Author Topic: Coagulation, Rennet - No Clean Break, Hot Rennet Dilution Water?  (Read 1154 times)

Offline rkl

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Hello,

My milk did not set and I'm wondering if using a homebrew wort boiling kettle could have been at fault.  The back story...

I'm a homebrewer and I'm now giving cheese making a try.  I've done a couple of soft/fresh cheeses and all went well.  Today I tried my first pressed cheese using the Gouda recipe from Ricki Carroll's book "Home Cheese Making".  Since this was my first 2 gallon recipe, I didn't feel comfortable using my everyday 8 qt stainless steel pot that had worked well in my previous 1 gal recipes because I wasn't sure if curd washing could produce more than 2 gals of liquid which would overflow my 8 qt pot.  So, I used my 20 qt stainless steel pot I use for extract beer brewing which happens to fit nicely inside my 32 qt aluminum hot liquor tank to form a double boiler.

My initial temp of 90 degrees was spot on and I used distilled water to dilute my fresh liquid animal rennet.  The recipe called for a set time of 1 hour at which point I did not have a clean break.  I checked for a clean break every 5-10 minutes afterwards until a total time of 90 minutes had elapsed since adding the rennet, but no indication like I had seen in my fresh cheeses was forth coming.  I had hoped that perhaps I was misreading the break for this particular recipe and went ahead and cut the cheese at 90 minutes but after a 10 minute rest it was clear that I had not formed usable curds.

Needless to say, this was a very big disappointment but I'm glad I used whole pasteurized milk from the grocery store instead of the $22 of raw milk I purchased specifically for this project. (The plan was to do two batches, one with whole pasteurized milk and one with raw milk.  I had always used whole pasteurized milk in my fresh cheese attempts.)

So, my question to the board is could my malt extract brew pot be the culprit?  It is always dish soap washed after every use (and was again before attempting this Gouda recipe) but hadn't been cleaned with brewing cleaner like "Straight A" for a while.  Could brewing malt residue cause issues with setting milk?

Thanks,
Roy

EDIT:  The recipe called for diluting 1/2 tsp of liquid rennet in 1/4 cup of unchlorinated water.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2011, 02:56:17 AM by rkl »


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Offline Tomer1

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Re: Coagulation, Rennet - No Clean Break, Hot Rennet Dilution Water?
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2011, 03:21:22 AM »
No it isnt,
Did you dilute the rennet in cold water?

90 degres, were talking ferenhit (right... ?)

When you have a fail like this and have verry runny curds you could always strain through a cheese cloth to get a fresh cheese and let it drain untill it reaches the desired thickness and salt to stop acidicification.
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Offline rkl

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Re: Coagulation, Rennet - No Clean Break, Hot Rennet Dilution Water?
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2011, 11:37:08 AM »
Yes, 90 degrees Fahrenheit but I think you've spotted the problem.  In looking back, I'm thinkin' the water I diluted the rennet in was probably too warm.  I had a pot of distilled water on the stove in anticipation of curd washing and that's where I got my water for the rennet.  BTW, do I need to worry about chlorinated water for curd washing given that the curd has already formed?

That's a great tip on salvaging runny curds.  As I was pouring them down the drain I was thinking what a waste...

Thanks for the quick reply Tomer,
Roy

Offline Gustav

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Re: Coagulation, Rennet - No Clean Break, Hot Rennet Dilution Water?
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2011, 01:59:18 PM »
I agree. If the water that the rennet was diluted in was too hot, it ruins the rennet & thus no clean break. I had that problem in the past as well. But if you like, i'm sure you may add some cacl to increase the coagulation a bit. Or am I wrong Tomer1?

I think it's best to stay as far away from tap/chloronated water when making cheese, even after the curds formed, but that's just me. I luckily have a borehole with spring water. I'm not quite sure what the results will be to be honest as I never tried it.

Good luck.
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Offline Tomer1

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Re: Coagulation, Rennet - No Clean Break, Hot Rennet Dilution Water?
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2011, 05:00:11 PM »
I wouldnt worry too much about using sanitized water for diluting calcium,lactic starters or enzymes.
Maybe for yeast\molds which you want to keep for long,using sterile water will allow it to stay uncontaminated and usable for longer.

I just use cold water off my fridge (which runs through an active charcoal filter),
I have no idea how much chlorine if any is removed by this type of filtration and I havent noticed any major problems which can trace back to the water and not user error :)
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Offline Boofer

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Re: Coagulation, Rennet - No Clean Break, Hot Rennet Dilution Water?
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2011, 06:59:50 PM »
I believe that linuxboy recommends chilled or ice water for diluting the rennet. Of course if you're using P/H milk from the store, you probably should also be using CACL2.

What measure of rennet did you use for the two gallons? How long did you stir it in? Some recipes recommend stirring the rennet in for 5 minutes which is way too long.

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Offline dthelmers

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Re: Coagulation, Rennet - No Clean Break, Hot Rennet Dilution Water?
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2011, 08:48:17 AM »
It could also be the P/H milk. Some are pasteurized at higher temperatures than others and won't form a firm curd without calcium chloride, and even then have to be handled very, very gently until the curds have started to shrink.
Dave in CT
Dave in CT