Author Topic: ricotta NEVER works  (Read 4440 times)

Offline Susan

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Re: ricotta NEVER works
« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2010, 05:33:00 AM »
What would be the difference between using white vinegar and cider vinegar?  And it seems different to add the salt at the beginning rather than in the finished product.  Don't you lose much of it in the whey?  Or is it somehow incorporated better this way?  I have made it just bringing the whey to near boiling temp but not adding vinegar.  Maybe my yield would have been better.  I guess there is an ideal pH for ricotta and would depend on your whey.  I need a meter!
Susan


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Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: ricotta NEVER works
« Reply #16 on: October 28, 2010, 09:34:58 AM »
Susan,

Making Ricotta is all about pH. If the whey left over from your cheese make is acidic enough, you don't need to use any vinegar. Or you may need to use just a little. With whole milk only, you will need to use much more. I find that when you over acidify, the curds sink instead of floating to the top. And the Ricotta has a sharper, unpleasant taste. It is not as light and fluffy.

Some books tell you that you have to use the whey within a couple of hours. Nonsense. Many people find that they get better results if they let the whey sit overnight. That's probably because the starter bacteria have produced more acid naturally.

Either vinegar is fine or you can use lemon juice or citric acid. I don't salt my Ricotta at all. I prefer to salt during cooking according to whatever recipe we are doing.

Meters definitely help understand what's going on. If you don't have one, just heat up to just under boiling. Do NOT let it get to a rolling boil. Hold for about 10 minutes and cut off the heat. Wait about 20 minutes and see what happens. If Ricotta floats up, leave it alone. If not, add a LITTLE vinegar. Wait a few minutes. Add more as necessary without overdoing it. It doesn't make sense to add vinegar in the beginning before you know what's going on.

I always add a little whole milk to increase my yield.

Unfortunately, the recipe books don't tell you this stuff and can be very misleading.
A moldy Stilton is a thing of beauty. Yes, you eat the rind. - Ed
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Offline Susan

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Re: ricotta NEVER works
« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2010, 10:17:48 AM »
Sailor,
Thanks for the helpful tips.  Shopping now for a pH meter.  I always get SOME ricotta so maybe pH is fine.  But wondering if I add more acid (vinegar or whatever) that yield may be higher.  I have this in my head based on my Queso Blanco experience.  After adding vinegar got SOME cheese but whey still milky.  So later added more vinegar and got even more cheese.  So will this happen with ricotta too?  And thank for clearing up the timing of the whey.  I have read both that it must be used immediately, within 3 hours.  And that it should sit overnight.  Again, a pH meter would help sounds like.
Susan

Offline motochef

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Re: ricotta NEVER works
« Reply #18 on: October 28, 2010, 09:29:52 PM »
What would be the difference between using white vinegar and cider vinegar?  And it seems different to add the salt at the beginning rather than in the finished product.  Don't you lose much of it in the whey?  Or is it somehow incorporated better this way?  I have made it just bringing the whey to near boiling temp but not adding vinegar.  Maybe my yield would have been better.  I guess there is an ideal pH for ricotta and would depend on your whey.  I need a meter!
Susan


I learned that the vinegar you use comes out in the whey and not the cheese.. White is the cheapest by me so that's what I use. I wonder if your just getting such a good yield that there's nothing left! I just did a Goat Cheese Ricotta from pasteurized milk.


Offline Susan

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Re: ricotta NEVER works
« Reply #19 on: October 29, 2010, 06:43:46 AM »
Beautiful ricotta!  I can see that my ricotta would have gone right through the holes in that basket.  The grains were VERY fine.  They even went right through a sieve.  Makes it very hard to handle.  I was able to capture them in the gold coffee filter but drains very slowly.  I wonder what the difference is.  I was using mozarella (citric method) whey and no vinegar.  Just heating.
Susan


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Offline motochef

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Re: ricotta NEVER works
« Reply #20 on: October 30, 2010, 12:09:22 AM »
I did this with pasteurized goats milk (not ultra). When we did the ricotta from whey in the class it was from mozzarella that was made with a starter and  rennet. The process takes hours but I wounder if the citric acid method has something to do with it? By far the best results have been with whole milk or goats milk. The goats milk is very creamy and smooth vs the whole that is also creamy but the curds are a bit firmer. If I have a chance I may send Larry @ Three Shepherds a line about your issue.

Offline Susan

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Re: ricotta NEVER works
« Reply #21 on: October 30, 2010, 06:47:32 AM »
Thanks motochef.  Would be interested to hear what they say.  In the meantime I will try it both with different whey and also adding some whole milk and see what that does.  It may be a little while.  I thought I was all ready to go making lots of fun cheeses because I bought a dedicated refrigerator.  But it is in the garage.  Now that it is getting cold, how will it stay at 50 degrees?  I'll have to either bring it in the basement or get a smaller one for inside.  Always something!
Susan

Offline MrsKK

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Re: ricotta NEVER works
« Reply #22 on: October 30, 2010, 08:46:18 AM »
I think that the citric acid method just doesn't leave enough protein in the whey for you to get the big fluffy clouds of ricotta that give the better results.

If you get a chance to try it with whey from cultured cheese, I think you'll be much more pleased with the results.

Offline motochef

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Re: ricotta NEVER works
« Reply #23 on: November 02, 2010, 08:05:00 PM »
dayflowr,

Here is what Larry came back with from Three Shepherds in Vermont about your issue. I forgot to tell him that you had very tiny curds so I sent him your first post on this thread today. Here is what he said so far:

Hi Robert,

Thanks for the link to the forum.  It is true that some cheesemakers are very reliant on acidity measurement (TA and/or pH).  As we mentioned, it definitely can be an aid for gaining insight on the biochemistry of the process, and for some cheeses (e.g., mozzarella), it can help a lot with knowing exactly when a critical step needs to occur (stretching at pH 5.3). 

Both Linda and I have had many years of lab experience, and understand the value of getting precise measurements.  However, we learned cheesemaking from Europeans who take a sensory approach to cheesemaking.  Using your eyes, olfactory sense, taste, and feel can also give tremendous insight into the process as well.  We are not trying to say that one way is right and will make better cheese--but it is interesting to note that on our 1997 trip to Europe, only one out of 28 cheesemakers measured acidity with lab devices.  And we have consulted with many, many farms who have had major issues with expensive pH meters, so the strips end up being a better investment.

As far as the ricotta, whenever we make mozzarella I always make ricotta from the whey, and it works extremely reliably.  However, we have never made mozzarella using citric acid.  I do know that when we have tried making ricotta from whey that is very acidic (below pH 4.7) it can be very tricky to make ricotta from it.  So perhaps the citric acid is playing a roll.  It would be helpful to know what your friend is observing and what procedure he is using.  Just let us know.

When is your wife coming to Vermont?  It would be great to see her (and you) again.

Keep us updated on your progress.

Best wishes,

Larry and Linda

« Last Edit: November 02, 2010, 08:41:36 PM by motochef »

Offline motochef

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Re: ricotta NEVER works
« Reply #24 on: November 07, 2010, 08:27:17 PM »
I asked Dr.Larry a follow up about dayflowr's Ricotta issue and PH meters vs the test strips here is what he said:


Hi Robert,

Thanks for the link to the forum.  It is true that some cheese makers are very reliant on acidity measurement (TA and/or pH).  As we mentioned, it definitely can be an aid for gaining insight on the biochemistry of the process, and for some cheeses (e.g., mozzarella), it can help a lot with knowing exactly when a critical step needs to occur (stretching at pH 5.3). 

Both Linda and I have had many years of lab experience, and understand the value of getting precise measurements.  However, we learned cheesemaking from Europeans who take a sensory approach to cheesemaking.  Using your eyes, olfactory sense, taste, and feel can also give tremendous insight into the process as well.  We are not trying to say that one way is right and will make better cheese--but it is interesting to note that on our 1997 trip to Europe, only one out of 28 cheesemakers measured acidity with lab devices.  And we have consulted with many, many farms who have had major issues with expensive pH meters, so the strips end up being a better investment.

As far as the ricotta, whenever we make mozzarella I always make ricotta from the whey, and it works extremely reliably.  However, we have never made mozzarella using citric acid.  I do know that when we have tried making ricotta from whey that is very acidic (below pH 4.7) it can be very tricky to make ricotta from it.  So perhaps the citric acid is playing a roll.  It would be helpful to know what your friend is observing and what procedure he is using.  Just let us know.

When is your wife coming to Vermont?  It would be great to see her (and you) again.

Keep us updated on your progress.

Best wishes,

Larry and Linda


Linda Faillace, author of Mad Sheep from Chelsea Green Publishing Website: http://www.chelseagreen.com/2006/items/madsheep Dr. Larry and Linda Faillace Three Shepherds of the Mad River Valley 108 Roxbury Mountain Road Warren, VT 05674 Tel: 802-496-3998 www.threeshepherdscheese.com



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Offline fiddletree

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Re: ricotta NEVER works
« Reply #25 on: January 07, 2011, 09:08:41 AM »
My ph meter just arrived in the mail today (yippie!), but I am having a hard time finding in any of my books what the acidity should be of various fresh cheeses.  I have made ricotta a few times... when I made it after mozz, it was perfect, and other times it didn't form or was rubbery, which I assume is a ph problem.

I see in the post above that I don't want the acidity below 4.7, but what should it be? What is too high? Is it important to have it just within a certain range, or at a very specific ph?

Thanks!