Recipe for Nöst Cheese


The ingredients

This is the recipe that I use to make the cheese. I follow this one as to the point as I can.

 

Ingredients:

5 l 4% whole milk
3 dl 37% cream
2,5 ml Calcium chloride
(for the type I use, follow what your package say) 
Mesozoic bacteria culture for 5 liter. (also here, read the package)
5 ml Rennet (for the type I use, follow what your package say) 

To make Key-Nöst, add: (Still being testet - try on own risk)
1 ts Cloves
3 ts Caraway seed
Crush the spices lightly in a mortar and add it at the same time as you add the milk - that's first in the process.

Saturated salt brine - enough to cover the cheese.

First,  clean the bench and all the equipment and your hands. That's important when you are working with food that's going to ferment. You want as little possibility of contamination as possible.  If you use unpasteurized milk, it must be pasteurized and cooled down to correct temperature.

 

Fill the 5 liters of whole milk and 6 dl of cream into the kettle, that you slowly warm up to 30°C.

You can use an electronic oven thermometer to get the correct temperature (I do). It works perfectly and is in line for my opinion that you should not have so much special equipment in the kitchen. You need a place to store all that equipment too and there is limited with space!

As it comes to 30°  remove the milk from the stove, and stir a bit to be sure that it won't get any hotter.

Calcium Chloride are to be mixed with 1/4 cup of water. Add it slowly while stirring.
Sprinkle the bacteria culture on top and leave for a minute to hydrate (you can see the culture on top of the milk if you click on it to see the bigger version). Then gently stir it in.
At last, add the rennet, mixed with a 1/4 cup of water, in a fine stream while stirring.

Stir for one minute (but not more than a minute), to mix in the rennet.

Leave the milk to curd.

After one hour, try it with a knife, as shown one picture down, and if it does not get a clean break, wait for 10 minutes more.

You know the curd is ready if you use a knife with the flat side up, and lift a bit of the «milk» up. If you get a clean break as shown on the picture (as almost always: you can click on the picture to get a big version), it's ready to be cut.

Yet again, I do not have any special tools to cut the curd. I guess they are smart, but they take space!

I use a knife, and first I cut diagonally and start with the knife as low as I can and after doing it one way, I also do it the opposite way. 

Then cut straight down both ways.

The goal is to end up with squares about 1 1/2 cm on each side.

Here you can see the curd, just after cutting it.

 

Leave the kettle to rest for 5 minutes.

 

Then stir carefully for 5 minutes. 

Just stir to make the wey come out. The curd pieces will be a bit smaller through that process, but they should not shrink to much.

Rest the kettle for 5 minutes to settle.

Heat a kettle with at least 1 litre of water in it (using the water at that tempeerature can kill the bacteria culture, so it must be added in a fine tream while stirring).

After the rest, remove 1 liter of wey.

That you replace with 1 liter of water that's heated to 60°C. Pour it in a fine stream while stirring. That should bring the mix up to about 33°C.

If the mix looks as if it should be to hot,  add some cold water to bring the temperature to the 33°C that's the target.

 

Then stir carefully for 10 minutes.

This removes acidity and makes the cheese milder. We will do this one more time later.

Then of cause, yet another 10 minutes with rest and settling.

While the curd mix is resting, warm up a kettle of water to 41°C.

Why 41°? Well mesozoic bacteria cultures do not like it to warm, so you want to keep it under 42°C. however, I want the mix to be about 35 - 38° for it's last rest, so therefore!

After the rest the curd will have settled to the bottom of the kettle.

Remove the wey down to the level of the top of the curd.

When the water has been added the temperature is supposed to be between 35 - 38°C.

If it gets to warm, add cold water! Do not let the mix get warmer then 39°C!

Then it's back to stirring again. This time for 20 minutes. This is the boring part of the cheese making!

Then it's the last rest. 

This one is 10 minutes. The curd will sink to the bottom and things will settle down a bit.

The wey is not going to be used, so just put the colander with the kitchen towel lining in the sink.

Use the ladle to ladle the wey and curd over. The last bit you can pour from the kettle.

There are uses for the wey, but I do not use it, so it's not in the recipe.

The colander got a 30 minutes break in the sink, so as much wey as possible would run down the drain.

I used to set the time to 15 minutes, but I feel that's a bit short time. You want as much wey as possible to run out, otherwise the cheese will get softer at the end. Most of what's left will be pressed out, but some will get presse in, and we do not want too much of that.
I also press out some of the wey by wrapping the cloth around it and press it into the colander. You get out a bit wey out in the beginning that way and the wey get some more time to run into the sink.

Then, start filling the press. 

The curd is firmer and hangs together like a cake, more or less. 

With 5 1/2 liters of milk/cream it looks like it's too much for my press.

The press looks full, but about one third of the curd in my case,  hadn't been added yet....

As you can see, I got it all in somehow.

It will look very overfilled, but as long as you can get it in enough to start pressing it, it's fine.

At last fold a cheese cloth (yeah I know - at the time of writing this my cheese cloths hadn't arrived in the mail yet so I'm using a cloth for making lemonade of fruit but it does the same job).

The lid was added to the press, and I pressed it as hard as I could to make a firmer cheese. 

Some wey came out but that is what it was supposed to do!

 

I set the press into a jig I've made to keep the press on it's side, so wey can run out. There is no hole in the bottom or the lid of this press, so the only place wey can run out, is where the lid meets the base.

So I made this jig to make things easier for me. It's working fine!

It needs to be in the press for 10 hours.

I unwrapped the cheese and I'm quite satisfied with how it turned out.

From the top, you can se the rings has been there, but it's still quite a nice surface....

...and the bottom was quite good. Of cause, you can see where the seam has gone, but all in all a nicely shaped cheese.

 

Now, put your cheese in the saturated brine. You can add some weight to it (I use glass coasters) to keep it under water!

 

For 12 hours it need to be in the brine. 

This is what gives the cheese saltiness and taste as the saltiness brings the tastes forward..

When you take the cheese out of the brine, rinse it quickly under the faucet.

Now the cheese needs to dry out. This will take from a day to three. I have discovered it goes faster if you turn the cheese quite often.

The cheese is going to be dry to the touch on the surface.

The time has come to vacuum pack the cheese before it gets hidden in my secret cellar storage for two months..

I measure on the vacuum roll, 7 cm longer then the cheese and cut the roll there.

The bag gets marked with Name of cheese - Cheese number (of that type of cheese) and the date is is supposed to be done aging.

 

The end of the bag is put into the vacuum machine.

It's important that it lays straight, so 7 cm extra is needed - It was perfect in length.

 

In the vacuum machine where it sucks out the air before it seals itself with heat.

 

Done!

Now the cheese is vacuumed and ready to go down in my basement where I have a fridge set to 7° (the fridge is broken and can just be used at that temperature).

At 7° it will take two months, since at 9-11° it is to take 6 weeks. It'll then get two more weeks in storage. I Turn my cheeses every day, but I'm sure that twice a week is more than enough.