It's been just another quiet week here on the farm. Just the simple, aimless ramblings typical of rural life. I've been working on out smarting Daisy calf, something one would think an easy task considering she's just a cow. yah, right. A baby cow with nothing but time on her hooves to figure out how to get into her Mommas pen to suck milk. Anybody who says "stupid cow" is simply frustrated because they've been outsmarted. I did manage to get a half gallon of milk last night, Goober cow did not let all her milk down in anticipation of me being outsmarted again. So, it looks like my newly found success with the Jersey cow milk will have to wait for a Saturday or Sunday batch of cheese.
Speaking of success, the wheel of caraway cheddar came out great. All I did was reduce the cook temperature by a couple of degrees and the result was a moister wheel of cheese instead of the rock hard, dry cheese I was producing. I'm thinking it has something to do with how rich the milk is.
So, this week I started a jar to capture some wild yeast so I could take pictures of it. It didn't work out so well. It happens tho. Wild yeast is all around us in the air. I have found it to be a weather and time of year challenge here. Sometimes it works out great and sometimes not. I also find I have more success if I have been baking bread all week. The yeast I capture is readily available from what I've been baking. So, basically, here's how you capture wild yeast. You need a decently sized bowl (not metal) or a large jar ( I use a glass, 1/2 gallon canning jar) and mix 1 1/2 cups of warm water ( I let my water sit for a day to release the chlorine) and mix it with 2 cups of flour. You'll need to cover this mix with a cloth of some kind to keep the no see-ums out of it ( I use butter muslin and a canning jar ring). You will also need fresh air. This does not work if all the windows are closed up, the yeast is outside. The mix needs to sit 3 or 4 days and if you have bubbles on the surface, you captured yeast! If not, dump it and try again.
I have a few old wives tale tricks I use to attract wild yeast but I can't be sure they actually do anything at all so I have omitted those for now. Once I verify they actually do something for the yeast and not just my own mind, I'll add them in. I will also add instructions on how to make those old fashioned live yeast cakes I remember my Mother and Grandmother using when I was young in the next post....