Author Topic: Acidity Measurement - pH Meter vs Titration  (Read 4272 times)

Offline bobb

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Acidity Measurement - pH Meter vs Titration
« on: December 31, 2010, 07:31:50 AM »
I see most referances of the cheesemaking in this forum, and most literature, are reflected in PH.  Is this more precise as compared to lactic acid titration during make and the fine tuning of recipes?

I'm going to get something for this purpose, pH paper or meter or the titrator, and would like a little direction as to the usability and use of the results of the various control devises.  Also in the long-run, the expense involved in this hobby environment.
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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Acidity Measurement - pH Meter vs Titration
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2010, 10:13:37 AM »
Have you checked out my article?

http://www.wacheese.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=58

Your question is an interesting one, of is one more inherently precise than another. It's interesting because both measurement methods are indicators to me, and to me, decisions for what to do what to do with the curd should be based on what the curd is doing, and acidity is just one part of that. So to me, they are secondary indicators, just there to confirm what I observe and feel about the curd.

There are some practical differences between titration and pH. For example, with titration, you are measuring the whey pH, which is .1-.3 higher than the curd pH (meaning curd is more acidic than whey). With a good pH meter, you can stick the probe right into the curds, and get a slightly more accurate reading. But you could also approximate the same thing by squeezing the whey out of some curds and measuring that whey with titration.

Also, pH meters tend to be more work. They require cleaning calibration, proper storage, and proper use. And they tend to be more expensive. But, they are generally easier to use. Just put the probe in and read out the display. With titration, you have to tell the indication visually, or through a pH meter.

In the end, it depends on you. Are you good at maintaining and using pH meters? Or do you prefer a more "analog" solution?
« Last Edit: December 31, 2010, 10:48:17 AM by linuxboy »
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Offline GParenteau

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Re: Acidity Measurement - pH Meter vs Titration
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2011, 01:34:19 PM »
bobb,

    I have worked with many companies in regards to pH and lactic acid for cheese and milk production. Linuxboy has done a great job going over the differences between the two. However, I would like to add a little in regards to lactic acid. We have had many customers request %LA titators because in cheesemaking lactic acid is fairly important during the coagulation process as well as the texturizing of the cheese curds. In fresh and raw milk it plays an important role because it helps form the gel and creates a distinctive flavor. Let me know if you need any recommendation on a unit. I'd be happy to work with you.

-Gary

Offline Tomer1

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Re: Acidity Measurement - pH Meter vs Titration
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2011, 09:17:51 AM »
How does one work with titration in recipes where steps are indicated with PH?
Is there some table with aprox depending on cheese type so I dont have to expiriment and adapt recipes for TA?
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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Acidity Measurement - pH Meter vs Titration
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2011, 09:49:19 AM »
Tomer, not a 1:1 relationship, and it varies with the make. Which cheese? I do have a curve equivalency I created some time ago, but no time this week to look for it. I'll try if I have a few mins.
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Offline Tomer1

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Re: Acidity Measurement - pH Meter vs Titration
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2011, 05:22:33 PM »
Yeah thats why I said aproximate,
If you can find it and post that would be great.

Other then the accual milk composit which with raw or farmhouse milk is not standartized what effects the variation in TA from different makes and styles?
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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Acidity Measurement - pH Meter vs Titration
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2011, 05:46:40 PM »
Oh, if you want approximate:

start with .16
rennet at .18
drain at .22
salt/brine at .45-.6

this is for most continental types. Diff for lactic and bloomy types and other.

diff in TA is about calcium breakdown in terms of colloidal calcium. I've talked about this in multiple threads. Basically, higher drain ph = more calcium = slower maturation. And more acidity developed before rennetting = faster rate of calcium bond breakage, and more bonds broken up front leading to shorter maturation. More complex than that, but that's the basic principle.
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Offline mhill

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Re: Acidity Measurement - pH Meter vs Titration
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2011, 04:53:10 AM »
Tomer, not a 1:1 relationship, and it varies with the make. Which cheese? I do have a curve equivalency I created some time ago, but no time this week to look for it. I'll try if I have a few mins.

Linuxboy:

Did you ever find the curve doc you mentioned (don't want to be a pest)? It would be helpful to me and I think others. Thanks for you willingness to share info/experience with others! Mike.

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Acidity Measurement - pH Meter vs Titration
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2011, 08:10:06 AM »
No, I didn't. But, I made a new one for you. O type culture, NFM medium, 92F constant temp, 100 RPM stir. Please note this is only a guide based on a very common culture. As you can see, with O type, it continues to crank out acid really quickly all the way through 5.0. Not the case with many cultures, which slow down around 5.1. Suggest if you want something useful to create your own plot based on the milk, temp schedule, and culture type used.
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Offline mhill

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Re: Acidity Measurement - pH Meter vs Titration
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2011, 08:18:35 AM »
Thanks! Would a good next step be to create a table of cheese types and related "TA" marks by testing/recording TA as I walk through the make? Mike.


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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Acidity Measurement - pH Meter vs Titration
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2011, 08:39:32 AM »
Depends what you're trying to do. But for every cheese style you make, to really master consistency, you must record the acidity throughout the process against time. This will help to pinpoint issues in flavor formation, and also give you a golden standard against which to gauge your makes so you can adjust makes on the fly to accommodate milk variability.

If you're a typical home cheesemaker who is making cheese as a hobby, or to use excess milk, IMHO, being all this precise defeats the fun of making cheese. On a home scale, few people can really achieve consistency because of the expense and experience required. That's why I usually suggest for most people to embrace and love the variability that comes with making one's own food. If you're on a commercial scale, or if you're passionate about consistency, then acidity measurements really come in handy. And if you're making on that scale, you have the other tools required, like a way to cut to consistent curd size, good heating mechanism, dedicated prep areas, etc.
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Offline mhill

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Re: Acidity Measurement - pH Meter vs Titration
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2011, 10:29:05 AM »
This is really good advice--a little like missing the forest for the trees by worrying too much about a quality standard that isn't really relevant. I started with a small cow herd to produce cheese with the intention of eventually selling the product. Now, I can sell surplus raw milk at close to the wholesale price of artisan cheese so I am wondering if it is worth going "commercial". We are hooked on producing cheese for our own consumption, so I guess I am right between the two worlds of home and commercial cheesemaking--your advice is very helpful in  working through how far forward we should go. Mike.

Offline Tomer1

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Re: Acidity Measurement - pH Meter vs Titration
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2011, 01:45:54 PM »
If you can cover your expense Id say stay hommy,
Going commerical means a substantial expense on make and storage space\gear to follow commerical food safty codes.
Then you have to develope and maintain a client base and do all this while taking care of your herd and making cheese.  That sounds like wallstreet work hours to me. :)
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