The latest and greatest from Orange Deb's Cheese Making efforts.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

String Cheese - Batch #13

I don't recall batch #12. But, today I tried batch #13. It was hot over 90 degrees F outside, but air conditioned inside.  I started by finding the rennet in the freezer and dissolved 1/4 tablet in 1/4 C of chlorine free water.  I also dissolved 1 1/2 teas. of citric acid in 1 C. chlorine free water.  I added the dissolved citric acid and one gallon of LW Dairy 1% milk in a large pot to bring to 90 degrees.  It took less than 10 minutes to bring the milk from 50 something to 90 degrees.

3:30 pm ~ The milk reached 90 degrees, I turned off the heat and added the rennet slowly, and covered the pot. After waiting 5 minutes, the curd was still not well-formed, so I waited a few more minutes. This time, the curd was formed, but not very firm. I cut the curd all the way to the bottom of the pot and started stirring the curd carefully around the pot as it cooled. The whey was separating nicely.

3:43 ~ I finally remembered to "pour" off the whey first before putting the curds in the cheese cloth. I could have waited even a few more minutes before pouring. But, it worked very well and I was able to save almost all of the whey in the next pot and get all of the curds into the cheese cloth to drain the remaining whey over the sink.
Here's the final ball of curds without its whey. The gloves are for the water (actually the whey) bath which was heated to 180 degrees for cooking the curds.
3:55 ~ The whey bath actually got too hot (almost 200 degrees). I added 1/2 cup of salt to the bath to help salt the cheese. The whey bath worked well as I basically had to simply dunk the curds into the bath and remove them to continue folding.

I split the curds into two balls to work with 1/2 the batch on each stretching. I have found this to be much easier to manage and it makes it easier to control how much the cheese is stretched into strings. I was done stretching, cooling, and cutting the string cheese by 4:20 pm. Thanks "T" for the picture.
Here's the second half of the cheese batch stretched and ready for cutting to length.
It is definitely stringy cheese. I would still like it to be more salty.
The final yield was just shy of one pound. That's pretty good as many times, I have come up short after losing much stuck to the cheese cloth. 12.6 ounces (356 g) after eating a couple of bites.
I think that this is my best string cheese yet. Not the most salty, but good flavor and great stringy-ness. Remembering to drain the whey off the top from the big pot to the smaller pot while keeping the curds in the big pot is a big key. Let the curds cool and remove most whey before spooning curds into a cheese-cloth lined colander. Once the curds have been separated from the whey, it was good to split the batch in half for the stretching and salting part.


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