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The Evolution of a Irish Whiskey Cheddar Cheese

Using the recipe from Mary Karlin's book Artisan Cheese Making at Home, this cheese was made with MA4001-4002 series thermophilic culture, Annatto seed extract for orange color and cheap Irish whiskey.

Five gallon milk batch. Cheddar curds prior to draining.

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Who wants orange Ricotta? The color does not flavor the Ricotta but will make a nice base for pumpkin spiced Ricotta for Cannolis.

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Curds are stacked (cheddared) by lifting 50% of the curd mass onto itself. This is done 3-4 times with a 10-15 minute rest inbetween.

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Vat is tipped to allow for whey drainage during the cheddaring process. All this is done while maintaining 102f(38.8c) temperature.

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Seen here prior to whiskey bath and the 2-3 month aging period.Into the cheap whiskey she goes for eight hours at 52-55f. Then, either wax or age au naturel. I prefer the natural rind, since you can control mold growth on the rind via salt/vinegar wash and if blue mold get into the cheese, it will only add another flavor to the profile.

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Notice the color is a bit more pronounced after taking a cheap whiskey bath. A small amount of whiskey was obsorbed into the cheese.

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cheddar-d.jpg Long time cheese maker William helps his son Owen cut the curds for their Cheddar.. After the curds are pressed for the first 30 minutes, the cheese is bandaged by Owen for further pressing.
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