Author Topic: Swelling - During Pressing, Salvageable?  (Read 747 times)

Offline CdnMorganGal

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Swelling - During Pressing, Salvageable?
« on: September 14, 2011, 10:25:54 AM »
I made a 4lb cheese, generally following Fankhausers recipe except used cheese culture and rennet - have made this before.  The only differences this time were I also added Roquefort culture, used a neighbors raw milk (which I had used before, but this time noticed a bit of sediment at the bottom of the bucket) and kosher salt, instead of regular uniodized salt. The curds may not have cooked quite as much as usual - I was aiming for the firm scrambled eggs stage, and they might have only reached the medium scrambled stage...

The cheese was in the press for 18hrs (due to timing and need for sleep lol).  During the night I did check on the cheese and some came out the bottom of the press (tasted fine) and when I went to turn the cheese, I noticed a lot of pressure when I was loosening it - and then the cheese inhaled!  After I turned it and got it back in the press it seemed taller.  This morning the cheese was definitely taller, and when you press on it, it kinda squishes like a soft rubber ball. The outside of the cheese has bit of a sponge texture, it is not smooth.   Is this at all salvageable? or do my dogs get it?  Where do you think the problem lays?  The ricotta I made from the whey seems fine.  I still have 13liters of the milk - was hoping to make more cheese today.  Should I make a 2lb batch and see what happens?  Should I try pasturizing?  Never had this happen to me before and I am at a loss . . .  Thank you.


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Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: Swelling - During Pressing, Salvageable?
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2011, 12:00:33 PM »
Sounds like a gas producing contaminant. My first guess would be a coliform. I would personally pitch the cheese without sampling.
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Offline CdnMorganGal

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Re: Swelling - During Pressing, Salvageable?
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2011, 12:05:13 PM »
Should I pasturize the rest of the milk or pitch it also?

Offline Tomer1

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Re: Swelling - During Pressing, Salvageable?
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2011, 01:21:58 PM »
Yes heat treat it first.
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Offline zenith1

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Re: Swelling - During Pressing, Salvageable?
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2011, 01:42:49 PM »
I agree with Sailor-I would pitch the cheese and go a step further and pitch the rest of the milk as well. I know that you have written that it was raw milk and that you have used it before but you really need to protect yourself in this case because it sure sounds like a contaminant. Have you also consumed the milk itself from this batch? Just a thought. Anyway your problem was most likely not from your procedure even though you mentioned some aberrations in the make. The fact that the wheel grew in size is a really strong indicator(gas producer). I am sure that you know that you can get ill from store bought pasteurized milk(lots of documentation) but when dealing with raw you need to be smart about it's consumption,be sure of your source and their procedures. All of my cheese making is with raw milk as well, I am thankful for the great sources that I have. That being said, I am still vigilant.
Keith


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Offline CdnMorganGal

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Re: Swelling - During Pressing, Salvageable?
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2011, 01:50:51 PM »
I ate a couple of the curds before the cheese swelled, and also ate some of the cheese that had squeezed out the bottom of the press, before it had swelled significatly - it all tasted fine and no ill effects.  What do you think about me making another batch, smaller this time, and seeing if it happens again?  My thinking is that if it doesnt happen again, the contamination was somehow at my end, and if it happens again, it is definitely the milk.

Offline smilingcalico

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Re: Swelling - During Pressing, Salvageable?
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2011, 04:48:55 PM »
Pasteurize or dump it.  It is coliform.  It may not kill you, but it will never be the cheese you wanted.  I'd bet dollars to doughnuts it's in the milk.
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Offline Boofer

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Re: Swelling - During Pressing, Salvageable?
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2011, 05:43:51 PM »
Not so sure your dogs would benefit from questionable milk or puffy cheese either....  :P

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Offline CdnMorganGal

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Re: Swelling - During Pressing, Salvageable?
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2011, 10:26:01 PM »
Thank you, all.  I decided it would be safer to chuck the cheese, the ricotta and the whey - my dogs didnt even get it.  How disappointing though, 28l of milk wasted.  What a downer  :(   Rather than expanding my cheesemaking quickly (by using neighbors milk)  I will take it slower and wait for my own cows to produce.  Another advantage of taking it slower is that I will be able to more easily compare the results of small recipe changes since the milk will be very similar from one batch to another.  Again, thank you.