Cheese Experiments

Lactic Cheese

Lactic cheese started by accident, when I was trying to make yogurt, it was too soupy, and so I pressed it. Then, it became cheese. Now the experiments are a bit more controlled.

9 June 2020

  • 1.5 gal Maple View Farm Milk
  • 150g Siggis unflavored yogurt
  • 4pm: Instant Pot is scrubbed with hot soapy water. Ice cold milk is added. One gallon is fresh; half gallon is old. Yogurt, boil setting. This takes contents to 110°F.
  • 6pm: Boil reached. Lid removed. Stirring, temperature taken. 176°F!?!??!?! Ok, never using that setting again. A little terrified that I've killed everything good with using that setting, but this method HAS worked successfully in the past. Geeze.
  • 10pm: Milk is finally at 86°F. Siggis is added and stirred in well with a clean whisk. Lid is added back with the power off. Will check in 8 hours. Looking for a soft, wibbly, block. Will leave it up to 24 hours if necessary 1).
  • 11:24am: Curd is very loose. Cheese is cut into blocks and only a few hold their shape after it is poured into a muslin-lined colander. Pressing started.
  • 9am: 3 days out. Cheese is overall a great texture, very much like cream cream. A bit wobblily and bouncy coming out of the cloth and into the Pyrex. It has some larger curds, I believe from the too-high temperature. Added .5tbs kosher salt, moved to a half gal mason jar, and blended with stick blender. This mostly just broke up the larger curds into much more grainy curds. Not sure if that is better. Going into the fridge for a chill to see how things mellow out.

Cheese Notes

  • No more Instant Pot. The temperature setting alone was a huge disappointment. I am not sure what happened during the first two batches that made this cheese such a success, but this was a terrible blow.
  • In addition to the heat settings, there is a residual flavor from the last savory thing we did in the pot (a chicken stock made from a smoked chicken carcass) that isn't *overwhelmingly* noticeable, but which I can taste. It reminds me of Mezcal, and not in a nice way.

Rennet Cheese

absolute maximum upper limit; more than 24 hours will produce a bitter, grainy curd; see