Tuesday, April 09, 2013


First, I'll show you how the last batch is coming along:

It has been sitting at room temperature since Saturday morning.  They said three to six days of this, until you have a nice rind.  Well, I don't know how much rind I'm working toward, but I'm going to wax it tomorrow.  It's supposed to be sitting on a board, but I'm using a paper plate with paper towels under the cheese, and changing the paper towels occasionally.  
My directions say to use calcium chloride before the culture and rennet if the milk makes a weak curd and takes an inordinate amount of time to set.  I didn't know if my milk would have that problem or not, so I used it.  This time, I did not use it and found out it wasn't necessary.  Cliff tells me calcium chloride is the stuff farmers put in tractor tires to keep them from freezing in winter, and that it's some bad stuff!  Also, last time I used liquid rennet made for cheese-making.  This time I used tablet... not the Junket like you buy in the store, though, it's what I bought from the cheese-making place.  I can tell you there is a tremendous difference.  Using the proper kind of rennet, a firmer curd develops in thirty minutes than what I got from the Junket tablets after twelve hours.  So if you venture into cheese-making, spend the bucks and buy the proper stuff.  
As I was at the stage after cutting the curd where I set the pan into a sink full of hot water.  At this point I saw something I don't remember reading last week:  "Place the pot into a sink of hot water and bring the temperature slowly (not more than 2 degrees every five minutes) up to 100 degrees.  The will probably take about 30 minutes.  
See the underlined part?  I'm sure I didn't pay attention to that the other time, so let's hope it didn't ruin that batch.  I'll bet it didn't.  
The next hour or so should be interesting.  I'll be applying the weight to the cheese after it's in the mold.  Cliff was here to help with that before.  

 I can handle this step, which only takes 15 minutes.  
Another modification we made this time is to get the cheese off the surface of the plate when it's being pressed; before, I used paper towels and just wiped off the whey as it collected.  Cliff fixed me up with a way of draining so the curds aren't sitting in the whey.

This is the part I will probably have difficulty with.  If I do, I'll just continue the ten-pounds of pressure until Cliff gets home and then we will add the other ten.

Here's hoping!


I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Your cheese is looking good! Sounds like you are having fun doing it too!


It sounds like your cheese is coming along and shaping up to be good.

Margaret said...

You are amazing and I'm sure the cheese will be too. I never think about the fact that cheese can be made by REAL people instead of just in factories. Way to go!!

Lisa said...

Mmmmm cheese is one of my weaknesses, lol