Author Topic: Clean break takes 4-5 hours  (Read 1736 times)

Offline leaker88

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Clean break takes 4-5 hours
« on: February 09, 2012, 04:25:40 PM »
I, like so many others, am new to cheese making. I have watched many videos, visited many websites, and purchased a couple of books. I really want to do this.

I have tried 4 times to make a Farmhouse cheddar. Each time it has taken at least 4-5 hours to get a clean break. Here is my process:

Using sterilized stainless steel, heat 2 gallons of store bought whole milk (pasteurized and homogenized) with calcium chloride added, to 90 degrees. wait 45 minutes. Add mesophilic starter, wait 45 minutes. Add 1/2 rennet tablet diluted in distilled water.  I am using store bought Junket rennet, and purchased a 2nd box, thinking maybe the first was old. Still taking way too long to set.

I am using room temperature distilled water, and read on this forum that it needs to be cold (recipe calls for cool). Could that be the problem? By the time I get a clean break, the milk has cooled down quite a bit.

I have read a lot of this forum and learned a lot from it.  Thanks to those of you who are helping the beginners like me.


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Offline zenith1

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Re: Clean break takes 4-5 hours
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2012, 05:26:27 PM »
your process raises some questions. What recipe are you following? How much cacl2 are you using? Are you reconstituting the rennet far enough in advance for it to be totally dissolved(in cold chlorine free water)? What kind of mesophilic starter? How are you determining the time to curd cut?
the process should look something like this:

heat milk to 90F
add starter to milk/ripen 45 minutes
add cacl2
add rennet
determine to to curd cut
cut curd to appropriate size/rest
scald curd to correct temperature
pitch whey
proceed with the stirring or cheddaring process
 I think that you have a problem with either your starter cultures or rennet or both. If you post more details I am sure someone can help decipher this one. Your rennet needs to be dissolved in cold water long enough in advance for it to be totally dissolved.
Keith

Offline leaker88

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Re: Clean break takes 4-5 hours
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2012, 06:48:37 PM »
I am using the farmhouse cheddar recipe from the book "Home Cheese Making" by Ricki Carroll. I add 1/2 tsp calcium chloride (diluted in 1/4 C distilled water) in the beginning, and then heat to 90 degrees. Add 1 pkg direct set mesophilic starter (from NE cheesemaking supply co), cover, and let set for 45 minutes. Immediately after putting the lid on, I mix 1/2 rennet tablet with 1/4 C. room temp distilled water, and add it at the end of the 45 min wait period. I'm sure 45 minutes is plenty of time to reconstitute. (I read in this forum however, that you should not let it sit too long because it loses it's strength. Is that true?). I have tried using a whole tablet, and still get the same results. The recipe says I should be ready to cut the curd in 45 minutes, but I haven't even come close to that yet.

I am anxious to try farm fresh milk, but want to het the bugs worked out first.

Offline margaretsmall

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Re: Clean break takes 4-5 hours
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2012, 07:50:21 PM »
Hi Leaker and welcome to the forum.
I think the problem is with your rennet - most people use liquid rennet rather than the tablets which are (if its the same in the USA as here in Australia) intended for making junket rather than cheese. Your supplier will have it. You should mix it with cool water (not necessarily refrigerated, just not warm) just before you add it to the milk, ie as soon as it's dissolved. It seems to be touchy stuff. You should get a clean break in about 45 minutes, but a good way to decide if its ready to cut is the flocculation method on which there are numerous threads here.
Keep trying - we all have failures!
Margaret

Offline John (CH)

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Re: Clean break takes 4-5 hours
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2012, 08:32:59 PM »
leaker88, welcome, there some info ideas on causes of poor rennet coagulation in our Wiki: Coagulation Defects article, my guess is the Junket rennet, same as margaretsmall.

Search the forum for word "Junket" or " Tablet" and you'll find many others with similar problems, main solution for future make is to up your dosage to what others found worked. For this batch with your starter culture you will probably get a very soft lactic acid curd if you wait long enough. You can use this to make light cream cheese also called American style Neufchatel here.


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Offline dthelmers

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Re: Clean break takes 4-5 hours
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2012, 10:18:58 PM »
I never had success with Junket tablets. I now use liquid calf rennet, and have not ever had a problem. the Junket tablets seem to be all over the place with the way they set curd, and you have no idea how long they have been on the shelf. Long enough to be coated in dust, in one store in my area.
Dave in CT

Offline leaker88

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Re: Clean break takes 4-5 hours
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2012, 02:58:29 PM »
A very big THANKS to you all!!!   The liquid rennet has been ordered.

Offline Jen R

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Re: Clean break takes 4-5 hours
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2012, 06:05:56 PM »
Can anyone explain why all my goat's milk cheeses take so long to get a clean break eg; 18-24 hours in some cases. I don't think it's the rennet because cow's milk cheeses made with the same lot of rennet are fine. Or is this just normal for goat's milk?

Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: Clean break takes 4-5 hours
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2012, 08:01:23 AM »
Search on flocculation. Increase your rennet.
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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Clean break takes 4-5 hours
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2012, 10:03:22 AM »
Jen, what temperature? Below 86F, it takes a much longer time even if you use the proper amount.
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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Clean break takes 4-5 hours
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2012, 06:47:06 PM »
I used Junnket rennet for some 25 years without problems but it does age quickly so check the box it should have a date on it. It is made here so I could buy it fresh from the factory. I also found that for soft cheese it is great as directed but for hard cheese you need to double the amount suggested. Also don't try to save tablets. They go bad right away once exposed to the air.

Liquid rennet made for cheese works much better and is way more predicatable. If you can't find it locally look on the internet. It is well worth the time and trouble to find it. My cheese production was much more enjoyable and less stressful after switching.

Offline Jen R

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Re: Clean break takes 4-5 hours
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2012, 11:41:15 PM »
Linuxboy - the recipe I have says to keep the milk at 72 F which seemed quite cool to me. So you think I should increase the temp by about 14 degrees?

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Clean break takes 4-5 hours
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2012, 11:47:38 PM »
Which cheese?
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Offline Jen R

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Re: Clean break takes 4-5 hours
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2012, 06:37:44 PM »
It was a recipe for Valencay - ashed goat's cheese pyramid from Mary Harlin's book.

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Clean break takes 4-5 hours
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2012, 06:41:38 PM »
Valencay takes a longer time. 24 hours is fine using slow coagulation method. Not sure what you expect for a semi-lactic set? Even fast method is 6-8 hrs.
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