pic of my brand new press.  Hats off to sturdy press...great product.  Added the extra step....not sure why I have to rotate for this forum, I post on other forums and don't have this issue.  Oh well, piece of cake.

Title: Re: Caerphilly #1
Post by: Tiarella on April 08, 2013, 09:34:05 AM
About the spongy feel, not sure but seems common at this time of year.  Has it firmed up from the brining?  I believe it will be a good cheese even if it turns out that, for whatever reason, it's not quite the Caerphilly you remember.  You aiming for a clean or natural rind?
Title: Re: Caerphilly #1
Post by: Schnecken Slayer on April 08, 2013, 09:40:46 AM
You need to edit your pics in photoshop or similar and rotate them 90 degrees clockwise, then save them again.
Title: Re: Caerphilly #1
Post by: Smurfmacaw on April 08, 2013, 12:15:37 PM
I think I'm just going to let the rind do it's thing.  Not sure how much can really happen in just a couple of weeks (famous last words  ::) )  It seems a little firmer after brining, but then I tend to over think things.  Luckily I have friends that like to eat cheese so I'm going to practice this style until I get it right.  Maybe I'll try another brand of milk with the same make and see if that makes a difference.  Since it's only aged a couple of weeks is it safe to use raw milk?  I can get it at the farmers markets here in San Diego no problem.

Any idea why it would not be really solid?  I suppose I could press it with more pressure but the final press was at 1.25 psi which is slightly higher than called for in the recipe.


Title: Re: Caerphilly #1
Post by: Tiarella on April 08, 2013, 01:20:32 PM
Mike, I feel your pain!  Check out my plea for help on understanding why my winter cheeses were/are so soft:,11202.0.html (,11202.0.html)
The question was heard and answered and I had to read the answers a few times until they sank in.  Am I sure I can correct for this problem now?  Nope, but I have an idea that maybe I can.....and there's always the seasonal switch to summer milk that will make everything okay again.  It's not about how much pressure you're using in my experience, it's about how much moisture is retained by the curds and that's impacted by how solidly they coagulate.....too solidly and they won't let go of moisture.  But read the thread where people who know what they're talking about will answer.  Oh, and my softest cheese?  I covered it with a paste of cocoa powder and olive oil.  It's beautiful and smells good although I wish I'd used coconut oil instead of olive oil.  I'll do that next time.   :P

Oh, and I use only raw milk for all my makes.  Everyone has been fine so far!   :P  Seriously, I have my own goats and don't want to pasteurize and I use it for all cheeses from fresh to those to age just a couple of weeks.  I also drink the milk raw and make kefir with it raw.  Cleanliness of operation is good to know but if someone is legally selling it for consumption I imagine they are taking the care needed.  It's more a potential issue when someone who usually sells it to a corporation that will be heat treating it to within an inch of it's life that I'd be concerned because that milk doesn't have to be as babied as much....since it's going to be so over-treated anyway.
Title: Re: Caerphilly #1
Post by: Smurfmacaw on April 08, 2013, 02:43:41 PM
Thanks Tiarella, excellent and informative post in the link.  Perhaps I didn't describe well enough but my cheese isn't nearly soft enough to deform under it's own weight.  It held its shape very well even after the first quick pressing.  It's just barely "springy" directly under the finger like a piece of hard rubber.  I just expected it to be pretty much solid.  I think I have identified a couple of things I think I can do better at and make the next one even better.

Since I had a floc time of 7.5 minutes I obviously had too much rennet.  Next time (Saturday) I'll cut back 10% or so and see how that affects the floc time.  I also used a multiplier of 4 and maybe will drop to 3.5 or 3.0 and see what effect that has....I like my cheese more on the crumbly side anyway. 

Again, thanks for the post, it tied up the relationship between floc time, renneting and final moisture quite well.  I also didn't realize that there was that much variation in milk between the various seasons.

There are a couple certified raw milk producers here in SoCal and I'll certainly try them soon.   Right now since I'm learning to do this I'm going to only change one or two things at the time so I can see what works (besides the fact that raw milk costs 4 times as much as processed milk so mistakes are more painful.)

I'll post periodic pics as it progresses.  I'm drying it at room temperature (ave 65 deg) under a bowl to control the RH so it doesn't crack.  Looks good so far.  Will have a real (fridge) cheese cave set up in a couple of days so I'm looking forward to filling it up and complaining that I need more ripening space.  ;)
Title: Re: Caerphilly #1
Post by: Smurfmacaw on April 13, 2013, 12:13:55 PM
After drying for four days, I put it in the cheese cave at 52 degrees to ripen.  Once the cheese cooled it now feels exactly like I expected it to.  The aroma is starting to develop and smell more like cheese and less like ripened milk.  I think i just had a case beginner nerves.  Now comes the hard part, waiting three weeks to try the cheese.  I'll post more when I cut it and give it a taste.
Title: Re: Caerphilly #1 Progress Report
Post by: Smurfmacaw on April 17, 2013, 12:54:31 PM
After a couple of days of ripening the cheese cave suddenly started smelling different.  Cheese has a few blue molds and some reddish brown spots.  I'm using a piece of cheese cloth dipped in saturated brine to keep it sort of clean.  The sweatsox smell is interesting......does that mean the reddish brown spots are B. Linens?  Should I keep the rind fairly clean or should I let the molds take hold a little more and then beat them into submission?  I'm not sure I really want the blue molds for this cheese or am I just overthinking again?  No real sign of any white molds at this point.


Title: Re: Caerphilly #1
Post by: JeffHamm on April 17, 2013, 04:01:45 PM
Sounds like b.linens.  You could try reducing your humidity at bit as well.  I just keep brushing mine with a soft brush to keep the moulds at bay.  The rind will develop nicely and flavour the cheese, but I don't eat it myself (the wild moulds taste, well, too mouldy).  Caerphilly is a cheddar type, and if you're going to age this out, don't forget that cheddar is left to grow all sorts of moulds (they are just cut off for sale and don't penetrate because of the firm knit).  But, if you want to try and keep it clean, then wash with saturated brine (except for the face it will sit on) then next day wash the other face, etc.  Give it a brush before the wash as well.  Just remember, caerphilly is already fairly salty and you're going to be adding even more in your wash.

- Jeff
Title: Re: Caerphilly #1
Post by: Smurfmacaw on April 27, 2013, 07:24:28 PM
Well, after a week of neglect (daughter had appendicitis) I returned to find it a little mouldy.  Some blue and white powdery moulds.  I used saturated brine to wipe away the blues and I figure the white powdery (PC?) won't hurt anything, especially since I'm going to open it next weekend at the three week mark.  Or is it the four week mark?  Four weeks if you measure from the day of the make and three if you measure  from the day it went into the cave after drying (well three weeks and a couple of days).  Can't wait to try it.
Title: Re: Caerphilly #1
Post by: bbracken677 on April 27, 2013, 11:15:48 PM
I use a single strength liquid veal rennet and find that for 2 gallons approx 1/4 tsp works fine. I have refined it to number of drops from the bottle. I use 24 drops for P/H milk and 20 drops for a mixture of raw and P/H milk. Been a while since I used just straight raw milk, but I could probably get a good flocculation in 10-15 mins off of 18 drops.
Title: Re: Caerphilly #1
Post by: JeffHamm on April 28, 2013, 01:18:32 AM

You could just brush it down with a clean nail brush as well, then just cut the rind off when you eat it.  Still, a washing won't hurt it.  Photos though, we need photos! :)

- Jeff
Title: Yes - Photos
Post by: Smurfmacaw on April 28, 2013, 06:12:13 PM
Some brown spots and some blueish things going on.  I gave it a wash with the same wash I use on the Gruyere to see what will happen.  Should I add B. Linens to the wash solution or just wait for it to develop it's own?
Title: Re: Caerphilly #1
Post by: JeffHamm on April 29, 2013, 12:22:45 AM
I wouldn't bother adding b.linens to caerphilly.  It's not aged long enough for them, and also, caerphilly isn't a washed rind cheese.  Dry this rind off, and get the humidity down a bit (having the humidity a bit high seems to encourage black spots for me at least).  Caerphilly will develop a bit of wild geo over the course of 3 or 4 weeks, and that's normal.  Regardless, this looks to be a good result, especially for a first make.  Well done.

- Jeff
Title: Re: Caerphilly #1
Post by: Smurfmacaw on May 01, 2013, 08:12:57 PM
Couldn't wait for the weekend.  Cut the cheese tonight  ::)   and it was awesome.  Externally, it has developed a white powdery coating (geo?) and a few little brown spots.  Smell is very nice.  Cheesy but mild and the cheese is pretty firm.  I cut a wedge and it seems to have the texture I remember from the commercial Caerphillies I had many years ago.  Something of a crumbly texture which seems right (although I thought a 4x floc time would yield a smoother cheese.)  Aroma is mild and cheesy.  Taste is what I remember.  Slightly salty and a little tart.  This one is probably a little less tart than what I remember but quite a nice flavor.  Texture is right on so i can't complain at all.  I think next time a little more salt and something to let it get a little more acid.  Don't know what folks like Tiarella do to get the cool rinds but more to learn.  Overall I'm really happy and this is a really good cheese.

Title: Re: Caerphilly #1
Post by: JeffHamm on May 01, 2013, 09:41:52 PM
Well done!  That looks like a really good outcome, and the taste and texture sound spot on too.  A cheese to you.

- Jeff
Title: Re: Caerphilly #1
Post by: Tiarella on May 02, 2013, 04:59:50 AM
Although you canage  Caerphilly for longer if you want and it'll taste great and will have had enough time to develop various molds.  Also, I do think Alp's rind treatment would work fine on a Caerphilly but it might not be worth it unless you're going to age it out quite a while.  It would likely keep all molds away though.
Title: Re: Caerphilly #1
Post by: Vina on May 03, 2013, 04:26:52 AM
Looks great!
Caerphilly is one of my favs to make as well. :)
Title: Re: Caerphilly #1
Post by: Tiarella on May 03, 2013, 05:09:37 AM
It does look wonderful and the proportions of it remind me of my first Caerphilly which was my first hard cheese too.  SO exciting, right?   :D.   And there's something neat about those tallish slightly skinny wheels......  This IS one of my favorite cheeses to make and yes, a cool one for playing with rind treatments.  I'll soon be cutting open one that got a thick layer of smoked paprika rubbed onto it.  That's an easy rind treatment.
Title: Introspection
Post by: Smurfmacaw on May 16, 2013, 06:11:29 PM
Now that I've eaten the cheese and the whole "gee, I made that" feeling is behind me, here's some after the fact thoughts on this make.

1.  In all reality, the cheese texture is most likely more chalky than a caerphilly should be.  Probably attributable to over acidification and cutting the curd inexpertly too small.  I'm going to use a pH meter in the future to assess where the acidification really occurred (I suspect in the press but could be wrong.  I also used a fair bit of starter (1/2 tsp total) which may have had an impact.

2.  I think I'd like it more salty than it was.  It was somewhat difficult to tell with the texture though.  I'm thinking next time I'm going to cheddar and salt it rather than brine it.

3.  Not sure if it detracted from the taste but I think I'm getting a handle on my rennet.  This one flocc'd really fast.  About half as much as I used will be about right.  I've started counting drops but I guess I should use something a little more precise like a syringe or a pipette.

4.  I'm either going to find someone that sells or make myself a horizontal curd knife.  The diagonal cutting is pretty imprecise (plus I like having the right tools for the job.)  My curds are getting better with practice but after watching videos of real curd knives I'm jealous.

That's really all the bad things I guess I can think of.  Nice part is it was edible and I enjoyed it for lunch a number of days and various snacks.  Also it let me get the first hard cheese out of the way.  I've got several more aging right now but I'm doing another Caerphilly next week with the aim of improving technique and turning out an even better cheese.  I'll start another post to get recommendations on pH targets and their effect.