Five pound wheel of parmesan, see you in a year

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LoydB

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May 31, 2022
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This is another one that I want to be able to age unsealed in the cave, so I want it to be big enough to not dry out too hard or too fast. Parmesan is normally made with 2% milk. The farm where I get my raw milk has yet to convince the cows to produce low-fat milk, so I had to improvise.

1697149415886.png


I started with six gallons of raw milk. I put three gallons of it into Cambros, then let it sit in the fridge for 24 hours. This allows the cream to rise to the top, where I can skim it off. I drew a couple of lines here to show where the separation is. After skimming, I removed around a third of a gallon of cream.

1697148885935.png

1697148896748.png

1697148907999.png


I mixed the skimmed milk back in with 3 gallons of whole milk, and fired up the sous vide.

1697148971798.png


As usual, there's not much to see when adding cultures, rennet, etc. When the curds set, I used a whisk to break them up (parmesan is a very dry cheese, you want to get rid of a ton of the whey -- this is done with small curds and warm temp cooking).

1697149070909.png


Into my biggest mold, then into the press.

1697149101670.png

1697149112615.png


First press - 10# for 15 mins

1697149140099.png


Flip, then second press, 20# for 15m

1697149171766.png


Flip, then third press, 40# for 2 hours

1697149208636.png


Flip, then fourth press, overnight at 50# (roughly 13 hours)

1697149250568.png


For the final flip & press, 60# until the PH hits 5.4, which only took about 3 extra hours. I left the cheesecloth off for the final press to reduce the creases in the surface of the cheese.

Here's the final wheel.

1697149315871.png


Left at room temp for a day to let the bacteria continue to snack, then into a 30-hour brine (parmesan is a very salty cheese, so 6 hours/pound is what I went with).

1697149370832.png


It's air drying now, it will go into the cave probably tomorrow.
 
Man that is so awesome.

I keep telling myself.....nooooooo

But

I'm rethinking this
 
This is another one that I want to be able to age unsealed in the cave, so I want it to be big enough to not dry out too hard or too fast. Parmesan is normally made with 2% milk. The farm where I get my raw milk has yet to convince the cows to produce low-fat milk, so I had to improvise.

View attachment 678349

I started with six gallons of raw milk. I put three gallons of it into Cambros, then let it sit in the fridge for 24 hours. This allows the cream to rise to the top, where I can skim it off. I drew a couple of lines here to show where the separation is. After skimming, I removed around a third of a gallon of cream.

View attachment 678336
View attachment 678337
View attachment 678338

I mixed the skimmed milk back in with 3 gallons of whole milk, and fired up the sous vide.

View attachment 678339

As usual, there's not much to see when adding cultures, rennet, etc. When the curds set, I used a whisk to break them up (parmesan is a very dry cheese, you want to get rid of a ton of the whey -- this is done with small curds and warm temp cooking).

View attachment 678340

Into my biggest mold, then into the press.

View attachment 678341
View attachment 678342

First press - 10# for 15 mins

View attachment 678343

Flip, then second press, 20# for 15m

View attachment 678344

Flip, then third press, 40# for 2 hours

View attachment 678345

Flip, then fourth press, overnight at 50# (roughly 13 hours)

View attachment 678346

For the final flip & press, 60# until the PH hits 5.4, which only took about 3 extra hours. I left the cheesecloth off for the final press to reduce the creases in the surface of the cheese.

Here's the final wheel.

View attachment 678347

Left at room temp for a day to let the bacteria continue to snack, then into a 30-hour brine (parmesan is a very salty cheese, so 6 hours/pound is what I went with).

View attachment 678348

It's air drying now, it will go into the cave probably tomorrow.
Marking this for trying myself some day! Looks awesome
 
I am so close to jumping into making cheese. And this post is the #1 reason why....Parmesan.

How small would you say the curds were after stirring and cooking the whey out? In Gavin's video, he cooked them down to the size of rice grains.
 
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Absolutely a masterpiece. I'd love to try that cheese!
If you're near Austin in a year...

way cool!
Thank you.

Beautiful.
Thanks!

You are simply amazing Loyd. 👍
Thank you. :)

I'll second the amazing , and add an impressive .
Thanks!

LB, Quite a process and you seem to have it down pat !
The general process is pretty much nailed, but each new wheel has its own challenges.

Wow now that is a hunk of cheese.
Thank you.

Not much to say other than WOW!!
Thanks!

Man that is so awesome.

I keep telling myself.....nooooooo
I'm rethinking this
Thank you! I mean, you gotta do *something* with your time, why not cheese?

Marking this for trying myself some day! Looks awesome
Thanks!

I am so close to jumping into making cheese. And this post is the #1 reason why....Parmesan.

How small would you say the curds were after stirring and cooking the whey out? In Gavin's video, he cooked them down to the size of rice grains.
Mine weren't that tiny, but they were for sure smaller than a pea. The photo above shows my final curd size.


Did you buy the whey drip tray for the press? I assume the press is home made.
It came with the press, which is from New England Cheesemaker. If I had a functioning woodshop still, I would have made my own, but sadly those days are gone. The press comes with a spring weight, but I found it completely inaccurate except at the highest compression, so I just started using iron. To paraphrase Henry Rollins, "Fifty pounds is always fifty pounds..."
 
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Reactions: indaswamp
This is another one that I want to be able to age unsealed in the cave, so I want it to be big enough to not dry out too hard or too fast. Parmesan is normally made with 2% milk. The farm where I get my raw milk has yet to convince the cows to produce low-fat milk, so I had to improvise.

View attachment 678349

I started with six gallons of raw milk. I put three gallons of it into Cambros, then let it sit in the fridge for 24 hours. This allows the cream to rise to the top, where I can skim it off. I drew a couple of lines here to show where the separation is. After skimming, I removed around a third of a gallon of cream.

View attachment 678336
View attachment 678337
View attachment 678338

I mixed the skimmed milk back in with 3 gallons of whole milk, and fired up the sous vide.

View attachment 678339

As usual, there's not much to see when adding cultures, rennet, etc. When the curds set, I used a whisk to break them up (parmesan is a very dry cheese, you want to get rid of a ton of the whey -- this is done with small curds and warm temp cooking).

View attachment 678340

Into my biggest mold, then into the press.

View attachment 678341
View attachment 678342

First press - 10# for 15 mins

View attachment 678343

Flip, then second press, 20# for 15m

View attachment 678344

Flip, then third press, 40# for 2 hours

View attachment 678345

Flip, then fourth press, overnight at 50# (roughly 13 hours)

View attachment 678346

For the final flip & press, 60# until the PH hits 5.4, which only took about 3 extra hours. I left the cheesecloth off for the final press to reduce the creases in the surface of the cheese.

Here's the final wheel.

View attachment 678347

Left at room temp for a day to let the bacteria continue to snack, then into a 30-hour brine (parmesan is a very salty cheese, so 6 hours/pound is what I went with).

View attachment 678348

It's air drying now, it will go into the cave probably tomorrow.
This is awesome. Thanks the share!
 
I have to ask.... You use completely raw milk? It kind of pasteurizes with the SV right? What temp do you run it at?

No, I never get to pasteurization temps. The FDA says it’s fine after 60 days aging, but I’ve been using it for quick cheeses with no problem. I would not recommend raw milk to someone immune comprised out of an abundance of caution, but I have zero concerns about the farm I get it from.

If you’re uncomfortable with raw, a low-temp pasteurization can be done - 30 minutes at 145 degrees F. This preserves more of the good enzymes than the traditional high temp quick pasteurization.
 
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