Author Topic: Cheese is..not holding shape.  (Read 872 times)

Offline chefrjmarvin

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Cheese is..not holding shape.
« on: March 02, 2013, 10:59:09 PM »
Hello.

I made a cheddar and placed it in my new mold.....when i bought the mold (the pvc looking one with the follower) i thought, this doesnt seem to have a lot of holes for whey to escape.
well i pressed the cheese...hard.  50 pounds for 24 hours...no more whey was escaping.

i moved the cheddar to my cave in the basement and after about 12 hours i went to flip it and it had turned into a weird shape.  the weight of it was pressing down on itself and caused it to kind of fold over at the top a bit and bulge out at the side.

is this caused by having too much moisture in the curd still?

was it just too top heavy?

i can take photos if needed too.



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Offline Tiarella

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Re: Cheese is..not holding shape.
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2013, 11:55:39 PM »
Ph :)otos are always good and help get your more educated responses.  You might be right about the curd having too much moisture.  Post photos and see what others say.  Good luck! 

Offline WovenMeadows

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Re: Cheese is..not holding shape.
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2013, 06:05:53 AM »
Did you use cheesecloth? Cheesecloth is needed with these types to continuously wick whey and moisture from the surface of the cheese out through the holes.

Otherwise I would suspect the curd itself simply had too much moisture and was not cooked long enough in the vat, making for too soft of a formed cheese.

Offline stratocasterdave

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Re: Cheese is..not holding shape.
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2013, 08:00:22 AM »
WM is right.  I would too guess that the curd was not stirred, heated, correctly. Can you share your notes?

Offline chefrjmarvin

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Re: Cheese is..not holding shape.
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2013, 10:34:09 AM »
Sure,

i heated milk to 90 degrees, added culture and let it ripen up for about 45 minutes.
added rennet and let stand for 45 minutes.  curd gave a nice clean break.
i cut into 1/2 inch pieces and let stand for 5 minutes then heated it slowly to 100 degrees in a hot water bath took about 35-40 minutes to reach.
stirring it every 5-10 minutes to keep the curds from weighing down.

at this point i noticed the curds were breaking up rather quickly and small.

I placed the curd into cheesecloth and drained it for 60 minutes.


now this is where things really seemed different.  typically when i hang my curd for an hour it is nice and firm and semi dry to the touch.  this curd was still dripping wet and soft. i let it drain a bit more.

i lined my mold with clean cheese cloth and started to fill it.  it is a 2 pound mold and i had about 2 cups of curd that wouldn't fit.  found this odd too.

pressed it for 10 minutes at 10 pounds, then 20 pounds for 20 minutes then 50 pounds for 12 hours  and flipped it and 50 pounds for 12 hours.

when i took it out it still seemed soft.  the top and bottom of the cheese (the parts in direct contact with the follower was already dry....curious.

i unwrapped it and brought it down to my cave which is at 55 degrees and 80% humidity.

after 1 day i went down to flip and it had bulged out and i noticed little mold spores on it..the little hairy ones with bulbs of mold.....(leading me to think, again, waaaayyyy to moist).

im going to salt water scrub the moldies off and just see what happens. 

might have to chalk this up to mistake, but not sure why the moisture level was so high???


Things different from my last batch were:

brand of milk, the pressing mold i used and the brand of calcium chloride


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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Cheese is..not holding shape.
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2013, 01:44:25 PM »
Quote
let stand for 45 minutes.
Too long this time of year if curd size was really 1/2". And too big of a curd size for milled curd styles. What was your time to floc?
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Offline JeffHamm

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Re: Cheese is..not holding shape.
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2013, 02:13:40 PM »
...

at this point i noticed the curds were breaking up rather quickly and small.

...

Things different from my last batch were:

brand of milk, ...

It sounds like you had some curd shatter, where the curds basically disintegrate when you try to stir them.  This is a result of the milk being pasturized at very high temperatures.  I had that a couple times, and like you, the resulting cheese simply retained a lot of moisture.  The texture may be off for a cheddar, but it can still be a decent result so don't give up.  It sounds like it went straight into the cave after pressing.  I would suggest air drying this out of the cave at room temp for 4 or 5 days to try and get rid of the excess moisture and to try and firm up the rind.  Good luck with it. 

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Offline WovenMeadows

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Re: Cheese is..not holding shape.
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2013, 08:32:41 PM »
Like Linuxboy said, 45 minutes at 90 degrees with a 45 minute preripening is rather long for a hard cheese - the longer the coagulation, the moister the curd. Then, cooking for only 45 minutes from cutting to draining likewise seems short, not long enough to fully expel whey from the curd (at a 1/2 inch cut). Then the fact that you wound up with extra curd compared to normal with hooping confirms you had a lot more moisture in the curd.

More moisture also means more lactose (milk sugars), so you will get a lot of mold growth trying to happen. I'd also expect the finished cheese to be somewhat sour, from continuing fermentation of the milk sugars in the pressed cheese. It may or may not be unpleasant.

Offline chefrjmarvin

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Re: Cheese is..not holding shape.
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2013, 02:33:03 PM »
Like Linuxboy said, 45 minutes at 90 degrees with a 45 minute preripening is rather long for a hard cheese - the longer the coagulation, the moister the curd. Then, cooking for only 45 minutes from cutting to draining likewise seems short, not long enough to fully expel whey from the curd (at a 1/2 inch cut). Then the fact that you wound up with extra curd compared to normal with hooping confirms you had a lot more moisture in the curd.

More moisture also means more lactose (milk sugars), so you will get a lot of mold growth trying to happen. I'd also expect the finished cheese to be somewhat sour, from continuing fermentation of the milk sugars in the pressed cheese. It may or may not be unpleasant.


all of this seems pretty accurate. this was the first time i ever let the milk "ripen" as well, come to think of it.
I followed the directions from a cheese making book.

i will let this cheese mature and hope for a somewhat pleasant outcome, but I think i will just simply make a new batch tonight!


Lots of feedback.  thanks all.

Offline chefrjmarvin

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Re: Cheese is..not holding shape.
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2013, 04:19:02 PM »
here is an update.

Today i went to flip the cheese and wash away any mold.  It has started to firm up and form a natural rind.  two things i noticed and could not find answers for on the forum

1. when i squeezed it a pure white liquid came out of a few spots

2. i notcied really bright yellow/green spots forming.  i mean like fluorescent colored green!! 

im so new, i have no idea what these signs are telling me.



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Offline Cruci

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Re: Cheese is..not holding shape.
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2013, 05:37:30 PM »
Years ago when I made my cheddar I recall after the pressing stage salting the cheese and flipping daily in an open air environment. Make sure to use a wooden cutting board to rest on to absorb moisture from the cheese. Plastic causes unwanted bacteria to grow I remember.

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Cheese is..not holding shape.
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2013, 06:30:16 PM »
Quote
1. when i squeezed it a pure white liquid came out of a few spots
Look up whey pocket on the forum
Quote
2. i notcied really bright yellow/green spots forming.  i mean like fluorescent colored green!! 
This is most likely fusarium or other slime mold.
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Offline Schnecken Slayer

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Re: Cheese is..not holding shape.
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2013, 04:44:24 AM »
When making cheese or wine you need to be very anal about sterilisation.
Clean and sterilise everything, including your hands, equipment, workbench, etc!

You only want the moulds you add, not the wild ones!
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Offline Boofer

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Re: Cheese is..not holding shape.
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2013, 08:53:49 AM »
Make sure to use a wooden cutting board to rest on to absorb moisture from the cheese.
I would be disinclined to follow this course. The cheese should be elevated from whatever surface and allowed to airdry on plastic matting. A wooden cutting board could be a nightmarish wonderland of foreign molds, bacteria, etc. :o

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Offline CWREBEL

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Re: Cheese is..not holding shape.
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2013, 12:35:32 PM »
Hopefully it pulls through. Can you post a picture?
-Chris