Sunday, July 11, 2010
Today, with a gallon of nice whole milk to use up, we opted to try a hard cheese, in this case a Monterey Jack recipe from Ricki the Cheese Queen. We started by pasteurizing the milk, bringing it to 145ºF for half an hour. Then, once it cooled to the lukewarm range enjoyed by mesophilic starter culture, we pitched in our culture and half a rennet tablet. Then we kept the milk lukewarm and waited half an hour or so.
After an hour or two we had begun to see how a four-litre jug of milk turns into nothing more than 400-odd grams of cheese. The curds were much smaller and more rubbery and there was a ton of whey.
The next morning we unweighted and unwrapped the cheese and began letting it dry for a couple of days. After that we'll wax it and then we'll age it for at least a couple of months in a cool area in the basement.