- 28 pints Ellie’s Dairy raw Goat milk
- 3.3ml animal rennet
- DVI starter
- Penicillium candidum
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:
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!
Heat the milk to 30C and add a small pinch of DVI starter and penicillium candidum, and stir well.
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.
The milk should set in around 90 minutes, giving a 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!
Scoop the curd out directly into the mould without cutting, or ladelling.
Place the followers gently on top of the curd to avoid contamination, and leave to drain at 18C @ 70-80% humidity.
After around 10 hours, when the curd is firm enough, flip the curd.
Flip another two times, at intervals of 8 hours, then it’s on to salting!
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.
Gently rub the salt into the top and bottom of the cheese, then pat round the edges.
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.
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!
There’s always next year!