Hello, sorry if this question has been addressed before, I didn't find it in a search.
Whenever I make cream cheese, it sets beautifully, strains fine, comes out lovely. But when I add the salt (either in between the layers of curd as I ladle them into the cheese cloth, or stirred in after straining), it seems to change in consistency. It yellows, curdles slightly, kinda grainy. Almost like it's half turning into butter! Is the kosher salt I'm using too abrasive for such a delicate cream cheese recipe? Perhaps I'm using too much or too little rennet. Or not the right culture. Or the cream is pasteurized at too high a temp? Should I use some calcium chloride if it IS pasteurized?
Here's the recipe I typically use:
1 quart heavy cream (usually Promised Land)
1/8 tsp M100
1-6 drops of liquid veggie rennet (I've tried all within that range)
2 tsp kosher salt
Cream is heated to 65-75 degrees F (tried all within that temp range), add starter, then rennet, both with the usual up/down motion. It sets for anywhere between 6-12 hours or until set, I suppose based on room temp. Strain and hang for 6-12 hours. It's always fine at this point (unless I added the salt before straining, like I mentioned previously). Then if I stir in salt it gets weird and it happens instantaneously.
I guess I could just leave the salt out, and just sprinkle it on top as I serve it. Still, I'm curious as to how and why this is happening. I would be very thankful for any comments from some of you more experienced cheese technicians, thanks