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

euriol euriol at ptd.net
Tue Jun 3 14:56:41 PDT 2008

Thank you Vitha, Dragon & Bear for your feedback.

Making cheese is something very new to me (obviously) and I've been
hesitant over the years to try. When I had easy access to a source of raw
milk I thought it was time to give it a whirl. I'll be doing a little more
reading and will be saving your notes to reference prior to my next
attempt. I always find food science interesting and you've given me much to
think upon.


On Tue, 3 Jun 2008 12:15:19 -0400, "Kerri Martinsen"
<kerri.martinsen at gmail.com> wrote:
> also on rennet - always dilute the rennet (whether tablet or liquid) in
> cup of water per gallon of milk.  This allows for a more consistant
> of the rennet thru the milk and prevents shocking (kinda similar to
> pouring
> bleach directly onto clothes in your washer instead of into the water
> first...)
>>From what I remember Junket is at best 1/2 as strong as cheese rennet...
> And then what Dragon said.
> Vitha
> On 6/3/08, Dragon <dragon at crimson-dragon.com> wrote:
>> Terry Decker wrote:
>> So the question is. what is the science behind the different textures?
>>> Euriol
>>> I can't tell you precisely what is happening, but I can point out the
>>> likely differences.
>>> Rennin is an enzyme, that in an acidic environment (such as that
> created
>>> by lactobacilli) catalyzes the coagulation of casein.  As I understand
> it,
>>> this is a slow conversion process that merely accelerates the natural
>>> curdling of milk beyond sour cream and yougurt to the more solid cheese
>>> curd.  Rennin enables and enhances the conversion, but is not bound up
> in
>>> the process
>>> Vinegar is acetic acid.  Strong acids "cook" proteins, causing them to
>>> coagulate.  Acids produce a lot of hydrogen ions and I suspect that the
>>> coagulation occurs because the hydrogen ions combine with the soluble
>>> protein, but I don't have any texts to hand that would clarify the
> point.
>> ---------------- End original message. ---------------------
>> I believe Bear is essentially correct with this summary.
>> A few more comments:
>> The amount of acid needed to curdle a given quantity of milk for an acid
>> set cheese is not a constant. You can't just measure some amount and add
> it
>> to the milk and expect it to work every time. Milk, lemon juice and even
>> vinegar are variable products and you need to add enough acid to produce
>> full coagulation. How much is enough? It's pretty easy to tell, when you
> see
>> the liquid go from opaque white to a pale, translucent yellow, you have
>> added enough. This generally works out to about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of lemon
>> juice when I do it but you really have to add it a little at a time and
>> watch the reaction.
>> The temperature for making an acid set cheese should also be about 165F
> to
>> 175F, at this temperature range, the acid performs best to cause all of
> the
>> proteins and milk fat to form curds. Below this range you do not get
>> complete conversion, above it, you start to damage the curd.
>> Don't use junket, it is really weak and not a good choice for trying to
>> make any sort of cheese. Get liquid rennet (animal derived is best but
>> vegetable types work OK too).
>> When you use rennet, you still need to allow the milk to acidify prior
> to
>> adding the rennet. If you do not, you will get very rubbery curds. The
>> amount of rennet needed is also variable, the same break from white to
> pale
>> yellow liquid is a good indicator of how much you should add. The
>> acidification of the milk is most often done with a lactobacillus
> culture.
>> These cultures can be ordered from a cheese making supplier.
>> Always stir in your coagulant gently. Too much agitation will break up
> your
>> curds into tiny pieces.
>> Let the curds sit for at least 15 minutes, longer is better. This allows
>> them to come together and be easily removed from the whey. Please note
> that
>> if you use goat milk, all you will get is very fine curds, it simply
> does
>> not set the same way as cow or sheep milk.
>> Get some butter muslin. Especially if you are going to do goat cheese.
> It
>> is much finer weave than cheesecloth. And while we are at it, buy your
>> cheesecloth from a cheese making supplier, not a grocery store, the
>> difference in quality is worth the extra price. The better stuff is
> washable
>> and reusable for a long time, the cheap stuff will fall apart and leave
> lint
>> in your cheese.
>> As for the specifics of temperature, cultures to use, maturing times,
>> molding, aging, etc. I really suggest getting this book which has some
>> excellent information and a lot of recipes:
>> "Home Cheese Making" by Ricki Carrol (ISBN 9781580174640)
>> Dragon
>> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>>  Venimus, Saltavimus, Bibimus (et naribus canium capti sumus)
>> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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