Author Topic: How do I know if I have the right amount of CaCl2?  (Read 1172 times)

Offline Caseus

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Texas
  • Posts: 227
  • Cheeses: 5
  • Cheese is good
How do I know if I have the right amount of CaCl2?
« on: May 01, 2012, 12:53:25 AM »
I know what happens if you don't use enough.  My underlying question is, what happens if you use too much? 

I'm using low-temperature pasteurized non-homogenized Jersey cow milk with lots of fat in it to make cheese.  So far, I've been adding CaCl2 at the rate recommended by whatever recipe I'm using, or the rate specified on the bottle (30% CaCl2 solution).  Generally that means about 1/4 tsp per gallon of milk, sometimes a bit less. 

I've never had a problem (in all my four cheeses so far  :) ) with poor curd formation or low yield (I'm getting more than a pound of cheese per gallon of milk).  So I believe I'm not using too little CaCl2.  But am I using more than I need, or too much?  How can I tell?


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


Offline NimbinValley

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Australia
  • Posts: 288
  • Cheeses: 7
  • Default personal text
Re: How do I know if I have the right amount of CaCl2?
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2012, 07:37:42 AM »
I think generally too much CaCl will cause bitterness. It is only necessary if the milk is low in ca so if you are getting sufficient curd firmness without using it you may not need to use it at all.  I think since it is cheap it is used basically as an insurance.

Offline Caseus

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Texas
  • Posts: 227
  • Cheeses: 5
  • Cheese is good
Re: How do I know if I have the right amount of CaCl2?
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2012, 09:14:13 AM »
Well, I have been using it.  I haven't tried making cheese without it.  I just don't want to go overboard on it, especially if it can cause bitterness in the cheese.  The problem is I have to wait several months to find that out.

I'll need to do a renneting curd set test without it and/or with reduced amounts to understand the effect on my milk and fine tune the amounts needed.  That's probably the easiest way for me to tell.

Offline linuxboy

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Ukiah, CA
  • Posts: 3,986
  • Cheeses: 198
  • www.wacheese.com
    • Washington Cheese Guild
Re: How do I know if I have the right amount of CaCl2?
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2012, 09:15:52 AM »
More texture defects than bitterness. chalky, weird slicing, etc. You're not using much, you're fine. Legal limit is 20 g anhydrous per 100 kg of milk (.2%). You're using under .1%
Taking an extended leave (until 2015) from the forums to build out my farm and dairy. Please e-mail or PM if you need anything.

Offline Caseus

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Texas
  • Posts: 227
  • Cheeses: 5
  • Cheese is good
Re: How do I know if I have the right amount of CaCl2?
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2012, 09:31:28 AM »
Thank you, linuxboy.  I'll put that worry out of my head then unless I detect those kinds of problems.


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


Offline Sailor Con Queso

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Kentucky
  • Posts: 2,522
  • Cheeses: 125
    • Boone Creek Creamery
Re: How do I know if I have the right amount of CaCl2?
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2012, 11:07:46 AM »
Legal limit is 20 g anhydrous per 100 kg of milk (.2%).

LB - How does that translate when using a 30% liquid solution? Right now I am using 30ml in a 37 gallon make, but I vary that with the seasons and the milk.
A moldy Stilton is a thing of beauty. Yes, you eat the rind. - Ed
www.boonecreekcreamery.com

Offline Caseus

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Texas
  • Posts: 227
  • Cheeses: 5
  • Cheese is good
Re: How do I know if I have the right amount of CaCl2?
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2012, 12:26:12 PM »
If a 30% solution means 30 grams CaCl2 per 100 ml of solution, then 30 ml of 30% solution would contain 9 grams of CaCl2. 

So how much does 37 gallons of milk weigh in kilograms?   Peter Dixon says 1 gallon of cow or goat milk weighs 8.6 pounds.  So 37 gallons weighs 318.2 pounds = 144.33 kilograms. 

9 grams in 144.33 kg of milk is .063% (rounded), so you are under .1%

Assuming my math and assumptions (weight of a gallon of milk, meaning of 30% solution) are correct.

EDIT:   Nope, my math is wrong.   144.33 kg is 144,330 grams.  9 grams is .0062% of 144330 grams.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2012, 12:43:37 PM by Caseus »

Offline dthelmers

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Meriden, CT. USA
  • Posts: 486
  • Cheeses: 27
    • Homely Arts
Re: How do I know if I have the right amount of CaCl2?
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2012, 01:08:14 PM »
Since your milk is not homogenized, you may not need any calcium chloride. It's my understanding that it is the homogenization that effects calcium, not the pasteurization. I always get a good curd from non-homogenized milk; my daughter uses it regularly for making mozzarella and always gets a good curd set.
Dave in CT

Offline Caseus

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Texas
  • Posts: 227
  • Cheeses: 5
  • Cheese is good
Re: How do I know if I have the right amount of CaCl2?
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2012, 01:29:32 PM »
I'm tempted to try it without the CaCl2 one time, just to see what the difference is, Dave.  Actually, doing a side-by-side make, one with and one without CaCl2, all other things held equal, would be better for me since I can't guarantee even reasonably close consistency in the process if I do them on different days.   :-[

Offline dthelmers

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Meriden, CT. USA
  • Posts: 486
  • Cheeses: 27
    • Homely Arts
Re: How do I know if I have the right amount of CaCl2?
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2012, 02:25:25 PM »
If your milk supply is consistent you should get pretty repeatable results. I have several brands of commercial milk I can get here, and each brand curds differently, but always the same way. One brand, though homogenized, doesn't actually need calcium chloride.
Dave in CT


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