Author Topic: Help with Curds!  (Read 510 times)

Offline Cruci

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Help with Curds!
« on: February 28, 2013, 10:56:05 PM »
Hello!,

I am new here, but I have been making cheese for years now.
Only just starting to get heavy into my love of it.
I have a raw cows milk source available once every quarter now. So I am practicing with homo milk from the store.
My curds set with mesophelic cultures no problem. But with my thermophelic culture for mozzarella it has been sitting for 2-3 hours with no clean break.
Is it OK to let it sit overnight with the rennet and culture to try to achieve clean break?


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Offline WovenMeadows

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Re: Help with Curds!
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2013, 01:38:34 PM »
You say the milk is homogenized, but you didn't say if it was pasteurized as well - I presume it is?
Also not clear whether the milk is gelling at all and simply not reaching a clean break, or if there is no gelling whatsoever.

Three possibilities come to mind:
1. Thermo culture is not very active (too old, not stored well, etc). You may not have noticed it when using raw milk, as the milk probably had some native starter cultures anyway. If the acidity is not dropping, coagulation will be much slower. But I'd expect some by a few hours time...
2. Rennet quality is low, or not enough used - you generally need more rennet with bought milk.
3. Milk was ultra-pasteurized. Denatures protein and does not coagulate well.

Offline Cruci

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Re: Help with Curds!
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2013, 05:32:23 PM »
You say the milk is homogenized, but you didn't say if it was pasteurized as well - I presume it is?
Also not clear whether the milk is gelling at all and simply not reaching a clean break, or if there is no gelling whatsoever.

Three possibilities come to mind:
1. Thermo culture is not very active (too old, not stored well, etc). You may not have noticed it when using raw milk, as the milk probably had some native starter cultures anyway. If the acidity is not dropping, coagulation will be much slower. But I'd expect some by a few hours time...
2. Rennet quality is low, or not enough used - you generally need more rennet with bought milk.
3. Milk was ultra-pasteurized. Denatures protein and does not coagulate well.

I was under the impression all homogenized milk was pasteurized. But any which way yes it is. My rennet is in the freezer and expires at the end of the year. My bacteria is fresh ordered from a supplier.

I experimented 2 more times with this recipe since then. I doubled the calcium chloride in my most recent attempt and it yielded better results for a curd. Still not a clean break though. kinda messy break. 1/4 tsp calcium chloride per galon. Recipe calls for 1/8. Next batch will me 3/8 calcium to see if my curd is fully hardened.

On another note I could not get my mozza to be stretchy!!! My temperature control is to perfection, but I do not have a pH meter. I know this is my culprit.

How can one tell if the pH is right during the cooking of the curds stage with out a meter? Perhaps wait until they are fully dry and no whey is coming out?