I’m back and I brought some cheese with me as well. I would like to apologize for my extended absence, but there were some extenuating circumstances and a vacation put into the mix as well. I had some posts ready before my absence, but they seem lost in cyber space, so I will include snippets of them here too.
First the Mystery Cheese I posted this picture before I left for a funeral
This was my fourth version of my little squirrel cheese. They are semi-lactic cheese with ARN added to the milk. This time I used Organic Homogenized Pasteurized Milk, and added the ARN with the MA4001 culture. I am still not happy with it and I am sure there will be a version 5 or 6 before I am done.
We had a retirement at work and it was decided that we should have a potluck buffet for the party. I had worked with this person for 11 years so they deserved some cheese. Fromage Blanc to be exact. I decorated the cheese with chive blossoms and an edible purple clover that grows in my garden.
Last little update is about my Rebel Reblochon; well I am sure there is someone out there that would eat it, but that someone does not live at my house. It did have some merits, it was smelly, gooey, but it was quite salty. This was my fault as I added a bit of salt each time I washed. I misread the directions; it said to add a few grains of coarse salt to the surface at each wash. I would not make the same mistake twice.
Reblochon Take 2
So after the last failure I decided that I would try again, I know I have many others to redo but I love Reblochon, and this time I would follow the directions as closely as possible. I think that I mentioned before that I have the AOC recipe for Reblochon, it has pH markers as this cheese is acid sensitive, meaning it can over acidify quickly. I invested in some pH strips, not as accurate as a digital meter it will give me an idea as to the acid level. I fired up the vat and away I went.
This time I used PLA instead of ARN, I know what are these things, and they are both ripening agents. PLA and ARN both contain strains of B. Linens, Geotricum and yeast. PLA is the preferred one to use as the yeast is fast acting and you need it.
I was also trying out a new type of rennet; this kind was a lamb rennet paste. It is not really a paste, it is still liquid and has seemed to do the trick. It was not traditional but I couldn’t resist.
I added the rennet and started the clock for the flocculation time.
After the curd had set, I cut to the right size this time, rice size, and I was able to fill both moulds with all the curd. I pressed and flipped for about 4 hours, checking on the pH as I went with my strips. I then increased the temperature in my “cave” to 16°C to allow for yeasting time. They stay in the their moulds over night then they are de-moulded.
Then they were removed and salted and back into the cave for more yeasting. The idea is you ripen the cheese at a high temperature and high humidity until the Geotricum blooms.
It should take 4-5 days for the Geotricum to bloom and then I could start the washing cycle.
This is when I received news that I would have to leave town for a week to attend a funeral out of province. I knew that asking my wife to start washing rinds would be asking too much. She did agree to flip the cheese each day for me; did I mention I have the best wife ever? I lowered the temperature to 10°C and left for the week. I returned to see that the geo had fully bloomed and it was time to start washing the cheese. I needed to move the cheese into smaller ripening boxes so I could have more room in the cave. I also labeled each box with a new label too.
I started the washing cycle same as the last time, but I followed the directions more closely. Things were going well until it came time to leave on our family vacation. This would mean that I had to stop washing the cheese again for 5 days. I did one last wash then put the cheese back into the cave and hoped for the best. I came back the other day and started to wash the cheese again.
I will continue to wash the cheese for another few weeks, then I will wrap them and they will go into the regular fridge and will age for a few more weeks. I will definitely post the results and keep you updated on any other cheeses that I make in the mean time.
I want to thank everyone for their support during my absence and the those that visited my site while I was away.
Go and make some cheese!