Author Topic: My soft cheeses all taste sour...help?  (Read 987 times)

Offline enaleni

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My soft cheeses all taste sour...help?
« on: January 28, 2013, 12:34:58 PM »
Hi everyone
I have a Jersey cow called Delilah, milk by hand and get 12 l milk a day. I've had Delilah 9 months and been milking for 4months. I've taught myself cheese making off the internet and from books by trial an error, i'd like to be a good cheese maker. Not sure what I'm doing wrong. I make feta and mozzarella but both taste sour even though I use milk that is not old. I'm a bucket chemist and make cheese without a pH meter etc. I have veg rennet, microbial cultures and a digital thermometer. It's my first posting on this site and I'd appreciate some practical advice that I can try immediately and feed back to you. I make cheese nearly every day.

thanks

Enaleni


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Offline Mike Richards

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Re: My soft cheeses all taste sour...help?
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2013, 08:36:57 PM »
Hi, enaleni.  Welcome to the forum.

Generally members of the forum will ask for a few more specifics about the cheeses you are making in order to help diagnose your problem.  Things like: what kind of cultures are you using, what temperature are you ripening at, how long do you ripen, how much culture are you adding?

If you haven't already done so, search the forum for "sour" or "too much acid" or something like.  You'll find lots of discussions on this topic and you might be able to answer your own question.  If you can't find the answer, you will at least know the kind of information others will need to help you solve your problem.  Frequently, a detailed list of how you made a cheese will provide the information people need.  It might look something like this:

2 gallons raw cow's milk
1/16 tsp MM100
1/8 tsp double strength rennet

1000 Heated milk to 86F, added culture
1045 Added rennet
1120 Cut, heal
....

This info will help others help you figure out what's going wrong.

Good luck!
If only I could make cheese as well as I grow a mustache...

Offline enaleni

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Re: My soft cheeses all taste sour...help?
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2013, 10:20:51 PM »
Hi Mike

thanks. I keep turning this sweet milk into sour feta my recipe for feta is:
I use 10 lit raw milklet it stand until 32 degrees
Add my therm bacteria and leave for 30mins at room temp.
Then I add 4 drops per lit (40 drops) veg rennet and let it stand until curd has set usually about an hour
I cut curd. leave to rest for a few minutes and ladle into my containers to drain.
I leave for 24hrs at room temp, slice the set curd on a board, leave for 10 mins to weep
then bottle in brine


From what I've gleaned from the threads too much rennet could be a problem even if it's a few drops too much. Or, the 24hr period is too long at room temp. Does anyone know what the temp should be for draining the curd for feta?

Mike at least your moustache is a choice my cheese making botches are not!

Enaleni


Offline Mike Richards

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Re: My soft cheeses all taste sour...help?
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2013, 11:12:57 PM »
Okay--so disclaimers up front: I don't make feta, I don't use raw milk, and I have only rarely used thermophilic cultures.  From what I understand, however...

32 C is a pretty low temp for a thermo culture.  Where'd your recipe come from?  What I guess is going on is that your recipe was designed for a pasteurized milk.  The low temp, therefore, requires that the acid develop for a long time (24 hours).  When you follow the recipe with raw milk, all the native meso cultures, which are happier at 32 C, develop more rapidly and produce more acid than the thermo would by itself.  This situation is exacerbated by allowing it to drain for 24 hours at room temperature (where the mesos continue to grow much more rapidly than the the thermo would by itself).  That's my guess, anyway.

If that's right, you have a few options.  Pastuerize your milk (kind of defeats the purpose of using raw milk) and follow the recipe as is.  Continue using your milk and cut your 24 hours down to 12 (or even 6) and see how the cheese turns out.  A potential problem with doing this is that the cheese might not drain enough (though, I think you'll be fine).  You could try keeping the 24 hours but lowering the temperature of the room the cheese is draining in.

I personally don't see that using too much/too little rennet would cause your problem, but I could be wrong. Too much rennet, when using time to determine when to cut the curd (as opposed to the floc method), leads to higher moisture retention, providing more food for the cultures to turn into acid, which leads to overly acidic cheeses.  I've only experienced overly acidic cheeses with aged cheese and most of those, I believe were not caused by too much moisture (which was a problem...) but because I let too much acid develop before I drained and salted the cheeses.

Hope that helps.  Hopefully, too, if I've said anything too far off, someone will correct me.

Good luck!

If only I could make cheese as well as I grow a mustache...

Offline Tiarella

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Re: My soft cheeses all taste sour...help?
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2013, 04:48:27 AM »
Hi Enaleni and Mike!  I think Mike's reasonings sound brilliant and it gave me the inspiration to check a book I have ...Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking by Gianaclis Caldwell.  According to her Feta is made mainly with mesophilic cultures with some thermophilic added only for batches being aged out.  In those cases the Thermophilic cultures kick in later on.  My guess is (and it's only a guess since I am new to this also) that you need a mesophilic culture, not the thermophilic one you are using.  Mike is right probably that your natural meso cultures in your raw milk are having a party because the temperature is perfect for them.  The Thermo culture never stands a chance and you are getting nicely clabbered milk and coagulating that with the rennet.  All just guesswork on my part but can you they this with a meso culture mix?  Also, your drain/hang time is a bit longer than this recipe.  She's suggesting 6-12 hours.  Drain time would affect pH (she says most of the acid development occurs during draining) but I think your sour issue is about culture choice.

Does this make sense to you?  Do you have some mesophilic culture you could try?


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