Author Topic: Our Cottage cheese is not absorbing the cream properly  (Read 593 times)

Offline Water

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Our Cottage cheese is not absorbing the cream properly
« on: January 15, 2013, 03:03:47 PM »
Hello,

I run a crew that packages cottage cheese at a dairy in the midwest. I was a cheese cook for 5 years before that. Anyway we are having issues with our curd. It will not absorb the cream properly. It is very soupy even when we have not put all the cream that the calculations call for on the curd. If we leave it in the DCR for 4 or 5 hours it seems to absorb some of the cream better but we are still nowhere near our calculated weight so something is not right. We are also having to cook the curd to a higher temp to get it to firm up. To me the curd is rubbery. What could be causing this?




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Online linuxboy

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Re: Our Cottage cheese is not absorbing the cream properly
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2013, 04:22:30 PM »
Are you taking any acidity measurements or standardizing milk?
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Offline Water

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Re: Our Cottage cheese is not absorbing the cream properly
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2013, 04:52:58 PM »
We are not standardizing the milk. It's winter time here right now though so the skim proteins are through the roof. That's something we might want to look into though. What do we have to do to do that?

We are taking PH's when we cut the cheese and we are also taking PH's when we start the cook process but I It seems like we started having problems when the seasons changed. I know the skim protein has gone up.

The curds look great but we have always had to cook them a little harder to get them through the pumps and into our packaging.


Online linuxboy

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Re: Our Cottage cheese is not absorbing the cream properly
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2013, 05:39:11 PM »
So you are still hitting all the pH markers?

winter milk has more solids in general. usually, fat goes up more than casein protein, but it depends on the breed and feed. If you are making no adjustments to the process even though the milk is different, consider it. Generally, for winter milk, you can get away with waiting less time before cutting curd, and you may need to use more starter.

Can you get your milk solids analyzed and post them? A Lacticheck or milk lab can give them to you.
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Offline Water

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Re: Our Cottage cheese is not absorbing the cream properly
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2013, 06:50:35 AM »
We are hitting or PH markers but it seems like the cheese is not ready to cut at 4.70. When I do a snake test it is still cloudy and not quite ready to cut. Seems to indicate that it's slowing down. So we have decided to start adding a coagulator to it so we can cut it closer to 4.70. Still the cheese is taking a really long time to firm up on the cook out. Right now the cooks are cooking as high as 141 degrees. Something is wrong there.

I didn't think about adding more starter. That's a good idea. That might make it come in better without the coagulator.

Anyway I will try and get you the milk solids info you requested tomorrow.



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Offline MrsKK

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Re: Our Cottage cheese is not absorbing the cream properly
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2013, 08:17:30 AM »
Where are you located in the Midwest?  It's such a hometown term for such a huge chunk of our nation!

A coagulator will most likely make the curd even more rubbery.  I hope you can get this figured out soon.

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Re: Our Cottage cheese is not absorbing the cream properly
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2013, 10:15:31 AM »
That all sounds reasonable.  What happens when you cut at 4.6? Can you do a small test batch? Firm curd can often be solved by increasing cutting acidity so that the acid softens up the calcium bonds more.

And for cottage cheese, you should be using a tiny amount of coagulant. Should be .5 to 1.0 ml single strength per 1000 lbs of milk, added with starter.
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