Author Topic: Bitter Cheese  (Read 3125 times)

Offline Zinger

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Bitter Cheese
« on: March 21, 2012, 05:37:06 PM »
I have a common problem with a bitter taste to my cheese. Some are worse than others, but most have some degree of bitterness. My best results are with Parmesans, in fact, I've never had a problem with them. Also my Manchegos usually are free of bitterness. But everything else (Cheddars, Jacks, Colbys) all have a problem.

I usually use Ricki Carroll's recipes for 2 gallon quantities and increase them to 3 or 4 gallons. Per an email from her, I increase ingredients proportionately. Maybe that is a mistake. I just did my first Swiss and cut the rennet back a little with this problem in mind.

I am aware of what normally causes bitterness, but I guess that I am looking for any thoughts about what I might be missing. I am careful about temps, ph, salting, rennet etc.

Thanks for your thoughts, I am getting a bit tired of this problem.

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Bitter Cheese
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2012, 05:42:26 PM »
If you know the causes, and have taken steps to remedy all the causes, there should be no bitterness. My guess is that there's something inconsistent about your make, or maybe the milk quality is poor, or something similar is suboptimal.

For an easy fix, include helveticus in your make at a rate of .3% bulk.

If you post recipes and make+affinage notes, we can troubleshoot a little more. Cause of bitterness is almost always hydrophobic peptides.
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Offline H-K-J

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Re: Bitter Cheese
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2012, 06:27:02 PM »
I am real newbe at this but I have read Riki's book and a couple of others, the one thing that stuck in my mind is she say's to double up on everything but most of what I have read disagrees with that point, just as an example the supplier I have been dealing with points out for Mesophilic Starter Series MM100-101 and this is a quote "Use 1/8 tsp. per 1 gallon(3.7liters), 1/4 tsp. per 2-5 gallons(7.5-18.9 liters) 1/2 tsp. per 5-10 gallons(18.9-38 liters)" if you double up like Riki suggests wouldn't it go something like this 1/8tsp 1 gallon, then 1/4tsp 2 gallon, 3/4tsp 3 gallon 1tsp 4 gallon and so on, I think we are getting way to much at 3 gallons my self and wouldn't that start to cause bitterness in you cheeses?  just a thought from a new guy  :-\
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Offline Zinger

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Re: Bitter Cheese
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2012, 06:46:58 PM »
Well, H-K-J, that was my concern as well. As I stated, my Parmesans are fine and I make those in 2 gallon batches.

Linuxboy, thanks for your advice. As I research L. Helveticus, it says that it must be used with Thermophilic culture. Will it work as well with Mesophilic? Also, I hate to ask, but could you translate that .3% bulk into how much per gallon of milk. Sorry for my ignorance and I appreciate your patience and help.

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Bitter Cheese
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2012, 09:15:11 PM »
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it says that it must be used with Thermophilic culture.
Who says that? It's not accurate.
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Will it work as well with Mesophilic?
In the sense that it will help control bitter peptides, yes.

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Also, I hate to ask, but could you translate that .3% bulk into how much per gallon of milk.
.003 x 8.6 lbs = .0258 lbs, which is something like a tablespoon. You don't need much. Add a bit more if you want, will be OK, but no more than .8%, unless you are eating the cheese young (it will taste too much like a parm when it ages otherwise).
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Offline george (MaryJ)

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Re: Bitter Cheese
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2012, 04:35:38 AM »
HKJ also is on target.  Zinger, I stopped getting that same bitterness problem when I stopped doubling up the culture per Carroll recipes.  1/2 tsp should be enough for 3-4 gallons or more (I make 3-gallon batches) - if you're using the NECM packets and using two of them, you're actually adding 1 full teaspoon.
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Offline Tomer1

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Re: Bitter Cheese
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2012, 05:53:01 AM »
Making a mother culture and targeting 1.5-2% bulk (based on your milk volume) is an easy way to culture in the right amount. 
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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Bitter Cheese
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2012, 01:17:38 PM »
Please use manufacturer guidelines for both culture and rennet. Recipes are inexact unless they also specify DCU quantity or rennet strength for the target amount in ml per volume or weight of cheese.
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Offline Zinger

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Re: Bitter Cheese
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2012, 01:18:22 PM »
Thanks everybody for your responses, they really do give me added hope.

Linuxboy, to answer your question; in an effort to find a source for L.Heveticus, I found a supplier that made the statement that it needed to be used with Thermophilic culture. Sources don't seem to be too abundant for LH.

Thanks again.

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Bitter Cheese
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2012, 01:24:39 PM »
Search here for helveticus and read through all of my posts about it. There's better info out there in literature, but I tried to make my writing more accessible, albeit less complete. For a good all-around commercial product, buy some Danisco HelvA.
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Offline Zinger

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Re: Bitter Cheese
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2012, 01:17:48 PM »
This conversation has been so helpful.

What about things like rennet, lipase, salt, etc. Any thoughts on how much to increase (if any) the amounts for these items with a doubled recipe?

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Bitter Cheese
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2012, 01:24:04 PM »
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rennet
Add at the rate of 7-9 ml of 200 IMCU per 100 lbs milk. This is the standard for almost all hard cheeses. Correct and adjust with season and with rennet strength to achieve your target time to floc. Please ignore all other recipes, suggestions, etc. for more info search for the word scaling on the forum. I've posted about this before a few times with more details.

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lipase
Lipase is standardized to lipase units.. .which signifies the rate/quantity of triglyceride degradation based on a tributyrin assay. Please use the suggested total lipase units per 100 lbs milk for the recipe, based on the lipase activity. And some of it takes a bit of tweaking.  Calf lipase is different from kid, which is different from lamb. Generally, the scaling for this is geometric, provided that the initial quantity is correct. The truth is that lipase is generally pretty forgiving... hence a wide range is acceptable for lipase-added cheese.

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salt
Salt at the rate appropriate for the cheese. I have posted ranges before. Generally, 1.6-2.2% for most hard cheeses. When brining, salt uptake depends on cheese composition, temp, and saturation of brine. generally, 3-4 hrs per lb for hard cheese.
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