Happy Cheese Makers Since 1978

Gruyere Recipe....New England Cheesemaking Supply

This is the classic 'mountain cheese' of France and Switzerland differentiated from the larger Ementhaller cheese by the much smaller or nonexistent holes

This cheese, made from full fat raw milk, depends on a high temp scald
to dry the curd for a very long aging period

The Vat has been filled
and ripened for 45-60
and is now ready for
the rennet to be added
As the coagulation takes place we can now check for set by
(1) pulling back from the edge of the vat with the back of the hand
... or (2) by simply pressing down
on the curd and looking
for a proper firmness...
...or (3) by using the traditional splitting of the curd with a finger We are looking for a soft set here
The cooler top layer is turned over to warm before the curd is cut...
...into 1" columns
horizontally and vertically,
followed by a 5 minute rest ...
...and then cut to a much finer size. It is then stirred (forework) to expel whey before the scalding...
...which will create the elastic texture and proper dryness
as shown here
At this point the whey is drawn
in preparation for the ...
...pre-pressing under whey
which consolidates...
...the curd into a compact mass...
...before transferring to the forms.
The simple form now awaits...
...the consolidated curd mass
The form is tightened to leave an excess mass above and below ...
...the form to receive the initial light press weight
The initial pressing gives the curd a good compact form ...
... but we will now add our full press weight over 18-24 hrs.
Our goal is to end up with a cheese that is quite dry...
... yet elastic to undergo many months of aging.
Our cheese is now ready for the brine bath.It goes into the cave at 54F where it gets dry salt for 2-3 days.Once the rind forms the cheese is kept quite moist and washed ...... with a light brine to develop the proper ripening surface

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After a few months of this,
the traditional damp rosy
rind will form
Finally, at 8-14 months
the cheese is ready
Note the smaller holes resulting from a cool cave temperature

Gruyere has it's origin in the Alps of Switzerland and France. It was traditionally made to such a large size for ease of transporting down from the Alpage (high mountain pastures).
This cheese depends on very high cooking temperatures to allow it to age well over many months and hence dependent on a starter culture that does well at this high temperature.
The methods for making this large cheese came from our visit to the Savoie region of France.

How to make this cheese :
I usually begin this cheese with either 8 or 16 gallons of milk... the larger size making for a longer aging cheese.

For 8 Gallons

The milk is warmed to 90F and inoculated with

Thermophilic culture
1/8 tsp TA060 or 1 pack of C201
plus 1/32 tsp Helveticus LH 100
along with 1/32 tsp Proprionic Acid
It is then ripened for 1 hr.
4.5 ml (1 tsp) rennet is then added to coagulate in 30 min.
The curd is quite soft and first cut to 1"
followed by 5 min. rest
It is then cut to 1/4'
followed by a long stir
Following this the curd is scalded to 114F over the next 30 min.

Once the curd reaches it's scald temp the stirring continues until proper dryness ... More moisture for a younger, earlier ripening cheese and drier for a longer cave ageing.
At this point the whey is drained down to the curd level and a weighted plate is then applied to begin the pre-press
Following this, the consolidated curd mass can now be gathered in a cloth and transferred to the waiting form

Up until this point, very little acidity has been produced by the cultures due to the high temps so far.
From this point on the Thermophilic culture will become active
as the cheese cools down and the pH will begin to drop as lactose is converted to lactic acid
For this cheese I use an initial weight of about 8-12 lbs to consolidate the curds and then increase to 25 lbs once removed from the vat. Final weight will go to 50-100 lbs depending on how long I plan to age the cheese.... less weight will yield a higher final moisture and hence young to medium aging cheese
The mold is then removed and the cheese is brined for 24 hrs. Following this it goes to the cave at 54F and 85% RH
It will then receive dry salt and rubbing for 2-3 days
For the remainder of it's aging it will be washed with a light brine 2-3 times a week for 8-14 months

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