Friday, December 20, 2013

Robiola Due Latte, Day One

Now that the weather is cold enough outside, and my garage is reliably in the 50's, I can finally put my aged-cheese-making plan into action!

For my first attempt, I'm making a robiola due latte.  I'm using 1 gallon of goat's milk and 1 gallon of cow's milk.  Since both are pasteurized I will be adding calcium chloride as well.  When we made cheese last spring, Paul recommended keeping notes for each batch so I'll do them right here, on my blog.  Here goes!

The whey is starting to separate
I started with the milk as listed above.  The recipe calls for whole milk but I didn't see that the cow's milk I bought was fat free until I got it home.  I contemplated adding a little butter but decided against it, figuring the goat milk had fat and maybe that would be okay.  I have a jug of bleach and water mixture and I am sterilizing the utensils in that and letting them air dry before I use them.

Step one:  (noon) Milk was heated in a big pot until about 72 degrees, then 2 packets of buttermilk culture were sprinkled over the top.  After 2 minutes, I stirred that in, covered the pot and let it sit for 4 hours.  To keep it from losing temperature, since it wasn't in a hot water bath or anything, I put the pot halfway between the front and back burners on the stove and set the oven to warm.  This way, the heat from the oven would warm up the back burner.  This seems to have worked; I checked the temperature every hour or so and it was always 73-76.

Step two:  (4:00 pm) After 4 hours, I added 1/2 tsp. of calcium chloride diluted in 1/4 cup of water (that had been boiled to sterilize it).  I then added 2 tsp. of my liquid rennet (more than the recipe called for, but my rennet is old and not the same formulation so I guessed a little based on the instructions on the bottle of rennet).  The rennet was also diluted in a little sterile water.  I stirred that in and waited 25 minutes with the oven now turned off.

Stirring the curds
Step three:  (4:30 pm) After 25 minutes the rennet seems to be working, there is a curd which I cut once with a knife just to check.  Now I have to wait and check on it frequently until the whey starts to come to the surface.

Step four:  (8:35 pm) At this point the curds have a little bit of whey pooling on the top.  The curds were cross-cut at 1.5 inches and then rested for 5 minutes.  Then they were cut with a spoon and stirred gently for 5 minutes.  The curds then settled while I got the molds ready.  I have 3 cheese molds and that turned out to be not enough, so I used 2 colanders as well, which are more like the basket molds the recipe suggests.  Each mold was lined with sterilized butter muslin and then the curds were ladled into them.  Once all the curds were divided among the 5 molds, they were wrapped with the cloth, flipped over, and allowed to drain for 10 minutes.  Then they were flipped again, unwrapped and flipped again, then rewrapped.  Now they're resting/draining for another hour.
Curds in the molds and draining

Step five: (10:35 pm) The cheeses have been unwrapped, placed back in their molds, and are draining overnight.  I've covered them with clean tea towels while this happens.  Tomorrow we brine.

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