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Caerphilly
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 46,605
    Ok, kids. Here's another cheese recipe at the request of @Frydogbrews.

    I've never had this cheese from a commercial producer, but from the descriptions that I've read of it, mine turned out pretty darn close to what it should have. It is supposed to be a hard/semi-hard cheese somewhat similar to a cheddar, but with a unique tartness (sour) note that's really quite unique. The tartness is very hard to describe and really tasty. It's a little like the tang of a well aged cheddar, but not quite.

    Now on to the recipe.

    For this cheese, you'll need some equipment that you probably don't have. Oh noes, you'll have to spend a bunch of money! :(( No need! you can get by with a makeshift version of any of the fancy cheesemaking toys that you'll need to use.

    As always, sanitation is key. Keep in mind that, unlike brewing, there is no boil to sanitize everything, so you'll have to be a stickler for sanitation from the very start. Everything should be very clean and preferably sanitized via star san or iodophor.

    What you'll need:
    A pot big enough to heat however much milk you plan to use
    A stirring utensil
    A knife
    Cheese cloth
    A cheese press
    Some weights
    A thermometer
    A timer
    Rennet
    Milk (one gallon makes ~1# cheese, this recipe is for 1 gallon)
    Cheese culture (edit-i may have used a mix of buttermilk and yogurt-meso and thermo, can't remember)
    CaCl

    I'll give you other options for some of these in the method, so don't give up if you don't have cheese culture, cheese cloth, a cheese press, or opposable thumbs. That last one sure is handy, though.

    Let's get started! Try to maintain a constant temperature in your milk/curd while you perform each step.The temperature is important for things like lactic acid production and flavor development. You don't want to let it cool down until it gets into the press.

    First you'll take your milk, put it into your nice clean pot (preferably a double boiler, but it's not absolutely necessary). Now gently raise the temp to 89F and add your mesophillic cheese culture. Don't have any of that lying around? I used buttermilk and it turned out just fine; use about 1/3 cup of buttermilk (with a spoonful of yogurt, maybe), the fresher the better. Give the culture about 30 minutes to wake up and start partying, then add 1/2 tsp CaCl that's been diluted in a little water. If you have trouble finding that, try the No Salt salt. Read the ingredients, it's likely just CaCl. After you mix that in nicely, and remember to use mostly up and down strokes to get it to mix into all the milk, go ahead and add your rennet. For my cheeses, I use junket rennet. It's not as good or effective as the microbial rennet (liquid) stuff you'll find on the cheesemaking supply sites, but it's much cheaper and more widely available. Try looking in the baking isle of the grocery store. I had to get it online, but it's super cheap. Since mine is a bit old now, I use 2-3 tabs per gallon to get it to work how I want it to.

    The next step involves a little more math than I'm happy about, but such is life. Skip down to the next post and I'll explain a little bit about Flocculation as is applies to cheesemaking, otherwise this next step won't make much sense.

    Did you read the next post? sucker! OK, not really. It's useful info.

    For this cheese, we're going to use a flocc multiplier of 3X. Go ahead and read the third post to learn a little about what that is and why it's used for this cheese.

    So you've reached the surface gelling stage, now multiply that time (from rennet to gelling) by 3 and wait that many minutes before you cut the curd. Cut the curds into about 1/4" cubes, remembering to go back diagonally so you cut along a horizontal axis as well. Now let those curds sit for about 10 minutes, so they 'heal'.

    Now gradually raise the temperature to 91F over the course of ten minutes. Hold that temp for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep the curd from clumping together.

    Drain into a cheese cloth (if you don't have one, an old but clean pillow case or even t-shirt will work out ok) for 5-10 minutes to form a curd cake. You can press lightly if needed, just put a plate or something over it with a can of beans on it. I like to perform this step with my cheese cloth in a colander, but you can let the cheese cloth hang by itself if you'd like.

    Next, take the curd cake and cut it into 1" slabs and stack them on the bottom of your warm pot. This is very similar to the process of cheddaring. Flip the curd slabs every 10 minutes, for 30 minutes, and don't worry if they get stuck together.

    Now it's time to mill the curd. That just means you break it up with your hands or a large whisk. Aim for thumbnail sized pieces, or slightly less than 1/2". Add about 1 tbsp regular table salt and mix into curds. Now add the salted curd into your cheese cloth and put that into the press. Yep, one more post down to learn a little about what to do if you don't have a cheese press.

    Press under 10# for ten minutes. Then, redress the cheese (take the cheese cloth off, rub a pinch of salt on the cheese, and put the cloth back on). now flip it and press under 10# for another 10 minutes. Now redress, salt and flip the cheese. Press for 20 minutes under 15#. Then, flip, redress and press under 20# overnight (12 ish hrs.)

    After all that, remove the cheese cloth carefully, it tends to stick and place the cheese in your cheese cave (fridge, cooler, whatever) and store for at least 3 weeks to age and dry it. You'l want to keep the cheese at about 50F and 80% humidity to age. If any mold happens to show up, just wipe it off with a cloth soaked in vinegar. The cheese should be as dry as your palm. If it gets very dry and starts to crack, you need more humidity. Try putting it in a tupperware container with the lid cracked.

    And there you go, delicious cheese in 3 weeks. You can vac seal this cheese after a couple weeks, just make sure it's done drying. If you notice a little moisture leaking out of the cheese after you seal it, you've sealed prematurely. Just take it out for a few days to dry and try sealing it up again.
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 46,605
    Flocculation, or flocc time refers to how long it takes the rennet to get to a point in cheesemaking called surface gelling. Without getting too deep into the science behind it, the flocc time is the time it takes from the point that you add your rennet to the time it takes for the surface to gel.

    Surface gelling is a nice marker on coagulation. If you take a small (light) bowl and float it on the surface of the milk (some folks use a toothpick, but I haven't tried that), surface gelling is the point where the bowl refuses to spin. You'll see exactly what I mean when you are testing for the gel point.

    At first, you can freely spin the bowl, but at the proteins lock together, it will get more and more sluggish, until it gels and the bowl will refuse to spin. It just sticks in place like it's sitting in jello.

    I don't know if this will work, but here's a good link to a discussion on all the sciency talk about milk coagulation and flocculation:
    http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,1880.0/wap2.html
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 46,605
    Ok, so we've covered flocculation, now what's this flocc multiplier deal?

    It's the time (in minutes) from the point when you've added the rennet until you've reached surface gel or you're flocc point multiplied by the number 1-6 in order to allow the proteins to bind up so that they release whey in a controlled way. A shorter flocc multiplier gives the rennet less time to bind up the proteins, so when you cut the curds, they will release more whey than if you used a longer flocc multiplier.

    What does this mean for the cheese? Well, for dry cheeses (parmesan, and other grating type cheese) you use a short flocc multiplier 2-2.5. For soft, moist cheeses (camembert, telaggio) you would use a 5 or a 6. Things like cheddar and provalone are around a 3 or 3.5.

    So take your flocculation time and multiply it by your flocc multiplier to get the time you should wait (from the point that you added the rennet) to the time you cut the curds. For instance, if I wanted to use a flocc multiplier of 3, and I added my rennet at noon, with a flocc time of 15 minutes, I would cut my curd at 12:45. (15X3=45 minutes) So, 45 minutes from when I added the rennet would be 12:45.

    The other factor that affects the end hardness/dryness is curd size. For harder/dryer cheeses like grana or asiago, you cut the curd into rice sized pieces (use a whisk), but for softer stuff like brie, you don't cut them at all, just scoop very large spoonfuls into the cheese forms (like 2-3" large scoops of soft curd.

    For most of the middle of the road cheeses (from gouda to cheddar) the size is about 1/4 to 1/5 in.
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 46,605
    So you don't have a cheese form or a press, what to do?

    Well, what is a cheese form?

    A cheese form, or mold, is what gives the cheese it's final shape and size.

    Why is that important? It's all about the rind. For surface ripened cheeses like Brie, you need a lot of surface area or rind to let the cultures ripen the cheese properly. The would mean a large (in width) cheese form or making multiple smaller cheeses from a more narrow mold. For cheeses where you want to minimize the rind (parm/cheddar) because it will be inedible or just not as tasty, you need to have a mold that allows the cheese to be roughly as tall as it is wide. This way, there is the maximum amount of paste (all the cheese inside the rind). It’s also important to consider how much cheese you are making. If you’re making a massive ten pound wheel, you can make whatever shape you want, as there will be plenty of cheese even if the rind penetrates 1-2 inches in the cheese (think of the big parms). For the one pound/one gallon cheeses, you’ll want to try to stick to a round shape (corners dry out faster than flat sides), but since we need to use a press to apply pressure, cylindrical is the best option. In the case of this cheese, and most others that have similar consistency, a 4” wide by 8-10 inch tall cylinder shaped mold is ideal. If your form isn’t tall enough to hold all the curds on the first pressing, you can always add the rest after it has shrunk enough to fit them, but this can lead to an unsightly seam in the cheese that may crack or split later.

    What can I use? In a pinch, I’ve seen bamboo steamers make some fine cheese. You can even use a utensil holder, a plastic pitcher, or whatever else you can find that will hold up under weights and still allow the whey to drain off. I use a piece of 4” pvc pipe that I’ve drilled a couple hundred small 2mm ish hole in. You’ll want the holes to be relatively small, so that they allow the whey to drain out, but won’t let the cheese ooze out as well. The cheese cloth helps to contain the cheese somewhat, but you may still have lumpy spots if the holes are too large. There is much debate on the use of pvc in cheesemaking, but after reading a bunch on both sides, I’m comfortable with using it.

    Now on to cheese presses. Have you tried ebay? Don’t bother. The affordable ones on there (screw type) are junk. And the nice Dutch style presses are waaaay too much money. If you find that you like the hobby and want to continue in it, feel free to drop the cash on one, or make your own. They’re not too hard to make and fairly cheap if you have the knowhow. Until then, you can just do what I do, no press necessary.

    First, press or no press, you’ll need some type of follower. A follower is just a piece of wood (walnut is a good choice) or plastic (cut up a cheap cutting board) that is just slightly smaller than the inside diameter of your cheese form. This just allows you to apply pressure without having the cheese curd ooze up around the weights. After you wrap the cheese in cheese cloth and put it in the form, lay the follower on top. Once the follower is in place, take the largest can that will fit easily in the form and place it onto the follower. This will you allow you to stack weights on top without them falling over. Now put a pot on top of the can, upside down to get a flat surface so you can stack heavy stuff on top. I use whatever I have lying around in the kitchen that has a known weight. Be carefull when you’re trying to get up to heavier weights (50#). It can get a little precarious! I’ve heard a few crashes in the kitchen in the middle of the night and it’s not fun to put back together at 3 am.


    So as a recap, for this cheese: whatever form you can find/make that’s around 4” wide and at least 8” tall (to fit all the curd in at one time), a follower that fits inside, a can or something to put on top of the follower, and something heavy to stack on top of the can.
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • frydogbrewsfrydogbrews
    Posts: 44,679
    shared the rest of it with a buddy at work today. so now three of us will be making this cheese. everyone agrees that the crumbly-ness combined with the tangy-ness (tartness) and cheddary aspect, its an outstanding cheese and unlike any other we've had. again, damn fine work.
  • frydogbrewsfrydogbrews
    Posts: 44,679
    how much milk is used? i realize this thread is not completed, but that part is in the first section.

    keep in mind i (and my friends) are novice cheesmakers, but professional cheeseeaters, and we need this puppy laid out with amounts.
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 46,605

    how much milk is used? i realize this thread is not completed, but that part is in the first section.

    keep in mind i (and my friends) are novice cheesmakers, but professional cheeseeaters, and we need this puppy laid out with amounts.



    The recipe is for one gallon. It scales up linearly.
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 46,605
    edited to clarify.
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • frydogbrewsfrydogbrews
    Posts: 44,679

    edited to clarify.



    link sent to my buddies so we can all make it. i think when i make it, i will add just a touch of heat, like powderized habaneros, because i think the creaminess and tartness will play nicely with just a touch of spice.
  • frydogbrewsfrydogbrews
    Posts: 44,679
    thank you for the recipe!
  • scoobscoob
    Posts: 16,617
    Dang, this seems like something I can pull off, another project!
    Jesus didn't wear pants
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 46,605
    azscoob said:

    Dang, this seems like something I can pull off, another project!



    if i can do it, you can do it. B-)
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B