Author Topic: Accidental Natural Lactic Coagulation - Parmesan Smell  (Read 587 times)

Offline Annie

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Accidental Natural Lactic Coagulation - Parmesan Smell
« on: September 24, 2012, 03:34:34 PM »
My cow had mastitis and relapsed after the first time and so the thermophilc cheese I was making from that milk didn't curdle after I put in the rennet. So I set that aside because I was going to use it for milk paint to paint out outbuildings with. Then all this stuff happened, so it was there for a few days longer than I expected it to be--in a fairly cool place.

Well, I was going to toss it as a result, but when I uncovered it and smelled it--wow! it smelled like a really great parmasan cheese! I did end up tossing it but now I am very curious about this lovely odor and if it's a bit of knowledge that could be used?

Thanks for any information!


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Offline MrsKK

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Re: Accidental Natural Lactic Coagulation - Parmesan Smell
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2012, 07:17:19 AM »
It sounds like it was clabber - naturally thickened milk, due to the lactic bacteria that are in raw milk.

Had you treated your cow with antibiotics?  That may be why the rennet didn't work.  Or the pH of the milk was off from the mastitis.

I don't think I would have kept it, either, knowing that it could have been from the mastitis.  Once she's healthy again, though, you can try deliberately clabbering some milk.  This is a really good thread on making clabber from the Keeping a Family Cow forum.  The first reply by Lannie gives an excellent description of how to get a good batch of clabber going.

I have made a parmesan-like cheese by innoculating a kettle of milk with good clabber at the rate of 1 cup clabber to a gallon of milk.  I add it after warming the milk to about 100 degrees, then wrap it in a blanket to keep it warm overnight.  It is usually a near-clean break coagulated by that point, so I cut the curd and gently warm and stir it until the curd shrinks and the whey is fairly clear.  Then I drain it and press it, working up from 20 lbs to 60 lbs in successive pressings, with the last being about 12 hours or so.  I then brine it for 12 hours and dry it in the cabinet for a couple of days before putting it in the cheese cave.  In about 60-90 days it has good parmesan flavor and isn't as much work, IMHO.

Offline Annie

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Re: Accidental Natural Lactic Coagulation - Parmesan Smell
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2012, 09:17:17 AM »
Thanks so much, Karen--you know I am Annie on KFC too? :)

Yes, I thought the rennet problem may have been due to the mastitis too.

Wow, that is interesting the way you do your cheese. I noticed that you seem to have not put in any rennet? That would be cool!

Thanks so much--I just wasn't sure what to make of it because I had left it out for so long, not just a couple of days as usual. I am definitely going to try this again :)

Offline MrsKK

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Re: Accidental Natural Lactic Coagulation - Parmesan Smell
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2012, 08:13:40 AM »
Well, I'm glad you found both forums!

My first parmesan-type cheese was by accident - I thought I could culture it in the evening and add rennet in the morning, but it was nearly solid when I went to do the next step.

This always works better for me in the cooler months - I think that very hot weather creates too much growth that can develop a funky flavor.  Let me know if you try this again and what your results are.

I like to make this cheese when I've got a lot of milk and not much time to do anything with it.

Offline Tiarella

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Re: Accidental Natural Lactic Coagulation - Parmesan Smell
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2012, 01:10:02 PM »
MrsKK,  When you are doing your Parm-like cheese do you heat the curds to a particular temp?  Hold for a particular length of time?  My enquiring mind wants to knw because anything that makes it easier gives me more time to be outside or in the barn.   ;)


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Offline MrsKK

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Re: Accidental Natural Lactic Coagulation - Parmesan Smell
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2012, 12:33:59 PM »
I warm it 2 degrees per five minutes until it reaches 110 degrees Fahrenheit.  I know what you mean about more time in the barnyard - there just isn't enough time in the day to get everything done, is there?

I should have noted that this is a good grating cheese, but is rather dry, sometimes even like slightly damp chalk, so not a good one for fresh eating.