Author Topic: After Forming, Swelling/Spongy - Yeast or Coliform Problem?  (Read 2704 times)

Offline Laurels Crown

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Re: After Forming, Swelling/Spongy - Yeast or Coliform Problem?
« Reply #15 on: August 29, 2012, 11:25:39 AM »
Hi folks,
I really appreciate everyone who has weighed in on my dilemma.  I am pleased to report I have made 16 lbs of cheese (stilton, bel paese, cheddar) and all batches are EXCELLENT!

My number one change has been decreasing the time to bring it to temperature before adding the cultures.  I am taking careful stock of all the other suggestions to extra ensure success but so far - so good.

Thanks for the help - you saved my sanity (and my hair)  :D


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Offline BobE102330

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Re: After Forming, Swelling/Spongy - Yeast or Coliform Problem?
« Reply #16 on: August 29, 2012, 01:07:59 PM »
I haven't had this issue, but how quickly should one raise the temperature up to culturing temperature?  I can see I got lucky leaving my milk out while sterilizing, but is 3 degrees or so per 5 minutes fast enough to usually preclude problems?   I am using pasteurized milk, so it probably isn't as much of an issue as with fresh milk, but I want to be safe once I get fresh.  Thanks.

Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: After Forming, Swelling/Spongy - Yeast or Coliform Problem?
« Reply #17 on: August 29, 2012, 05:02:24 PM »
When I start heating my milk, I want it to be ready to go in no more than 45 minutes. So if I am going from cold milk at 36F to 86F, that's 50 degrees in 45 minutes. At 3 degrees per 5 minutes, that would take you 83 minutes to get to ripening temperature. I would consider that too slow and could allow contaminants to begin to multiply. Figure that 1/2 of that time is within a range where the bacteria are really active, so you have over 40 minutes of time for contaminants to multiply. Bacteria double their population every 20 minutes, so the contaminants would increase at least 4 fold during that time.
A moldy Stilton is a thing of beauty. Yes, you eat the rind. - Ed
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Offline BobE102330

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Re: After Forming, Swelling/Spongy - Yeast or Coliform Problem?
« Reply #18 on: August 29, 2012, 07:09:06 PM »
Thanks Sailor.  A cheese to you!

Offline Laurels Crown

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Re: After Forming, Swelling/Spongy - Yeast or Coliform Problem?
« Reply #19 on: August 29, 2012, 07:42:27 PM »
At the risk of a dumb question......so, I have eliminated the spongy cheese by shortening the warm up time and the cheese will look great BUT would the cheese be considered "contaminated" if I were to continue using the same milk source(assuming they continued whatever they were doing) or do the cheese cultures overcome the other bacteria if growing properly?  I am thinking from a commercial standpoint.

I hope that question makes sense......


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Offline iratherfly

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Re: After Forming, Swelling/Spongy - Yeast or Coliform Problem?
« Reply #20 on: August 30, 2012, 12:07:01 AM »
Well, you always want to use the best and cleanest milk possible and if you think commercially - you would test the milk and look the the numbers to make sure it meets your standards.

It is very possible that the long heat-up cycle gave the upper hand to existing bacteria which out-competed your inoculated cultures. Remember that pathogens love un-acidic environment and body-like temperatures. Add the food (lactose) to it and you are giving them a highway for multiplying.

You can help preventing it with shortning heating stage, pre-inoculation the milk, or switching strains of your starter culture (for example if you are using MA4001, switch to MA4002, or if you use Flora Danica, change to Aroma B or Probat 222). Other than that, if you are using raw milk you should always make sure it is regulated and tested.

Offline CdnMorganGal

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Re: After Forming, Swelling/Spongy - Yeast or Coliform Problem?
« Reply #21 on: September 12, 2012, 10:20:04 PM »
How would switching from MA4001 to MA4002 help?

What is pre-inoculating the milk?

In my case, I am working with raw milk.

Thank you.

Offline iratherfly

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Re: After Forming, Swelling/Spongy - Yeast or Coliform Problem?
« Reply #22 on: September 12, 2012, 11:33:36 PM »
Some cultures are made to do identical work but they have different strains of the same species. They have similar name - only the last digit is different.  Some examples are MA4000, MA4001, MA4002, or MM100, MM101, MM103, TA50, TA51 to 56, TA60 to 62, LBC 81 to 82, MA11 to 19, etc.

It usually is no concern for the home cheesemaker, but creameries rotate cultures regularly to prevent phage: If something attacks a given strain of culture, when they switch to the next number in the series that phage will not know how to attack a totally new strain so it will die off and disappear. The cheese however will be exactly the same.

It's just like how Influenza get smart on us. We develop immunity to one strain and then it switches the strain on us and we get the flu, even though we got a flu shot, right? Next season the new shot will outsmart that influenza strain.  In the case of cheese, the culture needs to behave like that smart influenza. Does that make sense?

Pre inoculating is a technique to propagate some lactic bacterium slowly in pasteurized milk, to grow back a few off the flavor elements that were lost during pasteurization. When you do that, you also create a competition of species which could have the benefit of defeating or weakening some pathogens.