A little more geo.  Notice the barrel shape, that is thanks to the mould.

Three Squirrels are Secret No More

As anyone who is a regular visitor to Much To Do About Cheese, can tell I like to experiment with my cheese making, I have worked on semi-lactic cheeses off and on for several months (I explain what they are in this post).  I like the “set and forget” part of the cheese, the long ripening time, as it lets me make cheese with minimal disruption to my day.  Most ripen for a minimum of 12 hours.  I was pleased when the one cheese I dubbed “Secret Squirrel” worked, but as it aged the flavour became bitter and it pretty much turned to liquid under the rind.  I have, after discussing it in length with a few people, that one of the problems was using Penicillium Candidum as the main ripening agent.  I had some success with the little goat pillows, using ARN as my primary ripening agent.  It was time to revamp the Squirrels and try it this time with ARN, and they will make a debut at the Teacher’s Appreciation Luncheon at my Son’s School next week.
I ordered some new crottin moulds (they are tapered so they give a nice barrel shape) so I thought I would use them and get three smaller squirrels instead of the one “big” one.  So with these in hand I started the make and though they are not quite ready now is the time to start the record of their creation.

I used a pinch of M4001, ARN & Rennet.  After the milk (Cream-Line) was brought up to temperature.

I used a pinch of M4001, ARN & Rennet. After the milk (Cream-Line) was brought up to temperature.

After 12 hours I checked to see if the curd was strong enough for a clean break.  Success!

After 12 hours I checked to see if the curd was strong enough for a clean break. Success!

Now it was time to load up my 3 new moulds.

Now it was time to load up my 3 new moulds.

After 2 minutes there was lots of draining, but minimal curd loss.

After 2 minutes there was lots of draining, but minimal curd loss.

As you can see hardly any waste.

As you can see hardly any waste.

After a few flips I salted the tops.  I used a natural sea salt that does not have iodine, but still has trace minerals in it.

After a few flips I salted the tops. I used a natural sea salt that does not have iodine, but still has trace minerals in it.

Just a closer look

Just a closer look

After 24 hours of draining the three little squirrels were placed in a ripening box and left to do their thing.

Here they are after a week.

Here they are after a week.

IMG_0815

All in a row looking fairly nice.

On this one you can see the start of the Geo wrinkle.

On this one you can see the start of the Geo wrinkle.

Here they at almost 2 weeks.

Here they at almost 2 weeks.

Most of the minerals stayed on the surface.

Most of the minerals stayed on the surface.

You can see some of the colour on the surface with the Geo.  ARN has two types of B. Linens in it.

You can see some of the colour on the surface with the Geo. ARN has two types of B. Linens in it.

A little more geo.  Notice the barrel shape, that is thanks to the mould.

A little more geo. Notice the barrel shape, that is thanks to the mould.

At a little over two weeks old, I had to wrap them to slow down the Geo. They have some nice brainy lines on their surface. Sorry this picture was taken with my phone.

At a little over two weeks old, I had to wrap them to slow down the Geo. They have some nice brainy lines on their surface. Sorry this picture was taken with my phone.

Little packages of cheese goodness.

Little packages of cheese goodness.

As I mentioned, these are going to be part of the cheese plate at my Son’s school Teacher’s Luncheon, well one is.  One will be for “personal” use, the other will be shared at the next Cheesepalooza cheese tasting night.  I will keep you updated.

Don’t forget to check out Much To Do About Cheese on Facebook for more pictures

As always go make some cheese!

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3 comments

  1. OOOOO I love that I get to regularly taste Ian’s Cheese! HE IS THE MASTER! Some of his cheeses are truly award winning quality, but he is one person and doesn’t send his cheese off to be judged… SO, if you get a chance to taste his cheese – it will be a memorable and unforgettable experience!
    Trust me. :)
    Valerie

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