Author Topic: Regional pH of milk  (Read 561 times)

Offline bgreen

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Regional pH of milk
« on: July 27, 2013, 11:54:16 PM »
Hi all

Well i tried the recipe for Gouda.... from http://www.wacheese.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=81:gouda-washed-curd-howto&catid=43:moderate-cook-temp&Itemid=66

All i can say ....it was one of those days that everything just went wrong.... and I would have been better reading a book.... so despite ending up with a formed cheese with small hairs over it ( have worked out that even if you have boiled the cheese cloth... visual inspection is a good idea) and then having the mould slip under the pressing weight and and ending up getting a large chunk cut off... and deciding to end it there.....my question is about......  pH levels...  still trying to come to terms with this....

It seems the milk i use in New Zealand... raw organic cows milk, but pasteurised prior to buying has a pH of around 6.75.  It is winter....My target was 6.55... doesn't seem much difference.... but it took 3 hrs 20mins to get there after adding the culture.  Flora Danica 1/4 tsp for 12 litres of milk.

So should i use more starter culture.... get up a lot earlier on a cheese making day or is there something else i can try..... an additive to get the milk to the right pH level?

Secondly when i was in the washing the curd stage... target was to get to 6.2 - 6.3 from 6.4 after 15 to 20 minutes of stirring.... i just did not see the drop..... pH remained constant at around 6.4.  Should i have stirred for longer....  faster?

And lastly if the pH is higher e.g..  6.4 instead of 6.25 after the washing stage.... how does that effect the cheese.... is it structure/texture or taste or all?


Thanks again for all your help.... still wondering if i should see cheese making as a science or an art :)  Bruce


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Offline Boofer

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Re: Regional pH of milk
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2013, 01:30:47 AM »
a formed cheese with small hairs over it
You might try plastic cheesecloth (Plyban) if you have it available in your area.

it took 3 hrs 20mins to get there after adding the culture.  Flora Danica 1/4 tsp for 12 litres of milk.

So should i use more starter culture.... get up a lot earlier on a cheese making day or is there something else i can try..... an additive to get the milk to the right pH level?
I can sympathize with you. Been there, but not doing that any more! ;) When I started out, it would take hours for the pH to drop. I was really frustrated and I posted about my long ripening times. I have since been able to achieve .1 delta with 30 minutes. Mother cultures help a lot. They give you a thriving community ready to set up shop, as compared to dry cultures that have to propagate through several generations before anything happens. :P

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Offline bgreen

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Re: Regional pH of milk
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2013, 02:17:00 AM »
Hi Boofer thanks for that...Reassuring to know its not operator error.....don't think I am ready for the mother culture just yet....small steps....would you think it is worth trying say 1/2 teaspoon of starter culture...to see if that speeds up things

Offline Boofer

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Re: Regional pH of milk
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2013, 09:02:08 AM »
Yeah, Bruce, I've added a little more culture to get the "critical mass" population going sooner. There is the prospect of over-acidification if you add too much culture and don't monitor the pH curve.

Are your cultures fresh? I keep mine vacuum-sealed in my freezer.

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Offline bgreen

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Re: Regional pH of milk
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2013, 03:11:01 PM »
Hi Boofer

The culture was purchased from a reputable source 4 months ago and has been kept in the freezer so i am thinking so.... will try 1/2 teaspoon and have a good book handy just in case! 

Re the other part of my question why the pH did not seem to drop after the washing stage... would that be related or should i be stirring more... waiting longer??? 

I get nervous when the drop doesn't happen thinking the milk will spoil..... cheers Bruce


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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Regional pH of milk
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2013, 03:44:42 PM »
Quote
target was to get to 6.2 - 6.3 from 6.4 after 15 to 20 minutes of stirring.... i just did not see the drop..... pH remained constant at around 6.4.  Should i have stirred for longer....  faster?

It's really, really tough to measure pH in a gouda after you start washing. In Gouda, the standard practice is to target a standardization for the pH, which is most often the rennet pH. Then the process follows a time-based schedule.

Gouda is very forgiving. Don't sweat it. Focus on the basics... even curd cut, temp control, even stirring, good fuse. The rest will come together on its own.
Taking an extended leave (until 2015) from the forums to build out my farm and dairy. Please e-mail or PM if you need anything.

Offline bgreen

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Re: Regional pH of milk
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2013, 05:28:54 AM »
Hi Linuxboy... that sounds good i am making another one tomorrow so will take your advice... thanks again!