Tag Archives: Parmesan

Big Block Parmesan – April 16, 2016

A year ago this week I made my first Parmesan.  A couple weeks ago we cut into that wheel and although it wasn’t like most Parms you buy, it was tasty and now it’s gone.  It will take a year before I have Parmesan to eat, so this time I made a much larger batch, 7 lbs.20160416_180116_001

I started with 6 gallons of 2% and 1 gallon of whole milk. My pot will hold 3 ½ gallons, so I am doing two batches side-by-side. As I started the prep I discovered two  different recipes, one with Lipase and one without.  I had planned on making the double batch and combining the curds for one wheel, but decided to keep them separate.  As the make continued I noticed that the milk looked pretty different. The milk without the lipase

Lipase on the right
Lipase on the right

had a lot of small floating curds, while the lipase batch was almost completely clean on top. Up to this point everything was the same except the addition of lipase.

Before we get into the recipe, I want to share the final product and discuss it.
As all home cheesemakers will attest you are always struggling to check temperatures

lipase wheel on the left, non-lipase wheel on the right.
lipase wheel on the left, non-lipase wheel on the right.

and keep the milk at proper temperatures.  So here is where I share I made a potential error that may have affected the final product, I let one pot go up about 5 degrees just before the cut. The temp was slipping and the mass of the curd was blocking the thermometer from getting to the bottom. I was able to bring the temp down in about 10 mins but it may make a difference.  At this point in time I will have to remake this batch to really know but as you can see in the picture, the lipase wheel has tight curds and finished beautifully. The wheel without the lipase has curds that aren’t as tight, they didn’t bind as well.

Ingredients:

  • 3 gallons 2% milk, 1/2 gallon whole milk
  • TA061  1/4 tsp for each pot
  • Lipase 1/4 tsp for 1 pot(prepare 30mins ahead in 1/4 cup distilled water)
  • Calcium Chloride 1/2 tsp for each
  • 1 tsp Rennet
  • Heavy Brine (24 hours of soaking)

Directions:

  • Heat milk to 88°-90°
  • Sprinkle in culture and let set for 2 minute, mix for 1 minute
  • Add lipase mix for 1 minute
  • Recipe called for 90 min to rest.
  • At about 85 minutes I added the calcium Chloride and mixed for a minute.
  • 5 minute wait time between Calcium Chloride and Rennet addition
  • Add Rennet and mix for 1 minute keeping temp at 90°
  • Wait for clean break, recipe called for 30 minutes but it needed more
  • Set timer for 10 minutes, check again then go another 10 minutes(50min total for clean beak)
  • Cut curd to 1/4 in slowly over a 10min span
  • Stir slowly for 15 minutes at 90° – I used my large whisk to make sure curds are cut
  • begin to heat to 108° over 30 minute period.
  • Hold at 108° for 5 minutes minimal stirring for this 5 minutes
  • Increase heat to 124°-128° over 30 minutes more
  • let settle for 5 minutes – Goal PH value at 6.5 or 6.4
  • Goal is for curds to be  very small almost rice size and quite springy20160417_075032_001
  • pour whey and curds into mold and press at minimal weight for 15 minutes
  • Flip and double weight for 30 minutes
  • Flip again and double weight for 60 minutes
  • Flip and press for 8-12 hours with enough weight to close rind
  • End PH of 5.4 -5.5 ideal
  • Brine for 24 hours
    finished wheels headed for frig in tupperware
    finished wheels headed for frig in tupperware

    parma1
    Update 6-4-2016:
     We are coming up on 2 months of aging for the Parmesan.  The first month or so they were happy in their tupperware with little of no mold growth. Then they started to get high maintenance, washing and cleaning every 2-3 days. A couple times I was too busy to catch them for 4 or 5 days and the outside started to end up with permanent discoloration that I couldn’t get off.  I tried both with the lid on and off, trying to get it to dry correctly, but keep enough humidity in the cheese. parma2Well, I was growing weary of caring for it so I washed it last night and today it went into plastic. The wheel on the right has more funky stuff going on, but that is the wheel that I didn’t get fully closed.  So, off to the Frig for 10-24 months.

Asiago Pepato and Parmesan – April 11, 2015

I made three cheeses in one day.  The Asiago Recipe came from the cheese making blog site. The parmesan recipe also came from the same site.  The last one I made from the Whey a Ricotta. Asiago needs to age till August 2015 and the Parmesan should age till February 2016.

cut in half for waxing
cut in half for waxing

Update: July 27,2015 – The Asiago has been in a seal-a-meal bag which keep it moist and soft but it might have keep the flavor from developing. I’m not a fan of the current flavor.  It needs a lot more time, so I removed it from the plastic and decided to wax it.