Author Topic: Rennet Coagulation - No Rennet Coagulation > Semi-Lactic Cheese & Ultra-Pasteurized Milk Using In Ch  (Read 1276 times)

Offline colauhu

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I am new to making cheese. I found a recipe on the internet, and decided that it sounded easy enough that I would give it a go (http://biology.clc.uc.edu/Fankhauser/Cheese/neufchatel/neufchatel.htm). So far, I've had four failures. I have followed his directions exactly twice, using buttermilk. I then read in several places where people don't like to use buttermilk because it is too unreliable, so I purchased a powdered mesophilic starter to use in place of buttermilk and tried twice more. I have used both liquid vegetable rennet and a tablet version. I have used NaCl since I am using store bought milk. I am using bottled water as the city I live in uses chlorine in their drinking water. After mixing everything together according to his instructions, after 24 hours I basically have something that is a yogurt consistency. I cut the curds, but as soon as I attempt to remove them from the pot, they just turn to yogurt consistency. The one variable that I haven't really been able to change is the ambient temperature that the cheese in the pot sits at. Our house gets down to about 63 degrees F at night. I am not sure if that is the problem. Here are my steps for clarification:

Store purchased whole milk (1gal) from fridge into pot
Powdered starter culture added directly to cool milk
Milk slowly warmed to 65 degrees F
Powdered (or liquid) rennet diluted in 1/4c bottled water
Rennet added to mixture
Stir for 45 seconds
Lid on, wrap pot with towel, and let sit at room temperature for up to 24 hours undisturbed
Next day no clean break

Any ideas? Is my cheese getting to cool overnight? Am I not warming up the milk enough?

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. It is very frustrating to have failed 4 times.

Thanks.

Colauhu


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Offline linuxboy

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try this recipe at 75-80F for better results. Also, if you have some coagulation, put it in a muslin cloth and let drain. You'll still get a cheese.
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Offline bbracken677

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I have used NaCl since I am using store bought milk.

Colauhu

I hope this is a typo...you should be using CaCl2, calcium chloride...what you posted is salt, sodium chloride. NaCl would kill or severely restrict the activity of the culture at a time when it needs to be very active.

I think that you should be shooting for a temp higher than 65F.

Offline colauhu

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linuxboy...thank you for the reply. I kind of suspected the temp might be too low, but was getting leery of yet another attempt until I got some additional information. Also, just ran across the wa state cheese guild website a few days ago and signed up! I am looking forward to seeing the site grow.

bbracken677...yes, I was using calcium chloride, not salt. I have no idea where NaCl came from! Maybe I was craving salt when I made the post :)

I kind of figured there had to be an issue with the recipe after 4 fails, especially since most other recipes I've seen call for higher temps. As a noob, I was afraid to deviate since I don't have the experience. I'll try another batch, and even if it turns out the same ill see it through to completion.

Thanks.

Offline linuxboy

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I am not sure why David specified 65F and suggests rennet. The enzyme is completely inactive at that temp, and you're getting to the far lower range of even Leuconostocs. If you go to 75-80, you should achieve a better set and should be able to drain in muslin.
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Offline colauhu

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I am trying another batch and I heated the milk to 85 deg F this time. After a few hours it seems to be setting up better. One thing I am not clear on with his instructions is that he doesn't give a length of time to let this sit. Is it just until you achieve a clean break? I am assuming that since you don't age this cheese, there is not going to be a lot in the way of flavor development by letting it age sit for an excessive length of time.

Offline linuxboy

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You set this up until the terminal pH of 4.6-4.8. At 85F, this should take 6-8 hours. You will get better flavor at 75-80F than at 85F. At 75F, it should take about 12 hours until you need to drain.

Clean break is useless in this cheese, as it is meant to be a semi-lactic style. In semi-lactics, mostly pH determines texture/rheology. if you don't have a way to tell pH, just wait the 12+ hrs and taste it. If sour like buttermilk, then you're done.
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Offline colauhu

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Thank you for all of the feedback. I guess a PH tester will be on the short list of items to add to my kitchen. Even if a clean break is useless for this particular cheese, I am finally happy to have achieved it. I've learned a lot today, and I am excited to further my knowledge.

Offline mightyMouse.tar.gz

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Hi colauhu,
Sounds like linuxboy has you taken care of here. I just thought I would pop my head in and mention that something I keep in mind when visiting that site is that on the first page he states (http://biology.clc.uc.edu/fankhauser/Cheese/CHEESE.HTML):

"I make my cheese from goat's milk, but store bought can work."

This is something to recall as the chemistry of goat's milk is significantly different from cow's milk, and even more so, store bought cow's milk which is usually homogonized and/or pasturized (which since you are using Calcium Chloride, I suspect you know that already). Its very possible that everything that you did was perfect (sounds like it to me, although like others have stated, I have never made soft cheeses with temps in the 65 range- at least with rennet, that is interesting), it could be that the difference in milk just required a little more time to achieve the proper pH. I have not made this recipe but when making cream cheese, I get curds that are fairly soft. Once drained, the cheese is good.

Also, you did not mention (or I missed it), are you using pasturized or ultra-pasturized milk? Ultra-pasturized milk (you'll know it because it has an uber long shelf-life, Horizon organic milk is an example) is basically worthless for cheese making. Sometime, just as an experiment- try making cheese with it. If you used ultra-pasturized, try switching.

Other than that, welcome to the hobby!

By the way, I did not see an intro thread, what kinds of cheese do you like?
// bad cheese exception handling
try { Cheese myCheese = new Gouda(); } catch (NastyCheeseException e) { throw new CultureContaminationException(); }

Offline mightyMouse.tar.gz

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after 24 hours I basically have something that is a yogurt consistency. I cut the curds, but as soon as I attempt to remove them from the pot, they just turn to yogurt consistency.

Oops, did not see this part before (must have been reading the thread too fast)

From the way I am reading this, that actually does not sound so bad to me. I think you succeeded and did not realize it! As linuxboy said, hang it, you'll get cheese! With storebought milk (even with calcium chloride), your curds are generally going to start off softer. When I first started, this used to trip me out. I had myself convinced that the rennet was bad, etc... Finally I just realized that's how store bought milk rolls. Once I started using creamline milk, I noticed a difference.
// bad cheese exception handling
try { Cheese myCheese = new Gouda(); } catch (NastyCheeseException e) { throw new CultureContaminationException(); }


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Offline colauhu

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Hi mightyMouse...it's always in the details isn't it! I didn't even notice what he had said about goats milk. Like I said, I am new to this, so i have a lot to learn. My first two disasters were my problem. I think it was a combo of low temp and using chlorinated water that did me in. I thought I had it figured out the third time, but no such luck. By then I am sure it was a temperature issue.

Anyways...I read about not using ultra pasteurized milk. I am using milk that says on the label it has been homogenized but it doesn't say anything about being pasteurized. Right now I have been using store bought cows milk because it is easily accessible and cheap. I do have a food co-op nearby that sells everything from raw cow's milk to goat's milk, to sheep's milk. Once I get the basics down i'll try and expand to something more adventurous.

As for cheeses I like...I would not say that I have tried all the cheeses the world has to offer. I like to pick stuff up at the grocery store every once in a while and try it. I like white cheddar (the sharper the better), feta, brie, etc.

Offline linuxboy

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Quote
Ultra-pasturized milk (you'll know it because it has an uber long shelf-life, Horizon organic milk is an example) is basically worthless for cheese making.
Nice that you achieved a good set. It's been overnight, should be good to drain now and eat.  As for UP milk, it should work just fine for a semi-lactic. Heat alone will not ruin the set, and usually improves it in semi-lactics.
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Offline colauhu

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Ok, the cheese has been drained overnight. I mixed in some salt and put it on some homemade toast. It turned out perfectly. I really want to thank everybody that posted a response. I finally got to experience the joy of having a cheese that I made turn out!

Offline mightyMouse.tar.gz

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Quote
Ultra-pasturized milk (you'll know it because it has an uber long shelf-life, Horizon organic milk is an example) is basically worthless for cheese making.
Nice that you achieved a good set. It's been overnight, should be good to drain now and eat.  As for UP milk, it should work just fine for a semi-lactic. Heat alone will not ruin the set, and usually improves it in semi-lactics.

Really?! Huh, learn something new every day!

I stand corrected. Thanks linux!
// bad cheese exception handling
try { Cheese myCheese = new Gouda(); } catch (NastyCheeseException e) { throw new CultureContaminationException(); }

Offline linuxboy

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This is only in lactic and semi-lactic types (up to ~3 ml 200 IMCU enzyme per 100 lbs milk). UP is terrible for full enzyme-induced gel (rennet add at 6.2+ pH of 7 ml+ 200 IMCU/100 lbs milk). Chemistry is different.
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