Author Topic: First attempt at making cheese. Help!  (Read 181 times)

Offline Bterrier

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First attempt at making cheese. Help!
« on: October 09, 2017, 07:41:13 PM »
So I am not sure where to post this, but I am brand new to this forum and also to cheese making.  I recently became interested and my first attempt was to make mozzarella using the "30 minute mozzarella" recipe from cheesemaking.com.

I used the liquid vegetable rennet.  This rennet is advertised as double strength, so I used 1/8 tsp diluted in 1/4 cup water. 

I could not get the milk to set.....so I added another 1/8tsp rennet diluted in 1/4 cup water.

The milk did separate from the whey, but I couldnt make the curd firm up.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

This was a tad bit discouraging for the first attempt.  Can't wait to try some other cheeses, but figure I need to master this one first.

Offline Gregore

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Re: First attempt at making cheese. Help!
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2017, 10:34:27 PM »
First don't bother trying to master this cheese ,  mozza is  very hard for a beginner  and acid set has no taste .

The books are wrong it is not a begging cheese unless you have a ph meter or you have some one show you .

As for why no set on the curd , you did not give enough detail.

Offline Bterrier

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Re: First attempt at making cheese. Help!
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2017, 06:56:57 AM »
Thanks for the reply!  Which cheese is a good one to start with?

Also, can you please elaborate on what details you need re: no set curd. 

i am happy to provide the information, just need to know what you are looking for.

Offline AnnDee

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Re: First attempt at making cheese. Help!
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2017, 08:18:46 AM »
What milk did you use to make your mozzarella? I haven't got any success making mozzarella with homogenised milk.
Ann

Offline awakephd

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Re: First attempt at making cheese. Help!
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2017, 11:58:08 AM »
If you didn't get a set, it is likely that the problem is the milk - pasteurized and homogenized milk has been significantly damaged compared to raw milk, and it will not work nearly as well. That said, you CAN make VERY good cheese with P&H milk -- but you have to search out the brand(s) of P&H milk that will work best, i.e., those which are pasteurized at a little lower and/or more consistent temperature. Some brands, unfortunately, seem to be more inconsistent and/or tend to use higher temps, and they just don't work well, if at all. Be especially careful to avoid ultra-pasteurized milk (including organic ultra-pasteurized); this is pretty much a waste of time for anything other than ricotta.

I echo the advice to avoid mozzarella - it is "advertised" as a beginner cheese, but most of us here on the forum still struggle to make it successfully / consistently even after making 100 or more cheeses. Some do seem to have the magic touch, so it can be done ... but I would strongly recommend that a beginner try something else.

Welcome to the forum!
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Offline Bterrier

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Re: First attempt at making cheese. Help!
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2017, 04:21:57 PM »
Thanks!  I did use pasteurized and homegenized milk.  It was 365 brand (Whole Foods). 

Any advice on a brand of milk that Has been used successfully?  Preferably a brand that can be somewhat easily acquired.  I hear what you are saying about raw milk, but have read about the risks and at this point, I prefer a pasteurized milk if at all possible.

Also, any advice on a few good beginner cheeses?  I had chosen mozzarella because I was under the impression it was an easier cheese.  I also don't have a cheese press, so that may limit which cheese I can make.


Offline SOSEATTLE

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Re: First attempt at making cheese. Help!
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2017, 08:11:55 PM »
I would recommend starting with fresh, soft cheeses. If you like fresh chevre, that is an excellent beginner cheese. Trader Joe's has a pasteurized goat's milk that works great. Anything but ultrapasteurized. Whole Foods may have goat's milk also. Goat's milk does tend to be more expensive. Another good beginner cheese is feta and that can be made with cow's, goat's, or sheep's milk.


Susan

Offline Gregore

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Re: First attempt at making cheese. Help!
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2017, 11:22:06 PM »
I agree Trader Joe's goats milk , lactic acid set ,

This means you  heat to 90 f , remove from heat add culture , then wait about 1 hr add rennet , wait 24 hrs , then scoop curd into mold and let sit 12 hrs , then salt at 1.5 percent by weight 

You can eat it fresh or age it

It does not get much simpler than this .

Offline awakephd

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Re: First attempt at making cheese. Help!
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2017, 11:30:40 AM »
Thanks!  I did use pasteurized and homegenized milk.  It was 365 brand (Whole Foods). 

Any advice on a brand of milk that Has been used successfully?  Preferably a brand that can be somewhat easily acquired.  I hear what you are saying about raw milk, but have read about the risks and at this point, I prefer a pasteurized milk if at all possible.

Also, any advice on a few good beginner cheeses?  I had chosen mozzarella because I was under the impression it was an easier cheese.  I also don't have a cheese press, so that may limit which cheese I can make.

To add to the great suggestions above from Susan and Gregore - from various discussions here on the forum, it appears that P&H milk, even labeled as a certain brand, can vary significantly from region to region and even from plant to plant within a region. Some of us have found, to our pleasant surprise, that some of the cheapest milk in the supermarket works as well or better than many other, more expensive brands; this is true for me here in rural, central North Carolina. (The major discount grocery chain in our area is Food Lion, and their "Country Fresh" house brand is what I generally use.)

Far, far better than any P&H milk will be low-temperature pasteurized, non-homogenized ("cream-line") milk. Also, at least around here, way, way more expensive - but there are some states and reqions where it is quite affordable.

And even better yet is raw milk - even if you pasteurize it yourself. If you have access to raw milk for a reasonable cost, I would strongly urge you to consider going this route. Pasteurize by bringing the milk to 140°F and holding for 30 minutes, stirring regularly to prevent hot spots or scalding. Cool the milk down rapidly by putting the pot in a sink of cold water, cooling it to the temperature you need to start making the cheese. Using this approach, you've only added 35 minutes or so to the make time, but the results will be astoundingly better, both in terms of curd formation and in terms of flavor.
-- Andy

Offline Bterrier

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Re: First attempt at making cheese. Help!
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2017, 04:29:48 PM »
Thanks for all the advice!  Looks like I will put the mozzarella aside for now.  Going give the chèvre a try as soon as the culture arrives.