The Grand, Early, Opening Of The YEGmental.

On December 31 of 2013, I started making my last cheese of 2013, an Emmental that I have dubbed the YEGmental.  The cheese was almost three months old and armed with my trusty Trier it was time to take a sample and see if the “Music of the Cheese” was really telling true was I being miss lead.First off I want to apologize for some of the pictures, I used both my camera and my iPad to take them.  When we last left the young YEGmental it was in the first cool aging phase.  After aging for 10-15 days at 10C it was time to age for 30 days at 16 to 18C.  During the first aging phase I had a thermometer in various places in the basement to find out which area was closest to the right temperature.  Conveniently it was to corner where I stored all my cheese making equipment.

First aging box

The first stage of aging happened in my small cheese fridge

washing it up

From time to time it did need a quick wipe with a brine

washing up

The rind was nice and clean and solid

Getting the box ready

Now it was time to set up the box for the warm aging phase.

The rind was still solid, but there were cracks in the sides, but the time in the brine sealed them.

The rind was still solid, but there were cracks in the sides, but the time in the brine sealed them.

here were are

I wanted to take a picture of the YEGmental during the first week of warm aging.

Aging box

I had set up the box and now it was ready to close up and put into place.

Lid on and time to age.

Here is the final setup with the hydrometer in the box. I was able to keep 85-95% RH during this phase.

The cheese aged in the box for 30 days and there was noticeable swelling and by the video in the opening you can tell there were eyes formed.

Swelling under pressure

The cheese took its time, but there was some swelling

Goodness that is swolen

You can see that the swelling/doming is even and not lumpy

The YEGmental went about being a happy cheese for the 30 days getting its rind cleaned and swelling up slowly.  After 30 days I was stumped about how I would age it further.  My small fridge was full(ish) and could not hold another ripening box.  The other fridge would do for a while, but eventually I had to create a “Franken-bag” (a vacuum seal bag made from other bags) and vacuum seal the cheese. I needed the room.  I think that I should have waxed it, but I don’t have any wax (I have to add that to the list when ordering).  So I created the bag and sealed the cheese.

Franken bag

Here is the “Franken-Bag”, it seemed OK at first but it slowly lost its seal.

I went through several “Franken-Bags” tying to make one that did not leak.

Trying to solve the problem.

Yes that is duct tape, Red Green would be proud, I on the other hand…..

After this last one I figured it was time to use the Trier and see what was going on in the cheese.

Trying to get a sample

My son wanted to try the Trier, he never wants to help, so I said yes

Trying out the core

This core sample and the other indicated that eyes were formed, but there seemed to be a cavern in the centre.

I was worried that I would end up with a big hole in the centre to the cheese just like the Jarlsberg I made last year.  So I made the hard, and now that I think about it unnecessary, decision to cut open the cheese and see if my fears were justified.

core ilnes

You can see why I it seemed like I had a huge cavern. We cored into a pocket.

Good to go

I am pleased with the eye development, and I should have trusted the cheese to be fine.

good to age

I quartered the wheel and sealed them in bags that were the right size

At least I have my son's Teacher Gift for year end already portioned.

At least I have my son’s Teacher Gift for year-end already portioned.

Samples for tasting

Of course I kept a wedge for sampling.

Are you looking at me.

I also wanted to check the eye development.

Eyes are good

YEGmental, the only cheese that stares back at you….

I know that 3 months is not nearly enough time to have the full flavours develop in the cheese, but here are my tasting notes from my sample.  I hope to make new ones in 3 to 4 months.

Tasting Notes For YEGmental

  • Appearance: It has a  multi coloured rind, but the internal paste has small eyes and a nice sheen to it.
  • Nose (aroma): Nutty  with a slight smell of dried apricots.
  • Overall Taste: I was impressed, given the age there was a definite nuttiness and a certain sweetness to the cheese.  It had a mild flavour that could only be described as “Emmental-ish”.  I can wait to see how this tastes in a few months.
  • Sweet to Salty: This was a well-balanced cheese, just the right amount of sweetness and salt.
  • Mild (mellow) to Robust to Pungent (stinky): I would say that this cheese was mellow but on its way to robust land.
  • Mouth Feel: (gritty, sandy, chewy, greasy, gummy, etc.): This has the slight chew that I expect from an Emmental but it is firm enough not be rubbery.

There are some things I would do differently next time, waxing instead of Franken-Bagging it, maybe a pinch less proprionic shermanii.  It will help now that I have a proper press too.  I will try to have the rest of the pictures up on Facebook by the end of the week.

Until next time go and make some cheese!

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