Author Topic: Pressing and acidity?  (Read 1100 times)

Offline george (MaryJ)

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Pressing and acidity?
« on: February 01, 2013, 06:53:09 AM »
This is something that has confused me for quite a while, I just don't understand it.

All you old pros out there (bless your sharing hearts!) keep making references to not leaving a cheese in the press longer than called for, because it may end up too acidic.  My problem is, what difference does it make in raising acidity whether it's IN the press or sitting next to it air-drying? 

In my case, for example, the cheeses aren't going to a different temperature immediately after being removed from the press - they're sitting to air-dry in the same room a foot, at most, away from where they were just pressed.  So does it really make a difference given those circumstances?  (We're talking predominantly cheddars, goudas, fontinas, with the occasional stinky or baby Swiss tossed in for good measure.)   Can't wrap my mind around it.   ???
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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Pressing and acidity?
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2013, 08:15:19 AM »
Most cheese deforms/sags unless it sets up enough in a hoop or mold. if your cheese sets up, feel free to remove.
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Offline george (MaryJ)

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Re: Pressing and acidity?
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2013, 08:42:48 AM »
I meant if it sits in the press too long.  Which generally happens with me.  If a cheese is supposed to do the final press for say, 6-8 hours or "overnight", it's in for final press early/mid-afternoon, and it's gonna SIT in there till I get around to it in the morning.  Or even till afternoon.  I seem to be turning out cheeses that are perfectly fine for all that, that's not my issue.  My issue is that I just don't understand the concept of "too long in the press" creating unwanted acidity, versus just sitting around with no weight on it NOT creating unwanted acidity. 

Or have I gotten the whole concept wrong from the start so I'm confusing myself for nothing?   :o
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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Pressing and acidity?
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2013, 08:47:18 AM »
Usually a cheese will stabilize naturally and a few hours here and there won't make a huge difference. This is not the case for bloomies, some engineered cheese, and for cheese with holes (emmentaler types, rindless swiss, etc)

What you posted about press vs not press alone doesn't matter for rate of acidity. Where did you read that it makes a difference?
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Offline george (MaryJ)

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Re: Pressing and acidity?
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2013, 08:55:34 AM »
I don't remember exactly, I just remember seeing it mentioned a bunch of times, I just hadn't gotten around to asking the question till now (especially since all my babies seemed to be coming out fine regardless).  Although now that you've said it, I'm betting that all those mentions were in reference to holey cheeses.  Hence my confuzzlement.

Thanks!!   You are a gem as always.  :)
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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Pressing and acidity?
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2013, 09:05:55 AM »
keeping in mold vs not for acidification might in some cases make a difference, but that would be due to something like having your press in a cold area and storing the cheese in a warm area. In other words, temp or other differences.

the whole swiss thing is more about not overacidifying and brining in time. doesn't have much to do with keeping in the press vs keeping out in the open. Most cheeses are forgiving when you brine, but a few, listed above, are not.
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Offline Mike Richards

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Re: Pressing and acidity?
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2013, 11:15:36 AM »
Thanks for having this discussion.  I've had the same question, though I can't remember where I've seen the issue raised before.  Comments like, "Acid develops faster in the press" or something like that come to mind.
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Offline H-K-J

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Re: Pressing and acidity?
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2013, 01:41:48 PM »
I remember a post from Sailor about pressing in a heated pot or under heated whey, that would make the cheese acidify faster (or something like that)
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Offline bbracken677

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Re: Pressing and acidity?
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2013, 06:11:47 PM »

In my case, for example, the cheeses aren't going to a different temperature immediately after being removed from the press - they're sitting to air-dry in the same room a foot, at most, away from where they were just pressed.  So does it really make a difference given those circumstances?  (We're talking predominantly cheddars, goudas, fontinas, with the occasional stinky or baby Swiss tossed in for good measure.)   Can't wrap my mind around it.   ???

good point...makes me think that perhaps I should air dry in the fridge initially to reduce acidification once out of the mold. I have had issues with too much acidity and I think that it may be due to leaving in the press too long. However, this raises a good point that perhaps I should airdry in the cave to reduce/stop acidification.

Offline george (MaryJ)

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Re: Pressing and acidity?
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2013, 05:50:19 AM »
I remember a post from Sailor about pressing in a heated pot or under heated whey, that would make the cheese acidify faster (or something like that)
Right.  I suppose if I were pressing in the pot, or otherwise keeping the pressing curds warmer than ambient, I'd probably at least try to follow the specific times more closely - that just makes sense to me.

But, well, ya know, I'm just too lazy for that.   8)   So I'll just schedule my Baby Swiss's vewwy vewwy cawefuwwy.  Thanks again LB!
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Offline AndreasMergner

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Re: Pressing and acidity?
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2013, 09:50:04 AM »
Aren't a lot of cheeses salted after pressing?  In that case the salt will stop/slow down acidification. 

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Re: Pressing and acidity?
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2013, 10:35:48 AM »
When we make a hard cheese, we put it into the brine immediately out of the press. This stops acidification, because the brine is cool. A cheese left out at room temperature will not acidify too quickly either, but if left under whey or a large cheese wrapped in the press it will hold heat allowing bacteria to produce acid.

Then the specifics of culture also add to he equation. Thermo cultures, for example, will slow down a lot when the temperature is lost. Mesos not so much. But then again, I don't mess with mesos so I could be wrong.

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Re: Pressing and acidity?
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2013, 08:33:25 AM »
I never quite understood the idea of "pressing overnight". I guess I'm a little paranoid about runaway acidity. When I press, I'm also checking periodically for pH level. I'm generally looking for 5.3-5.4 to remove from the press and brine. If I were to just blindly toss it in the press and let it go until morning (could be >12 hours), the acidity would probably tank. I think early on I followed those instructions and...ta-da!...crumbly, acidic cheese! :'(

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Re: Pressing and acidity?
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2013, 10:01:06 AM »
How long are you keeping it warm?

IT is really only necessary to keep it warm for the first few presses in the schedule I use (5 min, 10 min, 20 min, 40 min, 1hour, 2 hour,  4 hour, 8 hour) in order to knit the curd. After that, there is no need and it is in fact not good to keep the cheese warm for the reasons here discussed.

After we get a good knit, the cheese can be allowed to loose its warmth.
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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Pressing and acidity?
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2013, 10:15:12 AM »
Quote
"pressing overnight". I guess I'm a little paranoid about runaway acidity.
It's used in cheese plants as a practical tool for some cheeses. You let it acidify, and say it takes 6-8 hrs to reach 5.5. By that time, all the work is done and you cut heat to the make room. So cheese sits and slowly acidifies more, and when you come back, it's at 5.2-5.3. It can be an issue with modern cultures, less so with old timey approaches
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