Thursday, June 20, 2013

I have to admit I have been bad.  I did not make any cheese in April or May.  I think I was just discouraged because the cheese press I had was cumbersome and difficult to work with.  But lo and behold my wife gave me new press, a dutch cheese press for Father's Day.  I was very excited and it worked great.  I think it looks so great that I don't mind it being out on the table, not sure if my wife agrees with me.  So I made some cheese that very same day.  I also taught a Mozzarella class early this month.  I had donated for a work charity event a cheese class for 5 people.  So I taught the class to my co-worker and her daughters.  We did 2 batches during the class and they both turned out (with a little bit of coaxing) and we all had fun.
My first cheese I decided to make with my new press was my favorite, Manchego (to read about my first Manchego and some history go to this post).  I changed the recipe a little bit this time but not by much.  It is a combination of the recipe found in Ricki Carroll's book "Home Cheese Making", Mary Karlin's "Artisan Cheese making at Home", and a few of my own changes.
  • 3 Gallons whole Milk
  • saffron threads (some boiled in water)
  • 1/4 tsp. calcium chloride in 1/4 cup cool water
  • 1/8 tsp. Buttermilk Culture
  • 1/8 tsp. Mesophilic Culture
  • 1/4 tsp. Thermophilic Culture
  • 1/4 tsp. lipase in 1/4 cup cool water
  • 1/4 rennet tablet in 1/4 cup cool water
-Heat Milk and saffron to 86°F
          -Add Calcium Chloride and stir
          -Sprinkle in all cultures, let hydrate 3 minutes then stir in a up and down motion
          -Let sit covered for 45 minutes at the 86°F
-Add Lipase Powder and stir gently
-Add Rennet and gently stir with whisk
          -Let sit covered for 30 Minutes (or until clean break)

-Cut curds into 1/2 inch cubes and let sit for 5 minutes
-Cut curds into rice size using whisk
         -Let sit for 30 minutes
-Heat curds slowly to 104°F increasing temperature slowly and gently stirring (over 30 minutes)
-Let Curds sit for 5 minutes
-Line cheese mold with damp cheesecloth and ladle curds into mold
-Press at 15 lbs. for 15 minutes (See how nice and easy this was, because of the leverage I only needed a 5l lb. weight in order to get to 15 lbs.)
-Remove cheese and flip, returning it to mold and press again at 15 lbs. for 15 minutes
-Repeat process again and press at 15 lbs. for 15 minutes
-Flip cheese again and press for 30 lbs. for 8 hours
I love my cheese press!  Thank you wife!
-Put cheese into a salt water bath and brine for 6 hours
-Pat cheese dry and age (I will age it for 2 months but you can age it from 3 weeks to 12 months)
my final product, I think it looks great
This was a previous Manchego. I think my new press makes the cheese so much better
I really enjoyed my new press and how easy it was to press the cheese without it coming out lopsided.  I am already planning on making some cheese again this weekend.  Not sure what I might do.  Most likely a cheddar or a Parmesan.  Or if I get any votes or suggestions before then I might change my mind.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

2013, The year of the Cheese!

Don't get mad. I know, I know.  It has been a while since I wrote about cheese making.  It has not been that I have completely stopped making cheese.  In fact this year I have a goal to make one cheese a month.  Now if I can just get in the habit of writing up a blog post afterwards.

     In January I made a Parmesan in hopes to break it open for Christmas 2014.  I have made a parmesan before and so I hope this will be just as tasty.  I can not find the pictures I took but I will make sure to post some pictures on here when I open it up in 7 months.  I decided I need to make Parmesan more often then once a year since I hate waiting for so long before I get to try it.  Maybe I will try it again in April.

     I made an English Cheddar. I have not made an official Cheddar yet.  Only Farmhouse cheddar.  I got the recipe off of  You can see the recipe here.  I hope I will get some good mold growth.  From reading the recipe and looking at other pictures I think it does look very rustic.   I could only find the pictures I took of bandaging it.

Here is a picture after a month of aging.  I have a little white mold, and a few specks of dark mold on it.  I hope it continues.  Not sure if I will cut it open in May when I parents come to visit.  I might wait longer.  We shall see how patient I am.

 I was looking for something new to make.   So I was looking through Ricki Carrol's book for something. I live in Kentcuky and the Kentucky  Derby was in three months so I thought to I should make it.  I know it has nothing to do with Kentucky and is an English Cheese.

Hope everyone enjoyed my pictures and sorry for not blogging much about the experience.  Hopefully April will be much better.