Thursday, August 17, 2017

Dry Jack and Red Wine Infused Cheddar; Cheddar News

Second Cheddar Update:

This is my Cheddar that will be aging until Valentine's Day. One thing I must do daily is flip it and check for mold. If there is mold, you gently brush it off (I use a 'mushroom brush' type of scrubber). Well, as I gently brushed off a little dot of mold, look what happened. May I rant??? That cheese coating SUCKS. Anyway, over the last few days I've re-painted that spot and I'm hoping all will be well. 

But this came in the mail today! My first New England Cheese Making Company order. As you see, I ordered cheese wax. So as soon as I have the time, I'm going to wax my first two Cheddars. That way there will be zero chance of mold and I won't have to keep reapplying that darn cheese coating.

Just wanted to mention this. In making my cheese, I've been using a double-boiler method. I decided to follow a different method - the sink method. Oh boy is it easier!! And it's so much more accurate with the temperature. All I have to do is add/remove hot or cold water now and then to/from the sink, to reach my ideal temperature. The milk/curd really holds onto the heat so it's super simple. Plus, the double boiler sometimes raised the temperature too fast and I'd be in a panic trying to move that heavy pot from the stove!

The happy cheese maker lol...Terry I promised a photo of my new hairdo, but this is me at about 8am, so I'm not "red-carpet ready" lol! :) Making the cheese using the sink method allows me to sit too. Each of these cheeses take a good 6-8 hours of work so sitting is welcoming!

Dry Jack

So...Tuesday morning I woke up and looked in the fridge and saw the 24 liters (!!) of milk I'd bought the previous weekend, yeah...6 gallons. That milk took up an entire shelf in the fridge! It was a cool and cloudy I deemed it cheese making day! I started with a Jack Cheese. I'll just include the link because I certainly can't make it look easier than the author of the recipe on her web page! This is a BIG cheese...and I halved the recipe. I didn't have a big enough mold, so I used cheesecloth to drain the cheese, which, after pressing, was very flat. I'll have to add a bigger mold to my next cheese order. It's just for looks though!

I used 10 liters of milk for this cheese and it just all barely fit into my 12 liter pot. My cheese knife could be a little longer! I barely reached the bottom of the pot when I was cutting my curd into cubes! The whole process before pressing took about 6 hours, and now my Jack cheese is drying for the next week or so before I wax it and age it for 8 months! It smells divine...Alex and I are really showing our self-control because we really want to try it!

Any bets that I'll print a label with my Jack on it and stick it on my Jack Cheese? I'll take that bet lol!

More cheese making madness...right after the Dry Jack was pressing, I started on a new Cheddar. I decided I wanted to try a red wine infused cheese. I followed my usual Cheddar recipe, but before pressing, I soaked the curds in 2 cups of red wine. I was making cheese for 13 hours on Tuesday and I was exhausted after but it really was so much fun! This is how it looked after the final pressing on Wednesday morning.

The wheel got soaked in another 2 cups of wine for 5 more hours, then I put it back into the mold to drain a little more. I used an Australian Cabernet Sauvignon for this cheese. I'm actually thinking of buying a vacuum sealer to use instead of the wax would really come in handy for food preservation in general and I've read really good things about it but it would be about another $100 for thought!

How is this for genius? These are dollar-store food protectors for picnics...I saw them the other day and a light bulb lit over my's not the perfect cat barrier, but it works really well!

My new children lol...these are my aging cheeses! The original two Cheddars, my red wine infused Cheddar and my Dry Jack. You can see the size of the Dry Jack compared to the others, twice the size! I haven't quite decided how long I'll age the red wine Cheddar yet, but at least 6 months to maybe a year. I want to read up a little more about how the flavours meld together over time.

So my cheeses so far will be ready to be eaten:
First Cheddar: Halloween
Second Cheddar: Valentine's Day 2018
Wine Infused Cheddar: Valentine's Day 2018 or Labour Day 2018
Dry Jack: May 1st 2018 - May Day


Leigh said...

It was such a great idea to start a cheese making blog! Your cheeses are gorgeous and I'm really looking forward to your taste tests!

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

Lots of new baby cheeses over at your place. They are all adorable! LOL When do you find time to relax with so much to do?
That cover from the dollar store is perfect! Such a perfect solution. I should pick a couple of those up. They'll come in handy when I need to leave something on the counter.

MrsDuncanMahogany said...

I have no words....this is incredible!!

Nicole Thomas said...

I agree ... WOW !!! now how am I going to be patient enough to wait until I see them all cut and placed on a cheese board ... yummmm it must be soooo hard ... lol

Treey said...

Rain, your hair looks great. Thank you for making my day complete. Nice blogpost. I don't want 'red carpet' ready, by the way. Any old way will do. The cheeses are looking fine at this moment in time. It just shows that all of your hard work is paying off.

Rain said...

Hi Leigh :) Thank you! I really can't wait to taste some of these's hard to wait! :)

Rain said...

Hi Martha :) little ones are so adorable, I have to rock them to sleep at night hee hee...Honestly, I do NOTHING after dinner each night. Except on days like the cheese making crazy day when I'm all pumped up and can't stop lol...we just "retire" to the bedroom after dinner to watch movies while we digest. I can't believe I didn't think of the dollar store covers before! The cats still sniff at the stuff, but at least this way those things make a little noise if they try to pull them off the food! They are working really well. I made a cake yesterday and used the cover while it cooled. Really ingenious!

Rain said...

Oh thank you Dianna :))

Rain said...

Hi Nik :) Thanks!! :) It is SO HARD to wait on the cheeses! Especially right now that Dry smells so nice. It's the first time I used that specific culture and it gives such a cheesy fragrance...can't wait!

Rain said...

Hi Terry :) Glad you like the 'do! :) I have basically had the same hair cut most of my life and I'll likely never change it! Actually Alex and I talked about trying to cut each other's hair, well would save us time and money going to get it done every few months. And if we mess up, it'll grow back lol...Thank you, I'm really loving how my little cheesy ones are developing! :)

Fundy Blue said...

You must have excellent impulse control! It would be hard to wait so long to taste such delectable looking cheeses, Rain!

Rain said...

Hi Fundy Blue :) It's even worse now that they are smelling and looking so good as they're aging!!! Good think I got them all vacuum-sealed or I would be blaming phantom mice for somehow nibbling on them while they're in the fridge hee hee.