Author Topic: Coagulation, Lactic - General Discussion (& Member ArnaudForestier's Hobbies)  (Read 1451 times)

Offline ArnaudForestier

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Hello all - will do a proper introduction, but with a son's project coming in tomorrow, trying to figure out what is up with our chevre this time.  Parameters are Sunshine Farm's pasteurized goat's milk, heated to 86F; 1/8 tsp Choozit MM-101 dropped in, rehydrated for a few minutes, mixed in thoroughly.  Allowed to rest covered at 80F; to 24 hours, still a very weak curd and by 36 hours, still the same - broken pattern of whey on top, very loose, yogurt-like curd.  Curd is sour, but not off-tasting.

I've always used New England Cheesemaking's chevre direct-set starter.  This time, in a time crunch, at the last minute went to a local supplier for a large pack of this MM-101.  I am so new to cheesemaking I only realized the NEC's chevre has some rennet, and the MM-101 does not (right), so that may explain the lengthy set.  But not to set firmly at all, after 36 hours, despite a good amount of presumably lactic acid development?

I don't want to extend this to 48 hours, so will drain it in butter muslin and hope for the best.  Going forward, however, I was hoping for some advice.  Time of year/the milk?  Lack of rennet?  I ask, because I've never added CaCl to the Sunshine Farms milk in the past; though I didn't add rennet and suspect the MM-101 doesn't have it, would have expected it would have set up after so long a time.

Many thanks for your thoughts, and hello!

- Paul


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Offline John (CH)

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Arnaud, congrats on you getting you son involved, our daughters were never interested. I saw on your intro post that you've already made several batches of Chevre, assume always the same brand of milk, so the issue should not be there. Here in Houston we can only get Ultra Pasteurized Goat's Milk which is very hard to coagulate, by rennet of by lactic acid.

You are correct Danisco's Choozit Brand MM-101 is a standard freeze dried lactic acid producing starter culture, it has no rennet in it. Thus you are making a purely lactic acid coagulated cheese, versus your previous batches which were semi-lactic coagulated (mostly lactic and a little rennet vs rennet coagulated cheeses) as the combination chevre package you bought also contained rennet (& from their website malto dextrin which as linuxboy says is an artificial sweetener and thickener). This means you will get a different looking coagulated curd than previous, it will be much softer and with time as it expells whey you will get whey on top and around the sides of the single large curd as I believe you have done.

Agree, recommend start gravity draining it in cheesecloth.

PS: The amount of MM-101 you need will be less than the amount of that combination package.

Offline ArnaudForestier

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Thank you very much, John - did see the hyperlink earlier on the NEC starter, hadn't investigated...very curious! 

Next time I will inoculate with some rennet; though it soured (well, perhaps a tad much), I never ended up with anything other than a broken, yogurty mass.  I kept waiting for the solid formation, thin film on top.  Nevertheless, I did put it in butter muslin and so far, though I ended up with a ton of (milk solids?) in the whey, at first, things slowed to a trickle and it looks like pure whey dripping down, with retained solids off a gallon of milk so far looking to be about 2 1/2c.  Can you tell me - can I expect I'll end up with a fairly thickish goat's milk yogurt, more or less? 

Wanted to add a question, John - you mention that with time, I could expect a solid mass, with whey on top and sides.  Given the broken nature of my curd, (I probably blew it - presuming fail, anyway, poured it into the cloth, as opposed to scooped it out in spoonfuls, which is all I could get as it was so soft and so broken) - if I had allowed it to go to 48 hours or beyond, might I reasonably expect a solid curd?  Haven't seen anything other than 36 hours (from the NEC site), so wasn't sure if one could really allow it to go until it forms a solid mass - even if that means days?
« Last Edit: December 12, 2010, 01:02:05 PM by ArnaudForestier »
- Paul

Offline ArnaudForestier

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Update:  Well, after nearly 24 hours' draining, what I have is....some pretty tasty goat's milk yogurt, or very loose goat's milk cottage cheese.  My wife love's premium goat's milk yogurt, so I've once again justified the commandeering of much of the house (whether making 80 qts of stock, or 6 taps of hand-pulled ale casks, it can get crowded).  I will, uh, use rennet next time, though still puzzled as to why the lactic acid development alone didn't eventually firm it up.

- Paul

Offline linuxboy

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Quote
though still puzzled as to why the lactic acid development alone didn't eventually firm it up.

The rheology of lactic curd is determined by several dozen factors. The key ones are culture selection and milk structure. In terms of the culture, for a firmer curd, select cultures that have strains of bacteria that can form chains and whose polysaccharide structures on the cell membrane strengthen the lactic gel to give it higher firmness.

In terms of the milk, a higher casein fraction will result in a better set, as will caseins with adsorbed proteins (such as what happens during homogenization).

The rheology of semi-lactic curd (some rennet added) is similar, but with the introduction of rennet, you change the curd properties to aggregate differently. It becomes more jello-like is one way to look at it in terms of texture. And with that firmer set, the final drain curd can be better controlled by changing the acidity at which you add rennet, drain, and also by rennet amount.

To answer your question more directly, your culture selection makes for cultured buttermilk when added to milk. It behaved exactly as expected and made a thin lactic curd (summer milk does tend to be better, though). If you want a firm lactic-only curd, the culture needs to be different, and be something like Flora Danica. Acid alone will precipitate the proteins, but does not make for a thick set unless you have a high pecentage of caseins (4%+).

Also, John, in my discussion of maltodextrins, I covered their use as lyoprotectants. Their effect in the amount added on curd thickness is negligible, and they are not used as a ready food source.
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Offline ArnaudForestier

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Fascinating, thank you, Linuxboy.  My years in brewing science (Heriot-Watt, Edinburgh; Goose Island Brewing Co.) are another life ago, but the bioscience of food is something I've always enjoyed, even as a dilettante, so thanks for piquing me to learn more. 

I'm intrigued to try another go with both a pure lactic and semi-lactic curd.  As it stands, my clabbered goat's milk tastes wonderful....lol.
- Paul

Offline John (CH)

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linuxboy, thanks for correction on matodextrins, I didn't read that enough, I'll have to go back.

Offline ArnaudForestier

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Linux:  "Their effect in the amount added on curd thickness is negligible..."

I'm going back a long way, now; but my memory is of a discussion on the molecular weight and mouthfeel threshold of dextrin, and consequently, on the use of mashing temps to encourage them.  My memory is truly hazy, but someone somewhere posted some findings on the molecular weights achieved fall below the sensory threshold, so this brewer basically concluded a shoulder-shrugging "eh" for encouraging alpha-amylase/dextrinous worts, and so for step-mashing routines generally. 

In this context, I'd be curious to see a more exhaustive set of data on malto-dextrin and thickness, or even perceived mouthfeel.
- Paul

Offline linuxboy

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for what? Liquid? Gels? Solid?

For beer, maltodextrin can add some "thickness" or body, because it's a polysaccharide. Depends on the style, though. Sometimes it's easier to use other unfermentables for body. Barley flakes for example do a good job, in some styles, and contribute more than dextrin.

Maltodextrins bond to cells when used as a lyoprotectorant. It's like giving a cell a hard shell that is at the same time flexible and resists being damaged during the freeze dry process. The usage is calculated by good manufacturers for optimum substrate exhaustion. Meaning that it's not like there's all this maltodextrin powder you toss in with the culture (depends on manufacturer; I'm talking about Danisco and Hansen).
« Last Edit: December 13, 2010, 10:33:59 AM by linuxboy »
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Offline ArnaudForestier

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Oh, I was really talking about beer, and the standard practice of using stepped mashes, alpha-amylase optimal temp ranges, and dextrins for a perceived increase in mouthfeel.  This brewer had some pretty interesting data on molecular weights and sensory thresholds, seeming to point to a negligible benefit to using dextrin-richer mashes for increased mouthfeel (which tends to throw a lot of tradition-laden brewers in a tizzy).  I agree with you on the use of flaked barley - and tended to use a lot of proteins myself, in the way of both flaked barley, or oats, though typically with a beta-glucans rest.  I also like using raw barley for its kind of "fresh field" character in bitters, a complement to a desired hop freshness by liberal dry-hopping. 

Intrigued by the lyoprotectant property - didn't know of this previously. 
« Last Edit: December 13, 2010, 12:56:02 PM by ArnaudForestier »
- Paul


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Offline linuxboy

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Oh, got it. I'm with you, that's how I prefer to brew, too. I tend to make very quaffable, almost completely dry summer ales (3.8% ABV), with a bitter/aroma blend, like a classic west coast centennial/cascade blend. And carapils or a little barley to achieve the head retention and viscosity I want. And on the other extreme, I like making imperial stouts. Talking 10% ABV, 50-65 IBUs, classic sit down and sip in winter by the fire and the dogs goodness. The styles are such opposites in many ways. For the one, it's about cleanliness and being very precise. And for the other, it's about layering flavors to target maturity profiles at certain dates. My goats love the grain bill from the stouts. I feed a little at a time because of the 30% protein and they'll pig out otherwise. Fun times.

Love that you joined the forum. There are a lot of brewers here :).
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Offline ArnaudForestier

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I love big beers, too, Linux.  My "Black Stag" was an Imperial Stout that I got up to 13%.  Insanely difficult for me to brew on my 1/2 bbl, 2-tier DIY system, because to get my standard throughput of about 12 1/2g into the fermentor, I had to add so much for a malt bill, and got such a viscous wort, that I had a heck of a time with boilovers, typically.  Otherwise, loved making big IPAs as well - typically liked to use a lot of English hops in the kettle, with blends of these with Centennial and other west-coast, citrusy hops in a cold slurry for dry hopping. 

Thanks for the welcome, and FYI on the community of brewers.  Haven't been in the game for several years, but if we get to our dreamt-of farmland again, I do intend to build an "Ugly Betty 2" - my poor MIG/TIG welding skills married to stainless, to fabricate Ugly Betty I - for some more brewing kicks.  Afraid between my voluminous veal, poultry, game stock fabrications, my baking levain daily and now cheese, I've tapped my wife's goodwill on space thievery.  She loves good beer, though, so......

Some lab stuff I once played in .... you might like a peek at a document "Brew Monkey" saw somewhere, and posted online, my assignment years ago through Heriot-Watt for a cask-condition brewery.  It's a linked word doc, so you know (can we hyperlink through the site?): www.brew-monkey.com/articles/MBS21.doc

Thanks again for the help here.  Got some veggie rennet and CaCl and will go to town today.
- Paul

Offline linuxboy

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man, pushing to 13%... Kudos :). Bet you had to yeast bomb that beast. Nothing like tossing a huge bagful of hops into boiling thick wort... and then tossing more in after.

I <3 geeky lab docs. That one was really well done, too. Thanks!

If you want a thick set on the chevre, try FD culture with 2-3 drops of rennet per gallon. Generally, animal rennet makes for the best chevre set. Check out my writeup on rennet.
http://www.wacheese.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=73:understanding-coagulants&catid=47:starter-cultures&Itemid=67
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Offline ArnaudForestier

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Thanks for the link, Linux - will look forward to reading through this (and your many other contributions).  I'm a writerly chef-guy with the joneses, but not necessarily the native wiring, for science in food and brewing.  In other words, I subscribed to http://www.brauweltinternational.com, but had to work at it more than, say, reading Marcel Pagnol while making a ratatouille halibut thingy.  ;D

An old label -




Edit:  Quick read of your article, fantastic - going to grab the lad from school, but will look forward to reading later today.  Thanks for the work, and such a great resource!

-Paul
- Paul

Offline hammerhead

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I'm also a brewer, 23 years and about 400 batches. 12 gallon batches, all-grain. Three on draft right now, ESB made with my own hops, Baltic Porter, and Blonde Doppelbock.