Author Topic: Speeding up acid production?  (Read 783 times)

Offline alandmark

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Speeding up acid production?
« on: May 22, 2013, 09:50:17 AM »
I'm making a chevre-style pasteurized sheep milk cheese - 1/2 tsp Meso Aroma B per gallon of milk, temp is 74F. I let the pH drop to 6.2-6.1 before adding the rennet, which is taking around 8 hours. It takes about another 6 hours for the rennet to set up and the pH to drop to 4.6-4.5, which is when I drain it in molds for 12-14 hours, flipping and lightly salting a few times. The cheese is turning out about perfect, exactly what I want. My question is, is there a way to speed that initial acid production - the drop to 6.2 or so - without changing the end result of the cheese? Would adding more culture speed things up? 76F instead of 74?

I live 1.5 hours from the plant I'm making my cheese in right now and it's a travel issue for me - having to make 3 trips up there vs 2. I like the result I'm getting by letting the acid develop for awhile before adding the rennet, but I might have to change up my recipe and add the rennet at the same time as the culture.


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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Speeding up acid production?
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2013, 11:45:44 AM »
Quote
is there a way to speed that initial acid production - the drop to 6.2 or so - without changing the end result of the cheese? Would adding more culture speed things up? 76F instead of 74?
Double the culture and increase to 76F and should help. You really do need a somewhat slow acid development at first though. The rate of micellar breakdown has to be balanced  with acid production rate for a very high quality chevre style.
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Offline alandmark

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Re: Speeding up acid production?
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2013, 04:35:27 PM »
Ok, thank you, that's exactly what I was wondering. I'll try doubling the culture and bump the temp a few degrees and see if I maintain the quality I've been getting.

Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: Speeding up acid production?
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2013, 05:15:06 PM »
That's a lot of travel time. Are you making large batches? With dry cultures, the bacteria first have to wake up, start eating, and then multiply. Mother Cultures are much faster.

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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Speeding up acid production?
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2013, 05:33:34 PM »
That is another option. With aromatic mesos, your strain ratios may be off even with one propagation. Give it a try and see if flavor development is the same. Should work ok with multiple undefined strains.
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Offline quidnunc

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Re: Speeding up acid production?
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2013, 10:59:31 AM »
Hi all

alandmark says his cheese is "just as he wants it";  both alandmarks question and Linuxboy's answer make reference to 'quality.  How does one measure the quality of their cheese? In the absence of any feed-back from customers I guess it would be based on a personal and subjective measure of taste and texture.  Would I be right in thinking this, or is there another, objective way of determining quality?

quidnunc


Offline linuxboy

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Re: Speeding up acid production?
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2013, 11:27:26 AM »
Few ways:

- Objective method is based on a standard of identity, and quality is measured by consistency. So you take a perfect cheese, determine the make and final QA parameters (ph, MFFB, FDM, etc), and then test batches for variance.
- Subjective. This is your more organic organoleptic method. It's not that subjective though. Requires a trained palate  and taking notes of consistency and deviations. Basically uses the brain as a computing and sampling device.

both require establishing baseline first.
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Offline alandmark

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Re: Speeding up acid production?
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2013, 05:03:48 PM »
That's a lot of travel time. Are you making large batches? With dry cultures, the bacteria first have to wake up, start eating, and then multiply. Mother Cultures are much faster.

Click Here: Making Mother Cultures


Thanks for the link for making mother cultures. I'll have to give that a try. How much mother culture would I add per lb or gall of sheep milk for a soft cheese? I'm working on getting my cheesemaking license in Wisconsin and launching my first cheese in the next two weeks, so I'm making small batches right now - 100-150 lbs of milk - and I'm doing a lot of marketing and handing out samples to build a market for larger batches through the summer. If I didn't have small children I'd just camp out at the plant for 18 hours, but that's not gonna fly with my husband right now! 

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Speeding up acid production?
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2013, 05:19:00 PM »
Quote
How much mother culture
Try 3% to start and see how timing works out.
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Offline WovenMeadows

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Re: Speeding up acid production?
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2013, 06:35:58 AM »
I hadn't seen recipes/techniques calling for such a long preripening before adding rennet, for a lactic-set cheese (which has very little rennet added anyhow). What are the differences that come of this, vs adding your rennet early on? Linuxboy did tell us that "The rate of micellar breakdown has to be balanced  with acid production rate for a very high quality chevre style," could you elaborate on what this means?


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