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Cheese Making Questions

 

What happens if I do not get a clean break?
What is the best milk for cheese making?
Can I use UHT or Ultra Pasteurised milk for cheese making?
Can I use homogenised milk for cheese making?
Can I make cheese from soy milk?
How can I keep the humidity up when maturing cheeses?
Can I use herbs to flavour my cheese or will this affect the ageing process?
Is it possible to make smaller/larger quantities of the cheeses?
How do I keep my cheese at the correct temperature while it is maturing?
Why is my milk not setting?
Why is my cheese excessively dry?
Why is my cheese becoming oily when air drying?
How do you make cheese?
What are the bacteria strains in our cheese cultures?

What happens if I do not get a clean break?
Leave the cheese a little longer, and see if you get a clean break then. Check your rennet has not expired. If the rennet has expired, the milk may take longer to coagulate, and you may find you have to wait longer.

What is the best milk for cheese making?
It is best to use unhomogenised milk for cheese making. There are some brands of unhomogenised milk available at supermarkets, however, you may also like to purchase it directly from local farms. This guarantees you the freshest milk which will result in the highest yield.

Can I use UHT or Ultra Pasteurised milk for cheese making?
You can use UHT milk for simple cheeses that do not contain rennet such as ricotta, quark and yoghurt. It is good to use UHT milk in quark and yoghurt because ultra heat treated milk denatures more proteins than normal milk, which results in a better consistency.

Can I use homogenised milk for cheese making?
Using homogenised milk is fine, however not ideal. When making cheese from homogenised milk you may experience a softer curd which can be broken very easily. To help firm up this curd it is recommended that you add calcium chloride to your milk (homogenised milk with the addition of calcium chloride can not be used for mozzarella). 

Can I make cheese from soy milk?
Soy cheeses can be made from any cheese recipe that does not contain rennet. This includes fresh style cheeses such as quark, ricotta and yoghurt cheese.

How can I keep the humidity up when maturing cheeses?
This can be difficult, especially if you are maturing cheeses in a large fridge which can dry the cheese out. For the small scale cheese maker, the best way to keep up the humidity is by using a Mad Millie Maturing Box. These air tight containers with a rack at the bottom ensure the humidity stays high while air can circulate around the cheese while it matures.

Can I use herbs to flavour my cheese or will this affect the ageing process?
Yes you can add herbs to your cheese and it will not affect the ageing process. However, if you are ageing your cheese, we recommend that you use dried herbs. Fresh herbs may be carrying harmful microbes that grow in your cheese as it ages.

Is it possible to make smaller/larger quantities of the cheeses?
Yes, you can half or double the quantities of ingredients in each recipe to suit. However, if you want to make half the recipe of mozzarella, use the same amount of rennet as you would for four litres of milk, otherwise you may find that your milk will not set.

How do I keep my cheese at the correct temperature while it is maturing?
The temperatures that are stated in the Mad Millie recipes are very much approximate measurements. Approximately the temperature the recipe states is fine. If you have a spare fridge in which you can change the temperature you can use this or even in your garage or basement. If you find that mould does not start to grow try putting it in a slightly warmer place.

Why is my milk not setting?
There are number of reasons why your milk has not set, here are some reasons:

1. Too little rennet was used.
2. Your Rennet is expired or has deteriorated due to incorrect storing conditions.
3. Your thermometre is faulty, milk temperature is too low or too high.
4. Rennet activity was destroyed by diluting the rennet with warm water or with chlorinated water. Use unchlorinated, cool water.

Why is my cheese excessively dry?
There are a number of reasons why this is the case. Some of the reasons are:

1. An insufficient amount of rennet was added.
2. The curd was cut into cubes that were too small.
3. The curd was overly agitated.

Why is my cheese becoming oily when air drying?
One reason why your cheese is becoming oily is that your cheese is being air dried at too high a temperature. Move your cheese to a cooler room, the temperature should not exceed 18 degrees celsius (65 degrees fahrenheit). Another reason maybe that you stirred your curd too vigorously, the curd needs to be handled very gently.

How do you make cheese?
Making cheese is an ancient craft which dates back to preindustrial times when animals were first domesticated. All cheeses are made from souring milk through either the addition of an acid (i.e. vinegar, or lemon juice), or more commonly, the addition of certain bacterial cultures. The result of souring the milk causes the milk to separate into a solid (curd) and liquid (whey). Most cheese is then made from the curds. These can be cooked, pressed, moulded, salted and matured in different ways to create different cheeses.

The image below illustrates the basic process of cheese making. Most cheese making will follow a similar process to this, however, you may find with the more advanced cheeses there will be a few additional steps.

cheese steps dec 2011 1

What are the bacteria strains in our cheese cultures?
 

Mesophilic- Lactococcus lactis subsp.lactis, Lactococcus lactis subsp. Cremoris

Thermophilic- Streptococcus thermophilus

Aromatic Mesophilic-Lactococcus lactis subsp. Cremoris
                               Leuconostoc
                               Lactococcus lactis subsp.lactis
                               Lactococcus lactis subsp.lactis biovar diacetylactis

Probiotic Yoghurt- Lactobacillus acidophilus, Streptococcus thermophilus, Bifidobacterium



 
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