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    Wiki: Body Defects, Moist

    Body excessive moisture defects of cheese are common and can be associated with most cheese types. This article provides a description and some common causes and solutions organized by root cause.

    Description

    • Texture of body of cheese is too moist and thus too soft.

    Rennet

    Causes

    • Too little rennet used and thus too much whey retained in the curds.

    Solutions

    • For current batch, try to dehydrate by lowering storage environment humidity. Note, too quick dehydration can result in surface cracking.
    • For future batches, use appropriate amount of rennet.

    Improper Cut Curds Stage

    Causes

    • Curds cut into too large pieces or stirred too little or for too short a time or at too low a temperature resulting in excessive whey retained in the final curds.
    • Cut curds warmed too rapidly which initially cause rapid expulsion of whey from surface of cut curds but then results in the dehydrated layer inhibiting further expulsion¬†of whey from interior of the cut curd piece.

    Solutions

    • Cut curds into size, and/or stir more often and for longer time, and/or at temperature dictated by the cheese making recipe/method.
    • Warm cut curds slower at rate dictated by the cheese making recipe/method.

    pH Too High

    Causes

    • Acidity level in cheese is not high enough

    Solutions

    • For current batch, ripen longer.
    • For future makes, use more starter.

    Poor Pressing

    Causes

    • For pressed cheeses, inadequate pressing (pressure and/or time and/or temperature) resulting in excess moisture held in body of cheese. Note that the intent of pressing is to remove voids between the cut curds, ensure a good knit of the cut curds and to form a dehydrated layer of curds at the cheeses surface to act as a tough rind, it is not to expel excess whey, that is done in the curd forming stage.
    • Some formed cheeses are not pressed when made commercially or by artisans, however if large, they are actually pressed using their own weight. For example commercial Stilton cylinders are typically 8 kg / 17 lbs and are formed by turning the cut curds in large hoops where the cheeses own weight acts to lightly press the cheese. Scaled down such cheeses to smaller makes requires light pressing to arrive at the optimal moisture content.

    Solutions

    • For current batch, try to dehydrate by lowering storage environment humidity. Note, too quick dehydration can result in surface cracking.
    • For future pressed cheese makes, use amount of pressure and/or time and/or temperature determined in cheese making recipe/method.
    • For future normally pressed by own weight type cheeses, apply light pressing dependant on batch size.

    Poor Aging Environment

    Causes

    • If formed cheese, aging environment’s humidity is too high resulting in excessive moisture retention in cheese.

    Solutions

    • If formed cheese, reduce aging environment’s humidity to enable more dehydration of cheese.

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