Author Topic: cheese sticking to the cheesecloth??  (Read 2961 times)

Offline Nick

  • Medium Cheese
  • ***
  • Posts: 64
  • Cheeses: 4
  • Default personal text
cheese sticking to the cheesecloth??
« on: April 17, 2009, 06:50:30 AM »
Hi can anyone help,

I got my press going and I had a disaster when i took my cheddar out of the mold, the cloth was stuck in the cheese and damaged the surface all over when I tried to peel it away! So I presumed it was because I may of pressed at too much pressure.
 Today I made some Red Leicester cheese I pressed it for a couple of hours then took it out of the mold to redress it, it happened again, I didn't apply too much pressure this time but it still damaged the cheese's surface even at the first press stage. The cloth isn't creased into the cheese its actually stuck to the surface and when I attempt to peel it away it peal away the surface of the cheese too.
 Also, this second time I used a very fine gauge cheese cloth thinking that this would help but it hasn't. Do you think I should oil the cheese or cheese cloth before pressing , maybe with olive oil?

Any ideas?
Thanks Nick


Guests, join the CheeseForum.org community to remove this ad.


Offline MrsKK

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Wisconsin
  • Posts: 1,875
  • Cheeses: 61
  • Default personal text
Re: cheese sticking to the cheesecloth??
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2009, 07:16:35 AM »
Do you wet your cheesecloth before putting the curds into it?  I know some people have had trouble using dry cheesecloth.  Also, your curd may be a bit too hot when you are putting it into the press/mold.

A good solution for either situation - or when you can't figure out what is going on - is Plyban cheesecloth, which is sold by Hoegger Goat Supply (link:  http://hoeggergoatsupply.com/xcart/home.php?cat=17&send_isJS=Y&send_browser=YNY|MSIE|7.0|Win32|Y|1024|768|)  It sells for $3 for two 18X22" sheets.  I had some and loved it, then put it away in a plastic bag to store it.  I was cleaning out my cupboards and thought I just had a plastic bag full of plastic bags, so I threw it away, trying to avoid being a pack rat.  I'm totally disgusted with myself, as I really liked the way the plyban worked for me.

Offline Cornelius

  • Medium Cheese
  • ***
  • Posts: 67
  • Cheeses: 3
  • Default personal text
Re: cheese sticking to the cheesecloth??
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2009, 08:00:23 AM »
Hello Nick,

Sorry, this is not going to be any help as I was actually going to ask that very same question, but now that you did I will add my observations to this topic rather than opening a new one with the exact same problem.

I made 3 batches of a pressed cheese over the past two weeks following this recipe (only that I made it with only 2 gallons): http://www.cheesemaking.com/Beaufort-AlpineStyle.html

As directed, I actually did the initial pressing "under whey". Hence, this stage and the subsequent pressing stages all had rather warm (if not hot) curd. The cheesecloth was soaking wet when I fist ladled the curds.

My first attempt was quite traumatizing. After the final 12 hours of pressing I attempting the gently unwrap my cheese only to watch it tear and rip the skin leaving many holes and scars ... I decided I needed to change the number of swaps, so on my second attempt I un-molded and re-wrapped the cheese after 5 min (under whey), then 15 min, then 1 hour, then another hour and lastly after a total of 12 hours (increasing the weight with each stage). With each un-molding the sticking became worse and needless to say, the final one ripped deep scars into my cheese. My third and final attempt, I decided to press with less weight than the recipe asked for, ending at a max weight of 65lbs - same problem here.

I have thoughts of making adjustments, but I would greatly appreciate some input before I ruin another batch (they are not disposed of by the way ... I am still aging them to see what happens. I am just afraid the many bumps and holes will cause mold and growth problems). Here are my thoughts of changes:

1) reduce the weight even more?
2) keep the curds at scold temp for longer to release more whey and dry out more - maybe my curds have too much moisture left in them at the time I start ladling?
3) press without a cheesecloth (why use a cloth anyways)?

I have made other pressed cheeses in the past, but never heated the curds above 104F and never used more than 35lbs weight.

Any suggestions?

Thanks.

P.S. sorry, I hope I am not interfering in somebody else's topic.

Offline thebelgianpanda

  • Medium Cheese
  • ***
  • Location: Springfield Oregon
  • Posts: 89
  • Cheeses: 3
  • Default personal text
    • Cheese a Day
Re: cheese sticking to the cheesecloth??
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2009, 11:00:19 AM »
1.  Be fanatical in making sure you don't have folds in your cloth.  Folds will get in between the curd and rip apart the cheese at the end
2.  Use one layer of loose weave cloth
3.  If it sticks, give the loaf of cheese an hour long brine then try and release the cloth again.  It could take a couple hours, but that has solved every sticking problem I have.

Here is a blog post on how I personally use cheese cloth that has given me the most consistent results.  YMMV :)
http://cheeseaday.blogspot.com/2009/04/how-to-use-cheesecloth.html

Offline Cornelius

  • Medium Cheese
  • ***
  • Posts: 67
  • Cheeses: 3
  • Default personal text
Re: cheese sticking to the cheesecloth??
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2009, 02:49:17 PM »
Hi,
Thanks for your reply. I think I had very few folds in the cloth, as a matter of fact, it was the smooth parts where it really stuck and ripped the surface as I attempted to pull it off. I did try moistening the cloth and cheese just before removing after pressing for 12 hours, but I didn't think of giving it an hour long brine bath ... I guess I will give that a try.

Also, I had a look at your blog post and was intrigued by the fact that you only line the rim - is that the way it is usually done? Because I usually place the cloth square into the mold to form a kind of bag with a portion on the bottom wrapping up the sides. I fill this with curd, tug and trim up the slack, then lay another (smaller) square on top before placing the follower and weights etc. In other words, I have cheesecloth on all sides of the cheese. However, I don't think this is the problem as the smoothest, most continues area of cloth coverage are the ones most tightly interwoven with the pressed curd causing a tear as I remove the cloth. 

I will also try to follow your recommendation of using a loose weave cloth - but did I understand your blog correctly: there really isn't any practical purpose to using cloth other than the visual imprint it leaves? In that case I could simply roll it across a patterned surface after pressing it ... ;)


Guests, join the CheeseForum.org community to remove this ad.


Offline thebelgianpanda

  • Medium Cheese
  • ***
  • Location: Springfield Oregon
  • Posts: 89
  • Cheeses: 3
  • Default personal text
    • Cheese a Day
Re: cheese sticking to the cheesecloth??
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2009, 04:08:31 PM »
If you are using a lot of weight in your press then cheesecloth certainly does help to prevent curd from being pushed out of the bottom, but from the last twenty or thirty batches I've made I can't tell any difference in taste or texture.  I do use a piece of cloth on the bottom and a piece on the follower most of the time, but the biggest gains in appearance are from lining the walls of the form.

If it's the flat parts that are sticking, then use the brine trick.  It will also smooth over any egregious defects as well, or just simply don't press as long.  The reason it is sticking is because the curd and the cloth are drying out and forming cheese-cement.

"Also, I had a look at your blog post and was intrigued by the fact that you only line the rim - is that the way it is usually done?"
Heh, no, I think for every ten cheese makers there are 11 ways of doing it.  This works really well for me though, after a lot of experimentation.

These were lined and brined in the manner I described in that post: http://cheeseaday.blogspot.com/2009/04/i-have-two-loaves-of-raw-unwaxed.html

This used the 'bag method' you described: http://cheeseaday.blogspot.com/2009/04/three-gallontwo-percent-er.html

The one on the left had no cheese cloth, the one on the right did: http://cheeseaday.blogspot.com/2009/03/this-is-bit-out-of-order-but-i-thought.html

Offline Nick

  • Medium Cheese
  • ***
  • Posts: 64
  • Cheeses: 4
  • Default personal text
Re: cheese sticking to the cheesecloth??
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2009, 11:15:09 PM »
Yes I am  having the exact problems you described, I attempted a press without cheesecloth. It came out like a porcupine, looked quite funny but not really practical, so really have to use the cheesecloth. I am very surprised that this problem hasn't been raised before?

Offline Rich

  • Medium Cheese
  • ***
  • Posts: 42
  • Cheeses: 0
  • Default personal text
Re: cheese sticking to the cheesecloth??
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2009, 05:55:12 AM »
I have had sticking problems in the past.  For some reason, the problem has disappeared over time, and the only thing I'm doing differently is eliminating the cloth on the final press.  Some things to consider:  is it new cloth that gives the problem, or older cloth?  How do you sanitize your cloth?  Do you rinse your cloth when you redress your wheel?  Personally, I sanitize by soaking the cloth in a bleach and water solution for at least 10 minutes, and I rinse it thoroughly between applications.

As for the purpose of the cloth:  it provides a very small space outside your curd mass for whey to be channeled away, as well as preventing the curd from being squeezed out of the mold.  The texture it imparts is, in my opinion, inconsequential and not really desirable.

Offline zenith1

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Wallkill, New York
  • Posts: 801
  • Cheeses: 25
  • "Blessed are the Cheesemakers"-Monty Python
Re: cheese sticking to the cheesecloth??
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2009, 01:36:46 PM »
It could also be a problem of a bacterial contaminant. Sometimes if this is the case a gas production causes the cheese to swell inside the form causes it to be difficult to remove.
Keith

Offline Cornelius

  • Medium Cheese
  • ***
  • Posts: 67
  • Cheeses: 3
  • Default personal text
Re: cheese sticking to the cheesecloth??
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2009, 01:52:34 PM »
That's a scary thought "bacterial contaminant". How do I know it is safe to eat the cheese?The type of cheese I made is using raw milk (no pasteurization) and the type of cheese made (as per recipe mentioned in earlier post) does not product high acidity during the initial production - I didn't check once pressed as I didn't want to punch a hole, but just before pressing PH was 6.2

The oldest of my troubled cheeses is now 18 days and smells/looks promising. I have managed to keep it at 52F and round about 80-85RH. It is bouncy to the touch when pressed semi firmly. There definitely is a little dry white mold building up in the scars, but I brine wipe it every second day and it seems well under control. I will do another batch tomorrow and make sure to do the following:

* use fresh cheese cloth
* dry curds a little more
* reduce weight to 50lbs
* not press as long
* try a brine bath in order to remove cloth should it stick.

I will report on my outcome.


Guests, join the CheeseForum.org community to remove this ad.


Offline Rich

  • Medium Cheese
  • ***
  • Posts: 42
  • Cheeses: 0
  • Default personal text
Re: cheese sticking to the cheesecloth??
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2009, 06:43:52 PM »
Just curious:  are you having this problem with all your cheeses, or with just one or two varieties.  I used to have this problem with Muenster, but haven't made one for months.  And I've had no problem with sticking either.  Then, I made another Muenster on Saturday, and it stuck badly on the third press.  I removed the cloth and finished up with no cloth on the last press.

Offline thebelgianpanda

  • Medium Cheese
  • ***
  • Location: Springfield Oregon
  • Posts: 89
  • Cheeses: 3
  • Default personal text
    • Cheese a Day
Re: cheese sticking to the cheesecloth??
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2009, 10:25:18 PM »
Sticking with a particular kind, that strikes me as odd.  Like I mentioned, only had issues with sticking when the surface of the cheese in the mold got dry, and I have been able to release every one by brining.  Now I know brining isn't stylistically correct for every cheese, but if it's a question of pulling a chunk out of one of the sides....

Offline MrsKK

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Wisconsin
  • Posts: 1,875
  • Cheeses: 61
  • Default personal text
Re: cheese sticking to the cheesecloth??
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2009, 09:54:29 AM »
"Bacteria" always makes people so scared!  The majority of bacteria on the planet are either beneficial or benign.  Very, very few are the scary ones.

If your cheese happens to be "infected" and you are worried about it, please don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.  Aging the cheese for a minimum of two months will make it acidic enough to kill off any bacterial organisms - benign or malignant - so you will be safe eating it.

I look forward to hearing how your cheese comes out this time.

Offline Cornelius

  • Medium Cheese
  • ***
  • Posts: 67
  • Cheeses: 3
  • Default personal text
Re: cheese sticking to the cheesecloth??
« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2009, 12:18:41 PM »
Thanks for your reply regarding the "bacteria". I was planning on aging this cheese many months - and don't worry, I won't throw it out. Trust me, I have eaten much scarier food items (such as the sausages I smoke and dry age for 3-4 months ... ). I actually don't pasteurize the raw milk I use for this cheese exactly because I have read that cheese at least 60 days old will be fine. I only pasteurize the milk I use for fresh cheeses (or aged for only 2-3 weeks).

My new cheese is currently setting and I will report once pressing is complete. Wish me luck  ;)

Offline Cornelius

  • Medium Cheese
  • ***
  • Posts: 67
  • Cheeses: 3
  • Default personal text
Re: cheese sticking to the cheesecloth??
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2009, 01:30:58 PM »

 ???

OK, nothing has changed ... the cheese ripped. Slightly different, but I ripped. I actually already ripped at the second flip/redress (after only 20 minutes). It then continued ripping and I didn't bother with the brine as I obviously can't brine the cheese at this early a stage ...

Here is what I did. After cutting the curd and stirring to rice size, I heated the curds to 12&F (previously I had only heated to 120F because I thought raw goat milk might not like it as hot as cow milk). I then kept it at 127F for 30 minutes until the curds were quite dry and a lot of whey seemed to have been released. I then pressed under whey with 15lbs for 5 minutes, flipped and pressed again under whey for 15 minutes - after this stage the first tear happened (see attached photo 1, I don't have a shot of the cheese as I wanted to get it back under the weights). I now pressed (out of the whey) for 30 minutes still at 20lbs and ended up with photo 2 - different tear as  now the entire surface is torn, not just the rim. I redressed and pressed at 45 lbs for 7 hours. I tore a little more, but not substantially more. Even after the 7 hour pressing the cloth was still moist and certainly after the initial stages, the cloth was moist, so drying does not seem a problem ...

I am at a loss. Maybe I am heating and drying the curds too much? I might give store bought pasteurized cow's milk a try tomorrow and see how that goes (as opposed to the raw goat milk).