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Old 09-01-2012, 08:00 PM   #1
cdrozda
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Default Whey is not clear, please help!

I'm new to making cheese, so I apologize for my "newbie questions"....

Every time I have made cheese, the whey is not "clear" like Ricki Carrol's Home Cheesemaking book suggests it should be. It is rather opaque, the color of non-fat milk with a yellow-ish cast to it (from B vitamins?). I've made several dozen batches of cheese, all (well, almost all....) had successful clean breaks and tasted ok (or even downright good!).

I'm using fresh raw goat milk from a local farm. I am not pasteurizing the milk, but want to keep it raw. I have tried various modifications to the process, such as using Calcium Chloride, using less rennet (surprising how little it really takes to do the job), using and not using mesophilic culture and/or lipase, culturing times before adding rennet of zero to overnight, varying time before cutting curds. I think I am cutting the curds "gently", with a sharp knife rather than a dull spatula or butter knife.

I have made feta and, more often and most recently, stirred curd cheddar from the Home Cheesemaking book's recipe. I am doing fairly well (I think) with getting the temps right.

Before cutting the curds, the whey appears to be clear, as much as I can see around the uncut curds in the pan. As soon as I start cutting, the whey gets milky looking. Ricki Carrol says that "after letting the cut curds rest, the whey will become clear again". Not happening for me.

I know the whey has some fat in it because when it sits for a week or 2, a layer of (yummy!) separated fat comes to the top. The whey tastes great, and makes good ricotta, too. After making ricotta, the cooked whey left over is indeed clear with a yellowish cast.

What, if anything, am I doing wrong? Isn't that fat supposed to end up in my cheese?

Thank you all for the help, and for sharing what you know about making cheese!

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