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Old 08-30-2012, 09:40 PM   #1
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Default Cheese won't work.. And I live in Wisconsin..

I have attempted twice now. Each time with 1 gallon of whole milk from the supermarket since that's all I can find. I looked for the stuff that was just homogenized and pasteurized not ultra pasteurized.

Attempt one was with yougurt with live active cultures as the starter I put it in per the directions for "basic hard cheese" and let it sit for 2 hours which was more than the 1 hour stated the milk was not thick at the end of 2 hours (should be a good thing I have heard) I then added the half rennet tablet and it never formed a clean break and yes the milk was at 30C or 86F. Everything was sanitized (I brew beer.. successfully). I had to dump it as I never got the clean break after a day.

Attempt two used buttermilk as per directions on different "simple hard cheese" recipe. I used 1 gallon of the same milk freshest bottle I could get. 1/4 cup buttermilk and let this one sit overnight as per the directions. In the morning it was thick (I heard this was bad and will never form a clean break). Either way I tried and warmed it to 30C and added the .5 rennet tablet. No clean break not even close after 4 hours it was yogurt consistency still if that. I added another half tablet and nothing happens even after 4 more hours....

Do I need CaCl2? is that the magic answer here? Is the store bought milk never going to do? Should I try something different with the starter ( I want to use either yogurt or buttermilk and both of the ones I had did have live active cultures)

I just want to make basic hard cheese and if it works I'll be putting the peppers I grew in my garden into it to make some faux pepper jack.

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Old 08-30-2012, 09:45 PM   #2
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Wow- that's a hard one. Have you tried purchased cheese cultures and rennet, instead of store bought yogurt and buttermilk? Maybe the yogurt and buttermilk didn't have enough lacto cultures to set up?

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Old 08-30-2012, 09:52 PM   #3
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Wow- that's a hard one. Have you tried purchased cheese cultures and rennet, instead of store bought yogurt and buttermilk? Maybe the yogurt and buttermilk didn't have enough lacto cultures to set up?
Yeah, that and I thought it was Cacl2 that aided the solidifying of the curd using store bought pasturized milk.
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Old 08-30-2012, 10:38 PM   #4
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Well the buttermilk definitley had enough cultures because the milk was clabbered from it by the next day which violates the 4th factor. Fresh store milk should be good its pasteurized and sealed so...
I used store bought rennet tablets but can't find the mono lactic starters here so I rely on buttermilk or yogurt.

Critical factors in getting a clean break:

Good quality fresh milk (if it has started to turn or has a high bacterial count, it can interfere with lactic bacteria)
Active bacterial starter, correct proportions mixed in thoroughly
Proper incubation with the starter to slightly acidify the milk.
NOT over acidified. This would cause it to slightly clabber (thicken). Even slightly clabbered milk will never yield a clean break.
Active rennet, correct proportions, mixed in thoroughly
Correct time and temp for coagulation, undisturbed.
See below for a discussion of the possible need for calcium to get firm curd in store-bought milk...

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Old 08-30-2012, 10:43 PM   #5
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I'd definitely double check to make sure the milk isn't ultrapasteurized, use calcl2, and buy some commercial cheese cultures. If you have to order them online, I like this site: http://www.cheesemaking.com/cheesemakingingredients.html

I've ordered all of my cultures and rennet from that site, and been very pleased.

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Old 08-31-2012, 07:31 AM   #6
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Check that your milk is not about to expire. It needs to be as fresh as possible. How is your rennet stored? I use liquid rennet, and one time I made cheese 4 months after opening the bottle. It was still within the expiry date, and stored in the fridge. Didn't achieve a clean break in 4 hours and had to chuck the entire thing. 2.5g of milk.

Did you make a starter for your culture? I incubate 1l whole milk with 3dl of yoghurt overnight at 30c for starters.

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Old 08-31-2012, 01:59 PM   #7
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My experiences with store bought milk have not been good for cheese & yogurt making. High temp pasteurization, even if technically not UHT, denatures proteins and emulsifiers are often added to assist with homogenization. Both of these work against in you in cheese making. I have also discovered that with some commercial milks they remove some or all of the milk fats and replace them with vegetable fats -- this of course wont work at all for cheese making -- the result is pretty gross.

I suggest two things. One, purchase a culture appropriate to the cheese you want to make. Two, find a local source of good milk -- after all if you don't start with good ingredients the result is not going to be good.

I get mine straight from the cow so I know it is all natural. Of course, in the USA the ATF may come raid your home if you do this, but it is the ideal source for making cheese. Surely being in Wisconsin there must be a source for good milk -- like a local dairy?

Get some good milk and you will be absolutely amazed at the difference in working with it. I tried several batches with store bought stuff and had results similar to yours. The first batch I made with real milk was like an epiphany -- oh, so that's what a clean break is supposed to look like! And, with real milk you don't need to add a bunch of junk to try and make it work. These additives are just compensating for poor quality (over processed) milk.

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Old 08-31-2012, 09:35 PM   #8
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The store bought milk was brand new with 14 days left on the sell by date. Not ultra homogenized just homogenized but it was pasteurized because of laws but I don't know to which criteria flash/low temp etc... I got it to work on the thrid try using a recipe that was slightly different from the other two I had used in that you put 1/4c yogurt in and rennet at the same time and bring it to 86F. This worked great and the cheese is now in the fridge in a bandage after my pressing. It seems using a starter for me over(the buttermilk overnight one) acidified the milk and it was too thick before adding the rennet and the other method (yogurt for a few hours then rennet) just was a fluke or had something in the chemistry working against me. From now on I'll do the culture if i order some or yogurt concurrently with the rennet. I think as the milk gets acidified by the cultures in the yogurt the rennet acts on it right away and the temperatures make it go quickly at the same time so that when the milk is perfectly acidified it has already been acted on by the rennet producing the perfect hard break. The hard break I got with store whole milk on the third try was just like the pictures with no residue left.

Also even old store bought milk is in a impervious sealed container and its pasteurized so I hardly think age would matter for that as long as its not past the sell by date? Eiter way I did use fresh stuff.

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Old 09-20-2012, 10:46 PM   #9
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M And, with real milk you don't need to add a bunch of junk to try and make it work. These additives are just compensating for poor quality (over processed) milk.
True. I made Gouda last night with store bought Homo milk and it took like 1 hour to get a clean break, which wasn't too bad considering the milk.

Anyway it's on the smoker now for smoking at 73f and then into the cave to dry
out before waxing it.

Sorry for the poor quality of the picture.

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Old 09-28-2012, 01:09 AM   #10
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go to Pick or Sendicks and try using Oberwiesse milk (1/2 gallon glass jug). . . works great for me

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