Author Topic: Parmesan - Using 2% Milkfat Milk?  (Read 1153 times)

Offline Denise

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Parmesan - Using 2% Milkfat Milk?
« on: July 31, 2013, 02:45:48 AM »
I want to try my hand at a parmesan. All the recipes I have seen say to use 2% milk, but the only low-fat milk available here (that I've been able to find so far) has been processed to death and would probably refuse to turn into anything even vaguely resembling cheese. A few weeks ago I bought some full-fat non-homo milk and then had to leave it sitting for a few days (life getting in the way) in a polystyrene cooler box. When I opened the cartons, the milk and cream had separated out and I had to literally scrape the thick cream off the sides of the cartons. Could I do the same again, this time deliberately leaving the milk to sit for a while (overnight in the pot? Would it go off? Nighttime room temps of around 25C), skim off the cream and use what's left to make parmesan?

Could I use the cream to make marscapone? (How much cream would 16 litres of full-fat milk yield?) Cream cheese? Rich 'n' creamy ricotta (mixing it in with the whey)? A trifle? Ice cream? I found a recipe for Cheshire cheese that used creme fraiche as the starter - could I culture the cream and use that?

The parmesan recipes also all seem to call for the use of lipase, which I'm not going to use on account of I'm a vegetarian. Will the lack of lipase have a very big effect on the taste of the cheese? Is there anything non-beast-based that I could/should use as a substitute?

Would a 16l batch make a cheese large enough not to need waxing while it ages? My cave has a bowl of water in it, but the humidity rarely gets higher than around 70%.

Lots of questions.... ::)

Offline jwalker

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Re: Parmesan - Using 2% Milkfat Milk?
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2013, 07:19:50 AM »
Not sure about the milk , but there is a vegetable Lipase available , you could try it.
No..........I'm not a professional CheeseMaker , but I play one on TV.

Offline Tiarella

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Re: Parmesan - Using 2% Milkfat Milk?
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2013, 09:58:51 AM »
Yes, taking the cream layer will get you skimmed milk although not sure of percentage of butter fat because of the variables.  I made a parm style cheese last August with very high butterfat goat milk and it's a great cheese to use in Parm situations. 

Linuxboy had some suggestions for who,e goat milk parm cheese.  he recommended separate cream if possible, add a little calcium chloride to increase strength, increase rennet a little (but that may have been only for goat milk, not sure), cut the curd to 1/4" size or smaller to help push the moisture level down, stirring longer and controlling floc time for a shorter set time so curd isn't too strong and will release the whey, and to use a whisk for curd cutting.  Again.....the floc comment may have been mostly applying to goat milk versions and I hope I've accurately shared his suggestions.  Perhaps he'll chime in here.  Do post about results!   :D

Offline WovenMeadows

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Re: Parmesan - Using 2% Milkfat Milk?
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2013, 11:34:53 AM »
Based on taste and mouthfeel, I find that top-skimmed milk tastes most comparable to a standardized 2% milk. And the few grana-type cheeses I have tried have been with all top-skimmed milk, and are seeming to come out right in respect to the amount of fat present and its effects.