Dreamy's Delights

It's all about the food!

Beer Cheddar

on February 18, 2013

I finally got my wine fridge aka cheese cave! This means that I now have the proper environment for aging my cheeses. To celebrate, I made a recipe from Artisan Cheese Making at Home called Brew-Curd Cheddar. Basically this is a cheddar cheese and the curds are soaked in beer before being pressed. From the little nibbles I stole last night as I was milling and pressing the cheese, this should be an outstanding cheese. I must admit that I do tend to forget just how long it can take me to actually make cheese. If the recipe says five hours I need to remember that it will take me about 8 hours lol. I finally finished up about 230 this morning. It’s a very good thing I don’t have to be at work until 12:25pm!

So basically, this cheese is made with the standard cheddaring process where the curds are made, stirred and cooked for awhile and finally melted into a large mass which is then cut into strips. After the curds have been cut into roughly french fry size strips they soak in beer, giving them a lovely caramel color. The strips are then milled down to thumbnail size pieces then placed in molds and pressed. The picture below shows the strips of curds as I’m breaking them up. As I mentioned, the color is from the beer. I used an Oatmeal Stout for this and so far, the flavor is superb. (Yes, I nibbled on some curds while I was doing this lol)

beercheddarFeb182013

I think I may have overcooked the cheese at this point because the curds felt pretty dry and they have not come together into a solid mass in the press. This is one of those live and learn moments. One problem with making cheeses like this is that it takes so much time. I tend to get tired about halfway through and not watch the clock as closely as I should. I’m guessing that I lost count of how many times the curd mass was turned while I was steaming it over the whey. I probably overcooked it by about 15 minutes. This released too much whey and in turn the curds are too dry to meld properly. However, that does not mean the cheese is forever ruined. It just means I have an excuse to eat it sooner lol.

I learned another important lesson today. DO NOT drop a filled cheese mold on your foot! I lost my grip on one of the molds (I used three 12 oz molds instead of one large mold) and dropped it on the toes of my right foot. Those pretty blue spots across my middle toes hurt like holy heck and caused me to say many MANY bad words.

BruisedToesFeb182013

So all in all, I count this cheese an overall success but have a lot more to work on. So I’ll definitely be trying this recipe again!

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One response to “Beer Cheddar

  1. Thee D-Man says:

    Yummy

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