Author Topic: Gjetost Making - Fail!?  (Read 5320 times)

Offline indychzgrl

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Gjetost Making - Fail!?
« on: July 18, 2010, 11:02:45 AM »

I'm a newbie cheesemaker, turning out small batches with goat milk I get once a week.
So far, all of my curd cheeses have turned out either passable or way better than I ever expected I could do. 

Since I have all this leftover whey, thought I'd try making gjetost/mysost, using the instructions on Fankhauser's cheese page (essentially: boil down a gallon of whey slowly until it reaches fudgelike consistency; pour into cold buttered pan and whisk the heck out of it.  Refrigerate, and slice to use.)

While I believe I achieved the correct texture, the flavor makes it the foulest substance I have ever put in my mouth!  It has the pucker power of a really briney Kalamata olive and no other flavors to balance out the saltiness.  I was expecting more complexity...

I'm sure someone on this forum has eaten this cheese, and likes it. 
I'd never had it before, so I have nothing to compare it with.
What should it taste like?  Did I do it wrong, or have I just learned that I don't care for gjetost?

If it should be better, I'm more than willing to try it again.

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Gjetost Making - Fail!?
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2010, 02:26:45 PM »
what type of whey did you use? Did it have salt? Because Gjetost is a sweet cheese, the sugars carmelize when you cook.
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Offline indychzgrl

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Re: Gjetost Making - Fail!?
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2010, 06:59:45 PM »
The whey was left over from making neufchatel and feta from fresh goat's milk, and both of them got salt only after draining off the whey.  (I had plenty of whey to brine my feta, so no chance that I got my wheys mixed up.)
They both turned out lovely, thank goodness.
 
The gjetost turned a gorgeous caramelly brown as it was cooking down, so I was really looking forward to some sweetness and caramelized flavor.  I now wonder if I cooked it too fast-  it took about 6 hours to do a gallon of whey, and I've read elsewhere that it can take as long as 12.

I am delighted to hear that it should taste better!  I'll try again.

Thank you for commenting- makes me feel loads better.   :)

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Gjetost Making - Fail!?
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2010, 07:14:07 PM »
Cooking too fast is fine so long as the pot doesn't scorch. That's why most people say it takes 12 hours, to evaporate the water. You don't need that long to carmalize the sugars, perhaps only 2-3 hours.

It really was salty and your whey wasn't salty? Huh, that's a new one on me. I thought maybe the wheys were mixed together and one was a brined whey, or something similar. I've never had a brunost type cheese be salty before.

Did the whey taste OK? Or was it off somehow? What was the acidity of the whey, any idea?
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Offline indychzgrl

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Re: Gjetost Making - Fail!?
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2010, 09:32:31 PM »
I haven't gotten to precisely testing acidity yet- newbie of newbies here.  I taste before adding rennet, and if it seems sufficiently sour, I go ahead and add.  It has worked out ok for simple cheeses, but I'm sure I'll need to move into more precise techniques before attempting the more challenging ones.  At any rate, I can't give you the acidity.  :(

The wheys were mixed from making 2 different cheeses, one started with store bought buttermilk and the other with homemade yogurt; both coagulated with tableted rennet.   I'm not a fan of whey by itself, so I can't say they tasted good, but they tasted as I expected, and didn't seem to be "off".
One was refrigerated for 2 days and the other was freshly separated from the curd.

Could the starters have made the difference?
Or would the whey have changed dramatically in the 2 days I stored it?


 

 


Offline linuxboy

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Re: Gjetost Making - Fail!?
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2010, 09:42:55 PM »
I'm sort of clueless here at where the saltiness is coming from. Maybe the milk got contaminated, but if that was the case, you would have tasted it in the whey, it would have been off.
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Offline Brie

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Re: Gjetost Making - Fail!?
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2010, 10:45:50 PM »
I don't understand the salt taste, but am wondering if there is a difference from using whey from cream cheese as opposed to hard cheeses. I've always read to use only whey from hard cheeses that is not older than 3 hours. Comments?
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Offline SandHollerFarm

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Re: Gjetost Making - Fail!?
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2010, 09:49:54 AM »
Interesting idea Brie.  Before I knew that "rule", I tried to make ricotta plenty of times with the whey from soft cheeses.  The yield was absurdly low and the texture was off but the flavor was right on.  But of course making ricotta is far different than making gjetost.

I'm trying to recall if I used soft or hard cheese whey for the one-and-only time I made gjetost.  It was during the time period when I didn't know the difference but I couldn't say for sure.  Mine wasn't salty and I loved it (I've had it from the store so I knew what flavor I was in for), but I couldn't get a single other person to stomach it so I gave up on the lengthy process!
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Offline mrawlins

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Re: Gjetost Making - Fail!?
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2010, 12:20:25 PM »
Perhaps nobody checks this thread anymore, but I thought I'd give my two cents.  My wife and I made mysost for the first time on our honeymoon and have made it one other time since then, both times using cow's milk.  We also used the whey from uncultured cheeses (we acidified using lemon juice the first time and citric acid the second).  It turned out very sweet, but with a bit of saltiness to the flavor (it's subtle if it turns out right).

The saltiness comes from the calcium, potassium and sodium in the milk.  The tartness comes from the acidity and the sweetness comes from the caramelized milk sugars.  If you use a culture to acidify there is still culture left in the whey after draining - it hasn't all died off.  Cultures acidify by eating the milk sugars and leaving lactic acid as a by-product.  If you let the whey sit for a few days you'll have converted a lot more of the milk sugar into acid.  That will decrease the sweetness of the mysost and increase the tartness.  The salty overtones can then come out in the flavor, and it will be more salty overall, with a hint of sweetness.  I can't imagine that would taste very good.

Try making the gjetost with fresh whey and see if that improves things.

Hope that helps!
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Offline MrsKK

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Re: Gjetost Making - Fail!?
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2010, 07:27:35 AM »
Good points you bring up.  welcome to the forum!

Offline Brandnetel

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Re: Gjetost Making - Fail!?
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2011, 12:41:57 AM »
Whoo-hoo! Mysost success tonight after 2 prior failures. This was one of the first things i tried when I started making fresh cheese and my first batch turned out great. Then I had 2 that were ruined basically by burning/scorching in the end stages.

Tonight's batch started with about 2 gallons of whey and took 8 hours to cook down. I tried lowering the temperature significantly using an induction cooker for the last hour or two - at 290, then 230. Still, I had to watch it very closely through the whole thing and stir a fair amount, and then pretty much continuously for the last half hour once it started to thicken perceptibly. And I really just saved it - small scorch marks were appearing on the bottom of the pot just when I took it off. Tragedy narrowly averted!

Hopefully I will post some pics. I like this stuff, but boy it is labor intensive and even with hours of watchful cooking down it is still easy to blow it in the end. Also, to echo what others have said, rapid cooling and vigourous stirring/beating immediately when it is done are really key to getting a good creamy texture and avoiding grittiness.
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Offline Tomer1

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Re: Gjetost Making - Fail!?
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2011, 06:37:57 AM »
You said you initially started with 1 gallon of acidified whey ,
Whats the end volume?

The sourness could be from the concentration of lactic acid,
The same way condensed milk is very sweet.
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