Author Topic: Cow, Raw - Using 1 Week Old For Cheesemaking  (Read 1010 times)

Offline george (MaryJ)

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Rhode Island
  • Posts: 518
  • Cheeses: 22
  • Home of the Velcro Ocelot
Cow, Raw - Using 1 Week Old For Cheesemaking
« on: September 22, 2011, 07:18:41 AM »
I've been getting some pure Jersey milk lately, and get a slight discount if I get the milk that's just about hit its "sell-by" date - which is somewhere between 7-9 days out of the cow.  My experience with this dairy is that as long as I remember to shake up the bottles every couple of days to mix the cream back in, it lasts/stays sweet for drinking for almost 2 weeks AFTER that sell-by date. 

I've read that older milk doesn't work so hot for mozzarella - but is there any reason I can't use this for other cheeses?  I'm mostly making stirred-curd cheddars, some goudas, havartis, cams.  Going to try my first Monterey Jack this weekend.  The havarti I made with the older milk last week seemed to be the same as with fresher milk - the make went fine and the curd acted perfectly normal.  But of course I won't know for another 8 weeks whether it really did work or not, and I'd hate to make a bunch of cheddars and find out in 8 months that they're a bust.

So - is there anything wrong with this theory?  Is there any reason I can't use this slightly older yet still yummy sweet milk for hard cheeses?  Is there anything I should look out for in terms of behavior during the make (of the cheese/curds, not me!) that would tell me if it's working okay or not?

Thanks very much for help on this puzzlement!
If I have to be a grownup, can I at least be telekinetic too?


Guests, join the CheeseForum.org community to remove this ad.


Offline dthelmers

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Meriden, CT. USA
  • Posts: 486
  • Cheeses: 27
    • Homely Arts
Re: Cow, Raw - Using 1 Week Old For Cheesemaking
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2011, 07:56:39 AM »
I've used a lot of P/H milk that had hit the sell by date, with good results. These were all cheeses in the cheddar family. I'd like to try it with my local Jersey raw milk, but their milk never hits its sell by date. If I don't get there early enough, they may be sold out. Try drinking some before you make cheese with it: if it tastes good, go for it. Check your pH regularly to make sure it's not going faster then your fresher milk. My last batch of cheddar got a bit too fast, probably because it was summer milk, and the cheese came out a bit drier than usual, but still good.
Dave in CT

Offline george (MaryJ)

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Rhode Island
  • Posts: 518
  • Cheeses: 22
  • Home of the Velcro Ocelot
Re: Cow, Raw - Using 1 Week Old For Cheesemaking
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2011, 04:17:20 AM »
I'd been thinking about that with the P/H milk, but then realized that it's dead, whereas the raw isn't, so I was concerned about the extra "native" buggies having that much more time to have at it and maybe overpower whatever culture I would be adding.  But then again, you're right, as long as it's still sweet, it should be okay.  I guess I just needed that confirmation, can't trust my own guesses half the time. 

Thanks, Dave!!
If I have to be a grownup, can I at least be telekinetic too?

Offline dthelmers

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Meriden, CT. USA
  • Posts: 486
  • Cheeses: 27
    • Homely Arts
Re: Cow, Raw - Using 1 Week Old For Cheesemaking
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2011, 09:07:27 AM »
Well, I wouldn't say that the P/H milk is "dead". It grows quite a lot of stuff, so you can't count on it being stable. It does seem to acidify kind of fast when it's old. That being said, when I was getting the old milk I was getting a price on it where I wasn't worried about having to throw it out if it didn't come up to standards.
Raw milk is just a joy to work with by comparison. A friend with a cow saved up a weeks worth of milk for me, about 8 gallons, which I picked up Sunday night and put in the freezer. I brought her a slab of home cured bacon as a thank you. We'll see Sunday how that works for cheese when I make it into a Caerphilly (the milk, not the bacon).
Dave in CT

Offline george (MaryJ)

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Rhode Island
  • Posts: 518
  • Cheeses: 22
  • Home of the Velcro Ocelot
Re: Cow, Raw - Using 1 Week Old For Cheesemaking
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2011, 05:25:53 AM »
Well, bacon and cheese IS a classic combination. 

And I just learned something new today, too - I've never tried making any cheese with previously frozen milk, I just assumed it would act funny (even without the issue of getting the cream reincorporated).  Now I know.   :)
If I have to be a grownup, can I at least be telekinetic too?


Guests, join the CheeseForum.org community to remove this ad.


Offline MrsKK

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Wisconsin
  • Posts: 1,858
  • Cheeses: 61
  • Default personal text
Re: Cow, Raw - Using 1 Week Old For Cheesemaking
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2011, 10:42:44 AM »
Try making a batch of cheese with it - if anything, I would guess that the ph is going to be low to start with, so you may not need to add as much culture to it.

If you aren't happy with the results, you can low-temp pasturize the milk before making cheese.  Just warm it to 145 degrees Fahrenheit, hold there for 20 minutes, then quick cool to the starting temp for whatever cheese you are making.

That way, you will kill off the organisms that may compete with your culture.  Though pasturized, it will still be better than storebought p/h milk, IMHO.

I used to freeze milk for cheesemaking, too.  It worked just fine.  If you leave the cream on it, you will want to warm the milk to about 95 degrees initially to melt the butterfat back into the milk.

Offline george (MaryJ)

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Rhode Island
  • Posts: 518
  • Cheeses: 22
  • Home of the Velcro Ocelot
Re: Cow, Raw - Using 1 Week Old For Cheesemaking
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2011, 04:58:38 AM »
Well, so far I've got that one Havarti and a batch of cams aging away with the old milk - haven't gotten to the jack yet.  Patience, Mary, you'll find out soon enough. 

That's a great tip on heating the frozen milk, Karen, thank you!
If I have to be a grownup, can I at least be telekinetic too?