Author Topic: Milk, Cow's - Using Homogenized In Cheese Making?  (Read 11033 times)

Offline oregoncurtis

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Milk, Cow's - Using Homogenized In Cheese Making?
« on: August 14, 2010, 12:22:26 AM »
I know this is newbie question and I've been searching both this forum and google, but can't seem to find the right answer. I'm having trouble finding non homogenized milk and so I wanted to know if it's possible to make any cheeses with homogenized milk? If so which kinds. I know that mozzarella isn't possible I tried with what I though was non-homogenized, but It turned out all wrong.

I'm new to this so I apologize for asking what is probably a commonly answered question.

Thanks!

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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Milk, Cow's - Using Homogenized In Cheese Making?
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2010, 12:31:34 AM »
Yes, blues turn out nicely. Lactic curd turns out OK. It depends on how it's homogenized, too.
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Offline Alex

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Re: Milk, Cow's - Using Homogenized In Cheese Making?
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2010, 05:59:20 AM »
I'd like to know how to make cheese from homogenized milk

Thanks
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Offline Boofer

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Re: Milk, Cow's - Using Homogenized In Cheese Making?
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2010, 08:31:06 AM »
I'd like to know how to make cheese from homogenized milk

Thanks

You're kidding, right Alex? You're an old hand at this craft.

Except for an expensive ($10/gallon) Jack I tried recently, all of my 20 cheeses over the past year and a half have been made from pasteurized, homogenized milk bought from the store ($3.69/gallon). Certainly there are a lot finer nuances to using raw milk, and I would use it preferentially over the store stuff if I had a reasonably priced (or FREE!!) source.

To the store milk, you need to replace calcium that was lost in the processing. An added teaspoon or two of calcium chloride (CACL2) to the milk at the beginning of the make is what is required. I'm sure if you search on CACL2 here you'll find a lot of information about its role and use.

Mozzarella can be a difficult cheese to make. Use the search function to learn more about the troubles and successes with the style. I believe MrsKK's recipe has solid recommendations. Here's another thread you may find useful: http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,4127.0.html

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Offline Gina

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Re: Milk, Cow's - Using Homogenized In Cheese Making?
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2010, 09:17:14 AM »
Quote from: Boofer
Except for an expensive ($10/gallon) Jack I tried recently, all of my 20 cheeses over the past year and a half have been made from pasteurized, homogenized milk bought from the store ($3.69/gallon). Certainly there are a lot finer nuances to using raw milk, and I would use it preferentially over the store stuff if I had a reasonably priced (or FREE!!) source.
Totally agree. I've only been making cheese for a few months, but thus far all of my cheeses also have been made using generic store-bought milk. I would love to have access to higher quality milk at a reasonable price, but that isnt the case right now, and frankly in my area, I doubt it ever will be. Sadly I havent seen a live cow locally for years, and having animals of my own is out of the question.

As Boofer suggested, you can add Calcium Chloride to grocery store milk to replace lost calcium. It's not a perfect solution (no pun intended) but it really helps and you can make some nice cheeses this way. Not as nice as raw milks (or so I've heard), but quite satisfactory and enjoyable. You easily can purchase a small amount in liquid form at various cheese making sites, or look for dry and mix it yourself. I got mine (food grade) from ebay.

Good luck and have fun. :)

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Offline Alex

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Re: Milk, Cow's - Using Homogenized In Cheese Making?
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2010, 05:26:33 AM »
NO, I'm not kidding at all. On one hand I am fortunate to have unlimited raw milk - cow's and goat's. On the other hand, as I teach cheese making, I want to have the opportunity to teach making cheese from store bought milk. It's illegal to sell raw milk here. All store bought milk in my country is homogenized. There are two types, pasteurized and UHT. I'd like to be able make mostly simple cheeses and may be Edam/Gouda.  I know the "trick" with the CaCl. The store bought milk has 3% fat. May some fat addition (cream) help coagulation?
I tried making cheese twice, both times I got not more than yogurt consistency. after cutting the coagulum I couldn't stir the curds, it was too soft and fragile.
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Offline MrsKK

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Re: Milk, Cow's - Using Homogenized In Cheese Making?
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2010, 07:44:57 AM »
I'm with you, Alex, in wanting to learn how to make quality cheeses with homogenized milk because of the legal issues with raw milk cheeses.  And I also want to teach cheesemaking classes.  For most of the year, I have raw milk from my cow - FAR from free or even reasonably priced, considering the cost of keeping a cow, plus the work that goes into milking, feeding, and caring for her - but for the two or so months that she is dry, I am stuck with store-bought.  I basically stop drinking milk because I can't stand the taste and it gives me digestive issues.

I guess I will just have to dive in and try CaCl and store bought one of these days, because teaching the skill is a passion of mine.

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Milk, Cow's - Using Homogenized In Cheese Making?
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2010, 10:43:09 AM »
The store bought milk has 3% fat. May some fat addition (cream) help coagulation?
I tried making cheese twice, both times I got not more than yogurt consistency. after cutting the coagulum I couldn't stir the curds, it was too soft and fragile.

Cream makes it worse. Cream makes the curd weaker and it will take longer to drain. This is the case for nonhomogenized milk as well. It has to do with the PF ratio. If you add cream and it gets too much beyond 1, the curd will be soft, like stilton curd. If you want stronger curd, add protein (caseins, not whey proteins). Easiest way is dry nonfat milk. So end point is that add cream but no more than is found naturally if you want a good curd set. Naturally holstein milk has about 3.2% protein.

One of my tricks with homogenized milk is to start with a milk that has a low fat percentage, like a 1% or 2%, and then add the best commercial cream I can find to bring the fat content up to 3-4%. This has always set better for me than using regular whole milk.
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Offline Alex

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Re: Milk, Cow's - Using Homogenized In Cheese Making?
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2010, 11:01:49 AM »
Thanks,

Experiencing the two flops was without adding cream.
I am ready to try with 1 or 2% fat milk. When and how do you add the cream?
BTW, it's also homogenized.
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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Milk, Cow's - Using Homogenized In Cheese Making?
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2010, 11:47:25 AM »
I pour it in at the start of the make before adding anything. You might be limited with what you can make. Here, I have my choices of homogenized milks and they vary drastically in terms of suitability for cheesemaking. Most are no good. It might be that you will not be able to find an acceptable milk. In that case, you can always make lactic curd. Or if 2% milk works, a grana type, such as parmesan. I've had good success with adding lipase to 2% milk and making grana styles.
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Offline Alex

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Re: Milk, Cow's - Using Homogenized In Cheese Making?
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2010, 12:02:24 PM »
Thank you LB,

As I have no choices, only one type of homo milk, I'll give it a try.
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Offline Boofer

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Re: Milk, Cow's - Using Homogenized In Cheese Making?
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2010, 03:23:08 PM »
One of my tricks with homogenized milk is to start with a milk that has a low fat percentage, like a 1% or 2%, and then add the best commercial cream I can find to bring the fat content up to 3-4%. This has always set better for me than using regular whole milk.
This is an intriguing point. What is the explanation...in layman's terms, please. Wouldn't they be fairly equal as far as protein content? If that really is true, wouldn't we always want to use 1% or 2% and add cream to it, rather than use whole milk?

I tried making cheese twice, both times I got not more than yogurt consistency. after cutting the coagulum I couldn't stir the curds, it was too soft and fragile.
I guess my curds are pretty much fragile shortly after cutting. It's only after they've been healed and heated that they become less so. If I'm not careful or stir too vigorously, they will shatter. That isn't the case with raw milk, huh? I do manage to get the curds to a firmer stage and am able to drain the whey and make my cheeses though and don't ever see the yogurt consistency you're referring to. Very curious.

From my perspective, the industrial milk is okay (but not optimal) and I can fashion cheeses from it. My problems are in understanding what the different processes are and the changes that the cultures and my techniques bring to my finished products.

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« Last Edit: August 16, 2010, 01:13:33 AM by Boofer »
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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Milk, Cow's - Using Homogenized In Cheese Making?
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2010, 07:41:37 PM »
We must have good milk up here because I have made all kinds of cheeses with store bought pasteirized homodgenized milk here for 30 years using buttermilk, yogurt and Junket rennet with no Calcium chloride. The only milk that doesn't work very well for me is what they sell here at WalMart - always very soft curds and thin yogurts so I don't use it.

I have always made more Italian styled cheese (mozzarella, provalone, romano, parmensan, Crosta rosa) than anything and only in the past 2 years had access to raw milk and started using commercial cultures. Granted raw milk is soooo much better for curd formation, flavor etc., requires less rennet and gives you firmer curds but it can be done.

Offline Alex

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Re: Milk, Cow's - Using Homogenized In Cheese Making?
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2010, 12:03:00 AM »
The type of cheese I tried to make, is a very popular in my country, it's a fresh cheese. It is made like Camembert, even the size, a little bit more salt and of course no PC. It's eaten after drainage of 24 hours max.
The pics show a bigger one made from raw milk.
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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Milk, Cow's - Using Homogenized In Cheese Making?
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2010, 07:12:43 AM »
One of my tricks with homogenized milk is to start with a milk that has a low fat percentage, like a 1% or 2%, and then add the best commercial cream I can find to bring the fat content up to 3-4%. This has always set better for me than using regular whole milk.

This is an intriguing point. What is the explanation...in layman's terms, please. Wouldn't they be fairly equal as far as protein content? If that really is true, wouldn't we always want to use 1% or 2% and add cream to it, rather than use whole milk?

Yes, the  composition by numbers is about the same. But the treatment of the fats often differs.  In whole milk, everything is pushed through the homogenizer, which both breaks up the fats and smashes them into caseins. When that smashing happens, the caseins adsorb the fat molecules. Meaning you get proteins will little chunks of fats on their surfaces, making it more difficult for them to bond to each other to form a curd. So the curd is softer. In a low fat milk that's of good quality, the proteins are still there, but are less damaged (not always the case, depends on the process). So I like to use the milk that has decent proteins, and then use non-ultra-pasteurized, gently treated cream and add it back into the milk. It's much cheaper than raw milk, and while the results aren't as good, they're better than using regular whole milk.

Boofer, around here most of the 2% milk is no good. The good milk is in white plastic containers and has an expiration date that's about two weeks into the future, even when the milk is regularly restocked. Interestingly, the whole milk that's in white plastic containers, non-UP of course, is also quite decent. I've started using that more for ease to avoid the whole issue of adding cream. Trader Joes and Whole Foods both have good whole milk (again around here, not sure about other parts of the county), usually. Either the half gallon cartons or the gallon white plastic ones. It is a little Holstein-heavy and the curd set will be a little weak, but not terrible, pretty close to what raw Holstein milk is like.

For other parts of the country, it may be the same case or it may not. In general, the protein structure of lower fat milk is better, though. I wouldn't say it's always better, but I would say it's often the case, especially with cheaper milks.

« Last Edit: August 16, 2010, 08:04:36 AM by linuxboy »
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