Author Topic: Pressing Curds - Sticking to Net & Cloth Discussion (Starts With "The dark side of Monterey Jack")  (Read 3864 times)

Offline Boofer

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After a baker's dozen cheese makes with industrial milk, I finally bought some raw milk. It wasn't an easy decision. The homo/past milk I normally use is $3.69/gallon. These 2 gallons of raw milk set me back $9.99/gallon.  :o  I was in probably the only store that sells raw milk in my area but I had to do it. What was going along fairly well took a nasty turn somewhere along the line.

I followed the Monterey Jack recipe from 200 Easy Cheeses. I used 1/4tsp Choozit MM100 and 1/2 rennet tablet.

When the curds were finished cooking, I scooped them and put them into a cheeseclothed collander to drain and then packed them into small (4.375 inch) Kadova moulds. These were put into the kettle with warm whey and pressed with 5 lbs for 30 minutes. Then I added an additional 10 lbs for a total of 15 lbs for another 30 minutes.

The curds were very squeeky and very yellow.

For the third pressing I excused my brain as it apparently had a previous committment. I kept the moulds in the whey but moved it over to the press where I proceeded to apply 150 lbs for 11 hours. When I returned and took the moulds out of the press...boy, was I surprised. And not in a good way! The cheese curds had pressed out through the leak holes in the mould and created nubbins. OMG! The cheese had virtually become part of the mould. Not a good sign. This raw milk adventure doesn't seem to be going as smoothly as I had first imagined.  :(

Facing an impossible recovery task, I gently teased the cheese from the mould. ripped the heart out of my dear cheese getting it free of the mould's death grip.

I placed the two little cheeses into their whey-brine bath. After that, I dried them and left them at room temperature to dry some more. This morning I vacuum-sealed them and put them in the cave. My raw milk dream all but shattered. At this point I'm not sure if . . .
  • what I've created is cheese or even edible
  • it's cheese, what did I make? Sure doesn't seem like any Monterey Jack I've known.
  • I were to invest another paycheck in raw milk for cheesemaking, I'd probably make a Jarlsberg

As always, I welcome all advice, cajoling, catcalls, and amusingly derisive comments.  :P

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Offline tnsven

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This has been happening to me lately, cheeses pressing through & sticking to the cheesecloth (I don't have fancy kordova molds). I think because the air temp is warm (Summer in TN). If it were me, I'd go ahead and age them. As you note, they won't be pretty but they may taste o.k.

Sandor Katz stated in Wild Fermentation that all cheese is good!

Kristin

Offline FarmerJD

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Boofer, I laughed out loud reading this. It still looks like cheese.

Offline DeejayDebi

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Curd should not be more than 85ish when pressing or your initial pressing was to hard while the pH was still to high. Start with low pressure and slowly bring the pressure up after flipping a few times. When the curds are warm they are more likely to meld into the netting as well.

Also do not rinse the netting or molds in water before pressing use whey.

When the acid levels are to high the curds will stick rinsing the molds in whey will help lower the pH and keep the curds from sticking.

Offline linuxboy

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I really like Sailor's approach of spraying kadovas with a salt/vinegar spray, and flipping a few times in the first couple of hours to build up a rind. It works very well to help prevent sticking when using kadovas or cheesecloth.
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Offline Boofer

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I really like Sailor's approach of spraying kadovas with a salt/vinegar spray, and flipping a few times in the first couple of hours to build up a rind. It works very well to help prevent sticking when using kadovas or cheesecloth.
When you say "flipping" as regards to Kadova moulds, how exactly does that work? Do you actually treat the Kadovas like a mould with cheesecloth?

I did just pull the moulds out of a boiling water bath prior to filling. And I do recall seeing the note from Sailor about spraying the netting. Hey, you in the back of the class...wake up!

Farmer - You have to find the humor in things like this or you'll go nuts. Eh, it's all part of the grand learning experience called life. Hopefully I'll have something tasty to show for my expense and frustration.

Fortunately, my confidence is only momentarily shaken. I have several other cheese candidates which are moving along nicely. Matter-of-fact, I'll post a new variety for me that I've jumped into but haven't seen on the radar here yet: Esrom.

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Offline linuxboy

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I mean taking the hunk of cheese out of the liner, flipping it so the top becomes the bottom, and putting it back in the press. It helps to make a good rind and helps to prevent sticking. It's also an opportunity to spray the liner again :)
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Offline Nitai

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I have been leaving my molds, followers, cheesecloth, etc in the warm whey from my cheese for a few minutes prior to hooping curds. This both prevents sticking and warms the molds to help with knitting. I considered adopting the spray with vinegar method but have not had any problems so far so figure why buy another spray bottle.

a 4.375" kadova, thats 450 grams, right? Without looking at the charts I have gotten from here, that seems like an awful lot of weight on those little guys.

That raw milk looks great, what state are you in?

Offline Boofer

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Thanks, linuxboy. Seems like the "shoulders" of the Kadova would present problems when you flip.

a 4.375" kadova, thats 450 grams, right? Without looking at the charts I have gotten from here, that seems like an awful lot of weight on those little guys.

That raw milk looks great, what state are you in?

You're right. The weight was a little aggressive. I had an estimated 5psi (10 lbs applied). Perhaps 2.8psi (5 lbs applied) would have been more appropriate. I stumbled several times during that make. Eh!?

I'll be applying these tips down the road.

I'm in Washington state.

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Offline linuxboy

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Thanks, linuxboy. Seems like the "shoulders" of the Kadova would present problems when you flip.


You mean because the wheel top wouldn't at first smush down all the way to the end of the liner? Having trouble seeing what you mean... If you take the cheese wheel out, turn it around, and put it back into the liner, then put the follower on top again and press, pressing it in shouldn't need that much weight.
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Offline sominus

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I found that when I used cheese cloth it would stick or create odd problems... But when I use muslin everything comes out nicely - no runs, no drips, no errors.  I use muslin all the time now -- I don't think I have any cheese cloth left anywhere.

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Offline Boofer

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I found that when I used cheese cloth it would stick or create odd problems... But when I use muslin everything comes out nicely - no runs, no drips, no errors.  I use muslin all the time now -- I don't think I have any cheese cloth left anywhere.

When I use my 7-3/8 inch non-Kadova mould, I use muslin. Tighter weave = fewer problems.

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Offline DeejayDebi

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Boffer one thing about the smaller kadovas is they are tappered near the top and if you don't have  enough curds they will bottom out on the sides before they actually smush the cheese down.

I also prewarm the molds and followers in the whey in the vat before adding curds.

Online Sailor Con Queso

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Vinegar spray with a little added CaCl works like a charm. 150 was definitely a little aggressive. Press, spray, flip. Increase weight, repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
A moldy Stilton is a thing of beauty. Yes, you eat the rind. - Ed
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Offline Boofer

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Vinegar spray with a little added CaCl works like a charm. 150 was definitely a little aggressive. Press, spray, flip. Increase weight, repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Jotting this down....  ;)

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