Tuesday, June 10, 2008

cheesemaking, part two


despite the fact that our endeavors in no way resemble the photos on the website after 24 hours, we decide to forge ahead...
we cut apart the curds and heated and stirred as dr. fankhauser suggested, bringing the temperature to 108 degrees and holding for 35 minutes, during which time we drank wine and discussed other fun future projects. the mixture resembled cottage cheese. we poured and drained. i was only moderately scalded by hot whey (scalding not pictured. obviously, it happened when i was not holding my camera).

a quick taste proved a bad idea. it tasted like squeaky milk. that's the only way i can describe it. we drank some wine to wash away the taste. after adding the salt and microwaving, it actually mirrored cheese and we were able to mold balls. unexpectedly, the 2% milk had a smooth texture and easily formed balls. the whole milk was more texturally analogous to cottage cheese, but had a better taste. kind of buttery and rich. the balls were placed in gladware salt baths and i headed home with two balls of mozzarella and a very large pot of whey to further process into ricotta.
a disturbing note about cheesemaking: many people, including myself, will not drink milk or eat yogurt that has been out of the fridge for more than roughly 7 minutes. and yet here we are, planning on consuming a milk product that has been sitting at room temperature, in various pots and forms, for what will be a total of approximately 72 hours. i also try not to think about the chilled monkey brains in temple of doom...this picture to the right might be a little too similar for comfort...




3 comments:

Jim said...

Hey there! Cheese making is quite a process. I enjoyed reading about yours.

My husband just made Mozzarella this past week ~ I can't get him to blog about it but I do have pictures. He saved the whey and made a little Ricotta also.

Even though the cheese was excellent tasting I have to say it is expensive and a ton of work for very little cheese.

I would love to hear your thoughts about if you would do this again.

Sharona May of BirdFood

b said...

sharona - it did seem like a lot of work at the time. however, if we do it again, we don't "waste" time waiting b/c we know how long things take. we put about $20 into it this time. most of that was the citric acid which cost $10 and will last forever, $6 on mile (on sale) and $2 for the rennet tablets. To do it again would only be the cost of milk and time. i was also surprised at our yield, it was more than we had expcted. my brother had tried this recently and did not yeild nearly as much as we did and does not feel its worth his time/money to do it again. hard cheeses may be a bit more of a time and cost committment. next time we may try an "easier" cheese.

k said...

sharona-
i do not accept defeat from cheese, so we will probably attempt it again. as beth said, there is definitely a learning curve and we will hopefully be able to streamline the process.

do you plan on making cheese again?