Cheshire
Posted: 25 September 2013 02:30 AM   [ Ignore ]
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A cheshire-style cheese made with 16l shop-bought milk pasturised at 66 degrees for 30 minutes, following the recipe in 200 Easy Cheeses.
Looking afterwards at the recipe given on the New England Cheesemaking page, I realised that I did not add enough annatto to give it the typical Cheshire colour, which is a bit disappointing: next time I’ll know to add quite a bit more.
After the cheddaring some of the curds had formed quite solid blocks, but there were also quite a lot of loose crumbles. Next time I think I will wrap the curds in cheesecloth to help them consolidate more evenly.
Once cut into pieces the curds were very, very firm, and even after pressing overnight the knit was not good. As the book suggests, I dipped the cheese in scalding water and pressed it for a few more hours (half a day, actually), which removed most of the major chasms; but as you can see, the surface is still quite pitted, and the unevenness still apparent through the wax.
It smells quite luscious, though.
By Christmas it will be just three months old, and hopefully ripe for tasting.

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Posted: 26 September 2013 07:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Not bad for a first attempt at a cheddar style cheese.  Here’s a couple suggestions:

First, make sure you have enough pressure.  It take a lot of weight to press out a cheddar, since it’s pretty dry after the cheddaring process.  I’d suggest somewhere around 6 lbs. per sq. in.

Also, to assist in knitting tightly, you can wrap a warm towel around the mold during the press.  Keeping the curd warm is the object here.

On the color, I use 45 - 50 drops of annatto for a 4 gal batch.  This yields a nice bright yellow color.

I am wondering, however, why you pasteurized the milk.  Is your “shop bought” milk not already pasteurized?  If it’s not, and you have a reliable source, you need not pasteurize at all.  Just make sure you age your cheese at least 60 days.  Unpasteurized is closer to raw milk, and it makes a better curd.

By Christmas you should have a nice mild to medium cheddar.  Enjoy, and your next one should be even better.

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Posted: 26 September 2013 09:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Looking good, kind of a Marble look smile

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Posted: 26 September 2013 09:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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The final pressing was at 20.4 kilos. The cheese out of the press weighed 1.8 kilos and with a diameter of 20cm was only about 5 cm high, which makes it heavier and thinner than other similar cheeses I have made - I think this is a pretty dense cheese!
The ambient temperature was still around 30 degrees C, so I think everything was quite warm.

45-50 drops for 4 gals??? I used 18 drops and thought it was a lot….no wonder I didn’t get the colour I wanted! haha I’ll know better next time.

Sorry, what I wrote was confusing - I didn’t pasturise the milk, I bought milk that said on the carton it had been pasturised at 66 degrees for 30 minutes. I just tipped the cartons into the pot and started warming the milk for the recipe.

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Posted: 27 September 2013 05:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Confession time.  I did my math wrong - used the wrong formula.  Instead of 6 lbs per sq in, it should be more like 1.5 to 2 lbs per sq in.  Your 20.4 kilos comes out to about .89 lbs per sq in.  I figure that to achieve 1.5 lbs per sq in you need to use 68 kilos.  I don’t know how practical that is for your press, so you may want to use a narrower mold.

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Posted: 27 September 2013 08:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Yes, I definitely need a narrower mould; it would give me a deeper, better-balanced cheese. 68 kilos sounds like an awful lot!

So really the cheese should be even denser than it seems to be at the moment?

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Posted: 27 September 2013 08:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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The density would likely not be affected except that it would be knit together better.

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Posted: 28 September 2013 11:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Still better then when i made it, it crumbled because it was too cool and did not knit.

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Posted: 03 November 2013 06:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Hey Denise,

I was wondering if you have tried any more of the cheddar style cheeses, and if so, what are the results?  Did you get that narrower mold yet?

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Posted: 04 November 2013 11:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Hi Rich,

No, the narrower mold is still something that hasn’t happened yet. I did go looking in my local home centre for a suitable piece of piping I could have drilled, but they are currently undergoing refurbishing, everything is topsy turvy and the only pipe the right size I could find was for drains. I’ll go looking again once their redecorating is finished and things are back to normal.

In the meantime, the cheshire that was supposed to last till Christmas, didn’t! We were going to see my daughter and her family and I wanted to take her a wedge, so the Cheshire copped it.

Considering how difficult it had been to get a good knit on this, I was surprised at what a nice creamy texture it has. It looks crumbly in the photo, but that’s my my failure to cut straight through rather than any fault on the part of the cheese. A nice, ‘everyday’ type of cheese, not too strong-tasting, that I can feed to my infant granddaughters without their Mum getting upset about Nana giving them ‘weird stuff’!

Meanwhile the remaining half has gone back into the cave to age out a bit longer. Hopefully it will see in 2014.

This past weekend I tried a Wensleydale, which I divided into three after cheddaring to produce plain, w/cranberries and/orange versions to hopefully grace the Christmas table. They’re in the press at the moment. I’ll post photos when they’re out.

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Posted: 05 November 2013 07:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Denise,

Sounds like you’ve been busier than I in the cheesemaking world.  I had garden work to do - harvesting and working up French intensive beds for next Spring, and I’ve been building a greenhouse.  I’m finishing up a Cotswold, and I’m down to just one cheese in the cave. a Leicester; so I need to get back at it.  I’m thinking another Caerphily is in the offing.

Keep it up, the forum has been very, very boring during the last weeks.

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Posted: 05 November 2013 10:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Sounds like a seasonal thing lol, have been trying to push myself in making some blue cheese, things just come up.
Great to hear your still practicing Denise smile

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Posted: 06 November 2013 10:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Practice makes perfect? wink

Still got a long way to go, but the journey is fun!

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