Category: Cheese Making

1st Cheese

This is my first cheese that I have ever tried so I thought I would share it!

This cheese is a soft roule style cheese which is relatively simple to make. However, you will need to assemble some items first.

Equipment / Ingredients

  1. Animal Rennet (100ml bottle) 12 drops (buy from www.Ascott.biz)
  2. Mesophillic Starter (1 sachet) about 1/6th roughly of sachet. I have used Choozit MA4002 in this case. This is a freeze dried starter, which is added directly to the milk and not incubated before use. Each sachet is sufficient for 50 litres of milk. Used with rennet. It is simple to use as you add it to the mil at 32°C and leave for 30 mins soft cheese and 60mins hard cheese. This will provide the “cheesiness” which naturally would happen over time if you left the milk for the natural bacteria to come. (buy from www.Ascott.biz)
  3. Large sheet of cheese cloth (buy from Amazon)
  4. Cheese matting (buy from www.Ascott.biz)aq
  5. Thermometer, sturdy glass standard science one will do. (Avoid mercury)
  6. Large metal saucepan at least 8 litres in size
  7. Large metal colander
  8. Stirring Device and Slotted Spoon (metal)
  9. Nice quality full fat Sainsbury Organic Milk 6.75litres or 12 pints
  10. Cream if required.

Instructions

It is a simple process in which attention should be paid to the cleanliness to avoid bacterial contamination or your cheese (i.e. you are leaving it to grow bacteria) and also the temperatures for the enzymes as one denatured that is it!

  1. Clean your pan till it is spotless, best dishwasher as it heat drys. Add milk and heat gently to 29-32°C stirring as you go make sure this is stable (i.e. heat from bottom of pan has evened out). If you “cook” the milk you change the chemical composition and change the cheese product.
  2. Boil some water and then leave half a cup to cool covered.
  3. Add the right amount of the mesophillic starter. In this case 1 sachet does 50 litres so about the tip of the knife is about right. Stir in and leave covered for 45 minutes.
  4. Now if the temperature of the milk has dropped significantly you need to very gently heat it back to 30C for the rennet to work well. Check temperature of water is below 30°C Add 12 drops of rennet (no more or you get a nasty taint) to the water and then add to the milk stirring well. Now cover and leave for another at least 45 minutes without touching it (don’t be tempted to stir!). Now it might take more time than this as it is a natural thing. In this specific case it took 2 hours!
  5. Now you should have a curd set and separated from the whey. Use a sharp knife to cut the curd into 1cm cubes. Then fish them out with the slotted spoon and gently drain them in a muslin lined colander. Save the whey you lose for making ricotta later. We are trying to lose the whey but not all the moisture and fat from the cheese.
  6. Gently knot the cloth and hang up the cheese cloth to help draining (a hook might be helpful at this point).
  7. Now unknot and salt salt the cheese curds to taste and return to hang for the final extraction of whey.
  8. Now place into a metal bowl and mix in some cream if desired to make a creamy paste.

Seasoning / Ripening

It might be worth now dividing the cheese into separate bowls and mixing herbs, garlic, paprika, sesame seeds or crushed peppercorns to the outside of the cheese before placing into a mould and shaping.  Remember more is often less!

 

The cheese will take a better flavour if allowed to ripen in the fridge on a small piece of cheese matting overnight and then wrapping in cling film. In this case they have been put into a shaping mould.

Extra Information

Mesophile is an organism that grows best in moderate temperature, neither too hot nor too cold, typically between 20 and 45°C (68 and 113 °F)

The habitats of these organisms include especially cheese, yogurt, and mesophile organisms are often included in the process of beer and wine making.

The starter culture has a crucial role to play during all phases of the cheese making and maturation process. As the culture grows in the milk, it converts lactose to lactic acid. This ensures the correct pH for coagulation in both the press and final cheese curd. It also secures the final moisture level and yield in the cheese. During ripening, the culture enzymes have to give a balanced aroma, taste, texture, surface appearance and if required, eye formation.

Rennet contains many enzymes, including protease that coagulates the milk, causing it to separate into solids (curds) and liquid (whey).  The active enzyme in rennet is called chymosin or rennin but there are also other important enzymes in it, e.g., pepsin and lipase.

Whey is the liquid remaining after milk has been curdled and strained. It is a by-product of the manufacture of cheese or casein and has several commercial uses. Sweet whey is manufactured during the making of rennet types of hard cheese like cheddar or Swiss cheese. Acid whey (also known as “sour whey”) is obtained during the making of acid types of cheese such as cottage cheese.

 

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