[Sca-cooks] A different "Fresh Cheese" question

Cassandra Baldassano euriol at ptd.net
Mon Jun 2 20:37:15 PDT 2008

Hello all,

This past weekend I got my hands on several gallons of raw milk (the milk
was from Saturday’s morning milking). On Saturday afternoon I tried making
cheese using lemon juice as my acid. It was about 3 gallons of milk to a
half gallon of lemon juice. I brought the milk up to about 160F (I only had
access to one of those 25000 BTU burners) and the curds were very small and
hard to gather with the equipment I had on hand (This was at an event this
past weekend and the cheese was originally intended as a part of lunch
featuring dishes from Catalonia). 

The rest of the milk remained in coolers and I was able to make cheese
today. I had about 4 gallons in one pot and 5 gallons in another pot. I
brought both pots up to about 120F. In the 5 gallon pot I placed 8 junket
tablets (they have rennet in them) and in the other pot a quart of distilled
white vinegar. The one with the junket tablets in it I let set for nearly an
hour and the curds were not so much that they could be cut, but I could use
a strainer that I usually use for deep frying to lift them out of the whey
and put them in a cloth lined colander nestled in a bowl. The one with the
vinegar immediately coagulated to form a very elastic cheese, it reminded me
of fresh mozzarella. I managed to get most of the whey pressed out (I don’t
really have proper equipment for pressing it as if I were about to make an
aged cheese, yet) and the vinegar based curds still had it’s elastic type
texture. The junket based curds came out more like the curds in ricotta or
cottage cheese, but had a very rubbery texture.

So the question is
 what is the science behind the different textures?

I’d like to note it was quite fascinating doing this side by side.


Euriol of Lothian, OP
Minister of Arts & Sciences, Barony of Endless Hills
Clerk, Order of the Pelican, Kingdom of Æthelmearc

"I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was
service. I acted and behold, service was joy."
-Robindranath Tagore, Poet/Playwright/Essayist 1913 Nobel Prize for

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