Author Topic: My milk experiment is underway.......  (Read 2929 times)

Offline Likesspace

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My milk experiment is underway.......
« on: January 18, 2009, 11:12:11 AM »
Okay, yesterday I posted a question concerning the method everyone uses to bring their milk up to recipe temp.
This was posted in the Pressed (Milled) section of the forum.
As stated in that post I might have discovered something that will solve my soft curd problems that I've fought for the past three years....mainly allowing the milk to sit at room temperature for a few hours before beginning any type of external heating.
Right now I have four gallons of whole milk sitting on my kitchen table, slowly coming up in temp. Within a couple of more hours I will be turning these into a swiss cheese (decided against the parmesan) with hopefully the same curd results that I saw yesterday.
I'll snap a few pics once I have a curd.

Dave


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Offline Likesspace

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Re: My milk experiment is underway.......
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2009, 01:11:37 PM »
My milk is now in the vat and I'm waiting for the rennet to set the curd.
I left the 4 gallons of milk on my kitchen table for 2-1/2 hours. I then placed it in an 80 degree water bath for 1/2 hour.
Once I poured the milk into the vat the temp was exactly 70 degrees F. I then slowly raised the temperature to 90 degrees which took right at 25 minutes.
I plan on letting the rennet work for one hour before testing for a clean break. If I don't have a clean break by that time I will let it go to an hour and a half.
From past experience I know that if I don't have a clean break within an hour and a half then it is what it is.
I'm mainly typing this all out so that it's documented. Sometimes I tend to forget what I did yesterday so this will be a good source of reference if I do see good results.
My memory probably would not be a problem since this is Sunday, shortly after noon, but on a Friday night batch.....with a glass of Cab sitting nearby.....well let's just say that documentation is everything.  :)


Offline Likesspace

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Re: My milk experiment is underway.......
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2009, 02:15:00 PM »
Okay, here's a pic of the curds....
The first is right after cutting and the second is after doing the subsurface cuts.
All in all I'm really pleased. The curd is not quite as defined as what I had last night but then again, it is cut a LOT smaller than last night.
I had a great break and the curd is very firm. I think I might have just solved the issues I've been fighting for the past three years.
One thing that I do want to try on the next batch is the addition of more cream. Last night's batch had 16 oz. per 2 gallon and this one only had 8 oz. per 4 gallon. That might be the reason this one is not quite as good.
Okay, here's the pics.....gotta get back to my cheese!

Offline Likesspace

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Re: My milk experiment is underway.......
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2009, 04:56:37 PM »
Okay, the swiss is in the press.
I have to say that this is by far the best swiss curd I've gotten yet.
Even after cutting with a whisk the curd was very well defined  and I had to do a LOT of further cutting while foreworking, to get the pieces small enough.
In the past when I cut with a whisk the curd turned into what looked like badly made cottage cheese. The curd would always turn out by the end of the cooking process, but at first it truly was nothing more than mush.
I'm pretty excited by what I've seen up to this point.  I think I've finally found what I've been missing in my cheesemaking.
Here's a pic of the curd after cooking (right before going into the press).

Dave

Offline Tea

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Re: My milk experiment is underway.......
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2009, 05:23:38 PM »
Well I have to say that that looks very much like what I would normally get.  Hope you are pleased with the final press.


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Offline Likesspace

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Re: My milk experiment is underway.......
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2009, 06:04:30 PM »
Tea..
Thanks for your input. I was hoping to hear "real milk" people chime in here.
So far I have flipped this cheese twice and the wheel is as close to perfect as I've seen. I am still getting a minor amount of whey, between presses, but the wheel looks like it could go the cave right now.
I think I'm going to be very happy with this cheese. Once if finishes it's final press I'll post a couple of pics (probably about 24 hours from now).
Thanks again for your input. I was hoping to hear that my curd looks at least similar to a fresh milk curd.

Dave

Offline chilipepper

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Re: My milk experiment is underway.......
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2009, 10:42:37 PM »
Dave, your curd looks good!  In following your process you changed two variables to get to the point of satisfaction on your curd, correct?  One was to let the milk come to room temp first and the second was to use a water bath rather than direct heat.  Was this whole raw milk or store bought?

For me I use a water bath for all my cheeses except mozzarella. I dump milk right out of the refrigerator in and then try and maintain my waterbath temp about 10 degrees F above my target temp.  So if I'm shooting for 90F I try and keep the water somewhere around 100F.  Mind you this is done in a deep sink and with tap water so there is no exact science to my method.  For me to get to 90F it may take about 45 minutes or more with 2 gallons of milk.  I guess what I'm getting at is maybe there is a happy medium there somewhere for you and allow you to save some time in waiting for the milk to acclimate to room temp.

It would be interesting to see if direct heating the room temp milk on the stove would produce better or worse curd than cold milk heated by the water bath? Or vice-versa?

Anyway my $0.02 if its worth that!

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: My milk experiment is underway.......
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2009, 01:30:49 AM »
Good job Dave. Did you use any CaCl? I love how everyone's curds are nice neat rows when they take pics of them cut. Mine never look that way as use a curd knife with wires and it moves the curds about.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Sing_cheese

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Re: My milk experiment is underway.......
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2009, 02:07:10 AM »
Dave,

The curds look great. 

I dont know if by real milk people you mean people who use raw milk.  My issue is usually just the opposite in that I get the milk right from milking at the farm. If  Irun errands on the way home and leave the already 95f milk in equatorial heat of Singapore in closed car, I have a problem lower the temp to target.  I often must put the cheese vat in an ice bath to get it down to the 86f or 90f for cuturing. 
Gerrit @ Urban Farmstead Singapore

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Offline Likesspace

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Re: My milk experiment is underway.......
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2009, 08:57:17 PM »
Hi guys....
This curd was produced from store bought milk and I did use CaCl2.
I'm not exactly sure that the 2-3 hours at room temp is absolutely necessary but the slow warming of the milk has certainly made a huge difference in the curd set.
As stated before, I have always just taken 38 degree milk and heated it to the starting temp as fast as possible. I can't believe it has taken me three years to find out that this is NOT a good procedure.
On my next batch I plan on putting the milk into a water bath (say 90 degrees) to see how it works out. I really doubt that I'm getting any acid production by letting the milk sit out at room temp since this is not raw milk.
The superior curd that I've experienced seems to be related only to bringing the milk temp up slowly. Who would have guessed that this would make a difference?
Anyway, I'm really pumped about this discovery.
It might have been common knowledge to the rest of you but it is news to me.
The swiss curd was so firm that even after cutting with a whisk I had to continue cutting with my spoon to get the curd small enough, during the foreworking stage.
In the past, if I ran a whisk through the curd it would turn into the consistancy of badly made cottage cheese.
Anyway, check out the pics of the swiss wheel I'm getting ready to post in the "High Temp Pressed" board. I think it turned out great.
Thanks for everyone's input.

Dave


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Offline rockie900

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Re: My milk experiment is underway.......
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2009, 07:20:44 AM »
Dave sounds like you might be onto a winner there.
Just curious if you have heard of using store bought skim and UHT cream, I mention this because of an article in the cheeselinks newsletter saying for every 10ltr of milk use 9.5ltr of skim and 500ml of uht cream. They believe it it produces a curd similar to raw milk. I will try this soon but at the moment I am a couple of weeks from my next batch.

I will let you know how it goes.

Al

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: My milk experiment is underway.......
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2009, 11:32:46 AM »
Rockie, that's funny, that's exactly what Dave (Likesspace) does. He adds UHT cream to all of this batches. Weird. Where do you find that newsletter?
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Likesspace

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Re: My milk experiment is underway.......
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2009, 12:00:38 PM »
Rookie...
Carter is right. I've started adding cream to nearly all of my cheese and it has made a difference.
I do not use skim milk though (I assume you are talking about 2% when you say skim). I have always used whole milk but that is an idea to try.
I've been adding it at approx. 1 pint per two gallons of milk and it has made a noticeable difference in the curd set.
I'd also be interested in finding the newsletter you mentioned.
Thanks for the post.

Dave

Offline chilipepper

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Re: My milk experiment is underway.......
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2009, 12:32:50 PM »
Cheeselinks Newsletter

Here is the link to the newsletter site.  Upon quickly scanning the one they have for immediate download I didn't notice any mention to the UHT cream discussion.  Maybe it was in a prior issue. 

Offline rockie900

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Re: My milk experiment is underway.......
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2009, 06:53:08 AM »
you can sign up to the newsletters at the link from chilli pepper. The one for download is issue 2, there are currently 4. Not sure if I can post them on here, but just drop me a pm and I can send them to you via email.

Al