Author Topic: Affect of fresh grass on cheese make  (Read 309 times)

Offline lead_dog

  • Medium Cheese
  • ***
  • Location: United States
  • Posts: 31
  • Cheeses: 2
  • Default personal text
Affect of fresh grass on cheese make
« on: April 16, 2013, 05:46:45 AM »
For those of you who understand cheese chemistry better than I...

Two to three times per week, I make an Alpine (Gruyere style) cheese in batches of about 100 pounds, forming them into 12 pound wheels. For the past several months, my cows were primarily on hay and a little feed, and the make procedure was routine. However, they moved to fresh grass a few weeks ago and I observed two very interesting changes in the make.

1. After I press under the whey and go to hoop, the curds are MUCH drier than normal and have a little trouble staying together
2. The terminal pH is MUCH higher (around 5.50) compared to what had been very consistent (around 5.0-5.1).

Nothing has changed other than the diet switch to spring grass. Could that have anything to do with these changes?

The final cheese looks/feels just fine after pressing/brining, but I'll keep an eye on how it develops and turns out.

Offline WovenMeadows

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Saranac, NY
  • Posts: 165
  • Cheeses: 5
  • Default personal text
Re: Affect of fresh grass on cheese make
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2013, 08:18:36 AM »
I think with the lush spring growth, milk production tends to be up, but more dilute - so lower percentages of protein and fat. Since casein buffers acidity/pH, with less casein, the acidity will rise faster. Perhaps the cut curd expels whey faster too, drying out more quickly.