Author Topic: Swiss making tomorrow! My first cheese in two weeks!!  (Read 2148 times)

Offline Likesspace

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Swiss making tomorrow! My first cheese in two weeks!!
« on: February 28, 2009, 09:14:20 PM »
Well now that my company audits/fiscal year end/inventory is over I can resume my cheesemaking life. It's been nearly two weeks since I've been able to make a  batch of cheese and the withdrawl has been horrible.
Tomorrow morning I will do my first attempt at a swiss, using both Ph measurements and pre-pressing under whey.
I really wanted to do another traditonal cheddar, but I want to get another swiss sweated out before the temperatures get too high in my part of the world.
I cut my "pot follower" out of HDPE earlier this evening and have everything set up and ready to go. Just thinking about giving these new methods a try gives me a bit of a thrill.
Even if this turns out to be a failure, it's going to be a thousand times better than sitting in an office and crunching numbers for hours on end. I love my job, but the final week in February is too close to hell for comfort.
Looking forward to making a new cheese and looking forward to becoming an active part of the forum once again.

Dave

Offline Captain Caprine

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Re: Swiss making tomorrow! My first cheese in two weeks!!
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2009, 11:00:00 AM »
Dave,
Good to have you back.
Time to get your cheese swerve on!
CC
Just once...
I want to make cheese with no border collie hair in it!!!

Offline Likesspace

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Re: Swiss making tomorrow! My first cheese in two weeks!!
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2009, 02:15:46 PM »
Well so much for making cheese today....
A few minutes ago I threw away my first batch of cheese/milk.
In the past I have had some cheeses that did not turn out as I had hoped, but this is literally the first time that I have had to dump a batch without turning out at least some type of cheese (at least the first that I can remember).

I honestly don't know what happened. I warmed my five gallons of milk....added the culture and calcium chloride. Let the mixture ripen and added rennet.
I did everything just as I have in the past but the milk never came even close to settting, in fact it was pretty much still liquid other than a few grainy pieces floating around.

Right now I'm a little ticked (okay a lot) and wish I could pinpoint something that I did to cause this failure. This is just pretty much the perfect ending to a perfect week. Sheesh.

Oh well, In another two weeks I can try something again.
It certainly won't be a swiss since I used all of my remaining p. shermanii and don't want to buy more this late in the cheesemaking season.
I guess it was inevitable that I would eventually lose a batch of cheese, but it really ticks me off that it was THIS batch.

Dave

Offline chilipepper

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Re: Swiss making tomorrow! My first cheese in two weeks!!
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2009, 02:52:09 PM »
Bummer man... that really sucks.  The cheese gods are cruel this time of year! :)  That is pretty bizarre... milk was from a know source and quality?   It is possible your rennet is bad. I would think rennet would set unripened milk just as well which would leave the cultures out of the equation. 

Sorry to hear of your loss and I feel for you - I guess the gods have a hypothetical Swiss and a Stilton to enjoy! :)

Offline Captain Caprine

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Re: Swiss making tomorrow! My first cheese in two weeks!!
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2009, 05:49:13 PM »
That sucks dude
Just once...
I want to make cheese with no border collie hair in it!!!

Offline thegregger

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Re: Swiss making tomorrow! My first cheese in two weeks!!
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2009, 09:16:48 PM »
Dave:

Did you add the Calcium Chloride when you added the starter?  My understanding is that you add it when you add the rennet.  I made a 4 pound wheel of Swiss yesterday.  I'm still going "by the book", and am in the process of shopping for a pH meter.  I'm thinking of going with the Milwaukee one that compensates for temp.

Best of luck for your next batch.

Greg

Offline Likesspace

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Re: Swiss making tomorrow! My first cheese in two weeks!!
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2009, 08:23:51 PM »
Greg....
I've given this failure a lot of thought (okay, I admit it...I've been obsessed with it) and I honestly can't say for sure what process I followed.
This was a bad batch from the start, mainly because I was working in a brain dead state.
I do know that I screwed up the amount of proprionic I added at first. My 5 gallon recipe called for 2-1/2 tsp. and I only added 1/2 tsp. and then had to add more, after the milk had already started to acidify.
I also do think that I added the calcium chloride at the same time I added the starter but I can't be certain.
That being said, I've added calcium chloride before the milk has been warmed.....right before renneting.....at the same time as the starter and even a couple of seconds after renneting if I realize I have forgotten it. Even with all of this variation, I've never failed to get a good set.
I really don't know what I did wrong here but the rennet I used is from the exact same batch I used two weeks ago with no problems. I screwed up somewhere, but I'm just not sure where.
As I said, I was pretty much brain dead when I started this batch.
First of all, I set my milk by one of the heat vents to help it warm and forgot about it for 4 hours. By the time I poured it into the vat it was at 80 degrees which I don't think should have caused a problem, but who knows.
Also, I checked the empty jugs and the expiration date on the milk was 3-7-09 which was only 6 days from when I tried making this batch. Usually my milk is still close to two weeks from the expiration date.
It could have been any of the aforementioned things or it could have been a combination of all of them.
Regardless, I'm not going to try making cheese while sleep deprived, mentally stressed, emotionally drained and a bit hung-over, again. I've learned my lesson.

Dave

Offline Brian

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Re: Swiss making tomorrow! My first cheese in two weeks!!
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2009, 08:35:11 PM »
Maybe left over sterilizer in the pot?????


Just guessing.

Brian

Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: Swiss making tomorrow! My first cheese in two weeks!!
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2009, 08:41:29 AM »
I missed this thread altogether.

I have thrown away 2 seperate 5 gallon batches.  I know the pain you feel.  Kinda like getting ready for a hot date, with all the planning and anticipation.  Then come to find you can't get out of the driveway because your car won't start. 

bummer.


Back to your issues;  Is there a chance that you CaCl2 is bad?  or you added the wrong amount?  The only times I get a "liquid set" is when I do not add the CaCl2.

Wayne A. Harris - in vino veritas

Offline Likesspace

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Re: Swiss making tomorrow! My first cheese in two weeks!!
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2009, 07:26:03 PM »
Hey guys...
I've given this a lot of though and I'm sure that my problem was in letting the milk sit out WAY too long at room temp (and above).
I have made two more batches of cheese since this failure and everything worked out perfectly, using the same ingredients.
As I put in my original post, I set my milk beside the heat vents in our house to bring it up to temp quickly.
The only problem with this method is that I forgot all about it for like a 4 hour period and by the time I put it in the pot, it was at 80 degrees F.
Now of course 80 degrees is not an overly high temp, but it probably reached this temperature within a half hour or less. In short I'm pretty sure my milk had gone over by the time I tried using it.
I was totally brain dead when I tried to make this batch and did learn some things from the experience. It was a total bummer, but like all of the batches I've make (tried) it taught me something.

Wayne.....
One thing I did read recently is that you use more calcium choloride than I have ever used. I usually add  1 tsp. no matter how large of a batch I make but I'm pretty sure you use .5 tsp. per gallon.
Since you always seem to get a better set than me I'm going to try this on the next batch of cheese that I make.
The only problem with this plan is that it's been getting really nice here in southern Illinois and I have so many things calling me.
I'm sure I'll make at least a couple of batches of cheese this summer but man.....I'm enjoying the bicycle and the yard work and the running, etc.

Dave

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Swiss making tomorrow! My first cheese in two weeks!!
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2009, 02:19:36 PM »
You can't have it set too long at room temp Dave. Most the time in olden days that's what they did to ripen cheese.

I think the problem could be a couple of things. First sanitizer left in the pot, that's a real big no-no. Danlac says that the cultures are real sensitize to it.

Next could be one of the cows the milk came from had antibiotics in it's system too close to milking. Danlac also says that can have a major effect on the outcome of the cheese.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Likesspace

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Re: Swiss making tomorrow! My first cheese in two weeks!!
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2009, 08:21:18 PM »
You're right, Carter....it could have been any of those things or any number of other things.
I've decided to put this one behind me since it is my first total failure and I've made a couple of other cheeses that have worked out fine, since.
On a brighter note, I hear you sold a press to one of the members on this forum.
Just so you know, he gave a glowing review of your press on the other forum and seems to agree with me 100% concerning the quality and functionality of your design.
He was also pretty impressed with the size of cheeses you have aging. :-)
Thought you might like to hear this.

Dave

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Swiss making tomorrow! My first cheese in two weeks!!
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2009, 08:36:19 PM »
And thanks again for the referal. I'm glad he likes it. He also picked up some cultures and ProRobotic Culture for Swiss so you might have some competition.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Estes

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Re: Swiss making tomorrow! My first cheese in two weeks!!
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2009, 05:18:18 PM »
I am sold on your press Carter after Dave's reviews.  I am going to save up and hopefully contact you at some point in the future.  Still have a few things to work on the technical end though...

Offline Likesspace

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Re: Swiss making tomorrow! My first cheese in two weeks!!
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2009, 06:51:54 PM »
Sheesh, now I'm a little embarrassed...
Estes said "dave's reviews"....plural.
I guess I have been a little over-zealous when it comes to this press but I would challenge anyone to find a better designed press for the home cheesemaking environment.
Estes......
You can always do as I did and make a very inexpensive press for the time being. I would, on the other hand, start saving your pennies for Carter's press.
His press might not be the most inexpensive but it should last a lifetime and the results are beyond compare.
Add this "review" to the others.  ;D

Dave