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Old 07-16-2009, 10:10 PM   #1
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Default Cheese Marathon

I'm getting 5 gallons of fresh from the cow stuff next monday.

I expect everyone that has posted in the cheese forum to be available in chat on next monday night, starting at about 6pm, eastern, OK???

Im thinking 2 mozz's
1 farmhouse cheddar (using 2 gallons)
and a parmesan.

Wish me luck.


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Old 07-17-2009, 03:55 AM   #2
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Sorry, can't be there to help, but I think you are getting yourself into a lot all at once! Try to stagger the curd sets, so **** doesn't all hit the fan at once.

Parmesan is going to be the trickiest. There are alot of reasons why traditional Reggiano Parm is made in 80-90 pounds wheels. How do you plan on aging it? Are you going to be using partially skimmed, or whole milk for the Parm?


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Old 07-17-2009, 12:57 PM   #3
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Dang, forgot about that. Guess I will make the innagural attempt with store bought skim milk.

I will age in the crisper of the fridge. I can somewhat control the humidity in there.

I think my wife would not be happy if I started turning out 80-90 lb blocks of Parm. Although we eat a lot, and would eat more if it wasn't so expensive, I don't think we would go through a 90 lb block. But lets just say I wanted to try it..what would I need, bout 100 gallons of skim milk?
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Old 07-17-2009, 08:41 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zac View Post
Dang, forgot about that. Guess I will make the innagural attempt with store bought skim milk.

I will age in the crisper of the fridge. I can somewhat control the humidity in there.

I think my wife would not be happy if I started turning out 80-90 lb blocks of Parm. Although we eat a lot, and would eat more if it wasn't so expensive, I don't think we would go through a 90 lb block. But lets just say I wanted to try it..what would I need, bout 100 gallons of skim milk?
If you are using raw milk, you can just let the cream settle out naturally and skim it by hand. Reggiano Parm takes the evenings milk, lets the cream seperate overnight on special trays, and then the skim is drained from the bottom of the tray the next morning and mixed with whole mornings milk. The leftover cream is used for butter or mascarpone.

You get a lower yield when using partially skimmed milk, so you'd probably need closer to 150 gallons. Traditional Parm is made in double batches -- two wheels to a traditional copper kettle.

The real art when making Parmesan is in the way you break and heat the curds. It takes Italian cheesemakers decades to master the technique, and they use a special tool called a Spino Bianco.

Parmigianno Reggiano is also aged at the ambient temperature of the outside, which is fairly mild in Parma because of their climate, but gets into the 70s in the summer and near freezing in winter. This definetly has an effect on the way that cheese made at different times of the year tastes. Also, the warmer aging temperature causes the cheese to continuously sweat butterfat (one of the reasons that a large wheel is better than a small one). Thus, any mold which wants to grow on the rind will have to first colonize the layer of butterfat, and can easily be wiped off. Some American Parm producers imitate this on a smaller scale by rubbing the rind with olive oil.

Don't mean to intimidate you from trying, but make sure you know what you are doing. Parmesan is not an easy cheese to make.
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Old 07-19-2009, 10:56 AM   #5
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Brewmonger,

I hear yuh man, but I found a pretty simple recipe on cheesmaking.com, so I'll give it a whirl & see what happens. I'll keep my expectations pretty low though.

Revised Sechdule:
1 batch of Mozz
1 batch of Monterey Jack
1 batch of Farmhouse Cheddar (2 gals)
1 batch of Colby
1 batch of Parm (store bought skim milk)

I think I have everything I need, except the time, but what else is new?
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Old 07-19-2009, 03:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zac View Post
Brewmonger,

I hear yuh man, but I found a pretty simple recipe on cheesmaking.com, so I'll give it a whirl & see what happens. I'll keep my expectations pretty low though.

Revised Sechdule:
1 batch of Mozz
1 batch of Monterey Jack
1 batch of Farmhouse Cheddar (2 gals)
1 batch of Colby
1 batch of Parm (store bought skim milk)

I think I have everything I need, except the time, but what else is new?
Total skimmed milk is probably not the best choice either, because you'll end up with a cheese with no flavor and very little yield. If you have your mind set on store-bought milk, then get a 2% milk, and make sure its not ultra-pasteurized. (Typical Holstein milk butterfat straight out of the cow runs around 3.5%.)
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Old 07-19-2009, 04:07 PM   #7
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Brew, forgive me for playing an idiot (I'm not), but I don't have access to any skim or 2% fresh from the cow goodness.

I have had luck in the past with store bought whole milk for mozz.

Parmesan Recipe
Parmesan Cheese Making Recipe - CheeseForum.org

I know neither of these recipes produce 90lb wheels, but hey, if it somewhat resembles parm. cheese, then I will be happy.

To be honest, if any of the cheeses come out resembling cheese, then I will be pleased.

My first batch of beer was far from the best I've made, but it was still beer non-the-less!
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Old 07-21-2009, 12:28 AM   #8
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Re-revised sechdule,

2 batches of mozz, and 1 batch of moteray jack tonight, will do the double of farmhouse cheddar if I get time.
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Old 07-21-2009, 03:36 AM   #9
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Farmhouse cheddar is at the 1 hour draining stage, looks like I will be in bed by 0100!!!
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Old 07-22-2009, 01:07 AM   #10
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Ok, cheese noob question.

When the cheese dries, like after its been pressed, does it dry on the counter, or does it need to be in the fridge?


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