June 13, 2010
I decided to continue my experiments with the same cheese as last time. However, I decided to slightly change the way I made it. Firstly I wanted to see if a slow simmering instead of a quick would change the texture of the cheese produced. By using the soapstone vessel and raising the pot accordingly I was able to better control the temperature, though I realised that I would have had to monitor the pot a bit better as it started to boil as soon as I turned my back to it.
After noticing that it was boiling, I raised the pot a few steps on the chain, which effectively lowered the temperature a fair bit, and let the content of the pot stay simmering. The result was that cheesecurds formed in a sligthly different manner. The curds were a bit larger and stuck together differently than in the former cheese. I took up the cheese which was somweat more dry and less sour than the previous attempt. I pressed it through a piece of hempcloth that I had found in the backroom. Using this method I managed to get the curds far drier than in the previous attempt. The cheese was mixed with salt and the local leek as last time. In order to let it to dry quicker it was hung in the hemp cloth above the fire. My plan was to let it absorb some of the smoke there.
Due to some problems with keeping the fire the following day the cheese was only dried, not smoked, and had apparently absorbed some taste from the hemp.
Though the taste was lacking, I still found the method of simmer rather than boiling the milk rather fruitful, and will explore this further.