Cheese Makers Forum FAQ Equipment part 1 Equipment part 2 History

Monday, March 2, 2009

Rustic Soft (Soft Rustic Cheddar), #1

I didn't start off intending to make a really soft cheese, I started off wanting to know how different types of milk affect the curd. So, because it was on sale, I started off with Whole milk. Now, to give you a little background, I generally add cream to most cheeses I have made. It makes the loaf, well, creamy and seemed to allow the interior structure an easier time binding together. This was all circumstantial since I had never measured or experimented previously, but that was my thought process. So, for the first loaf of this project I continued doing what I normally did since I didn't have any reason to change.

Start date: 2/25/2009
Wax date: 2/28/2009
Taste date: TBD

  • 1 gallon whole milk, pastuerized and homogenized
  • 1 cup cultured buttermilk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tablet of rennet
  • 3 drops calcium chloride
  • Mortons kosher salt
Added milk, buttermilk, cream to a large pot and slowly raised temperature to 88F.

After 90 minutes, added the calcium chloride and stirred the milk. Afterwords, crushed the rennet tablet in warm filtered water, and added to the milk, stirring gently.

Raised temperature to 90F, cut the heat, put the lid on the pot and let sit for 40 minutes.

After 40 minutes there was a clean break (step 8). Cut the curd, and raised the temperature to 102F. Slowly and carefully drained the whey with a ladle, but even after half an hour or so the curds were still very wet.

Drained the curds in the sink in a colander and tasted several. Not very acidic tasting yet, and still very soft. The final whey off had lots and lots of fines (small bits of the curd that fell of or were agitated off by accident).

Milled the curds, salted, and added them to the press. Over the course of six hours I could only get it to sustain a maximum of eight pounds. More than that cause the curd to push itself through the holes on the press.

After three days of drying, the loaf had spread out quite a bit due to its wetness. The sides bulged quite a bit, and numerous cracks appeared all over the loaf. After three days, mostly to keep the shape of the loaf in tact, it was waxed.

Notes and thoughts
Too much fat from the combination of whole milk and heavy cream to make a hard cheese. It remains to be seen if it spoils quickly and how rapidly it develops much lactic acid. We plan on tasting this loaf in one or two months and post results and pictures.

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