Author Topic: Science Questions on washed cheeses  (Read 846 times)

Offline JimSteel

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Science Questions on washed cheeses
« on: January 24, 2013, 08:24:42 PM »
Making Colby and Gouda right now, reading up on Edam.  I've only made 3 cheeses right now, and looking at the recipes from 200 easy cheeses I'm starting to form a lot of questions.  I've read from a few sources and can't really get solid answer on a few things.

1. What does washing the curd typically do for the cheeses?
2. The recipe for Gouda involves a lot of stirring, like 40 minutes or more over the whole recipe.  What does this stirring do for the cheese and how does it give it characteristic Gouda qualities.  Is this for texture or chemistry?
3. The Edam recipe involves dropping the pressed wheel back into whey at 50 degrees, is this just to make the curds knit more closely?
4. What difference will there be if I stir the Gouda gently or with some force?
5. What effect would adding cream into a cheese recipe have?  I'm making 4L whole milk batches right now (tiny cheeses apparently, compared to the wheels I've seen on here) What if I add 1L of 10% or even 35% into the vat? ( I ask this because I can buy 10% cream for the same price as whole milk at Costco) (raw milk is a very unlikely option at this stage since the sale of it is illegal in Canada)

Any pro's want to take a shot at these ones?

Thanks!


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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Science Questions on washed cheeses
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2013, 08:40:39 PM »
Quote
1. What does washing the curd typically do for the cheeses?
Removes lactose and leaches calcium out of the curd gel.
Quote
The recipe for Gouda involves a lot of stirring, like 40 minutes or more over the whole recipe.  What does this stirring do for the cheese and how does it give it characteristic Gouda qualities.  Is this for texture or chemistry?
Both. Stirring (agitation of any kind) encourages syneresis. Syneresis creates final moisture in cheese. This moisture level determines rate of reactions during maturation because almost all primary maturation dynamics are a form of hydrolysis.
Quote
The Edam recipe involves dropping the pressed wheel back into whey at 50 degrees, is this just to make the curds knit more closely?
Depends on the exact process, but yes, that's the idea.
Quote
What difference will there be if I stir the Gouda gently or with some force?
At what point? Force at force will shatter curds. Later on, speeds syneresis.
Quote
What effect would adding cream into a cheese recipe have?
When in the process? Milk composition is huge; affects gel strength, rate of syneresis, etc. Can you re-ask more specifically?
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Offline JimSteel

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Re: Science Questions on washed cheeses
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2013, 08:56:49 PM »
So should stirring be extremely gentle at the start?  my curds always seem to shrink to a very small size on my first stirring.  No matter what size I <attempted to> cut them.

About the cream.  right off the bat.  4L of whole milk and 1L of cream, then following any recipe for a washed curd.  I would reduce all other components to those of a 5L batch.  I have found absolutely nothing about this except that you can mix cream and skim milk to simulate non-homogenized milk for mozzarella type cheeses.

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Science Questions on washed cheeses
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2013, 09:02:00 PM »
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So should stirring be extremely gentle at the start?
Not necessarily. Suppose you're using a combo stirrer and cutter in a large vat. In that situation, it takes 5-10 mins just to cut the curds to size. And it's not terribly gentle. Just be aware of it. If your curd is not shattering, then you're fine. Healing also helps with this.

Quote
4L of whole milk and 1L of cream, then following any recipe for a washed curd.
That's a hell of a lot of cream for a hard cheese. If you do that, your curd will be softer and more fragile. It will be harder to drain the curd and it absorbs salt faster during brining. It's possible to do that much cream if your milk solids are high. The fat content by itself isn't the whole story. it is the ratio of casein to fat that matters. For example buffalo and sheep milk has loads of fat, but also great protein.
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Offline JimSteel

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Re: Science Questions on washed cheeses
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2013, 09:10:30 PM »
Interesting.  I think I may experiment with this on the weekend, just to see what happens.  Gouda # 2 - High fat.

Thanks for the help linuxboy


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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Science Questions on washed cheeses
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2013, 09:17:01 PM »
Generally:
- Slower to set
- Curd more fragile
- Drains whey slower
- More curd to deal with
- More fat loss to whey, especially is casein structure is weak (abused through heat treatment)
- higher final moisture in cheese
- Slower to drain whey in press
- absorbs salt faster

so during the make, may need to compensate by using some more rennet, cutting curds a bit smaller, etc.
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Offline Tom Turophile / CheeseStud

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Re: Science Questions on washed cheeses
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2013, 10:16:12 AM »
Lightbulb.  You used the word "agitation" to describe the stirring process, and it triggered a thought related to a lot of my other recent food passions -- cooking sous vide.  I'm buying a DIY sous vide kit (sound familliar? ^-^) and the aquarium tube that keeps the water circulating could also do so for curd.

Likewise, the SV set up can help maintain temperature.  Before, I had only thought of using the the SV for acidification.
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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Science Questions on washed cheeses
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2013, 10:24:15 AM »
Are you saying you want to take curd and put it through a pump? As an alternative to stirring and not to pump curd to drain or to a conveyor belt?

It will most likely chew your curd up in the impeller and/or create a lot of fines, but might work.  A paddle stirrer on a motor with speed regulation would work better.
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Offline Boofer

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Re: Science Questions on washed cheeses
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2013, 11:07:35 AM »
It's possible to do that much cream if your milk solids are high. The fat content by itself isn't the whole story. it is the ratio of casein to fat that matters. For example buffalo and sheep milk has loads of fat, but also great protein.
I believe some time in the past you recommended adding dry milk powder to increase the protein level. Might this be a method to balance the 4L/1L situation here?

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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Science Questions on washed cheeses
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2013, 11:22:36 AM »
Yes, that would do it. Anhydrous milk fat for fat and protein powder or retentate for protein can be used to adjust milk. Generally, I am not a proponent of fussing around too much with milk. My thought is that if the milk doesn't work for making a certain cheese, then make a different cheese.
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Offline Tom Turophile / CheeseStud

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Re: Science Questions on washed cheeses
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2013, 11:40:15 AM »
Are you saying you want to take curd and put it through a pump? As an alternative to stirring and not to pump curd to drain or to a conveyor belt?

It will most likely chew your curd up in the impeller and/or create a lot of fines, but might work.  A paddle stirrer on a motor with speed regulation would work better.

No!  The hose pushes out air, which is used to circulate the water in a water bath.
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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Science Questions on washed cheeses
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2013, 12:23:23 PM »
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The hose pushes out air,
Oh, that's fine then. Curd collisions facilitate syneresis, so you're good so long as they collide. A circular pattern of flow may be less effective than more random stirring because the curds would all go in a defined flow after each other.
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Offline Tom Turophile / CheeseStud

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Re: Science Questions on washed cheeses
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2013, 12:41:24 PM »
That's a good point; unless the hose is lying flat (unlikely, due to the pot shape, unless I'm using something like a hotel pan or roaster), it should be pushing at an angle, which would help with the randomness.
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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Science Questions on washed cheeses
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2013, 12:47:54 PM »
Great, then the only other caveat is contamination and temp changes. Unfiltered air may be an issue in terms of contamination. Temp changes less so because you're heating on the bottom, agitating, and cooling with air. Should equalize
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