Today we made a 10 gallon batch of Cheddar and a 3 gallon batch of Jack. I so often make
cheddar that I had forgotten how easy Jack is to make. The Jack recipe takes about half the time and we tossed the curds into the mold and pressed for a few hours and it was done. The Cheddar by comparison took another 4 hours to complete. We did get 11 lbs. of cheddar from 10 gallons of milk and 3 lbs. of Jack from the 3 gallon batch. We added 10 drops of annato per gallon of milk to the cheddar to give it a nice yellow look. The Jack came out fairly white, but this is raw milk and the cheese will always finish darker than with grocery store milk. The only flaw was that the cheddar seemed to finish a bit dry and some was even cracking a bit. I probably over-cooked in the later stages of getting the curd to shrink. It will be something to look at in 60 days as the cheddar wheels begin to finish.
Another weekend with fresh milk from R Patch of Heaven! This dairy has great milk and it is making great cheese. So this week I decided to make Swiss Cheese. I haven’t made it in a while and felt it was time. I also picked up a new book, The Cheesemaker’s Apprentice and it contained a recipe for Emmental, which is the cheese American’s think of when we think of Swiss.
The Swiss recipe I have used in the past, the baby Swiss recipe from Cheesemaking.com calls for an 1/8 tsp of Propionic Shermanii and this new recipe calls for 1 tsp for 2 gallons of milk. This seemed a bit too much so I cut it in half to 1/2 tsp per pot. Each pot had a little over 3 gallons of milk.
In any case, I end up with a lot of curd, with the nearly 7 gallons of milk. Now that the cheese has come out of the brine and dried for a couple hours it weighs 7 lbs. 8.5 oz.
I am excited to see how a wheel of 7 lbs. reacts when it starts to swell. It will also be interesting to see how this recipe tastes. I added a 1/8 tsp of Alp-D culture to supplement the Thermophilic TA061 culture I have used singly in the past. Follow the complete recipe on the recipes page.
There are people who will tell you that cheese can be made from any milk; Goat, Sheep, Cow, Grocery, Pasteurized, Organic or Raw. This is correct, however the milk I have been having great success lately is fresh, raw cow’s milk. Today’s milk came from a great dairy just outside Eaton, CO. R Patch of Heaven is a organic raw milk dairy where you can get great milk for cheese. John and Joy, from R Patch of Heaven have been dairy farmers for most of their lives and know what good milk is all about. I made Cheddar curds in two batches, one with a little Annatto and one without. It made for some pretty cool looking cheese. Best of all it tasted great. So if you need milk for every day or for a project, give Patch of Heaven a call.
In July I was making a lot of cheese and quite busy as well, so when a wheel starting to get out of control I decided to let it go. Another cheese maker recently told me that they were letting a lot of their cheese go natural for the aging process and cleaning it up when it was time to eat it. So this was my chance to take a chance. The recipe calls for several months of aging up to a year. So today I pulled the wheel out after 90 days of aging and cleaned it up a little bit and wanted to share a picture. I’m going to let it go for a while longer and then we will try it. I’ll let you know how it tastes.
This weekend, I made two new cheese and one old favorite. New for the year were Romano and Burrata. I also stayed up late to make Cheddar after the Bronco game. For those who have followed the Cheddar recipe before, you know that particular recipe takes 8 hours.
I have also decided that I should redesign the blog and put Recipes and Makes directions in a separate area and save the homepage for shorter posts pointing to the current recipe. I’m hoping this will make posting easier for me. It should also make things easy to find. The homepage is sort of a mess at this point.
Montasio is a cheese that has been around since the 13th century. It was traditionally made by monks living in the Moggio abbey, located at the top of the Carnic Alps. My recipe comes from Kent Walker Cheese in Little Rock, AR. I first made this recipe more than a year ago, when I was a real newbie and had a hard time making a decent cheese. Today’s make came out perfectly, at least from the first reviews. Lets take a look at the recipe.
Original Ingredients List :
2:1 Thermo/Meso Culture
Actual Ingredients List :
2 Gallon non-homogenized, 1 Gallon grocery store Cow Milk
1/16 tsp per gallon Mesophilic type II = 3/16 tsp
1/16 tsp per gallon TA61 Thermophilic = 3/16 tsp
1 tsp Rennet
3 tsp minced store bought garlic
Heat milk to 70° add culture
Let culture set for 2-5 mins before mixing, mix in up and down motion, don’t stir.
Continue heating – Heat to 88° should take 30-45 minutes.
Add rennet 1 tsp for the 3 gallons
Let rest for 60-75 mins, with 1 gallon of grocery milk we waited 75 mins.
Cut curd to 1/4″
Heat to 102° stir for an hour, heating took a little over 30 mins and stirred for 30 minutes more
Heat a pot of distilled water to 140°
Drain off 1/3 of the whey
Scald curd to 110° by adding heated water
Stir for 10 additional mins at 110°
Drain off most of the whey, its ok if there is a little left in the pot
Mix in the garlic breaking up the curds as you go to get a good mix
This will cause additional whey to be expelled, drain it off
Press curds into a mold
Press over night. If 8 lbs wheel press at 65lbs
Start with 8-10 lbs for first half hour
Double the weight for next hour, flip
We got up to 42 lbs. and left overnight
Soak in brine for 12-24 hours
We went for 15-16, it was a long day
Age 2-36 months
Coat in olive oil as needed to prevent mold
Update: Oct 1,2016– I cut the wheel in half and Vacuum Sealed after testing it. The cheese had very little flavor but a great texture and creaminess to it. It might need more garlic next time or it might just need time. We will see.
Another batch of amazing milk from WiMo Farms and I used all 7 gallons for Cheddar. I am able to split the milk into 2 3.5 gallon batches and just combine the curd at the end to finish the process.
I have now chosen to make this recipe several times and under many conditions, so this is the first recipe I will add to a recipe section of this site.
One of the things that always bothers me about the process is that there are hundreds of places to make mistakes. If there is some way to fake till you make, I want that short cut. This recipe has that built in. It is precise PH readings that we are waiting to reach. Once the step of curd blocks has been reached, you just keep flipping until the PH reaches 5.4, then you stop.
Cheddar is a process not a type of cheese. Again this recipe lends itself to success by salting after the correct PH has been reached.
Everyone struggles with making a good looking wheel. At first I thought it was just me. Afterall, I am new to cheese making and there must be a secret I’m missing. Over time I have come to the conclusion that everyone struggles, but that a good mold and some practice and most of us can come out with a decent looking wheel.
I started the weekend with 10 gallons of milk, yesterday I made a small batch of Swiss. Today, I used the rest to make even more Swiss and something new called Spessa.
Spressa is an Italian cheese that dates back to 1249 AD. It is fairly simple as its ingredients are milk, culture and rennet. Spressa can be made with Thermophic culture, 3% yogurt or even day old whey.
The basics of the recipe are heat the milk to 70, add culture, continue heat to 95. At 95 add rennet. Wait for clean break and Quickly cut curd to rice size pieces. Quickly stir curds and heat slowly to 108 (3 minutes per degree). Let the curds fully ripen, that is they will shrink try to stick together. Press for 12 hours. Brine in 20% solution. Age for a 2-12 months wipe with brine as needed.