Good morning fellow cheese makers.
I have a couple of questions, and not real sure where to post them, so I will put them here and hopefully gain insight from the wealth of knowledge that you all possess.
I made two 3 gallon batches of cheese this weekend, and measured starting ph of the milk which was 6.67 on both days. The first day, I warmed the milk to 86 per the instructions for the particular cheese that I was making and added the starter, ¼ tsp of flora danica and 1/8 tsp of mm meso type M (aquired from Leener’s). I allowed the milk to ripen for 60 minutes as recipe recommended and then tested the ph again. There was no change, which I was not expecting. I added ¾ tsp of CaCl2 and mixed thoroughly. I added the rennet, I used dry calves rennet, about 3/32nds of a teaspoon, which is a 32nd more than the package instructions, re-hydrated in ¼ cup of cool distilled water. It took just about 3 hours to set to a firm curd. Very, very distressing to take that long for a curd set. Throws the whole recipe timing off schedule. I measured the ph at curd set and it was about 6.53, which I thought was insufficient acidification for the amount of time that had elapsed.
Now to my questions:
Does acidification effect curd set or do I have another problem.
Do you think that possibly my starters are bad? They have been kept frozen in their containers, in a zip lock bag.
When I drained the curd after cooking I had a ph of about 6.28 and at final pressing I was at around 5.75 ph in the whey.
What do you think I am experiencing?
By the way, the cheese is the Crosta Rossta Pistachi recipe that is listed in a thread at this site.
Now for my other question regarding PH values. Is there a general guideline that a person should look to for his cheese making, i.e. value of ph at ripening time, rennet time, draining time, pressing time, etc.?
I ask so that I can get a feel for if it is going correctly. Thanks all.
Buy the way, here is a pix of the Pistachi.