Hi All; Going to try this next week. For the last 2 weeks we have been able to get 2 fresh gallons of A-2 milk each week. These have been claimed by my wife for her butter and the rest for cooking. I have been waiting patiently for the "extra" 2 gallons of warm milk for me to make cheese. Seems like being its winter, (and their moving !!!) its not going to happen ! So on next Monday when we get our milk, I get to pull the cream for her butter (3/4 of a QT per gallon ) and use the rest to try a new batch of cheese ! I'm excited to try again. I had a few disappointments trying to make real cheddar in a small batch . This time I am going to try a much simpler farmhouse cheddar . Our good supply of A-2 milk is going to leave sometime in the near future ... I need to make as much A-2 cheese as possible and get it in the cave before they sell the cows and move away ! I'm confident I can make good cheddar this time ! I'll post back next week on progress.
Success ! One new wheel of A-2 farmhouse cheddar drying on the rack . Pulling off the cream (jersey cow) seemed to have no effect on how quickly my curds formed. This is good as the wife can use the cream to make butter ! I added a little extra salt to this wheel than the recipe called for, didn't want a repeat of my last try. A couple of days to air dry on the rack and then I'll cover it with bees wax and drop it down in the cave. Unlike David Ashers true cheddar this simple farmhouse cheddar only calls for one month to age ! More like an alpine cheese than a cheddar. Will post back in a month after I get to try it!
Being that its winter & having wood heat , drying took only day and a half. On with the bees wax. I remembered to add extra olive oil to the double boiler, so hopefully no cracking of the wax... Ready to lower it into the cave for the next month ! On Wednesday I smoked 3 blocks of A-1 cheddar and I was very tempted to try smoking this fresh cheese as well But.... I just wasn't sure it was a good idea so I didn't. If anybody has tried that I would like to hear how well it worked.
Thank you Casie: I'm really enjoying this cheese making, its easy and fun! It has been suggested by my friends that I'm quite fanatical about anything that interests me. Good thing permies is here for me , I can reach out there and find others who are ready to learn about something new as well ! Give cheese making & also cheese smoking a try ... you'll like it.
After a little research, I have learned that yes indeed, you can smoke a freshly made cheese and then age it normally in wax or a vacuum pack. Today, I am making a new batch of farmhouse cheese and I am going to try something new. I am going to heat treat my milk. Quickly reaching F 155 for 15 seconds then quickly cooled is called thermization, not complete pasteurization but greatly reduces the number of bacteria in the milk without significantly changing the proteins or enzymes. Then for the first time I am using a mesophilic starter culture. As its winter, the milking process takes longer and there is more chance of bacteria getting in the milk. Rather than wait 30-60 days to find out I decided to try this now. I will post back as I get to try these cheeses.
Finally tried the last wheel of cheddar that I attempted to make... all the previous wheels had holes and a sour taste... This wheel is the one that I used thermization on. It is sort of a success... No holes , no sour taste.... unfortunately it is rock hard ! It is edible but not very enjoyable. My mistake this time ? Sounds like I heated to quickly. Well, this is how you learn,just try try try again! This time I will sit my stainless pot in another larger one and try double boiling. Every recipe I used said heat SLOWLY... (I tried too !) guess they might have a point there. Off to town today, where I will get 2 gal of fresh A-2 milk and try cheddar again. I'm also picking up a fresh quart of raw goat yogurt to try my luck at making shankleesh, a dream cheese rolled in an herb mixture and submerged in olive oil to age. Sounds yummy , will be hard to wait.
Spent the morning yesterday making a new 2lb wheel of A-2 cheddar & a batch of goat chevre. Double boiler , cast iron sink full of hot and cold water... Digital thermometer in hand I monitored the temp closely. No more dry cheese ! This morning the cheddar is out of the press , air drying on the shelf. The chevre is draining for the next 6 hrs , then I will add some salt and let it drain a few hrs longer. After that I will form small balls of cheese and roll them in an Italian herb blend and submerge them in olive oil to age . We will see how long we can wait before eating them all up...