Author Topic: Coagulation, Rennet - Raw Cow Milk Low Yield, Whey Cloudy  (Read 1078 times)

Offline DeepSix

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Coagulation, Rennet - Raw Cow Milk Low Yield, Whey Cloudy
« on: June 20, 2011, 08:05:39 PM »
Hello all,

I was very excited to find a local source of raw cows milk so this morning, I picked up four gallons to try a cheddar.

I made the traditional cheddar recipe from "Home Cheese Making" and I ended up with an extremely low yield.  Maybe three lbs from four gallons of milk.  I just don't even know where to start.  When I was finished, the way was not clear, it still seemed to have microscopic particulate in it, making it cloudy.

Is there some point in the process that could have caused this?

The flocculation time was 10 minutes so I used a multiplier of three and cut at 30.  They seemed nice and solid and began to expel the whey.  I was super gentle moving them around just breaking up the big pieces.  Then they just kept expelling whey throughout the process.  My final curd was tough like chicken, as described in the recipe but there just wasn't that much of it.

I'm pressing now and the knit just seems to be ok.

The only two variables I can think of are #1- I used a plastic bucket for this batch so it slowed the warming and cooling.  It tool me 30-40 min to get the milk up to 86 degrees.

#2- I added more annatto than recommended (maybe double or tripple) but that is what it took to get a pleasing cheddar color.

Anyone have any thoughts on this? I'll post a pic of my very thin wheel after it comes out of the press.

Thanks,

Jason


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Offline mtncheesemaker(Pam)

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Re: Coagulation, Rennet - Raw Cow Milk Low Yield, Whey Cloudy
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2011, 08:16:34 PM »
Depending on the feed and the lactation cycle of the cows, you might need to add some CaCl2, 30% solution, equal to the amount of rennet used. Also seems like you could cut back on your rennet as 10 min floc is a bit fast.

Offline Susan

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Re: Coagulation, Rennet - Raw Cow Milk Low Yield, Whey Cloudy
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2011, 08:34:58 PM »
Besides seasons, my yield is drastically different depending on the breed of cow.  When I use Jersey milk (unskimmed) my yield can be almost double (50-100% greater)  that of a similar cheese made with Brown Swiss milk (both raw).
Susan

Offline ArnaudForestier

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Re: Coagulation, Rennet - Raw Cow Milk Low Yield, Whey Cloudy
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2011, 05:53:16 AM »
My suspicion is that you're in your summer milk, DeepSix, though agree with susan, that so much depends, too, on breed, as well as on how any given animal is being raised; I've discovered that not only each season, but each breed, even each animal, can make a significant difference, and it just takes time to get to know the milk one uses on a regular basis. 

In terms of seasonality, if that's really at the heart of what you're experiencing, Pav had a really nice breakdown, I thought, of the "temperaments" of the seasonal milks.  At the risk of redundancy, I'll repost it here:

Quote from: linuxboy
Think of it like this. In winter, everything is slower and heavier. In summer, there's more energy, more activity, more growth. So in winter, the milk has more fat, it will be like an ox... solid, strong, and stoic. And honestly, a little austere. Not quite so much flavor. The curd, as a result, is going to be reluctant to let go of whey, be more ponderous, and really try to provide the most calories to everyone to make it through to spring.

In summer, everything is more playful. The milk is thinner, lighter, has fewer calories but is packed with nutrition from the grass, and has more minerals/vitamins because the grasses take up those minerals from the soil and the sun. It's eager to make curd for you, eager to let go of whey, and has a sort of ADHD where you have to be more gentle with it and coax it, because it has a somewhat mercurial temperament and needs a more delicate hand. Otherwise, it will run around and play the jester, making one a fool.

I think the milks invite us to have different kinds of relationships with it and with the curd. Winter milk and curd wants us to be predictable and hunker down with it for the long haul, and be firm and clear with our demands so we make it to summer. And summer milk wants us to put on a t shirt (and hair net), turn up the music, and dance. It wants a bit of flirting and romance because it's dead sexy.

Dancing is very active. So the cheese will be thinner


If you handled it gently, as you mention, and it's doing this still, I'd second Pam's idea - try using CaCl and see if that helps.  The other thing I'd wonder, is if you're not simply making an overly dry curd (I don't know cheddar, so am only speaking from my gut, sorry) - but if perhaps you're overworking the curd, or otherwise encouraging syneresis to an excessive degree, this, too, will obviously mean less yield.  But I'd expect this more if you had a clear whey, and just more of it than one would expect. 

You mention you got a cloudy whey, so a fragile curd does come to mind; though you handled it with kid gloves, it might need a gentler treatment still; in tandem with CaCl addition.

- Paul

Offline DeepSix

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Re: Coagulation, Rennet - Raw Cow Milk Low Yield, Whey Cloudy
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2011, 03:41:16 AM »
Well here it is, my massive 3lb 2oz cheddar from four gallons of whole Jersey Milk... it is 1.75 inches thick and 7.5 across.  Do you think this shape will age ok since it is so thin?

Anyway, thank you for all of the advise.

Jason


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Offline morfeo

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Re: Coagulation, Rennet - Raw Cow Milk Low Yield, Whey Cloudy
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2011, 08:05:57 AM »
I think it will do ok just keep an eye on the humidityso it wont crack, or if I where you I will wax it.

Offline Gustav

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Re: Coagulation, Rennet - Raw Cow Milk Low Yield, Whey Cloudy
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2011, 11:45:01 AM »
I also agree that you may want to add some CaCl & cut on the rennet a bit. The fact that you mention that it's cloudy lets me suspect that you milled the curds a bit too fine at the end & expelled too much of the fat. The season thing as well, but I don't think that should make such a difference. I have jerseys as well, & I usually get about 4.5-5Kg of cheddar on 36 Litres of milk, that's um... 13% yield if my maths are correct? You got about 1.5 Kg on 16 Litres, that's about a 9% yield. Damn. See the difference. I think it's the fat content of the milk that's too low, too much rennet & too little CaCl. Are you sure they don't skimm some of their milk & add it to the raw milk or maybe some water was added. I know some people do that in order to get more litres by adding water or skimm milk for cream & get stuck with skimmed milk & don't know what to do with it, so they just add it to the other milk.   MAKE SURE THE MILK YOU GET IS STRAIGHT FROM THE COW! I won't be surprised if that's the case.
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Offline Gustav

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Re: Coagulation, Rennet - Raw Cow Milk Low Yield, Whey Cloudy
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2011, 11:47:46 AM »
I made cheddar with 50% full cream & 50% skimmed milk & found that the yield is extremely low. So I changed that & the problem was solved. You may find that the cheese may tend to be a bit on the dry side when you eat it. PS. Don't you think you may be using a lil too much anatto? I use 1.5ml Per 15 Litres & the colour comes out fine. If it's too dark/orange it looks fake.  Just somw food for thought.
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Offline DeepSix

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Re: Coagulation, Rennet - Raw Cow Milk Low Yield, Whey Cloudy
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2011, 03:51:14 PM »
Yes on the anatto, I think the color is way to orange.  It was my first use and I accidentally gave it a squirt when I meant to do a drop.  From now on I won't put directly into the vat.

So what did you change with your milk to fix your low yield problem?  I used four gallons of raw whole milk so I'm not sure what to change.  (Only one gallon had been sitting long enough to have a cream line so I don't know how much fat was in the first three gallons... maybe it had been skimmed off some.)

What percentage fat should good Jersey milk have?  The gallon with the cream line looked like the top 15 to 20% was cream but not sure about the rest.  Does that sound like enough.

Thanks,

Jason

Offline Gustav

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Re: Coagulation, Rennet - Raw Cow Milk Low Yield, Whey Cloudy
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2011, 12:02:35 AM »
With our jerseys, If I leave a 2 litre bottle to stand overnight, 1/5 on the top is cream.
Dairy farmers get paid per litre milk that the tanker collects weekly and sometimes they add water to the milk to increase the amount that gets picked up. If there is water in the milk you may have a problem coz it's diluted some.

The other thin is that they tend so skim milk for selling cream and just add the skimmed milk back to the rest. Just check if you leave the milk if you at least get 1/5 - 1/6 cream on top.  But do the effort af telling the supplier that you make cheese & you need pure, raw milk to do that with no skimmed milk or water added, otherwise it won't work.

I think you should add CaCl as well.
Melkman se kind.


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