Parmesan Cheese

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I have now made two batches of Parmesan cheese using the instructions in Ricki Carroll’s Home Cheese Making pages 140-141.  The photo is of one of the cheeses after 6 months of aging in the cheese cave. It looked and tasted like Parmesan – a success.

To assist myself in planning the day and keeping track of where I was, I summarized the steps and elapsed time in the following chart.  The key point is that there is a lot of work until step 8b, so it has to be convenient to be up and near the kitchen up to that point.

StepDescriptionTimeCum Time
1aHeat milk to 90 degrees F0:150:15
1bMix in starter and lipase and let ripen0:300:45
2aAdd rennet and mix0:010:46
2bWait for curds to set0:301:16
3Cut the curds into 1/4 inch cubes0:151:31
4Heat the curds to 100 degrees while stirring0:251:56
5aHeat the curds to 124 degrees while stiring0:402:36
5bSettle curds0:052:41
6aDrain whey0:052:46
6bPack curds into mold0:052:51
6cApply 5 lbs. of pressure0:153:06
7aRedress curds and turn over cheese0:053:11
7bApply 10 lbs. of pressure0:303:41
8aRedress curds and turn over cheese0:053:46
8bApply 15 lbs. of pressure2:005:46
9aRedress curds and turn over cheese0:055:51
9bApply 20 lbs. of pressure12:0017:51
10aUnwrap cheese0:0517:56
10bMake brine0:0518:01
10cSoak cheese in brine24:0042:01
11aRemove cheese from brine and pat dry
11bPlace in cave at 55 degrees and 85% humidity
15After 2 months rub surface with olive oil
16Age the cheese (2-6 months at 50 degrees)

For the first batch, I cut the curd with a curd knife, and continued to cut any largish curds.  For the second batch, I cut the curd with a whisk, which worked better at breaking the curd into small pieces.  In fact, I was so successful at separating the curds and the whey on the second batch, that I was concerned after the first 5 lb. pressing, that the curds were not going to adhere together fully.  It turned out that they did.

I did not make as much brine as suggested in the recipe, since it seemed to be overkill to have a gallon of brine for a cheese which was about 1.5 lbs..  I made half as much, and it turned out fine.

The photo is of one of the cheeses after the pressing and before brining.

After 6 months aging in cheese cave.
Cut in half after 6 months aging.


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