Cheese making: Tomme, Feb 2017

2017-05-25

I want to start better documenting my cheese-making efforts, beginning with this tomme I started Feb 2, 2017. This is mostly just for my own reference, but I've been asked before about my technique, so you might find it interesting. Just ask me if you have any questions!

20L of partly skimmed (2%) milk. Standard supermarket stuff: HTST pasteurised and homogenised. Usually I use non-homogenised, full-fat since it sets a nicer curd, but for this type of cheese we cut the curd up into little bits anyway so it doesn't really matter. Also it's nice that it's cheap because we're using a good amount of it:

For this cheese I used full dose of CaCL2, then innoculated with 1/2 cup of kefir, and fermented for an hour or so at 32 degrees C. Then I added a double rennet dose (natural calf rennet of course) and let set for 2.5 times floculation (which I unfortunately forgot to record). I think around an hour total.

Then I cut the curd up into tiny pieces with a whisk:

Then I cooked the curd slowly raising the temperature until 50C, over about an hour (unfortunately didn't record exact temps/times). Stirring the whole time so it doesn't mat together.

Once the curd bits were nice and firm, drained off the whey (saved for ricotta), and transferred curd to the form (Glengarry's St. Paulin). Slowly increased pressure over course of 2 hours or so, flipping 3 times (I think). Finally left at approx 50 lbs overnight:

Soaked in saturated salt brine for standard time per lb, then transferred to upper section of "cave" (11 degrees C, 60-80% relative humidity). Cave is a dual-section wine fridge we got at a surplus sale.

For first 2 weeks, rubbed with olive oil every other day. G. candidum forming nicely, about a month in:

I did a core test on May 23rd and it was good enough so we harvested a quarter of it. The rest is sealed and back in the cave, hopefully can last until at least the 6 month mark:

Results:

Taste: Good, deep flavour. Probably needs at least another 2 months to fully develop. N says slight bitter aftertaste, but tolerable.

Texture: Semi-firm to hard. Not over-brined like previous attempt. Grates well.

Rind: Very good appearance, tastes great. Big G. Candidum blooms, minor amount of P. Roqforti.