Thursday, May 29, 2014

Cheesy Day

I thought I'd take my own advice and start keeping a cheese notebook, as I have several cheeses in process today. But, I couldn't find a blank notebook and didn't want to drive to the store, so, I thought I'd try this. 
Shawn got me a Dutch style cheese press for my birthday, so I can make some hard, aged cheeses. 

To that end, I made two recultureable cultures starting with New England Cheesemakings Mesophilic culture and I started a culture of the "fresh" culture whilst I was at it. I sterilized two canning jars with lids in boiling water, then poured in this mornings fresh milk and put the two sealed jars in a boiling water bath about an inch over the lids for 35 minutes. 
When the timer want off, I ran cool water into the pot and when the milk temp was down to 86 degrees I added the fresh culture and put the jar atop the freezer. When the milk temp was down to 80 degrees, I added the Mesophilic culture and put that jar above the fridge. 

Tomorrow, I'll put the two cultures in the fridge until I can divide them out into ice cube trays to freeze them. 

I also started a cheese in the crockpot with this mornings milk. At 90 degrees I added 1 cup of sweet homemade goat's milk yogurt ( made with New England Cheesemakings sweet yogurt culture) and then I let it set at that temp for 3 hours. The keep warm setting on the crock pot was too warm so I unplugged it, but the temp seemed to maintain. I added 1/2 tab of dissolved Marschalls rennet at 12:20 pm and the temp was still at 90. 

Today is humid, raining off and on and the outside temp is 76 degrees. I have the house windows open. The weather app says rain will start again in 51 minutes, so I'm going to go feed the bottle baby lambs and work in the alpaca fence while the curd forms on the crockpot cheese.