For all of you studying for the “Big Dance” in July or simply wanting to expand your cheese knowledge with facts and not myths, I have started a Cheese Study Group at Facebook. It is open to anyone wanting to learn more about the world of cheese. Come join our 2015 Cheese Study Group.
The group is following the American Cheese Society Body of Knowledge which consists of Nine Domains. This is our “cheese bible”.
For Domain 2 (Cheesemaking Processes) , I created this bullet point list with terms to know:
ACS Body of Knowledge – Domain Two – Cheesemaking Processes – Bullet Points
- Cheesemaking forms the basis for classifying cheese. (Other ways to classify cheese will be discussed in Domain 6: Cheese Types and Categories).
- Choices made by the cheesemaker, in both the technical and scientific choices, will dictate the type cheese he/she is making: Fresh, Surface-ripened, washed rind, pressed, washed curd, pasta filata, cooked curd, pressed curd, brined, acid-set, whey.
- The general yield of milk to cheese is between 8 and 12 pounds of milk to make 1 pound of cheese. The solids (fat and protein primarily) in the milk contribute to the yield ratio.
- Fat content in cheese is a required, reportable ingredient listed on the cheese according to the country of origin and country where sold. It can be reported in grams per serving or as Fat in Dry Matter (FDM).
- High fat is above 60% FDM; full fat is 45-60% FDM; medium fat is 25-44% FDM; low fat is 10 to 24% FDM and skim is below 10% FDM.
- To figure your FDM, you must first determine the amount of moisture in the cheese. For example in a one pound wedge of cheese with 65% moisture; the remaining solids account for 35%. If the FDM is 60% then the actual fat in that one pound wedge is 3.36 ounces. (16 ounces multiplied by .35 solid matter = 5.6 ounces of solids multiplied by .60 for the fat in the dry matter = 3.36 ounces of fat in the dry matter of the 16 ounce wedge.)
- Various equipment used in cheesemaking includes pumps, milk cans, vats, bulk tanks on trailer trucks, open vats, double O style vats, cheesecloth, wires and harps for cutting curd, molds and testing devices.
- Study Max McCalman’s (Mastering Cheese) chapter on the Eight Basic Steps in Cheesemaking as originally laid out byFrankKosikowski (Trivia: Frank was the first president of the ACS). They are:
- Setting the Milk (Acidification and Coagulation) – starter cultures will “start” the process and rennet will cause coagulation to occur. It is also at the point that the cheesemaker must decide whether to pasteurize his milk or use raw milk to create his cheese.
- Cutting the Curds – size of the curd will dictate the moisture content in the cheese; the larger the curd, the higher the moisture content and the smaller the curd, the lower the moisture content of the cheese. For example, camembert may consist of one large single ladle of curd while a grana-style cheese will consist of curds the size of rice.)
- Cooking and Holding – some amount of heating and cooking the curds and holding the curds while the effects of acidification, cutting and heating proceed. The curds must be treated gently throughout the cheesemaking process so they won’t break and can dry at the desired, measured rate. Higher moisture cheese curds are heated to a lower temperature while lower moisture cheese curds will be heated to a higher temperature. (Surface-ripened cheese curds will be heated to no more than 75°F whereas a grana-style cheese curds may be heated to a temperature of as much as 125°F.)
- Dipping and Draining – at this point the curds can be ladled and transferred into molds where draining off of the whey can occur. Or the cheesemaker can simply open a valve in the vat and let the whey drain away.
- Knitting the Curd – during this stage, the curds fuse together into a uniform body and begin to form a distinct consistency. Depending on the cheese, the knitting can occur in the vat, hoop, basket, mold or press depending on the cheese-type goal of the maker. (This is when the Cheddaring of cheddar cheese occurs; a process unique to the cheese bearing its name.)
- Pressing – this step may take a few hours or several days with various degrees of pressing taking place depending on the style cheese being made. Soft and semi-soft cheese may be subjected to little or no pressing.
- Salting – one of the main ingredients in cheese for taste but also for moisture reduction and control of bacteria and molds. Dry-salting can occur before or after pressing. Wet-salting is generally referred to as brining.
- Special Treatment (Curing) – at this point the cheese is entering the end of the making and special treatments are used to take the curds, which are now cheese, and make them into great cheese. Special treatments include rubbing, wrapping in cloth, leaves or bark, brushing, washing and spraying. Curing is the term used to describe the desired treatments to be used during the aging process.
Terms to know:
Acid Set Alpine Bloomy Rind Cheddar Cheddaring Cheese Yield Cheesecloth Coagulation Dipping Draining Fat in Dry Matter (FDM) Fresh Cheeses Full Fat Grana Harp High Fat Homogenization Hoops; Hooping Inoculation Knitting Lactic Set Maillard Reaction Milk fat Content Open Vat Pasta Filata Pasteuriztion pH pH Meter Pressing Pressed Cheese Rennet Set Salting Surface-Ripened Syneresis Tomme Washed Rind
Interviews will continue throughout 2015… sometimes, they will be “stand-alone” and sometimes they will be presented as round-table discussions with several Cheese Professionals answering the same question. Those participating includeCheesemakers, ACS CCPs™, Cheesemongers and Cheese Professionals and Experts who contribute to this Wonderful World we call “Cheese”.
List of 2015 Cheese Professionals.
List of all Cheese Professionals Bios.
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