Author Topic: Problems with cottage cheese  (Read 968 times)

Offline GusG

  • Young Cheese
  • **
  • Location: Kampala, Uganda
  • Posts: 5
  • Cheeses: 0
  • Default personal text
Problems with cottage cheese
« on: February 07, 2013, 11:22:38 AM »
Last year, on my very first try, I made a decent cottage cheese with culture and rennet. I've been unable to replicate this, no matter what I do the curds come out too soft and when I drain them they lump together so it's more of a cream cheese.

I've been using commercial pasteurized and homogenized milk and I thought that perhaps this is where the issue is so I've now tried with raw mild that I've pasteurised myself (at 65 degrees c for 1/2 hour) with added calcium but no joy.

Otherwise the recipe I'm following is from "cheesemaking.com", i.e. add culture and rennet to the milk, I then let it sit for app. 12 hours after which I cut the curds and then cook them at 46 degrees celsius, the current batch has now sat for some 3 hours at that temprerature without the curds getting to the right consistency.

Any input on what I'm doing wrong is highly appreciated.

Regards,
Gustav


Guests, join the CheeseForum.org community to remove this ad.


Offline bbracken677

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Dallas, Tx
  • Posts: 1,166
  • Cheeses: 16
  • I love me some cheese!
Re: Problems with cottage cheese
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2013, 02:43:07 PM »
I have no easy answer for you, but I do have a couple of questions that MAY lead to a solution, at least in part.

1) What type of rennet, how old is it and how has it been stored?

2) What starter did you use and how much, for how many gallons of milk?

Offline GusG

  • Young Cheese
  • **
  • Location: Kampala, Uganda
  • Posts: 5
  • Cheeses: 0
  • Default personal text
Re: Problems with cottage cheese
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2013, 12:49:59 AM »
The last batch was some 16 liters so app 4 gallons.

The rennet I'm using is Chr Hansen Chy-Max and I used app. 1 gram, the culture is Chr Hansen R-704 and here I used app half a tsp. Both have been stored in a freezer, the culture is quite new and I've had the rennet for about 3 months.

Offline MrsKK

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Wisconsin
  • Posts: 1,875
  • Cheeses: 61
  • Default personal text
Re: Problems with cottage cheese
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2013, 05:19:37 AM »
If you are holding the milk at room temperature and the room is a lot colder than it was the first time you made the cheese that could be your answer right there.  In the winter, I set my crock of cultured milk with rennet into a larger kettle filled with very warm/nearly hot tap water, then cover it all with a heavy towel to hold the heat in.

If that doesn't help, I would think to try a different rennet.

BTW, with raw milk, even if you pasturize it, you don't need to add calcium.

Offline GusG

  • Young Cheese
  • **
  • Location: Kampala, Uganda
  • Posts: 5
  • Cheeses: 0
  • Default personal text
Re: Problems with cottage cheese
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2013, 10:42:39 AM »
The room temperature is usually around 25-28c here (77-82F) and that's pretty general year round so perhaps I should be looking at getting a new batch of rennet. Thanks for the tip on calcium and raw milk, I guess I was just trying to play it safe
« Last Edit: February 08, 2013, 12:51:58 PM by GusG »


Guests, join the CheeseForum.org community to remove this ad.


Offline MrsKK

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Wisconsin
  • Posts: 1,875
  • Cheeses: 61
  • Default personal text
Re: Problems with cottage cheese
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2013, 06:48:39 AM »
Yes, your room temps are just about perfect. 

You might try a different variety of rennet, too.  I started out with liquid calf rennet, but it weakened after six months - I must have gotten the bottom of the vat.  The I used Junket for awhile because it was readily available at Walmart, but they  quit carrying it.  I've now settled on powdered calf rennet and really like working with it.  As long as it is stored in the freezer, it stays good.

Not an option for vegetarians, though.

Offline Sallymc

  • New Cheese
  • *
  • Location: Randolph, TX
  • Posts: 2
  • Cheeses: 0
  • Default personal text
Re: Problems with cottage cheese
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2013, 02:57:49 PM »
OK, this is the first time I logged into this site, so I hope I know what I'm doing with it.  Anyway.  I have been making cottage cheese for years from the milk from my Jerseys.  I do not pasturize it  I just add about 1/4 - 1/2 cup of buttermilk (originally made from a culture) per gallon of SKIM milk warmed to about 82-86 degrees Farenheit.  Let it set for about 12-24 hours until it gels solid.  I don't use rennet at all.  I like small curd cottage cheese, so I make about 1/4" cuts in the curd and put the pan in another pan to form a waterbath and slowly heat it over about 2 hours or so to about 115 degrees F.  Stir it every few minutes to break up the curd and keep it from solidifying on the bottom.   Sometimes I let it sit longer than the 2 hrs.  Just strain it all into a cheesecloth and rinse a couple of times in cold water and salt.  If you use whole milk, the cream will rise to the top and you can take it off and use it for sour cream.  Much easier for me to just skim the cream off before I set the milk.  Hope this helps

Offline Sallymc

  • New Cheese
  • *
  • Location: Randolph, TX
  • Posts: 2
  • Cheeses: 0
  • Default personal text
Re: Problems with cottage cheese
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2013, 03:00:36 PM »
Whoops sorry, spelled pasteurize wrong.

Offline Vina

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Latvia
  • Posts: 124
  • Cheeses: 4
  • Default personal text
Re: Problems with cottage cheese
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2013, 03:38:14 PM »
........
The rennet I'm using is Chr Hansen Chy-Max and....... the culture is Chr Hansen R-704 ..... Both have been stored in a freezer.

are you sure about storing rennet IN FREEZER?
label says +2- +4*C

Offline GusG

  • Young Cheese
  • **
  • Location: Kampala, Uganda
  • Posts: 5
  • Cheeses: 0
  • Default personal text
Re: Problems with cottage cheese
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2013, 01:58:40 AM »
Thanks for all your input.

@ MrsKK, the rennet I use is powder which I'm finding difficult to dose for these small home batches, I was actually trying to find out how I can get liquid rennet

@ Sallymc, I might try your method without rennet and see if I can get that to work. I'm working on getting a better source of milk and would love to end up with jersey milk.

@ Vina, Well, I've now looked that up and it does look like freezing this particular rennet is not the right thing to do so that may go a long way in explaining my failures, thanks for the feedback on this.

Now a new problem, I've been making batches of simple cheese, just skim milk, rennet and culture then drain the curds and add cream for a kind of cream cheese. The last two batches (in the last two days) have gone funny with a lot of bubbles on top of the vat when it should be ready for draining, it doesn't look right. I've simultaneusly made yogurt with milk from the same source with no problem. Is this poor hygiene or perhaps my cheese cultures have been "infected"?


Guests, join the CheeseForum.org community to remove this ad.


Offline MrsKK

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Wisconsin
  • Posts: 1,875
  • Cheeses: 61
  • Default personal text
Re: Problems with cottage cheese
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2013, 07:55:41 AM »
When I need to use just a tiny amount of powdered rennet, I get the smallest amount I can into a spoon, then take a pinch between my fingers.  That's usually a small enough amount to gel the milk.  However, I still dissolve it in a quarter cup of cool water before stirring it into the milk to make sure it "hits" all of the milk.

My powdered rennet is meant to be stored in the freezer.  But maybe not all are supposed to be.

The bubbles in the top of your vat of cheese sound like a yeast contamination.  it can come from making bread in the same area or can be just "on the wind".  Make sure to keep the vat covered well, disinfect all of your equipment, etc.  You can search for yeast on the forum to see if there are other suggestions out there.

If it isn't adversely affecting the flavor of the cheese and you are eating it fresh anyway, I wouldn't worry too much about it.