Author Topic: Coagulation, Rennet - Flocculation Time Method, Floc Times (& Impact Of Excessive Rennet)  (Read 1482 times)

Offline george (MaryJ)

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I made another stirred-curd cheddar yesterday - this is the second one I've made since reading about using flocculation method.  I'm using the double-strength organic veggie rennet from NE Cheesemaking.  With the first one, I dutifully checked it starting at 8 minutes, and discovered that it was already well past floc point.  Yesterday I started checking earlier, and hit it at 7 minutes!  And yet I only used one-third of the rennet called for in the recipe (halved because it's double-strength, then even less because of the early floc on the prior cheddar.)

So now I'm wondering - do I have some sort of Samson-like rennet here, or is it just the seasonal milk making a huge difference (from what I remember, I'm supposed to be shooting for a 15-minute floc)?  Both cheddars were made from that morning's milking.  My milkmaid is milking three cows right now, two Guernseys and a Jersey cross (don't remember what breed the daddy was).  The three of them calved in a range of 6 weeks to 3 months ago, and the milk from all three is mixed.

So since I'm guessing I don't really have Samson rennet - what ARE the seasonal type changes (and point in lactation period) that could be affecting this?  I'm really looking forward to this year's spring milk for cheese-making, so I'm totally clueless now on what to expect at that point.  Any help most gratefully accepted.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2011, 06:38:10 AM by george »
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Offline Sailor Con Queso

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The whole point of the floc method is to compensate for variables in milk and rennet. Your floc time is WAY too short, so keep cutting back on the rennet until you are around 12-15 minutes.
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Offline george (MaryJ)

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Thanks, Sailor - I knew it was way too short and I will keep cutting back, but I just wasn't sure what's going to happen further down the road when the milk changes radically in spring, then summer.  I like to try to predict at least somewhat.   :)  Is it possible that once spring milk hits, I'll end up increasing the rennet again, or lessening even more?  (Yes, I feel like a two-year-old with all the "why's" - years of practice, I suppose.)

On the good side, all these cheeses that I've made for the last year that still had way too much rennet have, while never great, at least been something resembling cheese that's edible.  Heh.  (Actually, I think there was one REALLY fantastic garlic/herb cheddar, but that was pretty much it on the fantastic scale so far of hard cheeses.)
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The whole point of the floc method is to compensate for variables in milk and rennet. Your floc time is WAY too short, so keep cutting back on the rennet until you are around 12-15 minutes.
I just did a Tomme using 1/8 tsp dry calf rennet and it floc'd in 5 minutes. This was with 3 gal P&H milk plus 1 gal raw Jersey milk.

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Offline george (MaryJ)

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Okay, Boofer - it's nice to know that others besides this complete noob can have this happen to them.

Related question, though - since I know that all these cheeses (a little over a dozen of various types aging at the moment, mostly stirred-curd cheddars and variants) all have way too much rennet in them - hence explaining why I almost always had that slight bitter taste .... will that bitterness dissipate or get worse the longer they age?  Normally I'd just wait and see, but then I'd be really ticked if it turned out I should have eaten them at 6 months because at 12 months they were inedible ...
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Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Rennet is an enzyme that contributes to proteolysis and the break down of proteins. As the cheese ages that enzyme is "used up" and the bitterness will decrease.
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I've got an Esrom that had some bitterness when fairly young, but that bitterness has faded into the background as it has aged. The bitterness (as confirmed by my wife) is still there, but it's not as prominent. I used mucor rennet which, according to linuxboy, will emphasize a bitterness. To minimize the bitterness, he recommended calf rennet. I switched to dry calf rennet after that. I'm still waiting to sample my cheese made with the calf rennet to see the level of bitterness.

Part of the reason for the quick floc'ing might be because the milk had acidified too much...too long.

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Offline ArnaudForestier

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I'm interested in this as I have on hand double-strength vegetable rennet, which has the rep for contributing bitterness in aged cheeses.  My supplier was of the opinion that this really was a former problem that is no longer really relevant.  I know the enzymes in animal rennet, but don't actually know what specific agents are at play in the vegetable rennet, though I understand many vegetable rennets also contain some mucor and its enzymes.

What enzymes or other agents are at play in the vegetable rennet that may (or may not, any longer?) contribute to the bitterness? 
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Offline linuxboy

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Which rennet, Paul? Meaning who actually makes it? "vegetarian rennet" is a marketing name for a variety of very different products, with very different proteolytic properties.

Did you read my rennet article? http://www.wacheese.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=73
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Offline ArnaudForestier

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Which rennet, Paul? Meaning who actually makes it? "vegetarian rennet" is a marketing name for a variety of very different products, with very different proteolytic properties.

Did you read my rennet article? http://www.wacheese.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=73


Just read the label, "DCI Supreme" double-strength.  Got it from Dairy Connection, locally.  I had heard that even "vegetarian" has been found to include GMO animal enzyme, at times, so understand you on the wide variety of what this actually means.

No, haven't gotten to that one yet, LB.  I'm still working forwards from March 13, 2009;D

Thanks on the link - going there now.

Edit:  Duh.  It's right on the DC website.  Mucor-derived, "Danisco Marzyme 55PF." 

Post-edit:  And just read your coagulants article.  Perfect, thanks.  As a concluding side-note, your comment:

Quote from: LB
Microbial coagulant, such as one derived from M. Miehei breaks down whey proteins very quickly, causing damage as soon as 3-4 hours after addition. Whereas, other enzymes, such as animal rennet and FPC have negligible impact on whey proteins.


Does this then come into play when it comes to using up whey in a whey-cheese, the "standard" 3-hour window before it becomes effectively useless, for making ricotta, etc.?
« Last Edit: January 20, 2011, 09:57:18 AM by ArnaudForestier »
- Paul


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Offline linuxboy

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Marzyme is Mucor-derived, like you said. Would not personally use. Yes, it's better than it has been, but it is definitely more active than rennin in cleaving bitter terminals of b-casein.

Quote
Does this then come into play when it comes to using up whey in a whey-cheese, the "standard" 3-hour window before it becomes effectively useless, for making ricotta, etc.?

Moderately.. you will have slight whey protein degradation, but not severe enough that ricotta won't form 3 hours into the make. More so, it's an issue when making whey concentrate. Marzyme actually will break down at about pasteurization temps or lower (very heat sensitive protease), so that's one way Marzyme is engineered to work for whey products - it can be stopped with heat.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2011, 10:31:06 AM by linuxboy »
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Offline Oude Kaas

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I have been using Marzyne for more then a year with good results. LB can attest to this, he had a taste.

I know of a lot of professional cheesemakers making top award winning cheeses who use it. On the other hand, some swear by animal rennet.

Offline ArnaudForestier

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It would be interesting to try, using both.  So far, I've only being using it for fresh chèvre. 

I'd also love to find out more on the relationship of the various caseins' cleaved fractions on perceived bitterness.  Pav or Oude, any literature that you know of on this, specifically?
- Paul

Offline KosherBaker

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Since you guys are discussing rennet, I thought I'd ask about the status of (Chymax-M? was it). LB you mentioned how much you liked the product and how you were looking forward to its availability, last year. Is it generally available yet? Last mention of it was from you, and you said they were building a local manufacturing facility for it here in US.
Rudy

Offline george (MaryJ)

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Hmmmm ... okay, so there will be no young cheeses eaten in this house for a while.  Thanks for that, Sailor and Boofer.  Age age age, Mary.

As far as the over-acidification, that may not be a problem in this case, but it's very helpful to know for future.  From what I understand, the culture I have from NE Cheesemaking is pretty wussy - contains only s.lactis, s. cremoris and malto dextrin.  Eventually I'll get something a little more ... errrr ... rounded from somewhere else, but since I still have probably 40 packs or so of it, it's going to last me a while as it is.

LB thanks for that rennet article, too.  Turns out this rennet is also from mucor.  I remember when I was first buying stuff I bought this one by default, because I didn't like the sodium benzoate in the dry calf rennet, and the liquid calf rennet ingredients were even worse (from my perspective, anyway).  Is there anywhere I can get calf rennet that DOESN'T use sodium benzoate or propylene glycol or any of that other really oocky stuff as a preservative?  Or am I just being too anal about it?  (Sorry, I've been hanging out with WAPF people too long, perhaps.)

As far as the floc point issue, something only just occurred to me as I was making my first Havarti yesterday - am I supposed to be timing from the time the rennet first hits the milk, or after I've finished stirring?  'Cause I always do the up-and-down stir for a minute, then top stir for another minute (always raw milk), so for the all of two previous times I've made cheese using floc method, I wasn't counting those couple of minutes in the total floc time.  In yesterday's recipe, though, I went down to 1/4 of the amount of rennet called for, and managed a floc time of 12 minutes on the Havarti - including stir time.  I'm starting to think the stir time should be included ...

And to think I used to think rennet was rennet.  Yeesh on me. 
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