Author Topic: My halloumi crumbles  (Read 234 times)

Offline ColOfAbRiX

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My halloumi crumbles
« on: November 07, 2017, 06:18:48 PM »
Hi all,

this is my first post here. I started only recently to try and make cheese and I have a problem with halloumi.

I tried to make halloumi several times but most of the times it crubles and its not rubbery at all (and not even tasty). Here is a picture of my last attempt: https://ibb.co/eaQjtG

I usually follow https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPNQmV7roos&t=48s, I use semi skimmed cow milk that I buy in my local shop, animal rennet and calcium chloride.

It's really frustrating, is anyone able to tell me what I'm doing wrong?

Thanks

Offline Defkalionas

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Re: My halloumi crumbles
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2017, 01:11:52 AM »
Hi ColOfAbRiX,
Halloumi is made with either Sheeps milk or mixture of Goat and Sheeps milk.
You can use Cows milk but it wont be the same taste or flavour.
Now..i think your problem is pressing..Although many videos claim that halloumi doesnt need much pressing,this is not correct.
Halloumi needs a lot of pressing so that most of the whey is out. So.. not pressing enough might be one reason..
Another reason might be your cooking time in the whey. Halloumi needs to stay in the whey cooking for at least 20 minutes.
Even if most people claim that when you see it rising on the surface is done..its not..stick to the 20 minutes time.
Try a trick we use here in Cyprus..vacuum seal your halloumi and then cook it. that way it will stay one piece and get firm.
Also..are you cooling the Halloumi in cold water when you take it off the whey??
Hope this helps. If you need any more info or advise pls let me know.Check the photos..the Halloumi in the photos is made with goats-sheeps milk.
Greetings from Cyprus.Land of the Halloumi.

Offline ColOfAbRiX

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Re: My halloumi crumbles
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2017, 06:54:20 AM »
Thank you very much Defkalionas!

I'm using cow milk because I cannot find at all sheep milk around me and for the goat I have to go far :)

I will try to put more wheight and for longer then. About cooking I take it out when it floats and that usually happens after few minutes.

Several things to try, really thank you. I'll let you know how it goes.

Offline ColOfAbRiX

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Re: My halloumi crumbles
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2017, 08:09:04 AM »
And your halloumi looks seriously delicious!  ;D

Offline Defkalionas

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Re: My halloumi crumbles
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2017, 02:02:03 PM »
Just to get an idea of the weight you should use multiply the weight of you curd x 7...thats the weight you need to use.

Offline tobyw

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Re: My halloumi crumbles
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2017, 03:21:38 PM »
Hi

I've had a lot of success with Gavin's recipe. Based in UK here too. I get nice squeaky cheese which tastes very halloumi-ish. Attaching a pic..

Assuming we are both following the recipe the same, then the obvious difference would be that I am using full-fat, unhomogenised milk, not semi-skimmed milk - which I would presume is be homogenised if it is skimmed. I suspect that would account for your issues. Semi-skimmed milk is pretty much water - I would guess that lack of fat would account for the crumbly curd and lack of flavour?

I use Tesco's finest unhomogenised milk. It's not that cheap, at a pound a litre, but then one success would still work out cheaper than multiple failures... it might be worth you trying it to see if it makes a difference? I get 4 small cheeses out of 4L of milk - about 4-500grams.

I make it in batches of 4L of milk using half the measurements of rennet and calcium chloride. Once I have a clean break I strain the curds using cheese cloth and press - 10 minutes one side and 20 the other. I use the empty milk bottles - fill with water to provide 4kg of weight and it works fine.

When scalding the pressed cheese in the heated whey, I leave it in for 40 minutes even though it floats to the top much sooner than that.

I'd be happy to compare notes to see what other differences there might be between us to explain the problem. What rennet are you using? I use some from gnltd.com here
« Last Edit: November 08, 2017, 03:34:12 PM by tobyw »

Offline ColOfAbRiX

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Re: My halloumi crumbles
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2017, 11:35:05 AM »
Hi, I've been away for holidays and I haven't tried anything yet!

@Defkalionas: At the moment I'm doing batches of only 1L to waste less milk (I really tried many times...). Does making a small batch make any substantial difference?

@tobyw:
I tried full fat and semi-skimmed cow milk I find at my local grocery but never unhomogenised. I'll try to get my hands on it because milk is the only ingredient I haven't really changed.
I use this rennet http://www.cheesemaking.co.uk/animal-rennet-60ml-gm-free?filter_name=rennet
I found a dry calcium chloride, I dilute to a 33% weight solution (which is what you'd get from cheesmaking.co.uk: http://www.cheesemaking.co.uk/image/cache/data/new%20photos/IMG_0390-500x500.JPG

This is what I do, as Gavin describes:
  • Warm the milk to 32C
  • Add calcium chloride and let it rest for 5 min
  • Add 5 drops of rennet diluted in a bit of water and let it rest for 45/60 min
  • Test for clean break, if not ready wait 10 more minutes and try again. I'm absolutely not sure how to do it, sometimes it seems good but when I start to stir all the curds break or it might just be my lack of knowledge.
  • Cut the curds and let it rest for 5 min
  • Gently stir for 20 min and raise the temperature to 40C
  • Let it rest for 5 minutes
  • Put the curd in the chees cloth and save the whey
  • Press the curd between two cutting boards for 30 minutes. I used weight from 2Kg up to 5Kg
  • Cook the curds until they float. Which usually happens in less than 5 minutes
  • Throw the disappointing result because it's not that pleasant to eat
Few times it turned out acceptable but I couldn't pinpoint what I did different, even taking notes, because I always follow the steps above!

Thanks for the help :)
« Last Edit: November 15, 2017, 11:54:28 AM by ColOfAbRiX »

Offline GortKlaatu

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Re: My halloumi crumbles
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2017, 12:38:20 PM »
I use raw goat milk with great success.  And goat milk is usually easier to find that sheep, so maybe you could try that.

Somewhere, some long time ago, milk decided to reach toward immortality… and to call itself cheese.

Offline GortKlaatu

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Re: My halloumi crumbles
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2017, 12:39:55 PM »
AC4U Defkaliones for "inside information" from the land of Halloumi
Thanks
Somewhere, some long time ago, milk decided to reach toward immortality… and to call itself cheese.

Offline Defkalionas

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Re: My halloumi crumbles
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2017, 04:45:23 AM »
ColOfAbRiX
YourTempretures are right..so are your times.
You are using cows milk..correct??Your cheese crumbles beacuse you have excees humitity inside ..need more pressing.!!!!!!!!!!
Dont be affraid to use more weight.
You should basicaly use 1:8 ratio of weight or more ..
Also you should cooked them when you see no more whey comming out from the pressing boards.
The cooking time MUST BE NO LESS THAN 20-40 MINUTES....Even if they start floating on the first 5 or 10 minutes.
What temperature are you cooking them??
When taking them out of the hot whey you must cool them down in cold water.. then you fold them and put the salt and the peppermint.
Hope this helps.

Offline ColOfAbRiX

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Re: My halloumi crumbles
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2017, 05:49:29 PM »
I tried again tonight, using almost all your suggestions except for the milk. I used 1L of Rachel's organic whole milk http://www.rachelsorganic.co.uk/range/milk-cream-and-butter/, 1 hour of coagulation, pressed with 8Kg for 1 hour and at last cooked the cheese 30 minutes at 97C and cooled with cold running water.

Well, this is the result, another failure: https://ibb.co/fXKr2m

I'm not sure I'm getting the curd right so I took some pictures. This is after I start to stir https://ibb.co/kBvaTR, after a couple of minutes https://ibb.co/jb09oR and at the end after about 20 minutes https://ibb.co/i6gAv6

Offline tobyw

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Re: My halloumi crumbles
« Reply #11 on: Yesterday at 09:25:16 AM »
Hi ColOfAbRiX

Sorry you are still having no luck. I know the milk you linked to - it's homogenised, unfortunately. Don't be fooled by all the 'organic' marketing. It's just pasteurised, homogenised, mass produced stuff.

It could be that more pressure will help you, but I am afraid I doubt it. The milk in the supermarkets here in the UK is probably the real issue.

There are only two supermarkets in the UK that I am aware of who sell unhomogenised milk. Tesco, which I linked to, and Waitrose. Waitrose sell it in 2L bottles, and it works out a bit cheaper. Tesco's is a pound a litre. It's also Jersey milk, so it has a nice high fat content - e.g. creamy.

I have heard people say many times that calcium chloride will reverse the effects of homogenisation, but it's never worked for me with supermarket milk here. I have tried making Mozzarella with supermarket, homogenised milk, and it was a disaster just like you describe - instead of forming a smooth mass, the cheese just crumbled like uncooked cauliflower.

I strongly advise you to try and find a Tesco or Waitrose so you can get truly unhomogised milk. Only the large ones stock it. The only other option, in my opinion, would be to try and find another source, like a farm which will sell it to you unhomogenised. But from your location (London) I am guessing that would be a challenge?




Offline ColOfAbRiX

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Re: My halloumi crumbles
« Reply #12 on: Today at 05:20:16 AM »
Thank you, for the next time I'll get the unhomogenised milk, which at this point looks it's the culprit