Author Topic: PH again  (Read 1338 times)

Offline Brian

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PH again
« on: May 14, 2009, 05:19:14 PM »
OK
Making a stirred curd cheddar and using those stupid PH strips that show 5, 6 and 7 PH.
When I first started the store bought milk was slightly over the 6% mark.  I did everything I normally do, added salt and have been stirring the curds, but the whey I'm checking can't seem to get below 6%.
What do I do?  Besides get a good PH meter.

Brian



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Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: PH again
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2009, 06:43:40 PM »
Brian,

What I do:
I stop "cooking" my curds when my pH gets to pH 6.15.

Then during the 'stirring' phase,  add salt to halt the fall of the pH (increase in acid) in the curds.  I do this when the pH drops to about pH 5.5.

My Thoughts on your situation:
The pH falls (acidity increases) when the acid builds up due to the production of lactic acid by the starter culture.  This is required and necessary.  But if you add salt too early you kill the good lactic acid bacteria (LAB), and subsequently the pH of your curds may never drop to the required/expected levels.

You might try stirring the curds until your pH is between 5 and 6, then adding salt.
Wayne A. Harris - in vino veritas

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: PH again
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2009, 08:48:31 PM »
Wayne's right you can't add salt until your PH is achieved. You don't need a fancy PH meter if you learn to read the strips well, that is unless you really want to get super accurate and make consistent batches all the time.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Brian

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Re: PH again
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2009, 11:09:41 AM »
Hell, who want's to make consistent batches all the time?  ;D

B

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: PH again
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2009, 01:40:35 PM »
I think Wayne does, but we'll keep it to ourselves that we think that's foolish.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.


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Offline Brian

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Re: PH again
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2009, 04:00:03 PM »
OK
But I think my problem is that it's not producing enough acid since the strip didn't seem to get anywhere near 5.5%.  Is this possible?  The milk started out a little above 6% and following the recipe, I "cooked" it for an hour.  If at that point, it hasn't dropped sufficiently, would I continue with the cooking phase until a drop in PH, or should I use more starter to increase acid production from the get go?

Thanks

Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: PH again
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2009, 04:02:28 PM »
Its very possible.  You might be adding salt too early.
Wayne A. Harris - in vino veritas

Offline Brian

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Re: PH again
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2009, 04:10:52 PM »
So would not enough acid production make it taste sour or bitter too?

Thanks again. I forgot to put that in the previous post.


Offline zenith1

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Re: PH again
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2009, 06:00:13 PM »
Also Brian, keep an eye on the sticks. Make sure they are fresh and keep them closed tight when not in use. They are very prone to sucking up moisture, and that is a killer to any type of test strip. I might have missed if you said that you have checked them with a test solution. If not you might want to keep some on hand just to QC the strips.
Keith

Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: PH again
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2009, 06:01:30 PM »
Hmm 
in my experience, sour and bitter are indicators of too much acid.

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Offline Brian

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Re: PH again
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2009, 07:04:56 PM »
So I can buy solution that has a particular ph to compare it with?
Man, I'm buying a ph meter.


Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: PH again
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2009, 08:02:05 PM »
One can buy pre-made calibration solutions that are exactly pH 4.01, pH 7.01, or pH10.

These are used to calibrate pH meters. These solutions are realtively cheap, but not re-usable.  There is a thread in this forum that details how to make your own calibration solutions.

IMHO,  In order to make good cheddar, a pH meter can be considered essential equipment.
Wayne A. Harris - in vino veritas

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: PH again
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2009, 10:57:38 PM »
Wayne's correct, you don't NEED a PH meter, but it makes things WAY easier. If you're interested I have a used one I might be willing to part with. PM separately.

As Wayne said sour is too much acid or bad milk or other nasties in it that are souring the milk. Curdling milk is also known as souring the milk, you can use vinegar to sour milk and curdle it to make cheese. Also bitter is usually an indication of too much rennet.

As for the milk, milk's starting PH will ALWAYS be 6.6-6.9. The closer to 6.9 the fresher it is. If you need a PH meter you need one that goes to .01 not .1 which most do. You can always add more starter, to a point, what kind of starter are you using? If you're using direct set then milk with antibiotics in it will kill the bacteria in the starter, but this is rare as antibiotics are not supposed to be in there, by law I think. If you're using tap water the chlorine can do things bad as well.

I once waited 3 hours for the PH to drop on a Parm and it set like crazy, very nice break, but the curds by the time they were done cooking were hard. You said cook longer, usually you bring the milk up to temp add the starter wait until the PH reaches your target then you add rennet. Cooking implies you are heating your milk up to the next level. Anyway, what I would do if you get a PH meter is wait up to 3 hours for the PH to drop. If it hasn't then I would add rennet and call it a test batch. If you are using the same milk try a different brand. Trust me you wouldn't think that but all milk is not equal, even out of the same dairy.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.