Author Topic: Melting Cheese !  (Read 719 times)

Offline jwalker

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Melting Cheese !
« on: November 06, 2013, 10:28:12 AM »
can anybody tell me why some of my cheeses melt nicely and others will not , they get soft and puffy , but don't actually melt.

???????????????? ??? ??? ??? ???????????????
No..........I'm not a professional CheeseMaker , but I play one on TV.


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Offline Spoons

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Re: Melting Cheese !
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2013, 11:54:06 AM »
I've had the same problem in the past. I never got a straight answer, more of a "it could be this or that".

With that being said, I don't have much more to offer except a recent observation that may, or may not be a factor: Homogenization.

I've made a few mozz since I switched from store bought P/H whole milk to organic P/Non-homogenized milk. I melted some of the cheese on two occasions and they were both times successfully melted.

Again, it's just an observation on my part. Nothing scientific here. No definitive answer, but if I do get a weird puffy cheese, I'll post it here.
- Eric

Offline Pete S

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Re: Melting Cheese !
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2013, 01:01:16 PM »
  I was told that it was to little acid or to much rennet.  this can be caused by late season milk
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Offline Alpkäserei

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Re: Melting Cheese !
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2013, 01:10:05 PM »
depends on the cheese, but most often your problem is acid.
Higher acid cheese do not melt, the best melting cheeses are washed curd types such as Raclette which have a high pH because whey has been removed and replaced with water. long aged Alpine types, for example, never melt very well and often don't taste good once melted, this because the pH is low.

Other times, it could be over dry curd -which is caused normally by to strong rennet or too much time in the make after rennet is added.

Other times, the problem is a broken protein structure, which is caused by pasteurizing and homogenizing milk. 

Examine your procedures and identify which of these is most likely to be your problem. If you want a good melting cheese, try adding some water at some point in the make after cutting the curd to raise the pH, even if the original recipe doesn't call for this (makers of Emmentaler have used this trick for, I don't know, 300 years or so, even though no Emmentaler recipe I have ever seen calls for it)
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Offline Spoons

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Re: Melting Cheese !
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2013, 03:27:26 PM »
Thanks Alpkäserei!

So, as long as you check your PH markers, use the flocculation method and use a good source of milk, there shouldn`t be a melt problem. Got it!

Thanks again!
- Eric


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Offline Alpkäserei

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Re: Melting Cheese !
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2013, 04:36:50 PM »
IF the cheese is suitable for melting to begin with

as for the rennet, here I don't simply mean time to cut. You must remember, from the moment you add the rennet until the cheese is pressed out, there is change going on. Cutting too early can make a drier cheese that won't melt, but also wasting time after cutting and not getting the whey off soon enough can result in similar problems in some cheese types, ESPECIALLY if you plan to raise the temperature, as per Alpine style cheeses.
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Offline frankwall

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Re: Melting Cheese !
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2013, 03:37:06 AM »
Yes, absolutely right - some cheese doesn't melt well! It may be obvious but if you're having trouble, you can also use thinner slices ;)

Offline jwalker

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Re: Melting Cheese !
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2013, 06:41:39 AM »
Thanks all , and especially  Alpkäserei , for the tips.

I'm thinking it must be my milk , since most of my cheese has been washed curd Gouda types so far.

Altho the odd one seems to melt very nicely , and going over my make notes , I don't see that I did anything different.

I have since found a source of better milk , so in a few months I will know if it is any better.

Thanks again all.
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Offline dthelmers

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Re: Melting Cheese !
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2013, 01:43:03 PM »
Here's an article from the University of Wisconsin magazine Dairy Pipeline. I found it very helpful.
Dave in CT

Offline FRANCOIS

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Re: Melting Cheese !
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2013, 06:46:37 PM »
Actually higher acid (lower pH cheeses) melt.  Low acid (high pH) cheeses do not.  Basically to create melting you need to disrupt the casein bonds.  There are two main ways to do this:
1.  Reduce your pH in the cheese
2.  Mold ripeneing (proteolysis)

Reducing pH is why mozzarella melts and parmesan does not.  When functional mozzarella is made commercially it is aged for a few weeks to drop the pH and create melt/stretch properties.

Mold ripening is why washed rinds and white moulds get gooy and runny.


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Offline jwalker

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Re: Melting Cheese !
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2013, 11:02:18 AM »
Thanks all for the replies.

And Dave , that's a very informative link there , I have bookmarked it for further reading , it gets right to the heart of the matter , thanks a lot for finding and posting that.
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Offline Alpkäserei

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Re: Melting Cheese !
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2013, 03:57:04 PM »
Hello, there is more to it than simple pH levels. In this instance, comparing mozzarella to Parmesan is not really fair. They have an entirely different structure for reasons other than simple pH.

As a rule within the cooked-curd type, where we raised the temperature of the curd after cutting to expell excess whey there are 2 things which affect how well the final cheese will melt. First there is the pH. In this instance, due to the interplay of other factors, we will keep the pH HIGHER if we want the cheese to melt when exposed to heat. The simple way to do this is to add water, or a step up from this is to remove whey and replace it with water. This is the principle of Brätchäs of Central Switzerland and its more famous offspring, Raclette. By diluting the whey we make a cheese that easily melts. Emmentaler producers also discovered this and in Switzerland it is normal to add water to the vat when making this cheese so that the final product will be sweeter and melt better (they like to use it in the fondue)
The other factor is how well you cook the curd. As a rule, the more you cook the curd the worse it will perform when you try to melt it. A curd that has been overcooked will bubble and expel fat but never melt -may become some sort of moon-rock looking thing. If we cook it less, the protein structure more happily dissolves when exposed to heat. This very fact is used to our advantage when aging these cheeses. The protein structure is not so easily broken when the curd has been well cooked, so that means the cheese is more stable when aged for a long period.

But when you move outside of the Alpine and related washed curd -raised temperature cheese families, it works a lot differently. I don't know how it works exactly, these cheeses are beyond my knowledge.
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