I really enjoyed making this colby and gouda much more than I expected to. I think washed curd cheeses take less hands on time? Ricki Carroll says
The wash removes “the milk sugar, or lactose, from the curd and lowers the acid level to avoid souring the cheese. This process gives these cheeses their typical smooth texture and mild flavor. Such cheeses cure somewhat faster than other varieties and are ready for eating in 12 weeks.”
Colby and Gouda differ in that in the gouda the curds are not milled, is heated to a higher temperature during the shrinking of the curds, and is aged slightly longer. Gouda is also brined, and air aged at 50 degrees for three weeks, as opposed to the immediate waxing of the colby. Additionally, it is extremely important not to let the curds cool overly prior to pressing or they will not knit together properly. I also found it very important to actually redress the cheese, instead of lazy girl style just flipping it over. It really will stick!
Lastly, I noticed these two cheeses have a lot less body. Once I removed them from the press they felt closer to a mozzarella than a block of colby or gouda you would buy at the store. However, once they started aging they were much more firm.
First tasting coming up February 8. I am thinking of making these jalapeno crackers.