December 05, 2012

Homemade Gouda Cheese


Homemade cheese is simple and fairly easy. With the right equipment (which can be bought on the cheap or made at home) and the right ingredients (which can be found online or at various home brew or similar stores), you'll have some delicious cheese in no time.


The types of cheese there are in the world run the gamut. There really is no end to the kind you can make. You might only be limited by your ability to get specific cultures to flavor your cheese. However, this Gouda cheese requires nothing more than regular cultured buttermilk.


The directions are long, but they are detailed. Please do not hesitate to ask me anything. Oh, and it is delicious raw and aged! Enjoy!



Homemade Gouda Cheese

Yield: 1 pound of gouda
Ingredients
  • 1 gallon whole milk
  • 2 ice cubes buttermilk
  • 1/2 tablet rennet
  • 1/4 teaspoon calcium chloride
  • saturated brine
Cooking Directions
  1. Mix the rennet in 1/4 cup of water. Mix the calcium chloride in 1/4 cup of water.
  2. Warm the milk to 85-90F/29-32C in vat of your choice, i.e. double boiler or pot.
  3. Add Starter Culture and Calcium Chloride and mix thoroughly with a whisk to make uniform throughout the milk.
  4. Cover and let the culture ripen at same temperature for 15-45 minutes.
  5. Trickle in diluted rennet stirring constantly for 1 minute to evenly distribute, then stop swirl with ladle to enable better curd set.
  6. Cover and let the milk stand at your target temperature for 45+ minutes until a clean break is achieved.
  7. Cut the curds into 0.2-0.5 inch cubes.
  8. Allow the curds to sit and heal undisturbed for 5-10 minutes.
  9. Stir gently, intermittently for 15-25 minutes to ensure the curds don't mat together.
  10. Let the curds rest for 5 minutes to settle to bottom.
  11. Remove and discard 1/3 volume of whey from top of vat. Add same volume of hot water to reach target 95-102°F / 37-39°C. Normally, 130°F / 55°C water will work.
  12. Stir gently intermittently for 15-30 minutes, breaking any large lumps of curd.
  13. Let the curds rest for 5 minutes to settle to bottom.
  14. Pour the curds into a large strainer or colander and let drain for 5 minutes. If possible, place the strainer inside another pot or cover the curds in order to maintain the curd's temperature. The curds will press better if slightly warm.
  15. Place the curds into cheesecloth lined mold, pack curds down into mold by hand (try to minimize breakage of the curd pack). Place a thin 1 lb. weight on top of the follower and press for 15 minutes.
  16. Remove the cheese from the mold and cheesecloth, flip, replace in cheesecloth and mold and press again at ~2 pounds per US gallon or 0.5 kg per liter of milk used for 15 minutes.
  17. Remove the cheese from the mold and cheesecloth, flip, replace in cheesecloth and mold and press again at ~5 pounds per 1 US gallon / 1 kg per 1 liter of milk for about 1 hour.
  18. Remove the cheese from the mold and cheesecloth, flip, replace in cheesecloth and mold and press again at ~12 pounds per 1 US gallon / 1.5 kg per 1 liter of milk for final ~8-16 hours (i.e. overnight).
  19. Remove the cheese from the press and cheesecloth.
  20. Prepare a saturated brine for the cheese by combining ½ gallon water with 1 lb. cheese salt and bringing to a boil. Stir until salt is dissolved and remove from heat. Add 1 cup whey.
  21. Stir in ½ teaspoon of calcium chloride solution and 1 teaspoon of white vinegar. This will keep the rind from becoming gummy and bring the pH of the brine close to the pH of the cheese. Let the brine cool to room temperature before using. The temperature of the brine should be the same as the cheese.
  22. Place in saturated brine solution for 3-4 hours per pound or 0.5 kg of pressed curds. Sprinkle some salt on top, and be certain to turn the cheese a few times to ensure even rind development.
  23. Note, after brining the cheese will have lost ~5% weight and the outer surface will have become firmer and almost tough.
  24. Place the cheese on a drying mat. After 1-5 days the cheese should be dry to touch and then it can be waxed. Or it can continue to be aged with a natural rind.
  25. If natural rind, if unwanted molds appear on rind, clean with a low 2-3% brine and cloth or disposable paper towel. After cheese hardens, a brush can be used with brine.
  26. Turn cheese and replace mat if moist initially every 2 days then every week and eventually every month if age that long.
  27. Consume after 2 weeks to several years. Flavor changes with age.

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