Author Topic: Clover Experiment #2  (Read 1336 times)

Offline goatherdess

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Clover Experiment #2
« on: November 30, 2009, 11:19:06 AM »
Shortly after my 1st attempt at adding clover tea to make proprionic inoculant for a cheese, I read in Carla Emery's Encyclopedia of Country Living that vegetable rennet is made by crushing the dried herb fine in water in a mortar and pestle to obtain a dark tea. So I decided to try the clover tea that way.

I used the same 2 qt. Romano recipe, but this time I used dried clover, and ground it fine in the mortar and then added about 2 TB of water and continued grinding it in the water until the water turned pretty dark with the clover essence in it. It took  about 15 min. of pulverizing it to get it as strong as I wanted it. I added this (with the windows closed again) to the cheese at the same time as the Thermo culture. And I did not try to press it under the whey. 

Result: The batch came out as a very standard Romano, with no apparent difference from the way the curd usually sets and the cheese acted in every respect like my usual Romano batches.  I put it in the brine and waited for it to plump, as that's when they start swelling if they are going to do it, but was disappointed - it came out looking like a regular Romano. But then as the rind formed over the next few days - it did swell, a little. The swelling was less than if I had just left the pot in front of the window for a while, but I am now excited about opening this cheese. It will be weeks yet. 

Our cheese making season has mostly ended until March or April. I am not sure yet  if next year I will continue with clover teas or just use the open window technique as it is really a quite effective way for me to get a Swiss if I want one.  I'm just still curious to know if clover pollen really is the source of the proprionic bacteria that I sometimes call "Wild Thang."  :)

Offline Gürkan Yeniçeri

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Re: Clover Experiment #2
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2009, 05:01:39 PM »
Hi Goatherdess,

I read both of your entry and it is quite interesting. I bought a pack of red clover seeds the other day and planning to plant them in boxes to get the flowers.

I am wondering if propionibacterium shermanii is also exist in these seeds. They are usual turf seeds and may have some chemicals on them so crashing and using as you did with dried flowers is out of question for me. I wonder if I wash them first or soak them in water, would that wash the chemicals down?

I will try to wash the seeds with vinegar or whey couple of times,
Pulvarise them with mortar and pestle,
Make a warm tea and use the strained tea in the recipe.

Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: Clover Experiment #2
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2009, 07:36:54 PM »
The P. shermanii does not exist naturally in the seeds. In fact, by definition seeds are sterile and do not contain any bacteria or molds. The outside of the seeds may carry small quantities of microorganisms. Clover growing in the wild is constantly exposed to wind borne organisms and may contain all sorts of things.
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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Clover Experiment #2
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2009, 08:06:45 PM »
It's the dust particles and other airborne things like pollen that carry propionic bacteria. It exists in higher concentration in some places because it has more food and likes the temp.

The reason the clover tea may work is because you take all the dust and pollen on the clover and suspend it in warm water (up to 40C), and the bacteria multiply because they have some food and a good environment.

Personally, I think it isn't so much the clover tea that helped to get proper swiss-type cheese as all the airborne stuff present around the area. The tea may not have had anything to do with it, and could just be coincidence attributed to causation due to lack of testing.
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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Clover Experiment #2
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2009, 09:24:23 PM »
Excelent expertment goatherdess! Looks like it worked now for the taste test!