Author Topic: Did everything right & milk still won't coagulate  (Read 389 times)

Offline jzine

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Did everything right & milk still won't coagulate
« on: September 18, 2013, 11:02:00 PM »
I was really careful this time to be sure I followed the recipe exactly (petit brie from Ricki Carroll's Home Cheese Making)...everything was sterilized, the temperature of the milk was just right, I diluted the rennet in cool water, was certain my milk (1 gallon) was not ultra pasteurized, etc. Might be the only time I'm sure all the elements were right. However, after 4 hours the milk was nowhere near coagulating.

I figured I was going to throw it out anyway so I diluted and added an additional 1/4 tsp. rennet out of desperation. After 1 hour it's only now sorta starting to coagulate, but barely. This is my first batch of cheese with this particular rennet (just purchased...animal rennet...from New England Cheesemaking Supply Co.) so I know it's good (at least I assume it is).

What gives!? Any idea?

Any info. would be greatly appreciated. I just want to make sure I don't make whatever mistake I clearly made again.


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Offline hoeklijn

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Re: Did everything right & milk still won't coagulate
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2013, 01:10:33 AM »
Assuming the temperature of the milk was right and it was store bought milk (so not from the farm with a chance of antibiotics) I can only think of two reasons:
1. the culture did not do it's job
2. the rennet is not ok. There is rennet available in different strengths and I once bought mine from an other supplier and had to triple the amount I used.
Sorry I can't offer you more help than this....
- Herman -

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Did everything right & milk still won't coagulate
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2013, 01:33:31 AM »
most likely your rennet is bad or water had chlorine.

Quote
the culture did not do it's job
It would still set even with no culture if rennet was active, albeit slower.

Quote
so I know it's good (at least I assume it is).
Not necessarily. May have been temp abused or mishandled.
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 jzine

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Re: Did everything right & milk still won't coagulate
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2013, 12:09:18 PM »
Hmm...maybe I should try another rennet (and you're right, I didn't used filtered water. Never have & it's worked before but who knows!). Thanks for the replies. Much appreciated!

Offline Spoons

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Re: Did everything right & milk still won't coagulate
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2013, 10:35:22 PM »
Sometimes, filtering the water (with a brita) isn't enough. Especially in States like Florida where the chlorine content is elevated. I usually use distilled water. It's a safer bet.
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Offline gsager18

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Re: Did everything right & milk still won't coagulate
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2013, 12:43:33 AM »
I'm sure some people won't like this solution, but I use aquarium dechlorinator on my tap water (one drop per however much water I need to use). Using it in the fish tank enables a bacterial colony to survive in there, and they say that clean aquarium water is safe to drink so I don't see why cheese made with a tiny drop of it would be dangerous. And all my rennet, culture, etc has always worked with it.

Online H-K-J

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Re: Did everything right & milk still won't coagulate
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2013, 09:13:45 AM »
A gallon of distilled water is a little over a dollar, using a 1/4 cup to hydrate my blue molds and dry calf rennet (which has never failed to coagulate my milk) or a quart to make a brine, it just doesn't add that much more to the price of the cheese. in the past I have also just boiled the water and then let it cool to room temp before using.
A friend of mine works for our city water department, I asked him about the chlorine build up on my garden, his answer was, if you fill a glass with water and let it sit you can see the chlorine on the edges of the glass as it evaporates from the water its self.
don't know if this is any help, just my 2 cents.
my suggestion, get some dry calf rennet and distilled water
act as if it were impossible to fail.