any of you cheesemakers have a good benchmark for where you expect the creamline to be in each gallon for basic cheesemaking? When the recipe calls for 'a gallon of milk', do you add or remove cream to a standard level to get consistent results?
Not talking about double or triple cream cheeses.... just basic 'cheese' recipes.
Our cow is still producing about 35-40% cream/gallon. I keep thinking I need to reduce that considerably as a starting point for cheesemaking but reduce to what? 2 cups/gallon? 1 cup/gallon?
would love to hear your insights and advice. thanks!
I don't know how much to remove...but I do remember reading that too much cream in the cheese...say a cheddar...will cause it to taste off or rancid. My cheese book said nor more than x %, but I don't remember how much. Also, they go by weight, not volume for percentages...think closer to "whole" milk at the grocery store. -Jenn
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My best cheeses have 1.5 to 2 inches of cream on each gallon. Last spring after I weaned Cricket and started getting ALL the cream, I made a couple that were too creamy. They weren't rancid at all, and in fact one of them I aged for 8 months (we're eating it right now). The one I ate fresher was just too soft, more like cream cheese, and the aged one we're working on now is not only too soft, but it crumbles too much. Soft AND crumbly makes a big sticky mess on the cutting board, and forget trying to get a decent slice to use on bread or a cracker. I've been crumbling it onto other hot foods and letting it melt in. It's VERY good, tastewise, but kind of clumsy to use.
Anyway, that's been my observation. I try for no more than 2" of cream if I'm going to make a hard cheese now.
Thanks, Lannie! my gut said I should skim some of the cream off to get a reasonable amount.....
funny, but that 1.5 - 2" measurement totally depends on the width of the jar/container you are using! home dairying can be so maddening non-specific sometimes.... or so empowering, depending on your perspective. Either way you just gotta make your own decisions.
You're right about the jar size. I'm using a standard gallon glass jar, like you would get pickles in (if you bought them by the gallon! ). It doesn't need to be all that precise, however, 40% cream I think is WAY too much! LOL!
I've been wondering about the question too! My cheesemaking book states that milk should be standardised with cream added or removed... but do you think it goes into detail about it? NO! It just says "but not many home cheesemakers would have a cream separator on hand to do this". Well I do!!! Now I need the information because I'd rather have my cream and eat cheese too! H.
I do not add or remove any cream from my cow's milk when I make cheese. This very fact causes the interesting variation in all my cheese from the different stages of her lactation. Also makes the cheeses from her heavy cream stage different color.
Using the exact recipe, a cheese from the first of her lactation is much different from a cheese made right before I dry her up.
I have made a few cheeses from pure cream. It's hard to work with and I use a little more rennet to get a good set, and hold off going into the press for the curds to be as firm as possible and use no heat at all during the make. The single, best cheese I ever made was made out of pure cream.
That said, - I'm somewhat of a free spirit as far as my cheese making. The price I pay for all my experimenting and making up my own recipes is that I never - ever - share or sell a cheese that is in the wax. I must open every one and check to see if I have something amazing or a failed science project. Ya never know. Just enough amazing ones to keep me going.
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