Holy Emmantal Batman!

Well, the four months were up on the weekend for ripening of my Emmantal cheese.  Here is a before shot during eye formation, just to refresh your memories.

So on Saturday, we cracked open the wheel and this is what we found.

There was a 3cm split on the top and It was a little infected with Penicillin Roquefort, however the Propioni Shermanii culture did its work.  Well some of the work in most part of the cheese.  I believe that even though I gave the wheel a wash of brine a couple of times a week as per the recipe, after I let the eyes form, the rind is far too thick.  I think that because the cheese was not waxed, as stated in the recipe, it just hardened too much.  I am going to make another wheel on Friday, but this time I will wax it after the three weeks of eye development.  It would make for a more moist cheese and probably avoid the blue vein infection.

Now, how did it taste I hear you ask.  Well, it tasted like a Swiss type cheese like you can buy in the supermarket, however there was an obvious difference due to the Penicillin Roquefort culture.  It was very nice, and both Kim and Pam (Kim’s Mum) agreed that it was a very tasty cheese.  The rind had a very strong flavour and as you can see more eyes formed closer to the rind than in the centre.  Here is it sliced on a platter.

The quarter I served up was very holey indeed.  Easy to cut and great flavour with a plain cracker.  I really liked the extra flavour in the blue vein part!

I highly recommend this cheese to anyone thinking of making it, but do think about waxing it after the eye formation.  When made commercially this cheese is made in 60-80 kg wheels, which aids the uniformaty of the eye formation.  Apparently, from what I have read, the bigger the emmental, the larger and more frequent the eyes. 

All in all, not a bad effort for a beginner on this type of cheese, so rock on next Friday!  I am a firm believer of learning by mistakes.  The next one will be even better!


  1. says

    @ beekeeper. Please send me an email so that we can have a proper converstion. It is a little difficult to communicate via a post that is over 18 months old


  2. beekeeper says

    Thanks Gavin. I have read your resume on the two books and actually I have seen a video put out by Ricki Carrol which was quite helpful. I’ll think about buying the books, though I was hoping there may be something better out there perhaps published in Australia or NZ.

    As for the ricotta, I can’t see that it will dilute the taste of the final product any more than sage leaves or dried cranberries (for examples). Anyway, I’ll let you know in due course. I suspect the best way would be to add todays ricotta to tomorrows cheese because of the time factor. I have used the whey for making bread which was very nice, but it only used a small amount.

    One thing I am not sure about in cheesemaking is the relationship between the ingredients, temperatures and timings to the final product. For example, your Caerphilly recipe calls for 1 ml of CaCl whereas the Wensleydale calls for 3 ml. Why the difference when it is the same type of milk? Similarly, Caerphilly calls for 3ml rennet at 32 degrees, whereas Whensleydale calls for 2.5ml at 30 degrees. Again, why? Does more rennet make it set faster and thus make a harder cheese, for example? I imagine if one understands these things one could formulate one’s own cheese.

  3. says

    @ Beekeeper. Welcome to the giddy world of cheesemaking. Once you taste your first one, you will wonder why you didn’t start the hobby years ago. I did a cheese book review a few years ago that you can read. It was called The Tale of Two Cheese Books.

    As for adding the Ricotta to the curds at milling, I have not tried it myself as it may dilute the strength of the starter culture in the final product. Let me know how it goes please, as I would be keen to here how it tastes.


  4. beekeeper says

    Thanks Gavin for your generosity in sharing what you are doing and learning. I am a new hobby home cheesemaker in Canada and found you first on youtube with your Caerphilly and Wensleydale videos and now have found your blog. What is the book you are getting these recipes from? I have an old (1972) book on English cheeses which describes how they are made but doesn’t actually give a recipe per se. One thing I have tried and would appreciate your comments on is making ricotta with the whey and adding that to the cheese when I crumbled it up prior to salting. It seemed one way of extracting the maximum from the milk I had paid for. Unfortunately there is nowhere round here where I can go for a workshop so I am self-taught (except for youtube & my book). So far I have made six cheeses whilst I familiarise myself with the technique and will taste the first one in a couple of weeks, though a bit early, when I have special visitors from UK. It’s a fascinating subject.

  5. says

    Mmmm… my mouth is watering! Don’t forget that the “invention” of Pilsner beer was also an accident 😉

    You’ve definitely inspired me to get serious about cheesemaking. After all, didn’t someone say, “Blessed are the Cheesemakers…”? 😛

  6. says

    Looks Intrasant,

    I can certainly see what you mean about the rind it would certainly break my heart to not use that much of the cheese.

    It is hard to balance contamination, I personally would agree that contamination with blue isn’t an issue. I know quite a few hobby cheese makers that will only make one type of cheese a day and then box them all up separately before putting them in the “cave”.

    As you found even those types of precautions and being extremely careful sometimes contamination just happens. Luckily it’s from the happy accidents that our knowledge deepens and skills grow.

    Kind Regards

  7. ecoMILF says

    Hey Gavin,

    Congrats on the cheese even if it didn’t turn out exactly how you wanted. If I were you I’d still be very proud and excited- you did wait for 4 months!!! It has to be good just because of the anticipation factor. Hope you’re well and thanks for continuing to post informative and educational entries on climate change and what the Australian government is doing or not doing about it. It’s really helpful to have someone like you write articulate and succinct newsflashes for people like me who don’t have a lot of time to read the paper and decipher what it all means. xo Meagan.

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