Author Topic: Cow's milk won't set  (Read 3893 times)

Offline Old Goat

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Cow's milk won't set
« on: November 27, 2016, 12:51:09 AM »
I've been making cheese almost 5 years. I make mostly fresh cheeses, chevre and fromage blanc. I regularly make Mary Karlin's Bloomy Blue Goat. About two years ago I started having trouble getting cow's milk to set. (I have since made a lot of cream cheese.) I use exactly the same ingredients and follow instructions *very* carefully. I now always increase the rennet by about half if using cow's milk. (Should I also increase calcium chloride?) Sometimes it turns hard and rubbery. I think I've had about two successes since this started. I just tried another cheese and it didn't set. Very frustrated. Any ideas?
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Offline Al Lewis

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Re: Cow's milk won't set
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2016, 10:56:34 AM »
You should not need to use calcium chloride in raw milk unless you pasteurized it. ;)
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Offline Old Goat

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Re: Cow's milk won't set
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2016, 10:58:59 AM »
I don't use raw milk.
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Offline Al Lewis

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Re: Cow's milk won't set
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2016, 11:43:34 AM »
The only other thing I could think of is it's Ultra-pastuerized.  Beyond that you'd have to ask what of the pros.
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Offline awakephd

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Re: Cow's milk won't set
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2016, 12:11:33 PM »
Are you using store-bought pasteurized & homogenized milk? If so, even if you are using the same brand, they may have switched suppliers or processing, so that the milk you are now using is pasteurized too high-temp - even if not ultra-pasteurized.
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Offline Al Lewis

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Re: Cow's milk won't set
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2016, 12:18:14 PM »
Good point Andy.  I know the more expensive milk at Albertsons/Safeway will not make decent curd.  The cheap brands are great!!  Here are the ones I bought Friday from Albertsons for my Alpine cheese and it was amazing.  Three gallons of 2% and one of whole milk and got a 4 pound 7 ounce cheese.
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Offline awakephd

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Re: Cow's milk won't set
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2016, 06:36:08 PM »
I too have started using, and getting the best results from, the cheapest store brand - Country Fresh milk from Food Lion, $2.69 per gallon. Of course, if I could get my hands on raw, or even LTP, non-homogenized milk, I'd go for that in a heartbeat ... !
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Offline Al Lewis

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Re: Cow's milk won't set
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2016, 07:33:17 PM »
I too have started using, and getting the best results from, the cheapest store brand - Country Fresh milk from Food Lion, $2.69 per gallon. Of course, if I could get my hands on raw, or even LTP, non-homogenized milk, I'd go for that in a heartbeat ... !
  I can get great raw milk from http://blackjackvalleyfarm.com about 5 miles from me at $7.00 a gallon.  If I take my own container I can get it cheaper but I reserve that for the "special" cheeses. ;)
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Offline Old Goat

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Re: Cow's milk won't set
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2016, 07:43:06 PM »
I'll try switching brands but I usually use one of two high end local brands that are not ultra-pasturized.

Could adding lipase help?

Also, if I increase the rennet do I increase the calcium chloride equally?
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Offline Al Lewis

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Re: Cow's milk won't set
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2016, 07:50:34 PM »
High end is not good, in my experience.  Lipase will just make your cheese taste like parmesan, and no you don't.
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Offline Old Goat

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Re: Cow's milk won't set
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2016, 08:24:15 PM »
The milk I have been using says pasteurized, not ultra-pasteurized.
I will certainly try the cheapest milk I can find, next time.
I'll let you know if that does the trick.
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Offline awakephd

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Re: Cow's milk won't set
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2016, 12:43:34 PM »
Al, I wish I could get raw milk on a regular basis - it is illegal to sell it in this state - though once I did get to use some brought in from out of state. Incredible how much better it was! However, another thread has just alerted me to the availability of some LTP cream line milk an hour away, which would be the next best thing - I'm anxious to give it a try.

Old Goat, it is odd, but if you have to use P&H (pasteurized and homogenized), there is not necessarily a correlation between price and how well the milk works for making cheese. Part of the problem is that "pasteurized" covers a relatively broad range of temperatures, some of which are not far below "ultra-pasteurized" - so there is no guarantee that brand A, pasteurized, is going to work anywhere near as well as brand B, pasteurized. :(
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Offline Danbo

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Re: Cow's milk won't set
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2016, 01:50:25 PM »
What do you consider LTP?

The milk that I'm using is pasteurized at 72C/161F for 15 seconds. It is not homogenized and has not been standardized in any way.

Is it normal that milk has added vitamins in the US? I don't think that it is even legal in Denmark...

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Offline awakephd

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Re: Cow's milk won't set
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2016, 03:54:26 PM »
LTP is heating the milk to 60°C (140°) and holding it there for 30 minutes. Yes, a long time - which is why most milk processors don't do it. So much faster to heat the milk hotter, for just 15 seconds ... but much more damaging to the milk.

Most store-bought milk in the US has Vitamin D added to it. I'm not sure if there are any brands or types that don't ...
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Offline Al Lewis

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Re: Cow's milk won't set
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2016, 03:55:44 PM »
Most store-bought milk in the US has Vitamin D added to it. I'm not sure if there are any brands or types that don't ...

Well all of it up here does because the sun never comes out! LOL
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