Author Topic: Graniteware causing my problems?  (Read 134 times)

Online Tom Turophile / CheeseStud

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Graniteware causing my problems?
« on: Yesterday at 12:16:57 PM »
I've been making mozzarella for years.  It was so easy that I decided to produce more during the holidays for gifts, so I bought a bigger pot, a 5-gallon Graniteware pot.

It looks like this:


I used it last year, and kept having failure after failure, even after buying a pH meter.  Milk would curdle immediately after acidifying.  pHs aren't dropping as they should.  The end product is not good -- can be bitter, ricotta-y, not stretchy, you name it.

Is it the pot?  I just realized that's the one variable in my process that I altered.  I never thought that porcelain-covered steel would be reactive, so this still doesn't make sense to me.

I had been using a Calphalon non-stick pot that I was having success with.
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Online Schnecken Slayer

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Re: Graniteware causing my problems?
« Reply #1 on: Yesterday at 01:02:08 PM »
The best way to tell is to get some more milk and make a batch using 1/2 the milk in each pot to see if it is the issue.
-Bill
One day I will add something here...

Online jbrewton

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Re: Graniteware causing my problems?
« Reply #2 on: Yesterday at 01:35:05 PM »
Tom,
By what factor did you adjust the citric acid?  Is the ph dropping at all? Or do you need to wait longer with a larger batch.?

Online Tom Turophile / CheeseStud

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Re: Graniteware causing my problems?
« Reply #3 on: Yesterday at 01:55:37 PM »
I just triple the quantity of citric acid for a triple batch (for example, from last night).  I do not alter the times.  The acidity is good at renneting (6.4) so it should work -- but I end up with a pH of around 5.5 after cutting/draining.  I've been leaving in warm water to get the pH to drop but 1) it either doesn't work or 2) the end result is still bad.

Here's another factor, though -- I had never, ever made an off- or bitter-tasting mozz until I started using this, and it kept happening.  I thought it was my process (it happened with my only gouda try) but maybe it's the pot.  Can't want to try again tonight.
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Online jbrewton

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Re: Graniteware causing my problems?
« Reply #4 on: Yesterday at 03:19:48 PM »
Tom,
It may be cheaper to just by something stainless steel, instead of wasting the milk and time. 

I did a quick search and found one article that indicated:

Quote
The one major drawback with graniteware is the non-stick enamled coating. As the thin metal flexes with use, the coating starts to flake off, and you have to buy a whole new set. Also, the thin material does not conduct heat very well. Hot spots galore!


If you are using metal to stir, it might be damaging the coating.

On a side note, I see you are from GA.  What brand of store milk did you use for Mozzarella and if you have tried raw milk, where did you get it?

Online Tom Turophile / CheeseStud

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Re: Graniteware causing my problems?
« Reply #5 on: Yesterday at 08:58:20 PM »
Good news?  I don't think it's the Graniteware.

Bad news?  Two attempts, two failures.  ARGH.

It's getting overacidified.  Milk is normal (6.6 pH).  I add what I thought was the correct amount, 1.5 tsp diluted in 1c distilled water (per 1 gallon of milk).  The first one, in my Calphalon that I had used countless times, is overacidified and curdled, quickly.  pH dropped to 5.5.

So, I thought, perhaps I added it too quickly.  The next try, I did it in the Graniteware -- added very very slowly.  2/3s of the way through adding the acid,the pH already had plummeted to 5.8.

Obviously, I could add less, but what is going on???
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Online Sweet Leaves Farm

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Re: Graniteware causing my problems?
« Reply #6 on: Today at 07:13:02 AM »
Could it be a temperature problem? With the cephalon, you have a lot more mass you need to heat up, and which would stay warm, with the graniteware, its very thin and you may have hotspots or zones of lower temperature, that you wouldn't have with the cephalon pan.
Jennifer Davenport

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Re: Graniteware causing my problems?
« Reply #7 on: Today at 07:24:20 AM »
Tom,

While doing some research on acid profiles, I came across an FAQ about why mozzarella turned into ricotta. 
Quote
Our One Hour Mozzarella Cheese Recipe is designed specifically for one gallon of store bought whole milk. You can't double a cheese making recipe as you would any other recipe because some of the ingredients that you add are not just for flavor. They cause reactions in the milk and doubling them may not give you the results you're looking for. By doubling the rennet, you formed the curd even faster and stirring it would have resulted in curd that was cut up too much. (One half tablet of rennet is actually enough to set up to 5 gallons of milk).


Not sure if this is your issue.  Have you tried making your original smaller batch in the graniteware?  This will confirm your theory that it is not the graniteware.


Online Tom Turophile / CheeseStud

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Re: Graniteware causing my problems?
« Reply #8 on: Today at 09:24:04 AM »
Yes, I did the smaller batch in the Graniteware, same overacidification issue (attempt #2).

Hot spots aren't as issue -- I stir to distribute everything evenly.  I actually pH'd the curdled parts, for curiosity, and it was around 4.5.

There's something I'm missing.  I've 10x-checked my measurements -- I'm using 1.5 tsp per 1g of milk.  The citric acid is the same the I got in the original 30-minute mozz kit, so that hasn't changed, and I highly doubt its effectiveness would be altered.

I would hate to abandon what had been such a successful recipe, but I think I need to just slowly add citric acid until I hit the pH.  Unfortunately, if I have to use that method and can't rely on recipes, I'm going to have to have pH markers for everything (which aren't easy to find).

Mozz pH markers, from what I know:
6.6-7 milk
6.4 at renneting
6.1 at draining
5.1-5.3 for stretching

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Online awakephd

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Re: Graniteware causing my problems?
« Reply #9 on: Today at 01:56:53 PM »
I'm using 1.5 tsp per 1g of milk

Well, I would certainly say that 1.5 tsp per gram of milk seems a little too much ... :)