Author Topic: Coagulation, Rennet, Cow Past & Non-Homo - Slow Coagulation  (Read 1642 times)

Offline Micah

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Coagulation, Rennet, Cow Past & Non-Homo - Slow Coagulation
« on: November 24, 2009, 09:04:43 AM »
Whenever I make cheese (and it has only been a handful of times), the time it takes for me to get a clean break after adding the rennet is always significantly longer than the time mentioned in the recipe.

Yesterday I made (hopefully) a Manchego.  My rennet bottle suggests 1/2 tsp per 2 gallons.  I made a 4 gallon batch and thus used 1 tsp of rennet.  The recipe I used says I should get a clean break after 30 minutes.  It took over an hour and a half; and even then I wasn't happy with the break.  This lag time has happened with three different rennets: junket rennet tablets, vegetable rennet and animal rennet. 

What gives?

How long should it take to get a clean break?

Will the cheese be adversely affected by the long lag time?



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Offline Alex

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Re: Coagulation, Rennet, Cow Past & Non-Homo - Slow Coagulation
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2009, 09:23:09 AM »
What kind/s of starter culture/s did you use? What temperature?
Manchego needs both, meso and thermo cultures.
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Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: Coagulation, Rennet, Cow Past & Non-Homo - Slow Coagulation
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2009, 11:16:49 AM »
Try changing brands of milk. Search the forum for flocculation.
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Offline Micah

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Re: Coagulation, Rennet, Cow Past & Non-Homo - Slow Coagulation
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2009, 12:49:06 PM »
What kind/s of starter culture/s did you use? What temperature?
Manchego needs both, meso and thermo cultures.

I used both meso and thermo.  I followed the "Home Cheese Making" book's recipe.  All my temperatures were spot on.

Offline Ben

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Re: Coagulation, Rennet, Cow Past & Non-Homo - Slow Coagulation
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2009, 01:09:24 AM »
If you are not using calcium chloride then that will help.  I forgot it once and it made for a very long night waiting for a clean break.  Kind of like watching paint dry only less exciting.


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Offline John (CH)

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Re: Coagulation, Rennet, Cow Past & Non-Homo - Slow Coagulation
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2009, 07:23:21 AM »
Micah, sorry for all your pain.

here's some background info on rennet coagulation.

CaCl2 is normally only added if you are using store bought past & homogenized milk. I only use that type of cow's milk and for half my cheeses I didn't use CaCl2 and did not have a coagulation problem.

Here's some info on common coagulation problems.

I would use the rennet amount on the bottle as a guide only and adjust up/down depending on results. For example raw made need less and store bought past & homo with antibiotics normally needs more. In your case I'd try 25% more.

You could also try a longer time between adding starter to adding rennet to enable the starter to better lower the pH, as rennet is very pH sensitive.

Offline Dean

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Re: Coagulation, Rennet, Cow Past & Non-Homo - Slow Coagulation
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2009, 01:43:32 PM »
Make sure you are not mixing your rennet in regular tap water as well.  I use bottled water now that has been purified with Reverse Osmosis.  It's made a big difference for me.  I think the chlorine in tap water can affect the rennet in bad ways.

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Coagulation, Rennet, Cow Past & Non-Homo - Slow Coagulation
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2009, 02:33:23 PM »
If you have used three different rennet's with the same result I would definitely look at the milk. Is it Ultra pasteurized? Extended Shelf Life?

If you didn't use Calcium chloride it will be slower but should be all that significant.

Have you made a successful cheese yet? Perhaps your waiting for something that won't happen? I have known people to expect almost cheese curds looking for a clean bread rather than a gel like substance.

Offline MrsKK

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Re: Coagulation, Rennet, Cow Past & Non-Homo - Slow Coagulation
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2009, 06:57:07 AM »
Are you making sure to use cool water to dilute your rennet?  Warm water will keep it from acting as it should.  Also, make sure you are diluting your rennet just before adding it to the milk, not when you start warming the milk.  Some members have discovered that was the issue they were having with slow curd set up.

Offline Micah

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Re: Coagulation, Rennet, Cow Past & Non-Homo - Slow Coagulation
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2009, 12:41:47 PM »
The milk I use is non-homogenized, pasteurized (not ultra-pasteurized) whole "cream top" milk from a small farm; purchased from my local co-op.  Sometimes I use powdered milk and cream (1 pint to make 1 gallon).

I always dilute my rennet in room temperature distilled water.  I usually do the dilution 20-30 minutes before its addition to the ripened milk.

This last batch I used the cream/powdered milk and added 1 tsp. CaCL2 for 4 gallons milk.

I certainly was waiting for the "clean" break.  Next time I'll spin a bowl as suggested in some other threads.

   


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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Coagulation, Rennet, Cow Past & Non-Homo - Slow Coagulation
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2009, 08:19:19 PM »
I haven't made hard cheese from powdered milk so I have no idea how that would work - sorry.

Offline MrsKK

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Re: Coagulation, Rennet, Cow Past & Non-Homo - Slow Coagulation
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2009, 08:08:54 AM »
Rennet should be diluted just before adding to the milk, as it can lose potency during a longer wait time.

I hope you get good results soon.