Author Topic: my cheddars aren't melting  (Read 2459 times)

Offline teegr

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my cheddars aren't melting
« on: January 23, 2010, 02:46:00 AM »
:o  Hi, I am new to this board and new to any hard cheeses that weren't made with Junket rennet...LOL.  All I can say is that I was taught to make it in the 70's and it just didn't quite dawn on me for the last 30 years maybe there was folks like me that I could learn from once I left the farm behind.   I've had success (using junket and homemade Meso and Thermo cultures) with soft and semi soft cheeses (gouda).  But my Farmhouse Cheddar has problems like the ones I made in the 70's...and that is,  it doesn't melt.  It reminds me of how a parmesan just sort of melts.  It even gets a little poofy and then gets hard...not soft under the heat. 

I just broke down today and ordered some real DVI cultures and some REAL molds hoping maybe I can fix the problem.  Sometimes those same cheddar cheeses have a metalic taste and I am very good (being a RN that put myself thru school tutouring microbiology) with cleanliness and how to start sterile mother cultures so I am at a lose as to why I would get such an unpleasant metallic taste.

Any ideas?  I'm looking so forward to getting back to making cheeses to smoke for the holidays to give away like I used to do.  It would also be nice to teach my Granddaughter how to make more than the soft cheeses she helps me with now.

Thanks....Teegr
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Offline FarmerJD

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Re: my cheddars aren't melting
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2010, 07:46:22 AM »
Welcome to the forum, Teegr. I too have had a problem in the past with this. I am not completely aware of all the reasons for it but I have learned that it is related to hitting the ph markers correctly first of all which affects the cheese's texture. There are a lot of other variables related to it as well, but just from an amateur's experience, since I have started measuring ph, my cheeses have all melted much better. By the way they also change as they age; are you letting them age?


I am sure someone will give you a more thorough answer than this but I just wanted to give you the general answer first. You can search the forum also because there have been several discussions on this. Click here for one of those threads that has two off site links on melting and stretching of cheese.  Here is one from the library too. Good luck.

Offline teegr

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Re: my cheddars aren't melting
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2010, 10:15:21 PM »
Thanks FarmerJd,  your info is more than I thought it might be...LOL!  I was guessing maybe it was because I didn't have any real pressing control. (hopefully son will finish building me a press soon)  I guess I'm gonna have to jump in to the scientific if I'm gonna get more consistent results if I'm missing the mark with the Ph. In other words pay more attention!! ;-) While back in Texas in the 70's I never had a cheese that didn't taste good...barely aged or long aged...I suspect perhaps the milk was different since I always bought it from a vegetable market. I know my milk sure curdled faster with a warm house.  Now I am in Wa State and pretty much stuck with store bought homo milk...be it store brand or organic.  I have made sure I do not get ultra past having learned it made horrible ricotta.  So I guessed perhaps it was a issue with how long it took to actually curdle. 

None of my cheddar recipes  mention Ph. at all...just the visual curd/whey check.  I bought a book on home cheeses a few months ago...no longer depending on my old Junket recipes and *thought* I had it figured out.   However even with new book my cheese won't melt.  I tried a 6 month aged gouda last night and while it tastes great...it doesn't melt.  (not sure if a gouda is suppose to melt...but what the hey...was worth trying)  I'll just be happy if I can get 1 type of hard cheese consistent...then the rest should follow.

Wonder if a person has to wait 60 days of aging to test a new cheddar for melting?  I waited patiently to open several cheddars for X-mas and they were so metallic tasting I wouldn't dream of serving them even to my sons...LOL!  It was so disappointing to "waste" all my work/waiting so I am determined to solve it once and for all.
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Offline FarmerJD

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Re: my cheddars aren't melting
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2010, 08:58:45 AM »
I am not sure about the metallic taste. I feel confident in saying that if you were using raw milk then and homog./past. milk now, the same timing and process won't produce exactly the same product. I use all raw milk from my own cows and have zero experience with making cheese from store milk so i better defer to someone else but you can search a little and find a lot of info. Good luck.

Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: my cheddars aren't melting
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2010, 10:46:46 AM »
If your cheddar won't melt, the finished pH is too high. The pH targets are very important if you want consistent results.

There is more info on cheddar pH targets than any other cheese. Just search the forum.
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Offline FRANCOIS

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Re: my cheddars aren't melting
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2010, 01:44:52 PM »
I conquer, pH is too high.  This is why haloumi does not melt.

Offline teegr

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Re: my cheddars aren't melting
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2010, 07:57:59 PM »
Thank you all...I will try using the DVI cultures and rennet I ordered and see if that makes a more consistent result.  It certainly can't hurt.

With your help I have found all sorts of info here that I never got out of my book as far as troubleshooting that is.  I'll certainly pay a bit more attention to timing from now on.  Wouldn't it be a shame if I got a nice cheese press built by my son to "fix" my problem and it isn't really the problem?  LOL!  I guess what he doesn't know won't hurt me.  ;-)   He got so tired of me complaining he decided to design me a "cadillac" cheese press...however his idea of a first car was a pinto...LOL :-X so I'm not too sure what I'm gonna get or WHEN?  Now all I have to do is start complaining about no cheese cave...
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Offline MrsKK

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Re: my cheddars aren't melting
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2010, 09:23:19 AM »
The metallic taste has me wondering, too.  What do you use for your kettle and mold?  Is anything you use made out of copper or aluminum (the only materials I can think of that might impart the metallic flavor)?

How are you pressing your cheese now?

Offline teegr

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Re: my cheddars aren't melting
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2010, 03:55:27 AM »
Well I am going to make notes this week following my farmhouse cheedar done with my original recipe but not letting it sit so long as before...then will make one with new cultures new rennent and a new recipe from this site and a store bought mold and see if either one melts or is metallic.  I was actually using one of my bean sprouters as a mold...bleached well for use, as a mold.  It is food grade...but who knows...maybe there is something from the growing of sprouts that could influence metallic tastes.
I will grab some ph papers and try to figure it out on the recipes that do have any referrence to that such as mozz and swiss recipes.    I DO back all my own bread...and have so much yeast in the air of my kitchen that I can bake bread with just a pinch of yeast...so I make sure I don't share equipment when I make cheeses that are to be aged.  Hopefully I'll have 4 or 5 cheeses aging by next week and will test those to see if my ph issue gets better.  Thanks for the help.  I am trying to get cheese done and hung in uninsulated pantry to sure before it starts warming up.
Thanks!
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