Selected Recipes

28 Semi-Hard Cheese —Washed

1. Brine Brick

Introduction

The descriptor, brine, is used to distinguish brine salted Brick cheese from the modern version which is similar to Colby. Brine Brick is a sweet, mild version of German Brick. Its texture is similar to that of Harvarti.

The acidity of Brine Brick cheese is determined mainly by the amount of lactose removed during washing. There is little acid development until after hooping because the inoculum is small and the milk is not ripened before renneting. It is mild and sweet in flavour and lacks the sharpness of Cheddar and the strong flavour of Limburger and German Brick. Brine brick cheese should be clean, free from checks and molds, and have a rind with a predominantly smooth surface. The cheese should present a neat attractive appearance and be of uniform size and shape. The sides should be square, not bulged.

Standards

42% moisture; 29% fat (see, Table 6.1).

Milk

Milk standardized to PF = 1.04 will make a legal cheese according to Canadian standards, but a higher fat cheese is preferred. PF = 0.90 is suggested. If desired a small amount of annatto based cheese colour may be added to create a creamier appearance, especially when the cows are off fresh pasture.

Procedure

  1. Pasteurize (72°C, 16 s or 62.5°C, 30 min).
  2. Add a low (relative to Cheddar, for example) amount of DVS mesophilic cultures and ripen for 1 h at 30 – 31°C. Normally Lactococcus lactis and/or cremoris cultures are used along with heterofermentative lactics such as Leuconostic mesenteroides subsp. cremoris and Lactococcus diacetylactis to promote an open structure.
  3. While the milk is ripening: (1) add 20 mL of a solution of 30% CaCl2 per 100 Kg of milk; and (2) If desired, a small amount of cheese colour may be added according to the manufacturer’s instructions. About 0.5 ml/100Kg milk is sufficient.
  4. Measure 5,000 IMCU of coagulant per 100 Kg milk. Dilute the coagulant in at least 200 mL of water per 100 L of milk. Ensure the milk temperature in the vat is stabilized at 30 – 31°C; then add the diluted rennet into the vat with the agitators running. Agitate for about two minutes and then remove the agitators. Setting should occur in 30 to 40 min.
  5. When the curd breaks cleanly, cut to pieces of 5 – 8 mm in diameter. Acid development at this stage should be minimal (whey pH 6.5 – 6.6).
  6. Agitate for 10 min. Agitation should be as gentle as possible without allowing the curd to settle or form clumps and then begin to cook. Follow the heating schedule carefully.
Cooking Time Temperature
Begin heating 30.0°C
5 min 30.5°C
10 min 31.0°C
15 min 33.0°C
20 min 36.0°C
  1. Hold the temperature at 36.0°C and continue to agitate for another 30 minutes or until the curd is sufficiently dry. The pH should be 6.3 – 6.4.
  2. Drain the whey to a level of 2.5 cm (1”) above the curd and add water at 36°C. The required amount is 50% of the original weight of milk, or about the equivalent of the amount of whey removed. Hold the curd in the water with gentle agitation for 15 min to allow the lactose in the curd and water to equilibrate. Short holding times result in acid cheese. Longer holding times or excess water results in bland cheese.
  3. Drain the whey/water to a level 2.5 cm above the curd.
  4. Dip the curd and whey into rectangular perforated molds on a drain table. Alternatively, the curd and whey may be moved with a positive rotary pump. Add curds to each mold in rotation until they are full.
  5. Turn the hoops at 5, 10, 30, 60, and 90 minutes and occasionally thereafter. Add the metal followers after the first turn. If the curd does not form smooth sides, a little hot water may be sprayed over the curd to close up the cheese and form a good finish.
  6. Cover the molds with plastic sheets and store for up to 16 h at room temperature. The pH should be 5.2 – 5.3.
  7. Remove the cheese from the molds and place in 25% salt brine for 24 h at 10 – 15°C. If the cheese molds were of atypical size and shape, brine for periods estimated from the cheese weight and thickness as 1 h per 0.9 Kg per cm OR 1 h per pound per inch (see, Section 14.9).
  8. Inoculate the surfaces of the cheese with a smear culture according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Disperse the culture in water or in a 3% brine and spray onto the cheese surfaces. Or, the cheese can be dipped into the inoculated brine. An alternative is the traditional practice of “back slopping,” in which smear is transferred from a ripe cheese. This can be direct transfer or via wooden molds or wooden shelves. This practice is discouraged by some due to the risk of accumulation of Listeria monocytogenes and other pathogenic bacteria in the curing room. However, the risk associated with these complex “ecosystems” (smears) is not well characterized.
  9. After removal from the brine, ripen the cheese at approximately 15°C with a relative humidity of 90 – 95%. Alternatively, the cheese can be placed on plastic mats in large plastic tubs with loose fitting lids to allow some air exchange and maintain humidity. During curing, yeasts corynebacterium such as Bacterium linens, and other organisms form an orange-red smear on the surface of the cheese. The inoculated brine can be sprayed onto the cheese every day until the colored growth is noticeable. The growth should be quite luxurious after about 2 weeks.
  10. Gently wash and turn the cheese every day for about 12 – 15 days. Washing is done with a damp cloth dipped in a 3% brine solution. Moisten the entire surface of the cheese with the salt water and brush or wipe off any mold that appears.
  11. After the smear has developed sufficiently (15 – 30 days), rinse the cheese with cold water, gently brush off excess smear, and then allow the cheese to dry. If a milder flavored cheese is desired, the smear may be washed off the cheese at an earlier date.
  12. After the final washing, dry the cheese for 4 – 6 h and then vacuum pack. Place the packaged cheese in a curing room at 5 – 7°C for 1 – 3 months.

Process and Quality Control Notes

Acidity: excessive acidity can result from too much culture. The pH at 3 – 4 days should be 5.1 – 5.2

Gas formation: coliform bacteria may grow in the cheese during draining and salting, causing early gas that gives rise to pinholes or to a spongy condition. Coliform organisms can be controlled by pasteurization and by avoiding post pasteurization contamination. Late gas formation by Clostridia organisms may occur due to insufficient acid and salt.

Lack of smear development: a smear will not grow if the humidity in the curing room is too low or if the cheese surface is not kept moist. It may be necessary to re-inoculate with more smear culture.

Mold growth: if the cheese is not washed often enough, molds may grow on the cheese. The molds will not grow if a good smear is developing.

2. Colby

Colby cheese was named after a township in Southern Wisconsin in the 1880s. Colby is high moisture, open-textured, soft-bodied and quick-curing. It is sometimes called Farmer’s cheese. The make procedure for Colby is similar to Cheddar until the correct pH is attained for draining. At this time, the final acidity of Colby is adjusted by washing to remove lactose and acid, while in Cheddar manufacture, lactose is removed by curd ripening (Cheddaring), a process of further fermentation and syneresis.

Standards

42% moisture; 29% fat (see, Table 6.1).

Milk

Milk standardized to PF up to 0.96 will make a legal cheese according to Canadian standards. PF of 0.91 is recommended.

Procedure

  1. Pasteurize (72°C for 16 s or 62.5°C for 30 min).
  2. Add sufficient DVS mesophilic cultures to lower the pH to 6.3 (ready for washing and draining in about 3 h). Normally Lactococcus lactis and/or cremoris cultures are used. Ripen for 1 h at 30 – 31°C or until acidity increases by 0.005 – 0.001%.
  3. While the milk is ripening: (1) add 20 mL of a solution of 30% CaCl2 per 100 Kg of milk; and (2) if colour is desired, add annatto based cheese colour according to preference and/or the manufacturer’s instructions. There is an industry convention that provides some consistency, such that generally 7 mL of “single-strength” colour is sufficient for 100 Kg milk. Dilute the colour with about 150 mL of water per 100 Kg of milk and distribute over the vat with agitation.
  4. Measure 5,000 IMCU of coagulant per 100 Kg milk. Dilute the coagulant in at least 200 mL of water per 100 L of milk. Ensure the milk temperature in the vat is stabilized at 30 – 31°C; then add the diluted rennet into the vat with the agitators running. Agitate for about two minutes and then remove the agitators. Setting should occur in 30 – 40 min.
  5. When the curd breaks cleanly, cut into pieces of 5 – 8 mm. Agitate gently or as vigorous as required to prevent matting.
  6. Start cooking about 10 min after cutting. Increase temperature from 30 – 39°C during 30 min. Heat slowly at first, about 1°C every 5 min.
Cooking Time Temperature
Begin heating 30.0°C
5 min 30.5°C
10 min 31.0°C
15 min 32.5°C
20 min 35.0°C
25 min 37.0°C
30 min 39.0°C
  1. Hold at 39°C until whey pH is 6.2 – 6.3. This process should take 75 min from the time the temperature reaches 39°C or 2 h from the time of cutting. If the acidity is increasing too quickly, the temperature may be raised slightly (maximum 40°C) to retard the culture.
  2. When whey pH is 6.2 – 6.3, drain the whey down to the level of the curd.
  3. Add water at 15°C until the curd-water mixture is 26°C. If wash water is below 15°C, use less water. Colder water produces a higher moisture cheese. Warmer water produces a lower moisture cheese. Stir when adding water for an additional 15 minutes.Alternatively, transfer the curd to a drain table leaving about 5 – 8 cm of whey in the bottom of the table. Add water (7 – 14% of original weight) at the required temperature to give a final temperature of 26°C.
  4. Drain completely by piling curd at the sides of the vat. Curd should not mat.
  5. Add salt at the rate of 2.5% of expected yield. A rough estimate for milk of typical composition is 10 Kg cheese per 100 Kg of milk which would require 0.25 Kg of salt. A more accurate yield estimate can be obtained using the equation below. Allow 15 min for the salt to dissolve before hooping. Hoop in 20 lb (9 Kg) Cheddar hoops. Colby cheese may lose shape in large sizes.

Yield\:=\:\frac{(0.93F\:+\:(0.78P\:-\:0.1)(1.09))}{1\:-\:M}

Where:

F = Fat content of milk

P = Protein content of milk

M = Target cheese moisture expressed as a fraction

Note: for Colby, estimate 40% moisture and insert 0.40 into the equation.

  1. Press overnight at 140 – 200 kPa (20 – 30 lbs/in2). Start with low pressure and gradually increase to the desired maximum. In modern commercial practice, pressing is often shortened to as little as one hour.
  2. Vacuum package in film and cure at 7 – 13°C for 1 – 3 months.

Process and Quality Control Notes

Colby cheese has higher moisture and a softer body than Cheddar, and never attains the sharp character of Cheddar.

Acid-sour flavour: this defect may be caused by too much acid development in the vat before draining. It may also be caused by poor culture activity and a lack of acid development at draining. If the culture is not growing properly and acid is not being produced, then the curd will be high in moisture and lactose. The lactose later ferments producing a sour acid cheese.

Fermented flavour: this is caused by a lack of acid development due to a poor starter or starter inhibition. If the cheese pH is above 5.4, the cheese will inevitably be fermented and fruity.

Woody, corky body: this defect may be caused by lack of acid development, washing the curd with too much water, prolonged holding of the curd in the water, or by cooking over 40°C.

Mottled cheese: this defect is usually due to lack of acid development, or by salting too soon after draining. Short draining time before salting and pressing may also result in slight mottling.

3. Gouda

Standard

43% moisture; 28% fat (see, Table 6.1).

Milk

Milk standardized to PF = 1.07 will make a legal cheese according to Canadian standards, but lower ratios are often used. If desired, a small amount of annatto based cheese color may be added to create a creamier appearance, especially when the cows are off fresh pasture.

Procedure

  1. Pasteurize (72°C, 16 s or 62.5°C, 30 min).
  2. Add sufficient DVS mesophilic cultures to produce pH of about 6.3 – 6.4, ready for washing, in 2.5 to 3 h. Normally Lactococcus lactis and/or cremoris cultures are used along with heterofermentative lactics such as Leuconostic mesenteroides subsp. cremoris and Lactococcus diacetylactis to promote an open structure.
  3. Ripen at 30 – 31°C for about an hour or until an increase of 0.005 – 0.01 in titratable acidity is achieved.
  4. While the milk is ripening: (1) add 20 mL of a solution of 30% CaCl2 per 100 Kg of milk; and (2) if desired, a small amount of annatto based cheese colour according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Typically 0.1 – 0.2 mL per 100 Kg of milk is sufficient.
  5. Measure 5,000 IMCU of coagulant per 100 Kg milk. Dilute the coagulant in at least 200 mL of water per 100 L of milk. Ensure the milk temperature in the vat is stabilized at 30 – 31°C; then add the diluted rennet into the vat with the agitators running. Agitate for about two minutes and then remove the agitators. Setting should occur in 30 – 40 min.
  6. When curd cuts cleanly, cut into 5 – 8 mm cubes. Agitate gently but as vigorous as required to prevent matting for 20 – 30 minutes. Whey pH should be 6.4 – 6.5.
  7. Run off one-third of the whey and slowly add water at 60°C to give final temperature of 36 – 38°C. The volume of water should be 20 – 25% of the amount of milk. Add the water slowly during 15 – 20 min with continual stirring. Continue stirring for another 15 min after all the water is added.
  8. Move the curd and sufficient whey to cover the curd to a press table and press for 10 – 30 min.
  9. Drain the whey and cut to fit cloth lined hoops. Press at 100 kPa (14 psi) for 5 – 8 h with occasional turning. After first turning, increase pressure to 200 kPa (28 psi). The pH after pressing should be 5.3 – 5.5.
  10. Immerse in 25% salt brine for periods estimated from the cheese weight and thickness as 1 h per 0.9 Kg per cm OR 1 h per pound per inch (see, Section 14.9).
  11. Wax or pack in plastic film and incubate at 15°C, 4 – 6 weeks. Then store at 10°C for 6 – 12 months.

The pH after salting should be 5.15 – 5.25. During ripening the pH should increase to 5.3 – 5.5.

4. Montasio (Friulano)

Montasio is a washed curd variety of Italian origin. Relative to other Italian varieties, such as Romano and Parmesan, Montasio employs a low cooking temperature (final temperature 43°C), but still requires a thermophilic culture. The curd may be pre-pressed under the whey to obtain smoother and more uniform texture. Lipase may be added to produce a more piquant flavour. Montasio is produced in wheels of 2 – 8 Kg and is ripened 2 – 4 months for mild table cheese and 12 – 18 months for grating cheese. The mild version is normally vacuum packed before curing.

The aged version is cured at 10°C and is washed and turned regularly. After several weeks, the ripening cheese may be oiled, waxed or vacuum packed. Montasio is similar to the Canadian cheese, Friulano.

Standards

40% moisture; 28% fat (see, Table 6.1).

Milk

Milk standardized to PF = 1.0 will make a legal cheese according to Canadian standards. However, a higher fat content may be desirable to obtain a creamier product.

Procedure

  1. Pasteurize (72°C, 16 s or 62.5°C, 30 min).
  2. Add sufficient DVS Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus in equal proportions to produce pH of 6.1 – 6.2 ready for washing and draining after about 3 h. Alternatively, mesophilic cultures may be used as the principal starters.
  3. Ripen at 30°C for 1 h or until acidity increases 0.005 – 0.01%.
  4. While the milk is ripening add 20 mL of a solution of 30% CaCl2 per 100 Kg of milk.
  5. Measure 5,000 IMCU of coagulant per 100 Kg milk. Dilute the coagulant in at least 200 mL of water per 100 L of milk. Ensure the milk temperature in the vat is stabilized at 30 – 31°C; then add the diluted rennet into the vat with the agitators running. Agitate for about two minutes and then remove the agitators. Setting should occur in 30 to 40 min.
  6. When the curd breaks cleanly cut into pieces of 5 – 8 mm. Agitate gently but as vigorous as required to prevent matting.
  7. Heat (slowly at first — 2 degrees every 5 minutes) to a final temperature of 39°C. Hold at 39°C until the pH of the whey is 6.1 (about 2 h from the time of cutting).
  8. Drain whey to the level of the curd.
  9. Add hot water (60°C) until the curd-whey mixture is 43°C. Hold at 43°C for 10 min with agitation.
  10. Drain completely.
  11. Place curd in cylindrical forms and let drain at room temperature overnight.
  12. Immerse in 22% salt brine for periods estimated from the cheese weight and thickness as 1 h per 0.9 Kg per cm OR 1 h per pound per inch (see, Section 14.9).
  13. Ripen at 85% RH and 12°C for 1 – 3 months. Rub oil on the surface to prevent checking. Alternatively, the cheese may be waxed or vacuum packed to produce a rindless cheese.

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Cheese Making Technology e-Book by Arthur Hill and Mary Ann Ferrer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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