Author Topic: Pressing - Milky Whey & Cracks  (Read 644 times)

Offline calliemwest

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Pressing - Milky Whey & Cracks
« on: September 16, 2011, 04:12:28 PM »
Started with raw unpasteurized cow's milk using Caerphilly recipe from The Cheesemakers Manual. This is the order of possible errors and observations:
I warmed milk too quickly and overheated to 115F. Then cooled to 90F before proceeding. Added culture, calcium chloride, rennet per recipe. Beautiful, clean break after 45 min. - solid curd and clear whey.
It took a long time to cut curds to uniform size, and I continued to cut the larger curds during the entire time I was cooking curds. I stirred constantly per instructions - I tried to be gentle but there was some minor matting so I tried to keep the water moving. The whey became very cloudy.
First pressing 30 min at 1st setting on press. There was very little whey expelled and it was cloudy. At redressing, great difficulty getting the cheesecloth off - it stuck in several places and pulled whole 1/2 in. curds off with it. What a pain.
Second pressing - likewise very little whey expelled and it was cloudy with butterfat/cream floating to top. At end of pressing again difficulty removing cheesecloth and more whole curds pulled off with the cloth.
Also the pressed cheese has a few cracks. I don't know if it is too dry or exactly where the problems started. Cheese tastes good, smells good but I am discouraged about spending the time to age it with the cracks, divots from torn curds etc.
Thanks for any/all help - I realize this will probably be redirected to the proper board.....


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Offline John (CH)

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Re: Pressing - Milky Whey & Cracks
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2011, 11:22:51 AM »
Hi calliemwest, welcome.

Your whey that was cloudy was I assume white cloudy which means you had loss of milk solids into your whey. Causes could be improper rennet coagulation or more probably based on what you said, over stirring especially initially after you cut the curd. Normally after cutting you wait a few minutes to let the cut curds heal and then start stirring slowly. I don't stir continuously, especially initially I stir thejn let rest few minutes, then stir etc.

On cloth sticking to cheese surface during/after pressing, Search the forum, you'll find several threads giving reason why and methods to minimize.

You do get less and less whey expulsion on each pressing as the surface dehydrates and forms a barrier to further whey expulsion.

After pressing you should not have cracks, ridges from folded cloth yes. What sort of culture were you using?

Offline calliemwest

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Re: Pressing - Milky Whey & Cracks
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2011, 11:49:24 AM »
Hi John and thank for the suggestions. I think you are probably right about too much stirring too soon while warming curds. I was worried about matting but maybe that's not too big a deal.

I'm going to try plyban instead of cotton cheesecloth - looks like others on the forum found it eliminates sticking.

As for culture, I followed the recipe exactly and used 1/2 tsp Aroma B and 1/4 tsp MA4001/4002 for 3-4 gallons of milk.

Anyway the cheese is cracked and I'm wondering about the risk of bacteria and mold getting into the cracks and divots during aging? I don't have any wax now but do you see any problem if I age it for a week or so in the cold room and then apply wax?

Offline John (CH)

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Re: Pressing - Milky Whey & Cracks
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2011, 02:38:30 PM »
I asumed your cracks on surface were when removed from press. Many people get surface cracks from drying too rapidly after pressing and cheese is still quite moist, was yours that way or when came out of press? You can also get cracks from poor handling resulting in stress, see Wiki: Surface Defects, Cracks.

Yep mold gets into cracks and is basically impossible to remove, the good news is mold add a lot of flavour to cheese.

After pressing normal steps are air drying at ambient room conditions and then aging normally until moisture content is low enough to either oil or vacuum bag or wax. I wrote them in that order as most people who use wax eventually go away from it to vacuum bags and oiling is the easiest way of semi-sealing rind. For surface cracked cheese, I think oiling may be your best route. I'd read through some of those threads, just search on words "Surface Crack" to find some, or surf to the STANDARD METHODS - Aging Cheese Board.