Author Topic: Cheddar texture  (Read 1270 times)

Offline terrie

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Cheddar texture
« on: March 09, 2009, 08:04:23 AM »
I made a cheddar about six weeks ago.  Every thing went well...nice curd etc.  I tried it yesterday and was disappointed.  Taste was pretty good, but the texture was a little dry and crumbly.  It will melt, but not easily.  Can anyone give me some help?


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Offline thegregger

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Re: Cheddar texture
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2009, 10:50:35 AM »
Terrie:

Did you measure for acid while making the cheddar?  If not, you might have made an acidic cheese.  If the pH falls to low (typically below 5.0), the cheese will be somewhat dry, crumbly, and lacking in complex flavor.  Also, the melting properties will be severely diminished.  Basically, it will resemble Feta cheese.

What makes this especially frustrating is the fact that the cheese seems to be on target during the cheesemaking process.  Without a pH meter, there is no way to know until you cut it open, or sample the cheese with a trier.

Greg

Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: Cheddar texture
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2009, 10:55:54 AM »
This is a common problem.
I have my share of "crumblier" cheddar.  (that was for you Tea!)

I believe that the root of this problem is that the cheddar was allowed to get too acidic.
"The single most important factor in the control of Cheddar cheese quality is the extent of acid production
in the vat"


In cheddar, the Lactose acid bacteria like Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis will continue to convert Lactose sugars into lactic acid untill one of the following things occur.

  • The temperature of the curd rises high enough to stop the process
  • Enough Salt is added to stop the process
  • The culture is left unchecked and the acidity in the vat rises to the point that it stops on its own.

Most recipes will state that the the pH should never drop below pH5.1, but left unchecked,  Cheddar will acidify to a much lower pH.  (I cannot find the specific reference, but I think its in the 4.3 area)


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Offline terrie

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Re: Cheddar texture
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2009, 03:50:12 PM »
Please...no more equipment!  Did they not make good cheese back before they had PH meters?   If more salt or temperature will help, can someone suggest how much of either or both?

Offline Tea

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Re: Cheddar texture
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2009, 04:29:21 PM »
Thankyou Wayne, I feel special now  ;)


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Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: Cheddar texture
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2009, 05:29:03 PM »
terrie,

Certainly cheese was made before pH meters.  They made cheese before Thermometers and stainless steel too.
But I would offer that they also made a lot of bad cheese.

Your original question was why your cheese was hard and crumbly.  The answer is most probably it got too acidic.

There may be others here that can provide assistance into how to tell exactly when the right amount of acid has developed outside the use of a pH meter.  I would imagine there is a curd feel, curd taste or curd texture.  I don't have that much experience. That is the mark of an old-world cheese maker.

Me personal,  I would rather just read a number off a gauge. Its waaaay less subjective.

 
« Last Edit: March 09, 2009, 08:39:40 PM by Wayne Harris »
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Offline goat lady

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Re: Cheddar texture
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2009, 08:32:02 PM »
what kind of milk did you use????

Offline Likesspace

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Re: Cheddar texture
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2009, 08:32:27 PM »
Terrie...
I have to agree 100% with Wayne.
Until recently I have avoided using a Ph meter and even posted one time that I didn't feel they were a necessary piece of equipment.
Well after using one and seeing that a recipe can be "off" by several minutes, I've decided that a Ph meter is pretty much as important as having a cheese pot, a spoon and a mold.
When you consider that a Ph of 5.3 will produce a decent cheddar (or possibly a great one) and a Ph of 5.0 will produce one that is well below your expectations, you can see that there's not a lot of wiggle room there.
I sometimes cringe at how much I've spent on this hobby but one item that will be replaced as soon as it's broken is my Ph meter.
Hope this information helps.

Dave

Offline terrie

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Re: Cheddar texture
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2009, 07:45:19 AM »
O.K.  new day.  Wayne, I'm sure you're right.  I wouldn't want to go to the creek and beat my laundry on a rock just because thats the way they did it in the old days.  I was just having a little hissy fit because my cheese wasn't what I wanted.  So now I will do some research into meters.  Do you have any suggestions on a reasonably priced meter?

Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: Cheddar texture
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2009, 09:18:51 AM »
I understand.  Its ok, we all get frustrated...

You asked about a reasonably priced pH meter.  Well everyone's understanding of reasonable differs.

At the high end of the scale, I want, but cannot justify a really nice pH meter like Ryan has.  At the lower end of  that scale, I have had (and have since broken and replaced) some low-end models.

I have since settled on a middle of the road one.  You can read about it here.

Good luck and let me know if you have any questions.
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Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: Cheddar texture
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2009, 05:25:10 AM »
Terrie, This came up in another thread.  A great read might be this:
http://www.isleofmullcheese.co.uk/jalldridge/jaindex.htm
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