The Artisan Cheesemaker.
Acidity Control (1)
The subject, which forms the basis of all cheesemaking, is extremely complex and you should accept these papers as a personal communication rather than as a definitive set of rules. They are a mixture of scientific facts, observations, examples, experience and a few opinions.
They are intended to help shed some light on the way your cheese works and the ways in which you control it.
Many of the following statements and descriptions of final results are conditional since: any reading of titratable-acidity can only carry a valid interpretation when related to a specific cheese, and the cheesemaker's daily log.
At first sight it may seem that I advocate a scientific approach to cheesemaking, in fact, nothing could be further from the truth.
The great cheeses of the world are the sum of the experience of not one but generations of cheesemakers.
In today's world this continuity of family pride, experience, and devotion to the traditional craft is not happening. Modern farming put paid to that.
So, what to do if we are not to loose these wonders of nature: cheeses whose flavours dance across the palette and are one of the joys of life?
Well, I hope to be able to help condense this experience by explaining much of what these people assimilated day by day.
I certainly do not want to advocate the use of modern cheese-making short-cuts which exclude passion and dedication and place profit above quality.
My experience in the maturing and in the making of the many styles and varieties of cheese has taught me that, in traditional cheese-making, quality is inseparable from passion and that attention to detail is vital.
I have been described as "one of Britain's amateur cheesemakers" however: I regard myself more as a fault-finder rather than as a cheesemaker, which is why I have worked with so many types and styles of making. I have made a deliberate study of cheese faults and have looked for the cures in the hands of the producer rather than in the use of modern technological "cures".
My desire is to see the survival of natural cheese-making; preferably using raw milk and organic practices.
What I ask is that you take all the following as a whole. There are no "important" parts. From the moment you take control of your milk everything you do, every time you move your hand, has a real effect on everything that comes afterwards.