Author Topic: acidification for "squeaky cheese"  (Read 2358 times)

Offline the_stain

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acidification for "squeaky cheese"
« on: April 03, 2009, 12:22:03 PM »
Yesterday I tried my first attempt at "squeaky cheese", or cheddar curds which you eat (or deep-fry, mmmmm) prior to the pressing process.

I used buttermilk as a starter which I believe to be the main source of difficulty I had with good, solid curd formation -- I don't think I let it acidify enough.  Didn't get a very good clean break, and as a result the curds were too soft and didn't hold their shape and I ended up with cottage cheese after stirring/heating the curds.

Anyway, I'm going to keep experimenting, I ordered some "real" Meso-A culture, but in the meantime I was curious.  When making the 30-minute mozzarella, you use citric acid to acidify the milk....  Since this is a fresh, non-aged cheese I guess this is acceptable because you won't need the cultures present for aging.

Since the same is true for 'squeaky cheese' do y'all think it would be acceptable to use citric acid (or lactic acid, which I also have access to) to acidify the milk prior to adding rennet, in an attempt to speed up the process and get a better clean break, thus ensuring better, more "rubbery" curds (which is crucial if you want to bread and deep-fry them.)?

Any thoughts on that?


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Offline thebelgianpanda

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Re: acidification for "squeaky cheese"
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2009, 12:26:25 PM »
I think you just volunteered to be the guinea pig  ;D
Take lots of pictures!

Oh, and there is a post around here somewhere on how to get a better culture from buttermilk, I'll see if I can find it and PM it to ya.

Offline the_stain

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Re: acidification for "squeaky cheese"
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2009, 12:44:50 PM »
I think you are right.... I will be trying this tonight, most likely. :D

Offline linuxboy

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Re: acidification for "squeaky cheese"
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2009, 01:33:56 PM »
Direct acidification will work, but you must have a ph meter on hand to properly time cutting, flocculation, and salting/milling. Direct acidification with mozz brings the pH down to 5.4 to 5.6 immediately. If you do the same with making squeaky cheese, you will get cut mozz curds. And if you don't get the right pH range when salting (5.2-5.35), the curds will not have the proper rubbery quality.

So it's away to save time, but you have less flexibility because acidification is so much faster. Also, the flavor will be different with direct acidification. A meso culture does much more in terms of flavor than break down lactose to form lactic acid.
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Offline the_stain

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Re: acidification for "squeaky cheese"
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2009, 01:39:18 PM »
I'm actually waiting on a new pH meter as my old Hanna-1 has apparently bit the dust after being stored dry for 2 years. :)   In the meantime, I do have some pH strips with a 5.0-9.0 range - do you think those will get me "close enough" until I get my new meter? 


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Offline linuxboy

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Re: acidification for "squeaky cheese"
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2009, 02:57:50 PM »
Depends how good you are at reading the strip colors :)

If you're anxious to experiment, I'd try it with 1 gal and see the results. Try 1 tsp of citric acid (resulting pH should be 5.8 or so), then your usual starter culture and rennet schedule.

Keep in mind that one very critical point is the pH at time of salting, and it can be a bit tough to get the pH of solid curd with strips.

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Offline the_stain

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Re: acidification for "squeaky cheese"
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2009, 04:16:54 PM »
Thanks!  Experimenting is fine with me, especially with milk on sale this week for 2 bucks a gallon!  :D

I'm not looking for perfection, either - if I can get a fairly close approximation I'll be happy.  The important thing to me is to get the texture firm enough, so even if I'm closer on the spectrum to mozzarella than cheddar, I'll be happy, at least in the interim! :)

Offline linuxboy

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Re: acidification for "squeaky cheese"
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2009, 05:09:28 PM »
If you have a cash and carry store (also called smart & final on the West coast) near you, their milk is about 1.60/gal. :)

Also, you could try a trick for pH measurement from the way the labs do cheese analysis. They take a sample, blend it with distilled water in a blender to liquefy everything and put the ions into solution, and then do either pH measurement with a meter, or measure total titratable acidity with a titrator.
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Offline Tea

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Re: acidification for "squeaky cheese"
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2009, 03:46:58 PM »
I call halloumi "squeeky cheese" because once the cheese has been fried it squeeks.  I wonder it what you are trying to make is similar to halloumi?

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: acidification for "squeaky cheese"
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2009, 06:03:42 PM »
I'm not sure about the rest of the country but in Wiscosin Squeeky is just the mornings cheddar or Jack cheese curds not pressed. When you bite them they make a squeeky sound against your teeth.

Try the Montery Jack recipe in the recipe section. I one similar last night and it made some great Squeeky cheese curds. Just be careful not to squish them to much in the fridge or they mat together.


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Offline the_stain

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Re: acidification for "squeaky cheese"
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2009, 09:15:49 PM »
I'm not sure about the rest of the country but in Wiscosin Squeeky is just the mornings cheddar or Jack cheese curds not pressed. When you bite them they make a squeeky sound against your teeth.

That's exactly what I'm going for, but I can't seem to get the curds to remain in "chunks" the way I'm used to.  It ends up falling apart when I drain the whey and turns into cottage cheese.

Thanks for the tip on the Jack recipe, I'll probably give that one a shot tonight or tomorrow! :)

Offline the_stain

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Re: acidification for "squeaky cheese"
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2009, 11:28:11 AM »
UPS will be delivering my double-strength vegetable rennet and meso-a cultures this afternoon, so I'm going to give this another shot tonight I think.    I just can't seem to get a firm enough curd using buttermilk/yogurt as cultures, and Junket Rennet tablets (which is all I can get locally.)   I never quite get a clean break, and then as I stir and cook the curd it just falls apart and turns into something that looks like ricotta cheese.  Hopefully the new ingredients will improve the process and get me on the right track.

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: acidification for "squeaky cheese"
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2009, 05:16:43 PM »
I just drained my curds in a collander with cheese cloth I did squash them a little but they came out great. I think the MJ cheese made the best squeeky cheese so far - but then it was also my first raw milk.

Offline the_stain

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Re: acidification for "squeaky cheese"
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2009, 06:17:36 PM »
Package was just dropped, so I'm going to give it a shot here shortly.   If this doesn't work, it's gotta be the milk.  I've been scratching my head today wondering why the "grocery store brand" of milk is $2.99 a gallon, but the "Generic" brand, which has the EXACT same label -- it really looks like they just took the logo off and put a new logo on, the rest of the label's layout, coloring, etc. is identical - is $1.99.   I'm hoping it's not because I'm getting a lot more water in the cheap stuff! :D

Offline eVenom

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Re: acidification for "squeaky cheese"
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2009, 07:13:43 PM »
can somebody please explain to me way the culture would be responsible for a bad curd set?

unless you over ripe it for 24 hours and it becomes thick like yogurt the I know it will not set correctly but other than that I don't see how it would affect it.

I wish I found milk that cheap here I only find it at around $4 dollars (another reason for me to use Dry&Cream)
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