Author Topic: Calcium Chloride with Raw Milk?  (Read 706 times)

John Berard

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Calcium Chloride with Raw Milk?
« on: January 20, 2017, 05:22:19 AM »
Recently I made my first Gouda with raw milk.  I never use Calcium Chloride with raw milk as it always sets a nice curd.  However, I had a brain fart and forgot to put vinegar and CaCI2 when making my new brine batch.  I noticed the cheese became slimy when I went to flip it in the brine.  I corrected the brine and proceeded further with the process.

This got me thinking.  I am considering adding CaCI2 to all cheese makes that require a brine bath even thou I am using raw milk to help with the calcium balance.  Is anyone else doing this or any comments?

Offline awakephd

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Re: Calcium Chloride with Raw Milk?
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2017, 02:17:57 PM »
John, I missed this post the first time around. I do not have access to raw milk, so can't help directly, but I've seen folks on the forum go both ways on this - some use CaCl even with raw milk, and others never do.

However, when it comes to using CaCl in the brine - you really HAVE to do this UNLESS you make your brine from whey. Otherwise you will leach calcium out of the surface of the cheese, and you will get that slimy result.

Note that adding CaCl to the milk will not help if you haven't added it to the brine.
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Re: Calcium Chloride with Raw Milk?
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2017, 09:55:38 PM »
Note that adding CaCl to the milk will not help if you haven't added it to the brine.

I agree with Dr. Awake:  You don't need calcium chloride with raw milk for curd formation and adding it won't prevent sliming in a brine bath.  You should not have a slime problem in a 24 hour saturated salt brine bath anyway.  What is the NaCl concentration of your brine bath?

Offline Duntov

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Re: Calcium Chloride with Raw Milk?
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2017, 11:41:42 PM »
Note that adding CaCl to the milk will not help if you haven't added it to the brine.

I agree with Dr. Awake:  You don't need calcium chloride with raw milk for curd formation and adding it won't prevent sliming in a brine bath.  You should not have a slime problem in a 24 hour saturated salt brine bath anyway.  What is the NaCl concentration of your brine bath?

I used a 22% saturation Kern.  Since I have been using only raw milk, I have not been adding Calcium Chloride to the milk but continued to do so in the brine except for this one time.  Then like Ghost Busters, I got slimmed.  Maybe the raw milk was weak.  I have read in many places of makers adding calcium chloride to raw milk during certain parts of the season when the cows cannot be pasture fed or a dry season.

I am still fairly new at this but I can't ignore my results.  I guess a good question at this point would be; does adding calcium chloride to raw milk have any negative effects such as messsing up the amount of cultures to use and/or overly fast/firm curd formation?
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Re: Calcium Chloride with Raw Milk?
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2017, 08:30:03 AM »
Raw milk can change significantly from batch to batch especially as the seasons change. It will not hurt to use calcium anyway. It will have no effect on your cultures and will not have any effect on the rate of curd formation. That is determined by your rennet.
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Offline Duntov

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Re: Calcium Chloride with Raw Milk?
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2017, 01:10:32 PM »
Raw milk can change significantly from batch to batch especially as the seasons change. It will not hurt to use calcium anyway. It will have no effect on your cultures and will not have any effect on the rate of curd formation. That is determined by your rennet.

Thanks much Ed.  We are having a really dry season here and my dairy source did say it has an effect on the milk.  For the last few months I noticed less cream clinging to the jugs.  And good to hear that adding calcium won't have any negative impact.  Until the milk gets better I will add calcium chloride to both the milk and brine.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2017, 03:49:48 PM by Duntov »
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Re: Calcium Chloride with Raw Milk?
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2017, 03:25:23 PM »
Hot weather can also have a big effect. When it's hot, cows lie down in the shade and don't eat as much. This reduces the protein levels in the milk. They also drink more water which tends to water down the milk which means less butterfat.
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