Author Topic: Reducing Costs - Blend Raw Milk with Store Bought?  (Read 391 times)

Offline Duntov

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Reducing Costs - Blend Raw Milk with Store Bought?
« on: July 23, 2017, 10:01:52 AM »
Currently I am making 1 - 2 cheeses a week using 4 - 8  gallons of raw milk.  At $10 per gallon this is getting to be a costly hobby.

My only option is store bought milk that is both pasteurized and homogenized so all the beneficial enzymes and bacteria.  I am thinking of experimenting by blending one gallon of raw milk with three gallons of store bought milk thinking that the added raw milk will reintroduce the good stuff.  So if I do this, will I need to let the blended batch sit overnight at room temperature to get the real benefits or is this a bad approach to reducing costs?  Of course I would need to start using calcium chloride again, ugh.

OR do I get some starter culture going from whey that is left over from a full raw milk make?  My only concern about doing this is the extra work required to maintain a starter culture and not knowing how much to use not knowing it's intensity.

Any thoughts? 
The Rinds, they are a changin. 
- John

Offline 5ittingduck

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Re: Reducing Costs - Blend Raw Milk with Store Bought?
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2017, 04:00:07 PM »
I think its an excellent idea.
So how to maximise the chances of the minor cultures thriving from a lower concentration?
Maybe not leaving milks blended at room temp overnight, you won't know how old the raw milk is.
Maybe mixed at fridge temp overnight might help?
Longer maturation would certainly help. The complexities would develop a little slower, maybe reserve for cheeses destined to mature longer?
I agree with your judgement of the fiddle factor for mother cultures.

Offline AnnDee

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Re: Reducing Costs - Blend Raw Milk with Store Bought?
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2017, 05:42:40 PM »
John, I don't think I will let the store bought milk in room temp for a long time (even together with raw milk), unless I put starter culture. Maybe longer period of culturing (like 2-3 hours) will be a better option?
I agree with Duck, maybe do this for a longer aging cheese. It gets a little better with time, just pray your palate is not used to raw milk (or cream lined milk) cheeses because to me there is a difference.  ;D
Or do it for bloomy rind make, I did this few times before with good outcome.
Ann

Offline Gregore

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Re: Reducing Costs - Blend Raw Milk with Store Bought?
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2017, 11:42:11 PM »
Letting them age in the fridge has its own risks ,  the bad bacteria tend to grow better at the lower temps . Below 45 f the bad guys tend to grow better than the good guys .

You could blend them and let them come to room temp overnight , blend as late as you can stay up , One could even wrap them in a blanket to slow the warming . Hitting 50 to 55 f by morning would be a good goal

that is where I would start and see if the flavor suffers much

I have tried mixed blends of raw and pasteurized , and they are certainly better than no raw at all.

But some the flavor profile of raw milk has nothing to do with things that can be cultured


Offline awakephd

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Re: Reducing Costs - Blend Raw Milk with Store Bought?
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2017, 10:38:24 AM »
I echo the others - I would not try to let the mixture incubate in any way; I would just start making the cheese. The one and only time that I was able to use raw milk, I used it in a 1:1 ratio with store-bought P&H milk (i.e., 2 gallons of raw + 2 gallons of P&H). AND I vat-pasteurized the raw milk before using (held at 140°F for 30 minutes), because the raw milk had been transported across state lines (shhh, don't tell anyone!) to a friend, and then transported to me a day or two later - with all of this transportation and uncertainty about the handling of the milk at each step, I thought it best to pasteurize. Even with the pasteurization, however, the difference in using the 1:1 mixture vs. just using P&H milk was remarkable - both in the way the formation and strength of curds and in the taste of the aged cheese. I dearly wish I could readily get my hands on raw milk on a consistent AND affordable basis ...
-- Andy

Offline Duntov

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Re: Reducing Costs - Blend Raw Milk with Store Bought?
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2017, 01:53:09 PM »
Thanks everyone for the suggestions.  If I understand correctly, the bacteria from the raw milk will multiply but the enzymes will not.  I will use a 1:1 ratio in my first attempt and see how it goes.
The Rinds, they are a changin. 
- John

Offline awakephd

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Re: Reducing Costs - Blend Raw Milk with Store Bought?
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2017, 07:41:48 PM »
I have read that enzymes come from bacteria as they die off - so as the bacteria from the raw milk grow, you should get their enzymes as well. But I don't know if there might be other enzymes in the raw milk not connected to the bacteria - ?
-- Andy

Offline Gregore

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Re: Reducing Costs - Blend Raw Milk with Store Bought?
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2017, 11:15:24 PM »
One other thing to keep in mind is that  milk has no bacteria in it when it is still in the cow . So most of what it gets that makes it different form pasturized milk as far as flavor goes comes from the farm getting into the milk .

The  flavor profile parts that are in the milk while it is still in the cow come from what it eats .

I have started to age my dryer cheeses on straw that I purchased at the farmers market , I have to say that is seems to be giving my latest tomme a farmy type smell that has been missing in my cheeses since  the change from raw  to pasturized milk

I will be planting wheat in a pot for just this purpose

Offline dougspcs

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Re: Reducing Costs - Blend Raw Milk with Store Bought?
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2017, 02:06:17 PM »
On this same theme..but more about the use or CaCL??

Since it's used when making cheese from pasturized milk to aid the rennet with the curd set but not needed for raw milk.

If I mix my raw with store bought at about 50/50 should it be necessary to use CaCl still??

If so, how much..??

Offline Gregore

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Re: Reducing Costs - Blend Raw Milk with Store Bought?
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2017, 11:13:42 PM »
I would use the normal amount  for heated milk.

I some times use it on full raw

Offline dougspcs

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Re: Reducing Costs - Blend Raw Milk with Store Bought?
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2017, 06:19:56 AM »
I would use the normal amount  for heated milk.

I some times use it on full raw

Thanks Gregore, I haven't found it necessary on full raw..even it frozen it sets an awesome curd.

But I figured there would be some needed for a mix.