Posted: 12 May 2013 05:02 AM   [ Ignore ]
Active Contributor
Total Posts:  58
Joined  2013-04-12

This is from 200 Easy Homemade Cheeses

16qts/16l whole milk
1/4tsp/1.25ml mesophilic culture
1/4tsp/1.25 aroma mesophilic culture
3/4tsp/3.75 ml calcium chloride
3/4tsp/3.75 ml liquid rennet
Cool 18% saturated brine (1 part salt to 5 parts water)

(I scaled all quantities down to 4l milk)

1 Sterilise all equipment. In a large stainless-steel pot set in a water bath over medium heat, warm milk to 90F/32C, stirring gently. Turn off heat.
2. Sprinkle mesophilic and aroma mesophilic cultures over surface of milk and let stand for about 5 mins to rehydrate. Using skimmer and an up-down motion gently draw the cultures down into the milk without breaking the surface.  Cover and let ripen for 30 mins, maintaining the temperature at 90F/32C. (I had no cultures, so I used homemade plain yoghurt instead).
3. Dilute calcium chloride in 1/4 cup (50ml) cool water. Add to milk using the same up-down motion. (I used non-homo milk, so I omitted the calcium chloride)
4. Dilute rennet in 1/4 cup (50ml) cool water. Add to milk and, using same up-down motion, draw rennet down into the milk until well blended. Cover pot and let set for 45 minutes, maintaining the temperature.
5. Check for a clean break. If necessary, let set for another 5 to 10 minutes or until you achieve a clean break.  (It took me 1 hour to get a good clean break). Using a long-bladed knife and skimmer, cut curd into 1/2-inch (1.25cm) cubes. Let curds stand for 5 mins to firm up.
6. Return heat to low and slowly warm curds to 95F/35C, stirring gently and continuously, adjusting the heat as necessary to make sure it takes 30 mins to do so. Do not heat too quickly. Turn off heat. Cover and hold at 95F/35C for 45 mins.
7. Place the prepared mould underneath a cloth-lined colander and drain off the whey, which will warm the mould.
8. Fill mould with curds, piling them higher in the centre. Pull cloth up neatly around curds and fold excess snugly over the top, with as few wrinkles as possible. Put on the lid.
9. Place mould in cheese press or place a weight on top. Press at medium pressure for 30 mins. Remove from press and re-dress. Continue pressing at medium pressure for several hours or overnight.
10. Remove cheese from press. Unwrap and place in brine solution for 20 hours, turning over after 10 hours. (I suspect this was way too long for my little cheese….)
11. Remove from brine. Dry cheese on a cheese mat placed on a rack at room temperature for 2 to 3 days, turning once or twice, or until fairly dry to the touch.
12. Wax: Coat cheese with 2 or 3 layers of cheese wax and ripen at 50 to 54F/10 to 12C for three weeks, at which time it will be ready to eat. Age longer for a sharper flavour.
13. Or, natural rind: Place cheese on a clean cheese mat in a ripening container. Ripen at 50 to 54F/10 to 12C and 85% humidity, turning daily. Maintain the humidity by adjusting the lid of the container. After about 2 weeks, a whitish-grey mold will appear. Continue turning the cheese daily until a thicker crust forms. After about 4 weeks, the cheese will begin to soften just under the crust, possibly becoming runny. This cheese will not keep as long as the waxed version, as it will continue to soften. Use within 2 to 3 months.

I didn’t have any wax, and since I hadn’t used the cultures I was supposed to use I wasn’t ready to gamble on having the wrong kind of mold appear. I don’t recall the Caerphilly of my childhood ever being soft and runny, either ; so I opted for vacuum-packing. The cheese looks lovely; I’ll report on the taste when I cut it!