Author Topic: Rennet Coagulation, Starter Culture Change Resulting In Rapid Flocculation - Causes?  (Read 381 times)

Offline CdnMorganGal

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I followed my usual, standard recipe for a basic hard cheese (16l raw milk, max 3 days old, heat to 88F, add recommended amt for the culture, wait 50-60min, add 40drops rennet - floc time is usually about 14-15min).

Today I changed to a different culture (an RA, usually use MA4000) which I do from time to time with no (previous) appreciable differences occuring during the cheesemaking.  This time my floc time was 4 min - what the heck happened?

Completely stumped - any and all ideas/thoughts appreciated...


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Offline linuxboy

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What was pH of milk when you added rennet?
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Offline CdnMorganGal

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Sorry, havent started checking pH - it hasnt been too long since I learned to start checking floc times.

Offline linuxboy

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K, then a few possibilities

1) Not exact measurement of rennet amt (not likely)
2) Solids are way different in milk, much more protein (possible, but unlikely)
3) New culture amt measured too low (not likely)
4) Faster acidity curve with RA (this is true, but not sure it would be that fast)
5) Milk was mistreated or otherwise had more acid than usual (likely, hard to tell without measurement)

I think it's most likely the last option. A floc of 3-4 mins means pH was 6.3ish or lower. So milk likely had already acidified a little by the time you added starter, and the starter added to the effect.
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Offline CdnMorganGal

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Re. #5
5) Milk was mistreated or otherwise had more acid than usual (likely, hard to tell without measurement)

What sort of factors could contribute to higher than usual acidity?


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Offline linuxboy

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Contamination, or some type of temperature abuse (or both)
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Offline iratherfly

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I will go with #5 too.

How old was the milk? How was it stored? Did you change anything except for the culture? different container or type of container, different fridge or different fridge setup? Different vat material?  Was it from different herd or animal than usual? (that has to do with Linuxboy's #2 possibility. The only way to have dramatic solid difference is by switching from/to young/old cows)

I would compare the acidity curve of your two lactic cultures from their technical datasheet and see if it make sense. I assume they are the same strength/concetration/dosage but if  not - look at Linuxboy's #3