Author Topic: Pre-ripening milk  (Read 1634 times)

Offline scasnerkay

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Pre-ripening milk
« on: July 28, 2012, 02:27:47 PM »
I have read of some folks finding an advantage to putting the powdered starter culture in the milk while it stays in the frig overnight. I use a good quality non-homogenized milk for my cheeses, and at this point do not have access to raw milk. So I am thinking of trying this pre-ripening and I have some questions about it...
Does this improve flavor somehow?
Does the acid level drop faster on heating the milk to temperature?
Could there be any negative effects from doing this?
Would it be okay to try on most any cheese make?
What would be the flavor difference with doing this versus doing a mother culture?
I have not yet tried doing mother cultures, because I make cheese at most 2 times a month, so it seems like the dehydrated culture is easier.
Susan


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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Pre-ripening milk
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2012, 03:23:11 PM »
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Does this improve flavor somehow?
Yes. In cheese, slow is almost always better because it leads to a smoother transition between states. Slowing down acid production helps form additional flavor and aroma compounds. And more importantly, it slowly works on the casein bonds, gently breaking them apart in preparation for the enzymatic phase.

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Does the acid level drop faster on heating the milk to temperature?
Depends on the amount and type of inoculant. You could use .1% FD, for example, which doesn't make much of a difference to pH. Or you can use a fast acidifier that would drop acidity off a cliff once it hits 6.2.

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Could there be any negative effects from doing this?
May be harder to control acidity targets and texture targets, especially as you are dialing in amounts and culture types for your milk.

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Would it be okay to try on most any cheese make?
Yes.

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What would be the flavor difference with doing this versus doing a mother culture?
A mother all it really gives you is live, happy, active cultures right away for a faster pH drop and faster make. A slow acidification gives you more even casein degradation right away (generally improves paste properties), and also forms additional flavor and aroma compounds.

There's one other benefit, which is that for some strains of lactic bacteria, they will inhibit pathogens and psychrotrophs, decreasing fat breakdown in raw milk and preserving its quality. But that is strain specific.



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Offline scasnerkay

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Re: Pre-ripening milk
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2012, 05:08:21 PM »
Thank you LB, I understand most of what you wrote, but have more questions to try and clarify in my mind for my next cheese....
Because some inoculants are faster acidifiers, I am guessing that one would need to moniter for the .1 drop expected before adding the rennet, and not just go by the recommended time for the cheese make. For example, just now I have milk for caerphilly in the pot coming to temperature, I will add the inoculant FD and wait the recommended 1 hour and test the pH again to see if it has dropped from 6.6 to 6.5, then add the rennet. If I had added the FD to the milk yesterday, would I expect that process to be different?
Could you give me an example of an innoculant where the process would be faster/different?
Is there a maximum time ahead of make for the inoculant to be added? Would it spoil the milk after some time?
My next make will probably be gouda again, and the recipe would use FD and MM100. What would you say I should watch for if I add the inoculant the day before?
Thank you
Susan

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Pre-ripening milk
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2012, 05:46:52 PM »
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Because some inoculants are faster acidifiers, I am guessing that one would need to moniter for the .1 drop expected before adding the rennet, and not just go by the recommended time for the cheese make.
The reason people use time in the make is because it is one useful measure that anyone can use, based on what worked for one person with that unique situation of milk and place. Time is a secondary indicator because what it really signifies is when to take action based on pH. In all cheese, for all styles of makes, pH is key, including rate of pH change (which incorporates time)

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For example, just now I have milk for caerphilly in the pot coming to temperature, I will add the inoculant FD and wait the recommended 1 hour and test the pH again to see if it has dropped from 6.6 to 6.5, then add the rennet. If I had added the FD to the milk yesterday, would I expect that process to be different?
With .1-.2% bulk inoculation in cold milk with overnight hold, use 20-25% less starter and pH curve should be about identical.
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Could you give me an example of an innoculant where the process would be faster/different?
same as above but do not reduce starter amount. Will overshoot tail end of pH curve, although should still hit drain targets. If you are adding mother starter plus doing overnight hold, different story, because the pH drop to drain for mother is faster.

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Is there a maximum time ahead of make for the inoculant to be added? Would it spoil the milk after some time?
Not really, it depends on the amount and holding temp. if you keep it at 33F and add .2%, it will last for 2-4 days. I would say as rule of thumb, not more than 3 days.
Quote
My next make will probably be gouda again, and the recipe would use FD and MM100. What would you say I should watch for if I add the inoculant the day before?
pH curve, for reading and derivative (meaning rate of change.. aka pH curve)
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Offline scasnerkay

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Re: Pre-ripening milk
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2012, 06:29:53 PM »
What about mozzarella? Would it work to add the thermophillic culture tonight, keep the milk in the frig, and make the cheese tomorrow? Would I bring it to temp, measure the pH and proceed with adding the rennet when I get to 6.3 or 6.2?
And if I want to add lipase, could it also be added the night ahead?
« Last Edit: August 11, 2012, 10:21:00 PM by scasnerkay »
Susan


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Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: Pre-ripening milk
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2012, 12:10:55 PM »
Thermophiles like warmer temperatures, so you really accomplish nothing by keeping it in the frig.
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Offline bbracken677

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Re: Pre-ripening milk
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2012, 05:16:37 PM »
Would probably achieve the same results by adding the thermophilic when you start warming up your milk...as opposed to waiting until it reaches temp. Perhaps the therm would begin propagating prior to reaching optimum temp and this would increase the population. Not sure what difference that would make as opposed to just extending inoculation time.

Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: Pre-ripening milk
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2012, 06:54:20 PM »
Bacteria will double their population every 20 minutes under proper conditions, so you need to be careful about not overdosing.
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Offline bbracken677

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Re: Pre-ripening milk
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2012, 07:29:39 PM »
Out of curiosity...what would be the result of overdosing?

Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: Pre-ripening milk
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2012, 09:45:02 AM »
Overdosing on starter means that the bacteria are going to produce acid much faster. That can completely change the timing on your make and can lead to a finished cheese that is too acidic - dry & crumbly, with texture defects. That's another reason not to add bacteria too early.
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Offline bbracken677

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Re: Pre-ripening milk
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2012, 02:41:34 PM »
Thanks!  I would never have connected adding culture early with texture defects..

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Re: Pre-ripening milk
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2012, 12:26:19 PM »
A bit of a stray from the topic, but related...

One traditional practice in the Alps is to leave the evening milk sit out in shallow pans, known is Swiss German as Gäbse (or Gebse). These sit out in a vented room in the Alp-house that will usually be 40s or 50s F during the night.

The reason for this is two-fold.
1: The wide, shallow pan lets the cream settle in a layer that can be easily skimmed off, if you want to make butter.
2: This allows for some mesophilic wild ripening to occur (and it does happen, trust me). These pans are sometimes called ripening pans. This is really an advantage if you are going to make butter, you have a cultured cream that makes really nice, thick butter.

The cream is skimmed off and added to the morning milk in the vat, which is heated up before the evening milk is added. This gives the meso cultures the opportunity to add little nuance of flavor to the cheese before they are killed off. But just a little bit.

In other words, you wind up with a meso-ripened milk used to make a thermophilic hard cheese.
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