[Sca-cooks] Cheese, a progress report

Craig Jones drakey at internode.on.net
Wed Sep 5 17:28:44 PDT 2007

> You have run into a city-slicker problem, inconsistent
> milk.  When I was using store-bought milk my rennet
> would not work on the milk about 5 percent of the
> time.  It's not because it's pasteurized or old,
> rather what I and other attribute the non-coagulating
> to is the use of antibiotics in the milk. 

I haven't seen that in Australia, but I guess I'm lucky as I
suspect milk additives and standards in Australia are much
higher. The issue I find is that homogenised (unpasturized
milk is illegal, and un-homogenised milk is hard to find
cheap and in bulk) leads to poor yields with rennet and
adding calcium chloride (I get it from my local Greek Bulk
food warehouse) does a great job at unhomogenising the

 I've been
> using raw milk since this past January and have not
> experienced that problem.  Also, as the milk has been
> pasteurized the curd set will be softer.  Generally
> using a vinegar based coagulant will tighten them up a
> bit more than a straight rennet-set will.  It sounds
> to me like you had two problems working against you;
> the lack of rennet set from something in the milk, and
> the soft set from pasteurized milk.

I'm thinking a lack of acidity (from either lactic acid or
acetic acid), leading to poor rennet action (most enzymes
are pH and temperature dependant)

> Here I would use a solid plate to help distribute the
> weight more evenly.  I would also start playing a bit
> with the amount of time the cheese sits in the cloth,
> the longer it sits the more whey should be expelled
> making it a bit easier to handle over time.

I use a piece of PVC pipe (with drilled holes) for the mould
and I press downwards with a perfect fitting piece of
plastic using a screw system to slowly increase the
pressure... Leads to a very aestetic looking piece of cheese
too :)

Welcome to the fun, filled world of the amateur cheesemaker
:)  The bit I find hard is stopping my cheese and brew
cultures from cross contaminating...


ps. Anyone have a consolidate list of period cheese sources
somewhere (Stefan - feel free to jump in here :) )

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