Gruyѐre Cheese

09/14/2015

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My DIY husband has recently been trying to make his own cheese, and dove head-first into the “advanced” cheese making recipes. For his first try, the Gruyѐre didn’t turn out too shabby! Cheese isn’t too hard to make; it just takes a few enzymes you can buy online, some milk, and a little time, and you’ve got yourself a delicious wheel of cheese!

Speaking of diving in head-first, in other news, Gary and I are starting a brewery along with our friends Pat and Sally. Called Rainstorm Brewing, we hope to open in a year or so. With the financial help of Pat’s family, and the DIY nature of the four of us, it’s been an adventure so far! Those in the North Florida area, stop on by when we’re up and running!

So, I do realize that neither beer nor cheese are good for the heart, but in small doses, both can be good for the soul.

This recipe was amended from the book, Artisan Cheese Making at Home.

Ingredients:

2 gallons pasteurized whole cow’s milk
1/2 t Thermo C powdered thermophilic started culture
1/2 t calcium chloride diluted in 1/4 x cool non-chlorinated water
1/2 t liquid rennet diluted in 1/4 c cool non-chlorinated water
Kosher salt

Instructions:

This recipe is helpful if you have two large stockpots, a 10 gallon and a 15 gallon, in order to make a water bath to keep the temperature steady. (If you don’t have a large 15 gallon pot, I’d recommend halving the recipe and use a 5 gallon and 10 gallon pot.) To start, put the 10 gallon pot into the 15 gallon pot on the stove. Pour the milk into the smaller pot, and add hot water to the larger pot until the milk and water line are at the same level. Heat the pans so that the milk temperature reads 90 degrees. Heat for 20 minutes, and then turn off the heat.

Next, sprinkle the starter over the milk and let it rehydrate for five minutes. Stir. Cover the milk and maintain the 90 degree temperature for 30 minutes. Next, add the calcium chloride and whisk in for 1 minutes. Add the rennet next, and whisk for one minute. Cover, and keep at 90 degrees for another 30-40 minutes.

Once the curds have set, cut the curds into 1/4 inch pieces, and let sit for five minutes. Raise the temperature slowly to 122 degrees over the course of an hour. Once it reaches that point, remove from heat, and stir the curds for 15 minutes. The curds will slightly firm up during this time. Let the curds rest for 20 minutes. Next, ladle off enough of the whey to expose the curds.

Next, line an 8-inch tomme mold (with follower) with damp cheesecloth, and place on a draining rack. Let drain for 5 minutes. Then pull the cheesecloth tight, fold the cloth tails over the curds, place the follower on top, and press at 8 pounds for 1 hour. After an hour, flip the cheese, and press at 8 pounds for 12 hours. (I used a hand-held weight that was about 8 pounds. Nothing like using work-out equipment to make cheese, eh?)

After twelve hours, remove the cheese from the cheesecloth, and paint on a salty brine. To make the salt brine, add kosher salt to water to where it is very salty to the taste. Dip the cheese in the liquid, or paint on the wheel.

Ideally, you should put the cheese in a ripening box, cover loosely, and ripen at 54 degrees in a designated refrigerator or cellar with 90 percent humidity. If you have neither of these, put the cheese in a large tupperware container, and wet a paper towel to place next to it. Set the lid on the tupperware loosely, with a 1 inch gap, and put in your normal refrigerator. Flip daily for the first week, then twice a week for the next 3. Use the salt brine twice a week to prevent mold growth.

Serve with good wine and enjoy!

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