Author Topic: Coagulation, Rennet, Tablet, Junket Brand - No Clean Break  (Read 2504 times)

Offline korsul

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Coagulation, Rennet, Tablet, Junket Brand - No Clean Break
« on: June 24, 2011, 12:16:16 AM »
Hi. I'm an absolute beginner at cheese making. I saw a few videos on youtube and was fascinated instantly. It's been months since then. I first tried some acid cheese and that was some fun, but I really wanted to try rennet cheese. So I finally got some rennet a few weeks ago. I put some milk in a sterilized pot, slowly heated it to 90 degrees F and then put in the rennet. I put a cover and let it sit for hours and nothing happened. I tried a few more times with smaller quantities of milk; I tried with bottled water, then distilled water; I tried using more rennet and different brands of milk. Eventually I contacted the company and by the end of that they had decided to just send me some new rennet, just in case the rennet I had was dead.

Today the new rennet arrived. I tried twice the same procedure and again nothing. I would think, then, that I'm probably doing something wrong. Here is what I tried today:

1. I put a small amount of filtered water in the pot and boiled it with the lid on to sterilize the pot. Afterward I rinsed the pot with distilled water from one of those plastic gallon jugs you get at the supermarket.
2. I took approximately a quarter tablet of Junket rennet and dissolved it in about 1/3rd of a cup of distilled water in a cup on the side.
3. I put about 1/8th of a gallon of milk into the pot and heated it up as slowly as I could. When it reached 90 degrees F I turned off the heat and moved the pot to a cold burner.
4. I poured the rennet filled water into the milk and stirred as best I could in an up-down motion for 20-30 seconds.
5. I put the lid on the pot and let the pot sit.

After about 20 minutes I checked on the milk and absolutely nothing had changed. I didn't notice even the smallest hint of curdling. I put the lid back on and waited almost another 40 minutes and checked again and still absolutely nothing. Am I just not waiting long enough? Some of the recipes I've seen say to only wait 10 minutes. I gathered from that that waiting longer, while preferable if you want a better curd, isn't completely necessary for SOMETHING to happen. Does anyone have any ideas why I might be having this problem? I just want to be able to make some cheese =[

Offline CdnMorganGal

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Re: Coagulation, Rennet, Tablet, Junket Brand - No Clean Break
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2011, 02:24:30 AM »
Your milk needs bacteria to acidify a bit, before adding the rennet.  Bacteria can be added either by way of cultured buttermilk or a cheese culture you can buy.  Also, if you are not using raw milk you will probably need to add calcium chloride.

A good website is: http://biology.clc.uc.edu/Fankhauser/Cheese/Cheese.html  Especially check out his page on Beginning Cheese Making.  His Basic Hard Cheese will produce a very good cheese, for both eating and cooking with.


Offline Boofer

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Re: Coagulation, Rennet, Tablet, Junket Brand - No Clean Break
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2011, 08:57:22 AM »
Your milk needs bacteria to acidify a bit, before adding the rennet.  Bacteria can be added either by way of cultured buttermilk or a cheese culture you can buy.  Also, if you are not using raw milk you will probably need to add calcium chloride.

A good website is: http://biology.clc.uc.edu/Fankhauser/Cheese/Cheese.html  Especially check out his page on Beginning Cheese Making.  His Basic Hard Cheese will produce a very good cheese, for both eating and cooking with.
Good tips.  I would also suggest that you work from a recipe whenever you're making a cheese. That would mean that you have some sense of direction...what kind of cheese you are trying to make.

Along with the website mentioned above, you might also search on the forum for recipes, techniques, rennet use, etc., and keep asking questions here.

-Boofer-
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Bread, beer, wine, cheese...it's all good.

Offline Gustav

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Re: Coagulation, Rennet, Tablet, Junket Brand - No Clean Break
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2011, 10:12:09 AM »
I bet you used hot/warm water to dilute the rennet in. Rennet enzymes get killed in temps above 42'C.
You mentioned you boiled the water. Make sure you use COLD water for the renne, otherwise nothing will happen.
Don't you add cultures before you add rennet? What type of cheese are you making?
Melkman se kind.

Offline korsul

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Re: Coagulation, Rennet, Tablet, Junket Brand - No Clean Break
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2011, 12:10:24 PM »
I'll try a recipe that uses calcium chloride since I'm using your average store bought milk. Thing is, at this point I'm not trying to make any specific cheese; I would have thought that no matter what I would at least get some amount of curding even if I didn't add any acid, bacteria, or calcium chloride.
I bet you used hot/warm water to dilute the rennet in. Rennet enzymes get killed in temps above 42'C.
You mentioned you boiled the water. Make sure you use COLD water for the renne, otherwise nothing will happen.
Don't you add cultures before you add rennet? What type of cheese are you making?
I used room temperature water. I actually accidentally heated my milk to almost 105F the very first time I tried rennet and I thought that perhaps it hadn't worked because the temperature was too high. Since then I've been careful to keep everything below 90F. The boiling water this time was to sterilize the pot, but the distilled water I had used was room temperature and I mixed it in a cup on the side.

Offline Gustav

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Re: Coagulation, Rennet, Tablet, Junket Brand - No Clean Break
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2011, 12:51:42 PM »
Just make sure you dissolve the rennet with cold water rather than room temp.
Also make sure the milk doesnt go over42'C when rennet is added.
Melkman se kind.

Offline MrsKK

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Re: Coagulation, Rennet, Tablet, Junket Brand - No Clean Break
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2011, 03:55:22 PM »
You should also wait to dissolve the rennet until just before you are going to add it to the milk, as it starts degrading pretty rapidly. 

Offline korsul

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Re: Coagulation, Rennet, Tablet, Junket Brand - No Clean Break
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2011, 04:02:36 PM »
You should also wait to dissolve the rennet until just before you are going to add it to the milk, as it starts degrading pretty rapidly.

I thought it was supposed to sit for something like 20 minutes before you use it. I've been adding it to the water before I start and by the time I add it to the milk it's been maybe 5 or 10 minutes. So I'm going to try using actually cold water next time, and should I really dissolve the rennet RIGHT before adding it, no wait?

Offline CdnMorganGal

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Re: Coagulation, Rennet, Tablet, Junket Brand - No Clean Break
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2011, 07:03:30 PM »
I really think you are on the wrong track trying to figure out what went wrong with the rennet (NOTHING went wrong) - If you check out Fankhausers basic hard cheese recipe, you will see that he has his milk sit OVERNIGHT after the yoghurt or buttermilk has been added. This ensures the bacteria produce sufficient acidity in the milk so the rennet can WORK.  If you substitute a cheese culture for the yoghurt or buttermilk, the milk will need to acidify for an hour or less before the rennet is added.  (Please note Fankhauser´s recipe is for raw milk.)  If you want to produce cheese, please acidify your milk before adding the rennet.

Offline korsul

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Re: Coagulation, Rennet, Tablet, Junket Brand - No Clean Break
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2011, 11:18:32 PM »
I really think you are on the wrong track trying to figure out what went wrong with the rennet (NOTHING went wrong) - If you check out Fankhausers basic hard cheese recipe, you will see that he has his milk sit OVERNIGHT after the yoghurt or buttermilk has been added. This ensures the bacteria produce sufficient acidity in the milk so the rennet can WORK.  If you substitute a cheese culture for the yoghurt or buttermilk, the milk will need to acidify for an hour or less before the rennet is added.  (Please note Fankhauser´s recipe is for raw milk.)  If you want to produce cheese, please acidify your milk before adding the rennet.

I did try several times to acidify my milk, but not with bacteria, I had just added lemon juice. I think the majority of my confusion and problems comes from the fact that I started out my cheese making adventure with quick and easy guides/recipes which cut corners or otherwise left out some of the details I needed to make things work properly. As a result I guess I thought that cheese making was widely open to "artistic preference". I had seen recipes where the milk sits for 5 minutes after mixing in the rennet and I had seen ones where it sits for multiple hours, so I thought that at least something should happen if I put rennet into milk, no matter what else I did. But next I'm going to try a more proper recipe and I'll do things right. From what you all are saying I'm sure that if I'm patient, take my time, and most importantly follow the recipe, it'll work.

Offline MrsKK

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Re: Coagulation, Rennet, Tablet, Junket Brand - No Clean Break
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2011, 10:19:45 AM »
Yep, ya gotta follow some rules if you want to make some cheese.

If it were easy, everybody would do it!