Expanding cheese

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  • #5544 Reply
    Sigurd Asvaldsson


    The day after waxing my cheese it had started to expand and broken the wax

    I used fresh cow milk 12L strait from the farmers tank.
    Heated up to 32c, added culture milk from the store, after 30 min added rennet, after 40 min cut the kurd, after 5 min started warming up to 39c and stirring fore 40 min, stirred fire Additional 30 min, took out the curd and broke down to small pieces, Salted, pressed with 10 kg on each side fore 5 hours, pressed with 20kg fore 12 hours, waxed.

    Now it has expanded an broken the wax.., looking fore some tips on what I did wrong and how to proceed.

    #5551 Reply
    Tom Moran

    Sigurd, my guess is that you didn’t do anything wrong. I think you may be dealing with some wild bacteria that is causing the early blowing. While raw milk has great taste and benefits it is also a wild card when trying to make cheese consistently.

    #5552 Reply
    Tom Moran

    And I should add that my advice is to throw it away. Personally, I hate throwing out cheese’s unless I give them every chance to mature in the right direction, but with blowing I always make an exception. It is usually caused by coliform bacteria or wild yeast and even tame yeast. If you were making bread at the same time you are making cheese it would explain it. In any event I would throw it away.

    #8171 Reply

    Hi Sigurd. Just a note in passing… The swelling in your swiss cheese is actually a very good sign. It means the gasses required to make ‘holes’ in the cheese are doing their job. Perhaps you waxed your cheese just a wee bit early, unfortunately. You should place your cheese in a warm room for 2 to 3 weeks after air drying. This will activate the gasses and make lovely holes in your cheese. And no, it does not mean eating the cheese could be dangerous. Enjoy!

    #8176 Reply

    Hi all – just found Curd Nerd and how serendipitous there is query on expanding cheese at the top!

    We’ve had a similar issue, albeit with a non-waxed cheese – more like a tomme, that we are making with our own raw goats milk. Its expands while air drying, or even sometimes in the form. Three months in to ageing we’ve cut it out of curiosity and the cheese is riddled with tiny holes all the way through- so many that it has a sponge-like texture, or looks like the inside of an aero chocolate bar! Flavour is pretty good – like a manchego actually – but texture terrible. We’ve made another since, which expanded less, and will let it age 6 months before testing. Would you say this is also wild bacteria / yeast contamination? And are these wild bacteria always bad? NB I should say that we’re following natural cheese making principles to explore what we can do with our own raw milk and its natural cultures before we start buying in cultures from elsewhere.

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