Inspired by others I’ve decided to make some cheese! My last attempts at a blue and a Camembert a year ago were, well, let’s just say…a bit fragrant and not successful. This time I’ll use the beer ‘fridge for aging/ripening, at the request (OK, insistence) of the wife.
Today is a Gouda attempt with 1 gal. of grocery store whole milk.
Warm the milk to 90oF (32oC) and add the mesophilic culture and allow to ripen for 10 min. Add the rennet and CaCl2. Wait for an hour for the milk to set and get to the “clean break” stage. Not sure how clean my break actually was since it looks a little like cottage cheese. But, forging on with the learning experience…..!
Begin washing. Dump out 1/3 of the whey and replace with 175oF (79oC) water. Soak 10 minutes and drain. Add more hot water to reach 100oF (38oC). Soak with occasional stirring for 30 more min.
Here are the washed curds ready to go into the press. Look ok to me.
Now the tricky part. Pressing the curds. I decided to give the Stilton Knot a try since it doesn’t require a real press (which is on the “To Do” list of weekend projects).
Dump the curds into cheese cloth that has been sanitized by boiling. Wrap up tight and put a weight on it. I’ll start with 5 lbs. and get up to maybe 20 lbs for 8 hours.
I left the cheese under 15 lbs weight over night and it’s now ready for brining.
After the brining, into the 50oF (10oC) “cheese cave” for a few days to dry out before vacuum sealing for aging.
Update in a few months when we taste it!
Ooo, this is beautiful! My dude-friend got me a cheese making kit last year for my birthday. I tried it out once and, while what I made was edible (and we did eat it, of course), it wasn’t what I would call DELICIOUS. I still really want to give it a go, though, and get better at it. There’s a cheesemaking apprenticeship out in Illinois that, were I younger/had fewer responsibilities, I would totally go do!
Yeah, unfortunately I didn’t get around to vacuum sealing it before we left for a week and it grew some nasty mold on it. 😦 The blue cheese I made seems to be doing well though!