First Cheese Making Course of March

Lovely Frances - isn't she photogenic, even in our (un) sexy hair net

Lovely Frances – isn’t she photogenic, even in our (un) sexy hair net

We have not had a great deal of luck with the weather and have had a couple of courses cancelled.  However, Frances braved the elements and got to us by train which was very intrepid of her, considering she came from West Yorkshire.

We had a splendid, if slow time, as the dairy is very cold.  We decanted 15 litres of freshly pasteurised cow’s milk into our little crate.  As as soon as it reached 30 oC, we added our starter. After ripening, we added the rennet and did a quick 20 second stir and let it set, which took almost an hour, which is annoying, given that in the summer, we should be looking at about 40 minutes.  But, the big question is: will we get a summer?!  It has snowed here continuously since last Thursday and we have all had enough.

Frances gamely cut and we let it settle for a few minutes before stirring until we had reached the ‘shotty’ stage, where the curd feels firm to the touch.  One person called it ‘pea soup’ – each to their own, but we also tested the acidity which was running very slow on account Frances proudly displaying her block of cheese after the whey has been expelledof the cold ambient.

When we eventually get our new kit and equipment installed, on my wish list is a steam heater – wouldn’t that be fantastic!

After whey off, Frances formed a block and we turned it until whey stopped coming out.  This was deceptive as at first after a few turns, it appeared that there was no whey and then it continued dribbling whey.

After we had reached the right acidity and no more whey came out of our block, we cut it into cubes and tumbled them around and after that we salted the curd and milled it finely with our fingers.

Frances cutting the block into cubesFrances potted up and we put it into the press where the day before we had made some Wensleydale and some blended Wensleydales.  We took it out of the press a couple of days later and Stu bandaged it.  It is just drying out so that we can send it to Frances for maturation and later, hopefully, delectation and delight!

On 27th March 2012, we were making blended cheese.  Click here for the post.



Filed under Ribblesdale Cheese

2 responses to “First Cheese Making Course of March

  1. Frances

    Thanks Iona, I had such a great day!

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