Author Topic: Cheese Making Differences > Sanitation Discussion  (Read 1229 times)

Offline MrRennet

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Cheese Making Differences > Sanitation Discussion
« on: October 29, 2012, 05:15:24 PM »
I saw two videos.  One made Farmer's Cheese.  The other made Mozzarella.  The former used vinegar to separate the curds and whey.  The latter used rennet.  But other than that, I didn't see any difference.  One just ended up for farmer's the other mozzarella.

Did I miss something?  Are they the same except on the separating agent?  Thanks, just learning.


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Offline BobE102330

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Re: Cheese Making Differences > Sanitation Discussion
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2012, 08:10:05 AM »
More properly it the term is coagulating agent.  All cheese starts with a curd, there are several ways to create curds in the milk of choice with differing taste and texture impacts.  What comes next has a large impact on the result.  How large do you cut the curds? How much are they stirred?  Are they cooked?  How hard are they pressed?  How is the resulting cheese aged. 

The Farmers Cheese recipe probably formed a loose ricotta like curd which was drained in cheesecloth, right? You can also use lemon juice for a slightly different flavor The mozzarella had to have something to acidify the milk before adding the rennet.  Was there a culture or citric acid added?  After setting the curds are cooked and pulled - the cooking and stretching transforms the cheese.  Many simple cheeses seem to me to be local variations on a theme - Farmers' cheese is approximately the same as Paneer.

When I was a real newbie (not the lightly experienced newb I am now)  Many cheese recipes seemed so similar I couldn't see much difference.  The more I have learned, it is amazing how subtle differences in preparation can create different cheeses.  For example, Monatsio and Manchengo recipes are very similar. slightly different culture mix, slightly different temperatures and you get similar but distinct cheeses.

I think it was on the Washington Cheese Guild's Stilton approximation page that I learned that a 2 degree F change in ripening temperature can affect the final product's taste.  Most commercial cultures are a mix of different types of bacteria, and a subtle change in temperature can favor one type over another with a change in the resulting cheese. 

There is a lot of information on this board and the wiki, read as much as you can.  Then get into the kitchen, sterilize everything (learned the hard way how important that is) and make some cheese.  Keep good records of your make (there is a form somewhere on the board that will help you track your make - it also gives some idea of the number of variables there are in cheese making).  There are a lot of helpful people here, post questions and you'll get a number of responses.  Post a thread about your make and people will answer questions you didn't know enough to ask.  One of the best things about this board is that the people with the most knowledge are usually the first to reply.  The usual progression is from a fresh cheese like a Farmer's to an aged cheese - Caerphilly is a short aging cheese that will give you quick feedback.  Long aging and mold ripened cheeses are a bit trickier, probably best to put them off until you are getting consistently good results with short aging cheeses. 

Happy cheese making! And eating.

Offline MrRennet

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Re: Cheese Making Differences > Sanitation Discussion
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2012, 09:05:15 AM »
Thanks!  Can't wait to try things out.

How did you sterilize things?  How did you know when you didn't sterilize things enough?

Offline BobE102330

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Re: Cheese Making Differences > Sanitation Discussion
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2012, 09:24:44 AM »
I sterilize by boiling 30 minutes.  Surfaces should be wiped down with something like StarSan - a commercial "no rinse" food grade sanitizer.  "No rinse" because in most food service applications you don't need to rinse.  Not so much with cheese.  Cheese making depends on bacteria development, so any residual antibacterial will cause problems.  I usually boil a couple plates along with my utensils so that I have a sterile surface to put the utensils on, even though my work surface is sterilized it may have residuals.  I thought there was a wiki article about housekeeping requirements, but there are sure to be plenty of threads. Sterilize before and after making - and store cheese making utensils in a bin to make prep easier.

I have a commercial kitchen 4' stainless table as a cheese making station.  Overkill, perhaps, but I like the wide open space and knowing that there aren't any crevasses to hide unwanted bacteria.  Second hand restaurant supply stores and some online ones are good places to find them, should you want to go that route.

You may not notice poor housekeeping as much with fresh cheeses, but as you age the cheese unwanted bacteria can make their presence known by off flavors and aromas.  Yeast contamination will make your cheese smell yeasty and spongy.  If like a lot of us, you also make bread, don't do it on days you make cheese and be sure to thoroughly clean the entire kitchen just prior to cheese making to minimize the possibility of yeast contamination.

http://cheeseforum.org/articles/wiki-recommendations-for-new-cheese-makers/ 

Offline mnmaxg

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Re: Cheese Making Differences > Sanitation Discussion
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2012, 12:10:19 PM »
Very helpful replies, bob. A question: I read in Home Cheesemaking that boiling for 5 minutes sterilizes utensils. Is that too little/just to sanitize instead?

Max


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Offline rosawoodsii

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Re: Cheese Making Differences > Sanitation Discussion
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2012, 01:48:43 PM »
I stick all my cheese utensils in the pot I'll be using, add an inch or so of water, cover with a lid, and boil  for about 5 minutes.  The steam thoroughly sterilizes everything.  Caution here, though--be careful taking the lid off!  (how do I know? :P)
Joy

Offline mightyMouse.tar.gz

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Re: Cheese Making Differences > Sanitation Discussion
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2012, 10:44:19 PM »
Very helpful replies, bob. A question: I read in Home Cheesemaking that boiling for 5 minutes sterilizes utensils. Is that too little/just to sanitize instead?

Max

If you want to be strictly technical, it is not long enough to "sterilize" in the sense that every single microorganism is dead. Usually, some survive. Some of those little buggers can take quite a beating! I dont recall where the standard is recorded but the only reasonable reliable method of sterilization is to use an autoclave (or pressure cooker/canner) for at least 15-20 minutes at over 15 PSI. That generally nukes them (even then, I have had some weird things show up on agar plates- although I can not state definitively that it was not because of contamination after autoclaving).
Steaming generally kills most of the bugs we worry about in food.
// bad cheese exception handling
try { Cheese myCheese = new Gouda(); } catch (NastyCheeseException e) { throw new CultureContaminationException(); }

Offline mnmaxg

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Re: Cheese Making Differences > Sanitation Discussion
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2012, 08:36:07 PM »
Great, thanks for the replies. I figured that at the very least I was creating a more sanitary environment. Good to think about for sure.

Max