Author Topic: cheese for hog feed?  (Read 1337 times)

Offline eric1

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cheese for hog feed?
« on: May 23, 2014, 07:02:17 AM »
I wanted to post this in one of the Cheese Type Boards, but I didn't know where to post it.  Here's my question.  There are times when I have a surplus of skim milk that I'd like to preserve as feed for the next couple hogs I raise.  The best way I know to do this is to clabber the milk with buttermilk, then strain it, and freeze the strained/consolidated clabber/cheese.  Of course, the reason I make cheese like this is to remove some of the water and concentrate the protein so it doesn't take up as much freezer space.  What I'd like to know is if there's a reasonable way I could do without the freezer, either year-round or at least over the non-summer months.  I haven't even built a press or fashioned molds (or prepared anything to use for a cheese cave) yet, but if I pressed cheese hard enough and added enough salt would it keep well enough for hog feed in some random farm building (protected from pests)?  Would I be able to soak some of that salt back out?  I don't want to feed too much salt to the hogs.  Would I have to use rennet?  I'm just speculating as to possible options, but if there are any possibly reasonable options that might get me around using the freezer, I'd be very interested in learning about them.  Thanks very much.
Eric


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Offline elkato

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Re: cheese for hog feed?
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2014, 07:36:06 AM »
It would be a good idea to do a small accounting exercise (I am not an accountant) and factor in the cost of the milk, gas, electricity, labor.
and maybe this expenses would be better invested in a good simple aged cheese for human consumption that can be sold for much more than its equal weigh in hog feed,
and you can still use all the whey and any spoiled product for them (I am sorry if this answer is not in line with your plans)
best regards
Luis.

Offline WovenMeadows

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Re: cheese for hog feed?
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2014, 12:25:52 PM »
I'm skeptical of the efficiency of this as well. How much surplus milk and how many pigs are you talking about?

Offline eric1

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Re: cheese for hog feed?
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2014, 08:27:37 AM »
I've figured out the tangential questions plenty well enough to suit my needs, and I don't think those questions particularly concern this forum, but that still leaves me with the cheese making questions.  My big question is whether there are any alternatives that might be an improvement over freezing strained clabber, especially any alternatives that wouldn't involve a freezer (or other electric storage.)  Any thoughts?  Even speculation?

Offline jwalker

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Re: cheese for hog feed?
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2014, 09:42:38 AM »
I would give it a try , personally if I were trying it , I would use rennet for a good curd set , and maybe even use some cheap culture first , to make sure it acidifies enough to keep any bad bacteria at bay , and age for a minimum of 60 days.

I would make as large a wheel as possible , using as little salt as possible , and starting with skim milk , you may come out with something akin to Parmesan , which should keep for a long time if kept cool.

I would also press it very hard , and wrap a rope around it and hang them in one of your cooler outbuildings , out of reach of mice and other animals.

Using as little salt as possible , I wouldn't think there would be too much danger of feeding your hogs too much salt , and the leftover whey could be fed to them right away.

Sounds like a plan worth trying anyway , it might even make a decent cheese , who knows ?

It's a very interesting idea , keep us posted if you do it.

You could figure out the economics of it after the first try or two.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2014, 10:14:35 AM by jwalker »
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Online Sailor Con Queso

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Re: cheese for hog feed?
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2014, 10:04:40 AM »
Make a simple whole milk ricotta and then freeze it.
A moldy Stilton is a thing of beauty. Yes, you eat the rind. - Ed
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Offline elkato

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Re: cheese for hog feed?
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2014, 11:41:49 AM »
I would do a very simple tome type cheese (see recipe in the forum) use buttermilk as starter or even yogurt , instead of a cheese mould wrap  the curds in cheese cloth and make a ball that you can squeeze and leave something heavy like a board on top.
you can then use the whey as feed (it will be 90% of the volume of milk, the rest 10% is the cheese) and the cheese can be left to age in a cool place like a cellar for several months (if it becomes rotten the hogs will eat it anyhow)
and if it doesn't rot it will also be eatable (by humans)

Turning surplus milk into cheese is something that mankind has been doing for some time now, whatever the final customer may be
best regards
Luis.

Offline eric1

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Re: cheese for hog feed?
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2014, 06:02:48 AM »
Thank you, everyone, for helping me think through this question, and sorry that I've taken this long to say so.  I have had some time to think on this by now.  What you've really wound up motivating me to do is to make more interesting cheeses for personal consumption.  It seems like the extra steps to avoid the freezer would put me much too close to a good cheese fit for human consumption to be able to then justify making hog feed.  What's mainly held me back from making any kind of cheese for aging is not yet having figured out how I want to construct some kind of pest-proof "cave".  I'm pretty sure that the best compromise in my circumstances and with my goals will be limiting my aged cheese making to cheeses that start mainly in the fall when outdoor temperatures won't be fighting so hard against me.  That would still leave me with several of the strongest grass/grazing months of the year when I assume outdoor temperatures and humidity would make it nearly impossible to age any kind of cheese without refrigeration, months when I also wouldn't have much time for serious cheese making anyways.  Of course, the preservation problem goes away if I have hogs at the same time that I have the surplus milk, but the problem comes when I'm wanting to buy time until I'm otherwise ready for the next little round of hogs.  My latest curiosity is dehydration.  Anyone know or have ideas what would happen if I did just what I did before, but instead of putting it in the freezer, put it in a dehydrator?

Offline MrsKK

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Re: cheese for hog feed?
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2014, 09:09:58 AM »
The problem I'm seeing with this entire train of thought is that you are throwing away the best parts of the original milk.  Cheese retains most of the fats along with the protein and other solids...pigs raised on fatty foods are very fatty themselves.  A gentleman in our area feeds his hogs waste cheese from a local cheese factory and I've been told that their fat and meat taste very rancid - the reason he has to constantly drum up new customers.

I make cheese for human use and freeze up the whey to feed to the pigs.  If I didn't have freezer room, I would can up either whey or whole milk to feed to the pigs.  I can it in 1/2 gallon jars in a water bath canner for 1 hour, though I could probably get by with less time.  It is still of use for human-grade consumption, though the cooked smell of it turns me off and I can only use such milk for cooking purposes.

Offline awakephd

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Re: cheese for hog feed?
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2014, 10:45:54 AM »
Karen,

I am surprised that you can successfully can milk in a water bath -- I would have thought the acidity far too low, requiring a pressure canner to be safe. That said, while I've done lots of research on canning various veggies and salsas and such, I've never looked to see what is recommended for canning milk ...

Andy


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Offline jwalker

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Re: cheese for hog feed?
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2014, 11:44:30 AM »
Andy , Shelf milk , UHT or Ultra High Temperature Pasteurized milk , in tetra-packs at stores , they've been doing it for years.

Lasts for up to six months on the shelf , needs to be refrigerated when opened though.

My grandmother used to do it too.
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Offline eric1

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Re: cheese for hog feed?
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2014, 09:04:23 PM »
Karen, I'm skimming as much cream as I can scoop off the top before I do anything for the hogs, so there shouldn't be much fat left in the milk that I use for the hog cheese (although I'm skeptical of whether the cream wouldn't make good pork if I did feed it), and I've also only used the cheese as a supplement together with other feedstuffs.  My main objective with the cheese making when I was using the freezer was to concentrate the nutrients so that I could put more feed in the freezer and less water.  I was quite happy with the way it all worked, all except for the need to run a freezer mainly for animal feed.  Of course, feeding fresh dairy directly to the hogs without any kind of preservation would solve that problem, but being able to buy time is especially helpful at the scale I'm at.

Offline awakephd

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Re: cheese for hog feed?
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2014, 10:35:53 PM »
JWalker, I am not surprised that one can can milk; I question whether it is safe to do so using a water bath canner rather than a pressure canner. Again, my canning experience is extensive when it comes to vegetables, but non-existent when it comes to milk ... but with vegetables, it is a major risk to can low-acid foods in a water bath. Maybe milk is not subject to botulism spores? (Nasty way to die, by the way.)

As I was typing this, I decided to do some searching. Page nine of the following USDA guide shows milk as a low-acid food that must be pressure canned: http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/usda/GUIDE%201%20Home%20Can.pdf

Other websites that came up in a Google search were unanimous that pressure canning is the only approved method for milk:

http://hoeggerfarmyard.com/canning-milk/
http://www.motherearthnews.com/real-food/how-to-can-milk-zmaz84zloeck.aspx#axzz390p3XNe7
http://razorfamilyfarms.com/cooking/canning-and-preserving-milk-at-home/

Naturally, folks can do as they choose, but I do want to be sure anyone who thinks about canning milk understands the potential risks.

Offline jwalker

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Re: cheese for hog feed?
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2014, 10:25:09 AM »
JWalker, I am not surprised that one can can milk; I question whether it is safe to do so using a water bath canner rather than a pressure canner. Again, my canning experience is extensive when it comes to vegetables, but non-existent when it comes to milk ... but with vegetables, it is a major risk to can low-acid foods in a water bath. Maybe milk is not subject to botulism spores? (Nasty way to die, by the way.)

As I was typing this, I decided to do some searching. Page nine of the following USDA guide shows milk as a low-acid food that must be pressure canned: http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/usda/GUIDE%201%20Home%20Can.pdf



USDA hmmmm......... I guess they know whats best for us. ;)  ;D

Like Pasteurized milk.   :o
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Offline awakephd

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Re: cheese for hog feed?
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2014, 12:32:57 PM »
On the whole, pasteurization has been a huge benefit to health, even though it is not at all helpful for making cheese. If you don't know and trust the source of the milk, drinking it raw may be a crap shoot. Anybody remember tuberculosis?

Again, folks can certainly do as they choose. But botulism is truly nothing to play around with. At the very least, I would encourage anyone using a water-bath canning method to use the product ONLY in cooking, and ONLY when the milk will reach boiling temperatures for at least 10 minutes. But why take the risk? Pressure canning is easy, and quicker, and safer.