Author Topic: advice needed for a newbie re cheese not melting  (Read 255 times)

Offline MarkHamson

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advice needed for a newbie re cheese not melting
« on: July 01, 2014, 05:01:54 AM »
Hi all
I hope some of you more knowledgeable guys out there may be able to help me

I started making cheese (mostly cheddar style) about 9 Months ago, using P&H Milk with Cacl added, using various recipes (still trying to source Fresh Milk)
I have generally followed the recipes fairly closely  (thanks to all of you who post such detailed procedures with you makes  !)

in general they have been "aged" for between 1 and 3 Months, and the older ones have worked out quite well as far as taste / texture is concerned
I have made Farmhouse Style Cheddar, Lancashire(ish), Red Leicester, and Double Gloucester style cheeses.

in the main I dry them for approx 5 days, but a lack of sensible storage then means that I am currently Vac Packing them and keeping them in a fridge in the garage at around 5 - 8 degrees Celsius to mature

my question is
none of cheeses seem to melt properly when Grilled or heated, they Just hold their shape and achieve a weird texture, which reminds me of Grilling Processed cheese.

hopefully someone can tell me if this is just because it is P&H Milk,  lack of aging,or an issue with my general process or my storage / aging methods ?

I Really want to get cheeses with a good "Melt" as we love cooking with cheese !

 


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Online John@PC

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Re: advice needed for a newbie re cheese not melting
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2014, 06:03:57 AM »
A really good question Mark (honestly, no pun intended  ::))  I've had the same issue with some of my cheeses and will be interested to learn what variables affect melting quality of cheese.

Offline jwalker

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Re: advice needed for a newbie re cheese not melting
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2014, 08:24:48 AM »
There was a link to an article about the "meltability" of cheese , I'll see if I can find it.

I have had that same problem sometimes , and some types of cheese just aren't that good for melting.

That said , I have had Gouda , Cheddar , and jack cheeses that wouldn't melt well when tried at three or four months age , put back in the cave for another few months , and they melted wonderfully , so I can state that longer aging definitely helps.

At least with some cheeses.

And then there are some like Cams or blues , that melt well at four to six weeks , but I think in those cases , the ripening molds do what aging does to the hard cheeses.

Try and age some longer.
No..........I'm not a professional CheeseMaker , but I play one on TV.

Offline MarkHamson

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Re: advice needed for a newbie re cheese not melting
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2014, 10:58:50 AM »
Thanks JWalker
if you do find the thread that would be brilliant

Just to clarify a bit more
I use a double boiler and a thermometer so (hopefully) I am following the temperatures fairly well
as it is P&H Milk the curds are very fragile, and do tend to to break up smaller than the recipes call for, although I do try to avoid ending up with rice sized curds
 I do not have a PH Meter (Yet), so rely on recipe timings

I am using a Jongia spring loaded (screw down type) Press, and do try to avoid over pressing, but it is not easy with type of press

Offline scasnerkay

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Re: advice needed for a newbie re cheese not melting
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2014, 07:42:14 PM »
I think melt-ability is related to pH of the cheese. If you get a pH meter that will really make a difference, rather than using time.
Susan


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Offline MarkHamson

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Re: advice needed for a newbie re cheese not melting
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2014, 06:32:18 AM »
Ok so I have found this old thread
http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,3045.0.html

looks like PH is important, but not the only factor

I am only a keen hobbyist and I am trying not to go "overboard" with cheese making, which I why I have not gone out and got a PH Meter (yet)
I feel I need to keep things simple whilst I  get my head around both the "art" and the Chemistry of the subject more, before I move deeper into the equipment side of things

hey ho - will have to keep trying

Offline jwalker

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Re: advice needed for a newbie re cheese not melting
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2014, 10:27:04 AM »
Go here , https://www.google.ca/webhp?source=search_app#q=meltability+of+cheese , there is actually quite  few articles on it.

As for Ph meters , some people swear by them , I bought one myself and only used it twice , just not for me , so far most of my cheeses come out very well without it.

That doesn't mean one shouldn't use one , just my preference , while watching a few episodes of "Cheese Slices" I've seen some old time cheese makers that don't even use thermometers , just judge the temperature by hand , as well as heat over an open fire. :o

But then , they've  probably made that particular cheese a thousand times.
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Offline MarkHamson

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Re: advice needed for a newbie re cheese not melting
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2014, 10:30:11 AM »
Thank for the Link - something to read tonight !  :)

Offline Spoons

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Re: advice needed for a newbie re cheese not melting
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2014, 10:50:05 AM »
I'm with jwalker, most hobbyist cheese makers don't "need" a PH meter. Some cheeses are more PH driven than others, so avoid those if you don't have a PH meter. I do use a PH meter and always get similar results if I follow the recipe. I once had a 0.15 difference between two cheeses of the same recipe and both ended up very good and had identical taste and texture.

With that being said, I do use my PH meter with every cheese I make. Mostly for reference and curiosity though. I used to alter the recipe for an additional 0.5 drop and such, but have found it makes no difference.

I recently started experimenting with different cheese makes, trying to come up with a personalised taste/texture profile. I have found that the PH meter is essential at this point.

So to answer the meltability question, like others have pointed out, it is the acid level that promotes meltability. Whether you "need" a PH meter, well that depends on where you're at with your cheese making hobby.
- Eric