Author Topic: Rennet Coagulation Problems - Recommendations?  (Read 1022 times)

Offline mitchk

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Rennet Coagulation Problems - Recommendations?
« on: August 27, 2012, 01:17:40 PM »
So I have a worst case scenario here. I really messed this batch up but I'm curious if I can do anything with it in its current state. To make things quick, I over heated the milk to about 45 C when heating the milk initially. Then because it too so long to cool back down to 32C once I got to adding the rennet, I just had to leave it because it was so late. So this morning I got up, cut the curd which had formed and split in a few spots. I left it for a couple hours (had to go to an appointment), came back gave it a stir and the curds really broke apart and almost dissolved. I slowly heated to 39C, stirring occasionally and the curd was really broken up, tried to strain the whey off and I'm now left with whey that is very white and milky, there is still lots of casein in there, and the "curds" are just a white slop the consistency of fresh cream or thereabouts. I will admit I used expired vegetable rennet, but it worked find for a previous batch about a week ago. Any ideas on what went wrong here? or rather can someone explain the science behind why all the things I did to screw it up, screwed it up?

And most importantly, is there anything I can do with my aforementioned slop?

Offline margaretsmall

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Re: Rennet Coagulation Problems - Recommendations?
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2012, 05:47:27 PM »
Dear Mitchk,
I have to say your sad tale reduced me to tears of laughter. I guess the short answer to 'what went wrong?" is, really, everything. I think you have chook food. Never fear, you can do this, we've all been where you are at some time or other. My main advice is to make sure you have a clear day with no distractions and desirably noone around. Clean the kitchen, put the washing up away, kick the cat out, turn your mobile phone off, put something soothing on your music machine and go for it.  Magic will happen.
Margaret

Offline Bob

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Re: Rennet Coagulation Problems - Recommendations?
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2012, 06:49:41 PM »
Ha ha Margaret, what an excellent reply! I was trying to work out how to respond to Mitchk without risking offending him, but you have done it beautifully.  :)

Cheesemaking is not a part time activity. I map out the day so I have some idea how long the process will take before I can walk away with a cheese resting in the press or the hoops for the night.  Most makes require up to 8 hours of attention, so I start early so I have time for corrective action when things don't go exactly as planned.  I totally agree with your advice, clear kitchen, plenty of free time, no distractions and relaxing cheesemaking music! I also make sure I have something to do in the same room, while waiting for various events to occur like ripening, floc, resting etc. A good book or some internet research is good, but the best is writing posts on my make to upload onto the forum, live! :D

Good luck mitchk. Cheesemaking can be a very rewarding and relaxing pastime, just do your prep and expect to lose a full day doing it!   
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Offline bbracken677

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Re: Rennet Coagulation Problems - Recommendations?
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2012, 07:23:03 PM »
You betcha! I like Metallica for cheese making! Either that or "
The Exorcist/Tubular bells/Bassie en Adriaan
" when things go wrong  haha

Offline Boofer

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Re: Rennet Coagulation Problems - Recommendations?
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2012, 09:05:31 AM »
Wow, Mitch, what floc factor were you using? :o  I'm going to venture a guess of 32x...32 x 15minutes => 480/60 => 8 hours.  ;)

I'll agree with Bob. I expect my makes to consume 6-8 hours minimum. I start early in the morning and I normally finish shortly after noon.

You didn't mention a lot of detail about the cultures you used, ripening time, etc. I can only assume you were shadowing following a recipe.

Patience, Grasshopper, there's more milk out there and more opportunities to succeed. Not all my makes have been successful. Some have been just plain "Yecch!". Press on.

Good show, Margaret.

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Offline mitchk

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Re: Rennet Coagulation Problems - Recommendations?
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2012, 10:29:19 AM »
haha thanks for the encouragement folks! I fully admit to this one being a disaster by my own hand. I've made a good number of cheddars and goudas so far with varying results, definitely a hobby I will continue on with, I basically just wanted to know if anyone had any ideas on what I can do with my cheese fail slop. It actually tastes pretty good! I think I'll try to strain it some and eat it as a spread. There sure is a lot of it though....

Don't need to bore you all with the details but I think the main problem was actually stirring in the rennet a bit too much. I guess I'll find out on my next batch!


one thing though, @Boofer, that first line is over my head, can you explain the "floc factor"?

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Rennet Coagulation Problems - Recommendations?
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2012, 10:33:52 AM »
Quote
I basically just wanted to know if anyone had any ideas on what I can do with my cheese fail slop. It actually tastes pretty good! I think I'll try to strain it some and eat it as a spread. There sure is a lot of it though....

Don't need to bore you all with the details but I think the main problem was actually stirring in the rennet a bit too much.
You have made not cheddar, but a semi-lactic cheese. The only thing you can do is strain it and use as a spread. Add some herbs and salt for flavor if you like.

Stirring in the rennet too much is irrelevant when you acidify the curd to that degree before the cut and cook.
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Offline margaretsmall

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Re: Rennet Coagulation Problems - Recommendations?
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2012, 05:18:21 PM »
The flocc factor is a good way of working out when to cut your curd. Best to search the forum, as there have been many threads about it. I always use this. Put simply, after adding the rennet, float something light (a little plastic container) on the milk and give it a nudge every minute or so after about 5 minutes has passed. When the float no longer moves freely, you have reached the flocculation point. Work out how much time has elapsed from the time of floating, then multiply by a factor which varies according to the cheese. There's a table somewhere here which gives all the factors. Add this number to the time at which you added the rennet, which gives you the optimum time to start cutting the curd. This is better than relying on the times given in recipes, as there are so many variables affecting the coagulation. Search the whole forum under 'flocculation', you'll find lots of info, the multiplication factors and more detailed explanations of the whys and hows. This may seem complicated but it's dead easy.
Margaret

Offline mitchk

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Re: Rennet Coagulation Problems - Recommendations?
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2012, 05:41:33 PM »
The flocc factor is a good way of working out when to cut your curd. Best to search the forum, as there have been many threads about it. I always use this. Put simply, after adding the rennet, float something light (a little plastic container) on the milk and give it a nudge every minute or so after about 5 minutes has passed. When the float no longer moves freely, you have reached the flocculation point. Work out how much time has elapsed from the time of floating, then multiply by a factor which varies according to the cheese. There's a table somewhere here which gives all the factors. Add this number to the time at which you added the rennet, which gives you the optimum time to start cutting the curd. This is better than relying on the times given in recipes, as there are so many variables affecting the coagulation. Search the whole forum under 'flocculation', you'll find lots of info, the multiplication factors and more detailed explanations of the whys and hows. This may seem complicated but it's dead easy.
Margaret

This is great information! As you can tell I've just been following recipes the few times I've done it, so I'll be sure to do some research on this, thanks for pointing me in the right direction. :)