Author Topic: Inconsistant Jack  (Read 667 times)

Offline jeads

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Inconsistant Jack
« on: April 30, 2013, 09:38:38 PM »
I just posted an introduction post, but thought i would follow it up with another one. 

My Jack is inconsistent.  I think it has to do with the moisture in the curd when i put it into the molds. Sometimes it comes out the proper consistency: very sliceable and mostly dense, kind of dry paste, creamy, but not wet.   other times it is very wet, the paste mashes and sticks to the knife when i try to cut, it is creamy like cream cheese is creamy and very wet.  I use the same press and weights and times, but sometimes my curd is "tough" throughout and sometimes i can break open larger curds and they are still soft inside.  Even though both batches have been through the almost same regimen.  do i just wait for the curds to cook longer and dry out before hooping?

I posted a photo of the right one.  i can also provide a wrong one at a future date.

Thanks again.
John

here is my basic recipe.
pasteurize the raw milk. 145F for 30 min
Cool to 95.
Pitch Culture (basic mezo)
Wait an hour
Pitch rennet to flocculate in 15 min, X3 for 45 min cut.
Cut to 1"
Wait 5 min
Slowly heat to 103 over 30 min
Stirring every 5 min
Then continue stirring for 1 hour more.
Drain whey
Salt to 2%
Put into molds. 
Add min weight
Flip in 30 min
Add med weight
Flip in 1 hour
Add max weight. (off the wall press, 50kg.)
Pull from press in 12 hours.
Brine in saturated brine for 4 hours
dry for 2 days
age in cave.





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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Inconsistant Jack
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2013, 10:32:52 PM »
1) How are you cutting to ensure even curd size?
2) How are you stirring to ensure even temp and agitation throughout entire curd mass
3) How are you measuring acidity to make sure you're hitting key targets at each major pivot point (rennet add, whey drain, salt)
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Offline jeads

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Re: Inconsistant Jack
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2013, 05:15:01 PM »
Hey.
My batch size is 150 liters.  I am using 2 curd knives with wires.  one horizontal and one vertical.  The cut size is 1.5 cm or so.  ( i think my recipe says 1in, but that was a bad guess)

I am using a commercial double walled vat with steam.  I use a wide paddle and stir with my very clean hands as well to check curd size and make sure i am not matting.

The pH is tougher.  we have a meter, but it is a Oakton EcoTestr and does not seem to have be taken care (stored dry ) and i get erratic readings.  I cannot find a place to buy calibration liquid and so have been flying pH blind.  I realize that this is a bad weakness, and am trying to work with the school to get the funds to buy a new one.  any ideas on a rugged, industrial (think high school students) that is not too expensive (under $100usd)  I have seen posts on the ecotec 110.  I think i will push for it.

Thanks for the help.
John
« Last Edit: May 01, 2013, 05:34:45 PM by jeads »

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Inconsistant Jack
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2013, 06:41:08 PM »
Did you try reconditioning the probe?

1) Pepsin soak
2) Hcl solution or similar soak
3) KCL soak
4) rinse
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Offline jeads

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Re: Inconsistant Jack
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2013, 07:55:48 PM »
No i have not tried anything except soaking in water.
I will have a hard time hunting those things down here (paraguay, SA) but i will do what i can.
Is there a website or link with this explained a bit better?  It is a bulb probe.
Thanks again for the help
John


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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Inconsistant Jack
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2013, 08:08:22 PM »
I posted the process here before. Can't find it now.

To recondition, you have to

1) Remove the protein deposits and any fats stuck to the probe. A protease helps here. Something like diluted pepsin or contact lens solution workd. Skip this step if it seems to hard and just wash with a little soapy water and rinse. Not a long soak, for 10-15 mins.
2) Remove any salts and anything else there with acid. Doesn't need to be concentrated, 1M or so. If you don't have, soak in vinegar. Same soak, 10-15 mins. room temp solution.
3) Get KCL salt. Make a saturated solution. Heat it up to 100-110F or so, not too hot. And leave to soak overnight (6 hrs). This will finish clearing up and recondition/resaturate the junction.

rinse it all off and store in 4 buffer or saturated KCL (aka storage solution)
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Offline jeads

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Re: Inconsistant Jack
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2013, 07:26:03 PM »
An update.

I reconditioned the PH meter with the stuff i could find and used the 4.0 solution that i could get my hands on.  ( i am looking for 7.0 solution), and like magic, it works and seems too be working consistently. I have been calibrating it with the 4.0 solution daily. 
Thanks linuxboy!

I have made 2 yogurts, one cheddar and one colby with the newly working ph meter.  What a difference it makes and kind of fun to watch the processes happen from the science side.

I will post photos when i get a chance. 

One quick question:  It seems that the pH of the milk changes from day to day.  Most of the time it is 6.7 or 6.8, but i have seen it as high (or low) as 7.1.  Is this a pH meter issue or a milk issue.  I would expect that if it was more acid, we would have a contamination issue, but more basic?  Anyone have ideas?

John

Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: Inconsistant Jack
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2013, 08:17:55 PM »
Your milk is OK. Milk that is too basic can be a sign of infection (usually mastitis) in the cows. High somatic cells counts will confirm this.
A moldy Stilton is a thing of beauty. Yes, you eat the rind. - Ed
www.boonecreekcreamery.com

Offline jeads

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Re: Inconsistant Jack
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2013, 07:39:36 AM »
Yes we are dealing with a nasty case of mastitis at the school here. 

So does this throw off my pH targets for my recipes? 
I should get a 0.1 drop after culture before putting in rennet as a general rule, right?

what about the stirring and draining and hooping that have set pH targets in the recipes?  Do i just follow the targets and forget where the milk started?

Thanks
John