Wanderer: Mini Alpine cheese washed with locally made Porter.
We are currently making “Wanderer”. Modelled after Appenzeller, this cheese is made from raw cow’s milk of Ayrshire and Jersey cows from Hinz-Sight Dairy Farm in Allegany County. Wanderer is aged between 4-6 months in our ageing cellar with 52F and 85% Relative Humidity. Each wheel weighs about 8 pounds.
Wanderer is made from grass-fed raw milk, aged in just the right conditions and uses the carefully selected cultures, and alcohol to wash the rind. We are expecting a typical sweet, nutty, savory flavors of Alpine style cheese after the curds are cooked , pressed, brined, aged, and washed repeatedly with alcohol with salt.
To help keep molds down, normally a brine solution is used. However, we chose to wash the rind with locally made Porter from Southern Tier Brewing Company mixed with water and a bit of salt. Porter is actually the great-grandpa of today’s stout. It was, and still is, made with dark malted barley, a good amount of hops, and top-fermenting ale yeasts. The end result is usually a dark medium-bodied beer with a nice balance of malty sweetness and bitter hoppiness. We are hoping that maltiness as well as a sexy brown color will also characterize Wanderer.
Of course, real Appenzeller can only be made by a handful of producers in Cantons Appenzell and Sankt Gallen Switzerland and is washed with a special herb-infused wine that is produced secretly. Making an Appenzeller-like cheese will require cheesemaker to wash with alcohol. This will help to fight of molds, as it creates an environment that molds do not like. When washing cheese rinds, different type of drinking alcohol are popular choices for washing rinds. Ale, wine, cider, and spirits, all can be applied on cheese rinds on hard cheese. Each adds a different look and bring their own characteristics to the cheese. We began applying the washes after the rind dried a bit and at the first sign of mold growth. The washes are applied twice a week for the first month and then once a week afterwards.
Wanderer will surely be wandering around and find his way to you this Summer!