Sunday, April 10, 2011
Gremlins in the Gremmental
Last weekend I had a go at making Emmental cheese. The recipe suggested that doubling the batch would make a bigger wheel and allow bigger eyes to develop. So I got my biggest stainless steel pot and filled it with about 14 litres of raw milk – which was about the limit of my ability to lift a liquid load which had potential to slosh about. The recipe seemed pretty straight forward add culture, add the Swiss cheese culture, ripen, then add rennet. Then it was time to slowly heat the curd, stir every 5 minutes until it got to a particular temperature . I tried doing it in the kitchen sink but then the hot water ran out and I transferred it onto the stove, still stirring away. Actually I was able to read a book at the same time so it wasn’t time completely wasted. Then into the cheese press for a regimented number of minutes at a specific weight etc. Halfway through the pressing I realised that the recipe page had flipped over to the Gruyere recipe, which although had the same ingredients and initial stages had quite a different pressing regime. So I suddenly had to rush to the press and change the weight. Well I don’t know if it was the stuffed up pressing or the doubling of the recipe without changing the amount of pressing time or weight but I think something has gone wrong. There are great cracks in the cheese and it hasn’t improved with a week in the cheese cave. It is now time to sit it in a warm room for 2 or 3 weeks to let the proprionic shermanii bacteria do their thing and make the eyes….or completely explode it apart. Time will tell. Stay tuned.
But on the other hand, my blue cheese is starting to go blue as per the recipe said it would..