Author Topic: The mystery of whey ricotta  (Read 1024 times)

Offline John@PC

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Hartsville, SC
  • Posts: 871
  • Cheeses: 79
  • Default personal text
    • Perfect Cheese
The mystery of whey ricotta
« on: July 19, 2013, 04:46:53 PM »
The biggest mystery to me continues to be the variability of whey ricotta outcome.  When I first started making cheese and tried Mary Karlin's ricotta recipes. I had some early success, but later had so many fails that I either I tried to find a way to make it palatable  :P (adding coconut milk did help, along with about 4 tablespoons of Ovaltine ;)) or threw it away.  I tried again using a recipe I found here and had very good yield (1.3 lbs from 3.5 gal whey).  Today I made my first Emmental using 4 gal. partly skimmed whole cows milk and thought I'd try ricotta again.  Here's my steps:

1.  Heated whey (guessing around 3.7 gal) to 160F
2.  Added the reserved cream (about 1 pt.) and another pt. of whole milk.
3.  Continued heating to 195F.
4.  Added 1 1/4 cups white vinegar
5.  Stirred, maintained temperature and covered pot with aluminum foil for 15 min.

Note that I did not add salt to the whey.  Also, let me say that every time I've made ricotta from whey I've always had combination of "floating" curds and curds distributed through the body of the whey (usually more of the latter).

This time when I removed the foil there was a very nice "raft" of floating curds.  Not until I started to ladle them off did I realize how thick and heavy the "raft" was.  Anyway, turned out that after ladleing the curds into a ricotta mold there was essentially zero curds in the rest of the pot.

Ended up with 2.4 lbs of partially-drained ricotta with a really nice texture.  I plan to drain a little more and salt and maybe try some dried ricotta or some of the spreads and dips posted here.   


Offline MrsKK

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Wisconsin
  • Posts: 1,878
  • Cheeses: 61
  • Default personal text
Re: The mystery of whey ricotta
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2013, 09:24:33 AM »
Ah, success!  Good job of describing the steps, too.  Thanks for sharing.

Offline Stinky

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: California
  • Posts: 734
  • Cheeses: 67
Re: The mystery of whey ricotta
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2015, 03:11:14 PM »
That's really a lot of curds, isn't it? I mean, you generally expect to get 4 pounds or so per gallon, but are there really that many curds in the whey or did you get cheated out of some Emmental?
It's probably a pathogen.

Offline TimT

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Australia
  • Posts: 125
  • Cheeses: 5
  • What tastes better - cheese holes, or Donut holes?
Re: The mystery of whey ricotta
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2015, 09:02:39 PM »
It's a mystifying mystery alright. I heated some whey (from a cheddar make) yesterday and was expecting/hoping curds to spontaneously form. Nothing happened so I just chucked in a bit of vinegar, stirred it a bit, and left it for five minutes. Came back, poured it out through cheesecloth and collected.... I dunno - a teaspoon of curds!

Offline Stinky

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: California
  • Posts: 734
  • Cheeses: 67
Re: The mystery of whey ricotta
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2015, 09:13:41 PM »
Looking at it again, it seems he added cream and milk. Which would explain something.
It's probably a pathogen.

Offline Kern

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: King County, WA
  • Posts: 358
  • Cheeses: 27
  • Grass today......cheese tomorrow.
Re: The mystery of whey ricotta
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2015, 12:28:04 PM »
The biggest mystery to me continues to be the variability of whey ricotta outcome....

Ricotta largely comes from the coagulation of whey protein.  About half the time I try to make Ricotta from the whey from cheese making.  this whey is usually quite clear with no suspended white solids.  I mostly follow your recipe but sometimes I add milk and at other times I don't.  I use the same procedure each time.  Once using the whey from raw milk cheese and no added milk or cream I got nothing.  Another time with some added milk (same raw milk whey) I got a little Ricotta that took forever to drain.  Once from using P&H milk whey (Feta cheese make) I got Ricotta more or less like that in your photo, but not nearly as much.

My conclusion: It depends on the whey used and according to the literature the point in the lactating cycle when the cows are milked.   ???

Offline qdog1955

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: York, Pa. USA
  • Posts: 511
  • Cheeses: 44
  • Just because we can----doesn't mean we should
Re: The mystery of whey ricotta
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2015, 03:05:38 PM »
Kern----might have some thing to do with raw milk----using the same method described-----I haven't once been able to get any decent amount of ricotta-----but it works every time with P/H whey. Don't have any idea why.
Qdog
Worrying----is like sitting in a rocking chair---- a lot of motion-----but it gets you no where.

Offline Kern

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: King County, WA
  • Posts: 358
  • Cheeses: 27
  • Grass today......cheese tomorrow.
Re: The mystery of whey ricotta
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2015, 10:45:48 PM »
Qdog--May I speculate?  I suspect that ramming milk through the homogenizer alters some of the proteins so as to increase their water solubility.  Then when the whey drains they go with the water phase (whey) rather than staying with the curd.  Thus, more ricotta from P&H milk.   How's this for a WAGNER in action?   ;)

Online awakephd

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: North Carolina
  • Posts: 724
  • Cheeses: 105
  • compounding the benefits of a free press
Re: The mystery of whey ricotta
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2015, 12:42:24 PM »
Kern, I'd say TLAR to your WAGNER. :)
-- Andy

Offline LoftyNotions

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Billings, MT
  • Posts: 371
  • Cheeses: 48
  • Default personal text
Re: The mystery of whey ricotta
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2015, 12:53:50 PM »
I'm guessing that's not Technical Large Animal Rescue. :)  http://www.acronymfinder.com/TLAR.html

Larry

Offline Kern

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: King County, WA
  • Posts: 358
  • Cheeses: 27
  • Grass today......cheese tomorrow.
Re: The mystery of whey ricotta
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2015, 05:44:08 PM »
I like the last one in the acronym list:

TLAR = T-Lymphocytes forming an Active Rosette:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T_cel   8)
« Last Edit: April 09, 2015, 11:14:03 PM by Kern »

Online awakephd

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: North Carolina
  • Posts: 724
  • Cheeses: 105
  • compounding the benefits of a free press
Re: The mystery of whey ricotta
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2015, 09:18:50 PM »
No, no -- That Looks About Right. :)
-- Andy

Offline John@PC

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Hartsville, SC
  • Posts: 871
  • Cheeses: 79
  • Default personal text
    • Perfect Cheese
Re: The mystery of whey ricotta
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2015, 08:05:26 PM »
Kern, I did use some milk on that ricotta make but not much so I think your theory(s) may be right.  I've had a good yield every now and then but haven't been able to pin it down.  I guess I need to be more scientific and correlate culture to ricotta yield :)