Butterkase Cheese

Photo Credit: Igourmet
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Butterkase cheese is easy to make and full of flavor. It definitely resembles butter, which is how it got the name Butterkase cheese. This cheese is definitely a cheesemaker’s favorite because of its short aging time and delicious flavor.

Yield: 2 pounds

Aging: Under 2 months

Skill Level: Intermediate

Ingredients:

  • 2 gallons of milk
  • 1 Packet of C21 Buttermilk Culture
  • 1 Packet of C201 Thermophilic Culture
  • 1/64 tsp Geotrichum Candidum
  • Just under ½ tsp of Liquid Rennet
  • Salt for Brine and Aging
  • Calcium Chloride if using Pasteurized Milk

Equipment Needed:

  1. Heat the Milk & Add Culture

  • Heat your milk up to 86F
  • You can do this by placing the milk in a pot or sink of very warm water. If you do this step on the stove, be sure to slowly heat the milk and stir to avoid burning.
  • When it reaches 86F you can start to add your culture in as well as the geotrichum. Sprinkle on the surface for 2 minutes before stirring in
  • Allow it to ripen for 45-60 minutes
  1. Add Rennet

  • Add the liquid single strength Rennet. Immediately stir for 1 minute without agitating the milk too much. It’s best to use up and down motions for this.
  • Allow it to rest for an additional 20-25 minutes
  • During this time, you will see that the milk will begin to thicken and firm to have an almost tofu-like texture.
  1. Cut the Curd

  • After 20 minutes, your curd should be ready to be cut, if not, allow it to sit for longer
  • Cut the curd in a vertical direction first. The cuts should be about 2 inches and you should rest the curd for about 5 minutes before making the next cut.
  • Allow it to rest for a couple of minutes.
  • Using a ladle, cut the curd horizontally in about 1cm pieces over the next 10 minutes. It’s important to keep the curds moving during this time to avoid them from sticking to each other.
  1. Cook the Curds

  • There are a couple options at this step, one step to produce a more acid profile cheese and another step that produces a sweeter cheese.
    • Acid Profile
      • Allow the curds to rest for 15-30 minutes
      • Stir every few minutes
    • Sweeter Cheese
      • Stir gently for 10 minutes and allow curds to settle at the bottom
      • Remove 50% of the whey and replace it with the same amount of water at 104-106F
      • Stir gently for another 35-45 minutes
  • After this cooking process, the final curds should be cooked well through and do not become “mushy.”
  1. Form Cheese

  • Start removing the amount of whey down again so that it’s only covering about an inch above the curds.
  • Transfer the curds to a mold that’s lined with a cheesecloth or butter muslin
  • Using a 4-6 lb. weight, press on your cheese for 1 hour to consolidate the curd.
  • Your curd should be kept between 80-90F for the next 5-6 hours
  • You should also be turning your cheese every 30 minutes for the next 3-4 hours. After each turn, make sure to unwrap, turn, and then rewrap the cheese.
  • After 5-6 hours, your cheese will be ready for its salt bath
  1. Salting the Cheese

  • Ensure that both the cheese and the brine is between 50-55F before adding the cheese in the brine bath.
  • Place your cheese in a brine solution for about 3-4 hours.
  • Sprinkle salt on the side the floating up at the top
  • Flip halfway through the brining time and re-salt the cheese
  • At the end, wipe the cheese down to dry and allow it to rest for a day.
  1. Aging

  • Allow you cheese to age in a location that’s between 52-56F and 90-95% humidity.
  • A covered container such as a covered cake stand may be beneficial to keep the moisture levels consistent.
  • You should allow the cheese to age a minimum of 4-6 weeks. The longer it ages, the more character the cheese will have.
  • If undesired mold develops, you can wipe it away every few days with a light brine solution. Make sure to dry for 1-2 hours before returning it back to the aging cave.
  • You can add your cheese to a brine bath at the 3-4-week mark for the last time. Dry and return for another couple of weeks until it’s ready.

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