When making a washed-curd cheese like Gouda and Colby, some of the whey is removed during the last part of making the cheese and replaced with water. This washes the milk sugar, lactose, from the curd and lowers the acid level to avoid souring the cheese. This should give the cheese a smooth texture and mild flavor.
Here is one of the Gouda cheeses I made this fall and has been aging in the fridge/cooler for the past 2 months. This photo was taken when it was a new cheese just at the beginning of the aging process. You can see that the rind is not smooth and closed ... and it should have been.
Goat Milk Gouda
When I was making this cheese some strange things happened. I followed the recipe closely for the all of the temperature and timing steps. I put the finished curds into three cheese molds for pressing. It took 20 pounds of pressure for the first 20 minutes. Then I removed the cheeses from the molds, flipped them over, put them back into the mold, and applied 40 pounds of pressure for 20 minutes. Then it was time to remove the cheeses from the molds again, flip them over, put them back into the mold at 50 pounds of pressure for 12 to 16 hours. So, I left them over night with 50 pounds pressing them.
I knew something wasn't quite right when I got out to the cheese processing room the next morning. What I saw was amazing ... the three cheeses had lifted the 50 pound weight about 4 inches taller than they were when I left them for pressing the previous night!
This meant that something in the cheese was producing carbon dioxide. This is desirable for making holes in the cheese when you're making Swiss cheese ... but not in Gouda!
I figured I'd go ahead and age the "Gouda" and see how it turned out. So I rubbed it with salt and wrapped it in cheese paper to go into the fridge at about 48* for aging. I flipped the cheeses regularly to keep the moisture evened out.
I cut one of the Gouda cheeses open earlier this week and here's what it looks like inside. As you can see ... there are lots of holes or "eyes" in the cheese. The aroma is mild and nutty ... the flavor is delicious ... a little nutty and mildly tangy. So, it tastes like a Gouda, but doesn't look like one!
Goat Milk Gouda - close up
This spring ... when the does are giving lots of milk again ... I'm going to try making Gouda again! I need more practice making this one!