Author Topic: Cow's milk won't set  (Read 2983 times)

Offline Danbo

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Re: Cow's milk won't set
« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2016, 10:56:30 PM »
Annoying that it is so hard  to get LTP-milk... :(

Here LTP-milk is called thermized milk (I hope that the translation is correct).

We don't get a lot of sun here... LOL... :)

Offline Old Goat

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Re: Cow's milk won't set
« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2016, 09:50:38 PM »
So I tried the Value Corner milk shown and another cheap brand. Neither one worked. The first one I used 1/2 tsp. CaCl2 and 1/4 tsp rennet. Same ol', same ol'. Pretty much just runny, barely separated milk solids. Second one I used 1/2 tsp of both and it will actually leave some curds in the mold but still mostly runny, no clean break. (see pics) Looks like it is setting and will give a clean break but it doesn't, expels no clear whey and there is little to no separation. It even smells right. I am worried about the taste with so much rennet. So, if it is not the milk, rennet, calcium chloride or starter, what can it be? I use distilled water to cut the rennet. Again, goat milk works just fine.
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Offline Gregore

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Re: Cow's milk won't set
« Reply #17 on: December 04, 2016, 11:03:24 PM »
Do you have a ph meter ?

Assuming you do not , as there has been no mention of ph so far ....  it is always possible that the milk has too high of a ph . So I recomend extending the time you let it sit after adding culture by double , before you add rennet . This will allow for more ph drop which helps with curd firming.

See if that helps give a firmer curd . Also try it with a gallon of milk so you do not feel that you are wasteing too much money .
 If it does improve at least a little you might want to get a meter as it will end up cheaper than experimenting with milk to figure out how long you need to let it sit for best results .


Offline Old Goat

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Re: Cow's milk won't set
« Reply #18 on: December 05, 2016, 12:13:48 AM »
You are correct about the pH meter. Letting the culture ripen longer is a strategy that I *have* tried in the past. I let it sit up to an hour to no avail. But I am willing to give it a try again using this cheap milk. Maybe that and doubling the rennet will work. I am using only one gallon at a time. The recipes for fromage blanc, that I have, all call for a single gallon.

In one piece I was reading on coagulation it mentioned that one should not move the milk after adding the rennet. I usually add the rennet and move the pot to a corner of the kitchen within a minute or so. Thoughts?
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Offline Danbo

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Re: Cow's milk won't set
« Reply #19 on: December 05, 2016, 12:38:49 AM »
Moving the milk within a minute or two after adding the rennet haven't got a negative influence on coagulation (I think). I usually stir for a mikute or two after adding rennet.

Offline awakephd

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Re: Cow's milk won't set
« Reply #20 on: December 05, 2016, 01:40:24 PM »
Old Goat,

How frustrating! I echo Danbo's comments - make sure you are not stirring the milk too much after adding the rennet - I stir no more than about 1 minute, or even less - often just 20 up and down swirls with the ladle. Other than that ... I'm running out of ideas, other than to keep trying other brands of milk. I'm assuming, given the length of time you mention, that your trouble is not tied to one particular bad batch of rennet. (By the way - what kind of rennet are you using? You may already have mentioned this; I tried to skim back over the posts, but may have missed it.)
-- Andy

Offline Al Lewis

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Re: Cow's milk won't set
« Reply #21 on: December 05, 2016, 03:43:24 PM »
Have you considered allowing your culture to set longer (45-60 minutes) before adding rennet?  That tends to firm the curd up quite a bit.
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Offline Gregore

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Re: Cow's milk won't set
« Reply #22 on: December 05, 2016, 11:05:17 PM »
I have been reading through  all of the posts 1 more time thinking I might have missed something . So I have a few questions.

old goat,   How long have you been using this culture ? And have you tried other cultures that are not related

When cultures get too old they stop working well to create enough acid and
Some cultures are so closely related that they can get a virus and stop working   And even the new one will stop too if too closely realated

If all of the above is moot. Then I have 1 last suggestion ,  buy some organic raw milk and try that , Organic Pastures sells a good one. You will poop your pants at the gallon price . But it will rule out the milk completely.

getting  great curds from raw milk is so easy that even a cave man can do it .

Offline Gregore

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Re: Cow's milk won't set
« Reply #23 on: December 06, 2016, 09:30:29 AM »
1 other possibility is that it is possible to use too much calcium chloride above .02% by weight to the milk will stop gelling of the curd    So for a litter of milk 1000 grams that would be 2 grams of calcium chloride

Sorry about the metric but it is way easier to do the math

There is about 3.8 liters per gallon so some where about 7.4 grams which equals .261 oz. by weight

If you do not have a scale that accurate let me know and I will weight out some water and tell you the volume .

Offline Danbo

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Re: Cow's milk won't set
« Reply #24 on: December 06, 2016, 12:16:43 PM »
1 milliliter of water wheighs 1 gram and 1000 ml (1 liter) wheighs 1000 grams (1 kilogram).

A 1 x 1 x 1 meter container of water wheighs 1000 kilograms (1 ton).

Water freezes at 0 C and boils at 100 C.

And 1 calorie is the energy required to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water 1 degree C.

The metric system is great... ;-)

:-) Danbo

Offline Danbo

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Re: Cow's milk won't set
« Reply #25 on: December 06, 2016, 12:27:29 PM »
Gregore: I think that it sounds like a lot of CaCl to add...

For one of my normal batches of 24 liters it would mean adding 48 ml of Cacl.

I normally add about 5-6 ml...

Do you mean 0.02 promille and not percent?

I might be wrong... :-)

Offline Gregore

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Re: Cow's milk won't set
« Reply #26 on: December 06, 2016, 11:17:29 PM »
I think it was .02 by weight but I will look it up just to be sure.

I just threw it out there as I read that it can stop the gelling  when too much is used , and I know I have been guilty of not measuring  and more than 1 occasion , so I suspect others maybe too.

I too love the metric system being from Canada , but now I am trapped in a non metric country that is terrified of the metric system , even though they were one of the first countries to use metric money.




Offline Danbo

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Re: Cow's milk won't set
« Reply #27 on: December 07, 2016, 12:18:10 AM »
I never really used anything else than the metric system - I might be a bit biased... ;-)

As a rule of thumb I use (up to) the same amount of CaCl as rhe amount of rennet.

:-) Danbo

Offline Gregore

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Re: Cow's milk won't set
« Reply #28 on: December 07, 2016, 09:28:08 AM »
Looked it up again ,  Up to 1gram per litter of calcium chloride after that it lessens firmness of curd , but still continues to increase speed of K-casein shearing as the gelling and splitting are 2 seperate chemical events .

So I would suspect it might be easy to get close to or go over this amount when making small amounts of cheese .

1 gallon of cheese or 3.8 litters would be 3.8ml = .77 of a teaspoon

But I still think old goats first next move should be getting some raw milk and testing that ,as they are in Ca and here it is legal and easy to get in any tree hugger grocery store.

Offline Gregore

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Re: Cow's milk won't set
« Reply #29 on: December 07, 2016, 09:44:20 AM »
I should add that commercially it is added at .2grams per litter  .