Author Topic: Raw milk---reduction of starter  (Read 273 times)

Offline qdog1955

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Raw milk---reduction of starter
« on: March 11, 2015, 02:40:40 PM »
  Does any one know if there is a generally accepted percentage of reduction of both starter cultures and rennet when using raw milk, as opposed to P/H milk?
  And how best to apply that reduction when mixing raw and P/H milk?
Qdog
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Offline Kern

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Re: Raw milk---reduction of starter
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2015, 03:22:04 PM »
I believe Caldwell mentions such a reduction in Artisan Cheese Making - about 25% if memory serves.   If true then a 50/50 mixture of RM/PH should be about a 10-12% reduction.  But, this is nothing more than a guess on my part.   :P

Offline qdog1955

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Re: Raw milk---reduction of starter
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2015, 04:37:47 AM »
Thanks Kern----I have been using the Caldwell recommendation and using that same logic on a 50/50 mix and it has worked well. But I'm thinking of trying some different ratios of raw milk to P/H ( such as 3 gal. P/H to 2 gal. raw ) ---trying to maintain the flavor and great curds of the raw milk, while lowering that $7.00 a gallon price-----but I can't help thinking, that there is a point where the logic goes out the window and the whole concept goes kaput.
 Also have to wonder about the amount of calcium chloride when mixing the two types of milk.
 
  It would be nice if there were some hard set rules on some of these cheese making questions----but then I couldn't play Dr. Frankenstein, Eh? ;)
Qdog
 
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Online awakephd

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Re: Raw milk---reduction of starter
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2015, 08:44:02 AM »
Qdog, just a thought -- especially since it's not my money & milk on the line! -- you may do better to try the "extreme." In other words, rather than gradually increasing the percentage of P&H with each make, go straight to the greatest percentage of P&H that you would ever think you might do. Perhaps 1 gal raw, 4 gal P&H -- if that works, you can be confident that anything with more raw would work. If it doesn't, you now have an endpoint to work with. Then try 1 gal raw, 3 gal P&H, or so on.

Again, much easier for me to suggest this when I won't be the one disappointed if a make doesn't work ... :)
-- Andy

Offline Kern

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Re: Raw milk---reduction of starter
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2015, 10:14:39 AM »
Qdog, just a thought -- especially since it's not my money & milk on the line! -- you may do better to try the "extreme." In other words, rather than gradually increasing the percentage of P&H with each make, go straight to the greatest percentage of P&H that you would ever think you might do. Perhaps 1 gal raw, 4 gal P&H -- if that works, you can be confident that anything with more raw would work. If it doesn't, you now have an endpoint to work with. Then try 1 gal raw, 3 gal P&H, or so on.

Dr. Awake has a good suggestion based upon the logic that you can sometimes find the correct answer by pushing the extremes and then averaging the results.  In the case of milk if you know that 50/50 "works" and that 100/0 doesn't then the next mix to try is 75/25.  It that doesn't work go to 62.5/37.5 and if it does work then try 87.5/12.5, etc.  Doing it this way always results in the fewest number of trials.   A)

Offline qdog1955

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Re: Raw milk---reduction of starter
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2015, 02:49:55 PM »
Thanks guys----that makes sense----I'm thinking backwards, your way might mean one wasted batch----my way might have been a couple----Straw Man said it best----if I only had a brain ;)
Qdog
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Online awakephd

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Re: Raw milk---reduction of starter
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2015, 08:38:25 AM »
Well, no guarantees -- it is always possible that half-raw and half-P&H IS the endpoint. So then you try 1/4-raw, and it doesn't work; okay, let's try 1/3-raw ... huh, still doesn't work; then you try 2/5 raw ... STILL doesn't work; now you've wasted 3 batches!

That said, I think what you will find is a continuum rather than a cut-off -- after all, many (most?) of us make do with only P&H milk most of the time, so the addition of any raw should have some positive effect. The question is whether you get enough effect to be worth the extra cost. It may be, for example, that 1/4 raw is not enough different from no raw to be worth the extra $$. You'll still get cheese out of the batch; it just won't have that lovely strong curd and extra flavor. But 1/3 raw may give you enough boost in curd strength and flavor, perhaps enough that you won't tell that much difference from using 1/2 raw -- but you will save $$!

Again, this is all easy to say when it is not my money on the line ... !
-- Andy

Offline Kern

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Re: Raw milk---reduction of starter
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2015, 05:54:05 PM »
Just for grins I took one for the team today:  I made a batch of Feta using 100% P&H with Vitamin D added.  Last week I made a batch using vat pasteurized whole "cream top" milk.  This worked very well and was ready to cut at 40 minutes.  I was a little too rough on it during the stirring phase and it came out quite flavorful but a tad rubbery.  Today's batch initially followed the same recipe.  I decided to do the flock test with the bowl and recorded a floc time from initial rennet addition of a shade under ten minutes.  So, cutting was calculated to be 40 minutes.  At 40 minutes the cured could not have been cut - a knife line healed and little clots of white cured flowed off the knife tip.  At 50 minutes I got a clean break and the finger lift cleanly tore the curd.  Still it was soft and I thought that it might stir so something that resembled a thin potato soup.  So, I cut it at 60 minutes, rested it for 10 minutes and over the next 20 minutes stirred it gently every 5 minutes.  It then settled for 5 minutes.  The use of the word settled here really stretches its meaning.  Let's say there was some clear whey on top of some white chunks an inch down.  These were very, very soft curds.  I poured some into a cloth lined colander and almost immediately noted that the curds were breaking and stopping up the cloth.  What to do, what to do?

I poured the drained whey back into the vat, popped the vat back onto the heater and gently stirred while bringing them temperature us to 90F.  I held it there for a couple of minutes and then changed cloths and ladled the wet curds into the colander.  Once the initial rush subsided I hung the cloth.  After an hour I flipped the cheese ball into a clean cloth and put it back to drain.  In about ten minutes it will be time to flip.  I'll check the curd pH and report back.  I may be able to save this cheese but my next batch of Feta will use at least a 50/50 blend of the two milks.   :o

Offline Kern

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Re: Raw milk---reduction of starter
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2015, 06:35:14 PM »
OK.  I flipped the ball of Feta after three hours of draining by hanging.  Curd pH 5.82 - about where it should be now.  Got about two cups of whey drip, drip, dripping over the past two hours - this all started with two gallons of P&D whole milk innocently sitting on the grocer's shelves this morning.  Rehung and it is still dripping about 6-8 times per minute.  Room temperature is 73F.  the Feta ball seems a bit more springy than last week when the vat pasteurized whole milk was used.  I think it is draining much more slowly but don't really have good data to compare.  Curds have knitted together fairly well.  I has about 6-8 hours to go before hitting goal pH of 4.6-4.8.  I have a feeling that I am going to hit the goal pH while it is still dripping.  We shall see.  Stay tuned.   :P

Offline qdog1955

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Re: Raw milk---reduction of starter
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2015, 05:35:36 AM »
I am currently tuned in to "channel Kern"---and waiting for the news -----that seems to be the same problem I have been having with all the P/H milk lately and I believe Andy has had similar problems.
Qdog
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Offline Kern

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Re: Raw milk---reduction of starter
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2015, 11:21:29 AM »
I am currently tuned in to "channel Kern"---and waiting for the news -----that seems to be the same problem I have been having with all the P/H milk lately and I believe Andy has had similar problems.

Back at it!  Too tired to post last night so I just slogged through the cheese making.  Following are some tidbits from my notes.  The draining (hanging in cheesecloth) started at 1:00pm local time.  So my last post above was at the 3 hour point.  I decided to go check the drip rate with a timer instead of estimating as I did above.  pH values for curd only.

4:40pm:  25 drips in 112 seconds
5:52pm:  25 drips in 282 seconds
6:00pm:  pH  5.38 (vs. 5.82 at 4:40pm)
4:00 - 6:00pm drip amount:  150ml (about 6 fluid ounces vs. 16 fluid ounces in the 2:00pm to 4:00pm interval)
8:00pm:  pH 5.12 - drips about 2-3/ minute
10:00pm:  pH 5.02
The temperature in the room was kept at 73F from mid afternoon through salting.
4:30am:  pH 4.8, maybe one fluid ounce in the 6.5 hour period.  Bottom of cheesecloth was very wet.
4:35am:  Ball weight 2.5 pounds (maybe a couple of ounces lost in vat due to curd breakup, etc.  Vat pasteurized 2 gallon weight last week was 2#14.5 ounces going into brine.
4:40am:  Ball into brine, salted top.
8:30am:  Flipped ball salted top.  Rind is hardening like last weeks rind.

Plan is to cut the ball in half around 11:00am local time.  This will finish heavy brining about 6:00pm this evening.  Cutting will be my first look into the interior so I'll be back then.   ^-^



Offline Kern

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Re: Raw milk---reduction of starter
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2015, 02:26:20 PM »
Cut Feta ball in half at 12:20pm.  Middle pH is 4.78.  Curd is stitched together as it should be with a few little mechanical holes as a Feta should have.  At 8:00pm I'll remove it from the heavy brine and cut each half in fourth's and let them dry for 24 to 48 hours in cheese cave (55F, 85% RH) and then pack them in 8% aging brine.  Comparative taste test this evening.   ::)

Online awakephd

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Re: Raw milk---reduction of starter
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2015, 07:19:53 PM »
Well, there's P&H milk, and then there's P&H milk. :)

Some brands just don't work. Obviously ultra-pasteurized doesn't work, but other brands may not work, or not work well, even though they are labelled simply as pasteurized.
-- Andy

Offline Kern

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Re: Raw milk---reduction of starter
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2015, 10:40:16 PM »
Taste test confirms that the P&H milk was turned into Feta.  It seems denser than the Feta made last week with the vat pasteurized whole milk.  We'll see how it ages.  I guess for the P&H milk I used a reasonable Feta can be made.  The recipe could be modified to allow a longer time before cutting and some mild cooking after cutting and resting in the vat for a few minutes.  The curd was very soft going into the cloth lined colander, which might explain why this Feta seems denser.  I wouldn't try this again but for a soft cheese I might try a 50/50 blend of VPWM and P&H.  I agree with Dr. Awake:  The blend is most likely a continuum:  Anything other than 100% VPWM is going to degrade its qualities.  A 50/50 blend might make a decent Feta but would probably be very dicey with a long cooked or washed curd cheese.  My lab is closed on this one.   8)