Twisted Squirrel – Tweaking The Little Squirrel

All “Little Squirrels” I made last time are now gone, it was time to make some more.  The last time I mused about using PLA (a Geo/Yeast/B. Linens mix) as the mould for the cheese. It was time to get everything ready and make more of these little gems but this time, with a twist.

It was time to get my moulds ready and make some cheese.

It was time to get my moulds ready and make some cheese.

I am still searching for the perfect milk to use and this time I tried 4 litres of 1 % organic milk and 500 ml of 10% cream.  I really need to settle on a milk type and just go with it.  I used pH strips to take the start and it was 6.0.  I heat the milk and added the culture and mixed, this time I waited 25 minutes before I added the rennet, I had read that this was a common practice with some semi lactic cheese.  I now let the cheese ripen for 18 hours and then I took the pH again, it was at 4.5 – exactly where I wanted it to be.

I use my insert for my roaster vat as the draining box.

I use my insert for my roaster vat as the draining box.

I cut a checkerboard pattern into the curd.  Each square is between 1.5 to 2 Inches

I cut a checkerboard pattern into the curd. Each square is between 1.5 to 2 Inches

I then let the curd rest for another 10 minutes so it could "heal"

I then let the curd rest for another 10 minutes so it could “heal”

It was time to start filling moulds.  I used an ice cream scoop, it is perfect tool for the job

It was time to start filling moulds. I used an ice cream scoop, it is perfect tool for the job

I start to scoop from the outside rim - picture from my iPad

I start to scoop from the outside rim – Picture from my iPad

The curd was strong with this one. - Picture from my iPad

The curd was strong with this one. – Picture from my iPad

I started to fill the moulds a little at a time

I started to fill the moulds a little at a time

In the end the curd was a little "soupy" but not as bad as the last batch.

In the end the curd was a little “soupy” but not as bad as the last batch.

Here they are after 3 hours of draining

Here they are after 3 hours of draining

They reduced by half

They reduced by a quarter.

Here it is after the first flip

Here it is after the first flip

They are all flipped and ready for more draining

They are all flipped and ready for more draining

Some needed to be smoothed over.  They did not flip well.

Some needed to be smoothed over. They did not flip well.

After 30 hours of draining it was time to un mould the cheese and salt then using the Real Salt Sea Salt.  I was surprised at the surface of one of the cheeses.

There was this slime on this  one.  I decided to err on the side on caution and throw it in the bin.

There was this slime on this one. I decided to err on the side on caution and throw it in the bin.

It worked out in the end, as I only had room for 6 in my ripening box

It worked out in the end, as I only had room for 6 in my ripening box

Salted and in the cave they are waiting for the bloom

Salted and in the cave they are waiting for the bloom.

Now it is time to see what the PLA will do for the bloom and I have my fingers crossed to see if the Squirrels will turn red, well orange.  I will have try to have some pictures up on the Facebook Page later in the week.20140423-094429.jpg

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