Author Topic: flocculation time is too long?  (Read 1792 times)

Offline Viking

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flocculation time is too long?
« on: January 28, 2017, 06:39:13 AM »
I have tried using this flocculation method for the first time. Using this method I ended up with high flocculation time: 23 minutes.
As far as I have read, this time is too long.
So what to do? Should I add/use a higher amount of rennet? For 8 liters of milk, I used 1/2 +1/4 teaspoon rennet, diluted in 1/4 cup water.
The recipe in question: Cambozola.
I stay in Denmark, and I did use pasteurized and homogenized cow milk.
Any suggestions. please.

Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: flocculation time is too long?
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2017, 01:42:23 PM »
Use 1/3 more rennet.
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Offline awakephd

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Re: flocculation time is too long?
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2017, 01:43:50 PM »
Viking,

Was this single-strength liquid rennet? If so, it ought to have been far more than enough to set 8 liters - most recipes I use about 1/4 tsp of liquid animal rennet per 8 liters. (I just saw Sailor's post come in - using even more rennet sounds like too much to me, but he is far more experienced than I am ... ?)

It seems that people's experience with using the flocc method for pasteurized and homogenized milk differs pretty widely. For me, I have never been able to use the method successfully ... except for the one time that I tried making cheese with half raw milk + half P&H milk. The difference was unbelievable - up to that point, I could never get a clean, clear time for the flocculation, but with even half of it as raw milk, I finally understood what the flocc test was supposed to look like.

Unfortunately, where I live, raw milk is very expensive and hard to get (it is actually illegal to sell it for human consumption in my state), so I have not yet been able to afford to replicate that one wonderful experience. (And by the way, the cheese that came out of that batch was markedly better than any other I've made, before or since.)

Again, some people seem to be able to use the flocc method with the P&H milk that they have access to, so results seem to vary ...
-- Andy

Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: flocculation time is too long?
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2017, 09:02:54 AM »
I use p&H milk every day, and the floc test works on ALL milk. "Clean, clear time" is a little subjective but when the bowl stops spinning, the milk has flocculated. Easy to observe and doesn't have to be down to the second. Take manufacturer and recipe suggestions with a grain of salt, trust the floc results, and adjust rennet accordingly. That compensates for changes in both the milk and rennet. There is a huge difference between raw & P&H milk. There is a huge difference with fresh rennet and old rennet. The acid level of the milk when you add the rennet makes a huge difference. There are many variables, and the floc method will keep your makes more consistent. I use a double strength vegetarian rennet. I just received a new batch and the floc test showed that I needed to increase the dosage by about 25%.
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Offline awakephd

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Re: flocculation time is too long?
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2017, 10:30:18 AM »
Sailor, I hate to disagree with you, but in my experience, with the milk that I have available, the flocc test has always been more than a little subjective. That may be more about my deficiencies (which are many!), or it may be something different about the P&H milk that is available here, or it may have to do with use of different type of rennet, or maybe I'm just not using enough rennet - your previous post certainly suggests I ought to double the amounts I am using. All I know is, the one time I used raw milk, the flocc test worked beautifully, and it was the first and only time that I could really understand the method at all. Otherwise, there doesn't seem to be a clear boundary between when the bowl will spin or move when nudged, and when it won't. And yet, the cheeses that I have been able to produce (90+ and counting) have turned out very well.

Again, just my own experience, and I know you have far more of that than I do, so it may be that I just haven't figured it out yet. :(
-- Andy

Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: flocculation time is too long?
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2017, 07:28:51 AM »
There is a huge difference in reaction times and strength of curd set when using raw milk, so you can't compare that to what you get with P&H. However, I assure you that the floc test does work every time. Flocculation is a precursor to curd formation, so it has to happen every time. Many discussions on floc suggest using a small plastic bowl. I disagree and find that the light weight makes the floc point difficult to observe. I use a small 3" glass bowl. At first, it will spin like crazy and at floc point it sticks like glue. There is a variable yet distinct and observable relationship between milk proteins and rennet. You can't understand and adjust for those variables without testing for flocculation. And you cannot accurately adjust your curd set time without knowing the floc time. Anyone can make good cheese. Not everyone can make GREAT cheese consistently. As I said, I do this every day. In fact, I am making my Buttermilk Cheddar right now - flocculation on my P&H milk was 15 minutes. With a multiplier of 3, I will let the curd set for a TOTAL of 45 minutes from the time I added rennet.
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Offline Duntov

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Re: flocculation time is too long?
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2017, 08:17:41 AM »
Maybe I am simplistic, but I just check by hand.  When it breaks clean, I cut the curds.  Sometimes I think people make things more complicated than necessary.
The Rinds, they are a changin. 
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Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: flocculation time is too long?
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2017, 09:05:25 AM »
Most books tell you to look for a clean break, but that is not good enough if you want to be consistent. Different cheeses need to set the appropriate amount of time to achieve desired moisture content, etc. If you go by just clean break, you would cut the curds at the same time for Parmesan, Gouda, or Blue Cheese. Not what you want to do. The longer the curd sets before cutting, the more moisture that the finished cheese will have.
A moldy Stilton is a thing of beauty. Yes, you eat the rind. - Ed
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Offline Duntov

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Re: flocculation time is too long?
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2017, 11:04:20 AM »
The longer the curd sets before cutting, the more moisture that the finished cheese will have.

Not exactly.  The dryness factor is more of cooking or letting the curds set after they are cut.
The Rinds, they are a changin. 
- John

Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: flocculation time is too long?
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2017, 02:14:23 PM »
I do this for a living.
A moldy Stilton is a thing of beauty. Yes, you eat the rind. - Ed
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Offline Duntov

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Re: flocculation time is too long?
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2017, 04:32:04 PM »
I do this for a living.

Congratulations.  About four years now?
« Last Edit: January 31, 2017, 05:35:30 PM by Duntov »
The Rinds, they are a changin. 
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Offline awakephd

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Re: flocculation time is too long?
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2017, 09:14:26 AM »
Sailor, your clarification about using a heavier bowl is very helpful. I have always used a light plastic bowl; I will go back and try it with the heavier bowl, and hope to see the clarity that I have been missing!

With regard to dryness of curd, my understanding has been that it is a combination of factors - length of flocculation, size of cut, amount of stirring and cooking -- is this correct?
-- Andy

Offline Boofer

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Re: flocculation time is too long?
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2017, 09:42:50 AM »
The floc test has worked well for me over the years. Same medium-weight plastic bowl every time. It's an indispensable part of my process.

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Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: flocculation time is too long?
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2017, 12:23:33 PM »
With regard to dryness of curd, my understanding has been that it is a combination of factors - length of flocculation, size of cut, amount of stirring and cooking -- is this correct?
Absolutely - add times, temperatures, and pH/acidity to the equation. It's all about consistency from make to make.
A moldy Stilton is a thing of beauty. Yes, you eat the rind. - Ed
www.boonecreekcreamery.com

Offline reg

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Re: flocculation time is too long?
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2017, 06:58:34 AM »
I'm another that goes strictly by floc times and the method has treated me well.
reg