Hi All; I've been waiting 60 days to try my first wheel of cheddar ... Yesterday was the day .... OH NO ... YUCK ! bitter... smells slightly like vinegar .... quite a few holes in it also similar to swiss cheese....what did I do I even tried smoking half of it to see if it got any better.... I think it made it worse... I broke into my 2nd wheel (the Gouda shaped one) it really looked like swiss cheese and had the same bitter taste... I left my 3rd wheel alone for now as it needs 3 more weeks to age. Reading up on it last night. Seems one likely possibility is not getting all the whey out ? Another was (bacteria) poor cleanliness... the farm was very clean and i think i was being very clean so i doubt that .... low salt was another ....... anybody else have a similar experience ?
Well i'm going with not pressed long / heavy enough and not enough salt... All three wheels got the same amount of salt but the third one got the longest heaviest pressing... I'm hoping 3rd time is the charm. In three weeks we will see. I will keep trying until I get it right ! Meanwhile breeding is going on at the farm , 2 of the A1 cows are off line and until they calf there is no extra A-2 milk for us ! So no butter or cheese making for the next month or two. Darn... Just when i'm anxious to try cheddar again, I have to wait ! Seems like a lot of waiting (they call it aging or breeding ) goes on in the cheese making world. Good thing I already made some chevare and ricotta successfully. I know it can be done...
Well, I hate to admit that my third wheel was not a charm... Quite a bit less "holy" than before, no doubt from the longer heavier pressing. Still a slight vinegar smell although like the holes it seemed fainter than before. On her first bites the wife thought that this wheel was OK ... but agreed after that it still wasn't rite. I used Himalayan pink salt on these wheels ... we have been noticing that it takes more shakes with it than "regular" salt to make things taste the way we like.... I did not add extra salt so, ...maybe. As soon as I get A-2 milk again, on my next wheels I will use a more traditional sea salt as well as a good long press. Currently I am using the 5 gal bucket method to press , allowing me to finish with 40# of weight pressing. If that is not enough i'll build a screw press. No more "holy" cheese !
Not all who wander are lost... J.R.R. Tolkien
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