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Ingredients:

  • 28 pints Ellie’s Dairy raw Goat milk
  • 3.3ml animal rennet
  • DVI starter
  • Penicillium candidum

Since my last update I’ve been trying to perfect my raw goat white cheese to a level where it’d be ready to enter into both Moorland’s Amateur Cheese Awards and World Cheese Awards!

While I don’t expect to win (or even be placed in the latter!), I thought it would be good experience to try and consistently make a cheese of reasonable quality.

Unfortunately things didn’t go quite to plan in terms of maturation times – my Amateur Cheese Awards entry was a little too old, and my World Cheese Awards entry far too young!

Both entries were made as follows:

Milk with new vat

Milk with new vat

I managed to get hold of a second hand vat from Sarah at Brockhall Farm which has absolutely revolutionized my cheese making!

The best thing about it is the SPEED it heats milk up!  I actually managed to ruin an entire batch by not paying attention to temperatures.

My old vat took a couple of hours to come to temperature, whereas the new vat takes around 20 minutes.

Having a professional style vat definitely takes a bit of getting used to – note the splashes on the wall behind the vat, where I accidentally sprayed water everywhere while filling up the jacket.  Oops!

Decanting the milk

Decanting the milk

Coming up to temperature

Coming up to temperature

Heat the milk to 30C and add a small pinch of DVI starter and penicillium candidum, and stir well.

DVI starter & mould

DVI starter & mould

Measuring out the rennet

Measuring out the rennet

Leave for around 45 minutes, then add the rennet diluted in 5 times the amount of cold, clean water and stir for 2 minutes, top stirring for the last 30 seconds.

Adding the diluted rennet

Adding the diluted rennet

The milk should set in around 90 minutes, giving a clean break.

Clean break

Clean break

Note that the strange swirly lines which used to occur in my old vat have completely disappeared with the new one.

I think this confirms the suspicion that the lines were appearing due to the milk continuing to move after stirring.

Since the new vat is rectangular, and I’m stirring more gently, the effect has disappeared!

Scooping out curd

Scooping out curd

Scoop the curd out directly into the mould without cutting, or ladelling.

Draining curd

Draining curd

Place the followers gently on top of the curd to avoid contamination, and leave to drain at 18C @ 70-80% humidity.

Dripping curd

Dripping curd

16 hours later

16 hours later

After around 10 hours, when the curd is firm enough, flip the curd.

Partially drained curd

Partially drained curd

Flip another two times, at intervals of 8 hours, then it’s on to salting!

Ready for salting

Ready for salting

Crushing the sea salt

Crushing the sea salt

I use Cornish Sea Salt (for reasons I’ll blog about another time!), which I crush up in a pestle & mortar in order to avoid the flakes being too large.

2g of salt

2g of salt

Before salting

Before salting

After salting

After salting

Gently rub the salt into the top and bottom of the cheese, then pat round the edges.

All ready and salted

All ready and salted

Leave the cheeses to drain in 18C with 70-80% humidity for a couple of days, flipping every morning and evening or until the cheese is not longer showing moisture on the surface.

Ready for the cave

Ready for the cave

Place in fridge at 12C with 85-90% humidity for 2-3 weeks, flipping daily.

White mould will begin to grow in a couple of days – if any unwanted blue, orange or black mould appears, just cut it out (I have a surgical scalpel!) and fill the wound with a little salt.

My entry to the Amateur Cheese Awards was around 4 weeks old, and had broken down a little too much, with a thin line of acidic paste through the centre.

For the World Cheese Awards (which were a week later), I had to send an unripe batch which had little breakdown and a lot of acidic paste.

I’ll update the post when the results are announced – fingers crossed!

Update:

Unsurprisingly I didn’t get placed in the World Cheese Awards (full results) but did manage second place in the Amateur Cheese Awards – unfortunately there were only two entries, oops!

There’s always next year!

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