Do you have a curly cheese making question?

Yes. This is generally fine, because the good bacteria you added, should be stronger than any spoilage bacteria, and should be able to dominate the fermentation. Just ensure the milk is completely covered during the ripening time, to avoid contamination.

There are many factors that influence the final yield of cheese. Yield is influenced by the milk brand, seasonal variation of the milk, the milk acidity, curd temperature, setting time, skim milk powder addition, calcium chloride addition and how the curds have been handled (amongst other factors).

Ways to maximise your yield:

  • Add calcium chloride (except mozzarella).

  • Add skim milk powder to your milk (except mozzarella).

  • Ensure curd setting time is followed.

  • Use the freshest, best quality, full-fat, unhomogenised milk possible.

  • Always handle curds with extreme care.

Absolutely, just be aware that you must be using a recipe that specifies goat’s milk. Cow’s milk and goats milk are not interchangeable as they have very different properties. More in-depth info about using goat’s milk for homemade cheeses can be found here.

Check out our list of tried and tested unhomogenised milk brands appropriate for cheese making in Australia.

A few things need to be considered:

  • The rennet health: Ensure the rennet has been stored correctly, and is not past its expiry date.

  • Time and temperature challenge: If you were unable to maintain a nice warm temperature over a time period, as specified by the recipe, the rennet activity declines. It should still set, but may take much longer.

  • Non-chlorinated water: Did you dilute the rennet in tap water? Rennet must always be diluted in cool, non-chlorinated water. At home you can use cooled, boiled water – as the chlorine is lost during the boiling phase.

  • Disturbing the curd formation: You need to ensure the milk is completely still/undisturbed once the rennet has been stirred through. Continued stirring, or movement of the milk will disrupt the curd formation.

  • The right milk: Ensure the correct milk has been used, as specified by the recipe.

Unhomogenised milk has gone through one less processing step than most of the milk we buy in Australia, but it has still been pasteurised so it’s completely safe and legal.

Homogenisation breaks the structure of the proteins into much smaller pieces, and disperses the butterfat globules evenly throughout the milk (this is why unhomogenised milk usually has a layer of cream on the surface). Unfortunately homogenisation does cause lasting damage to the milk in relation to cheese making, and thus is not always ideal for the home cheese maker.

Find further information about milk processing and where to buy unhomogenised milk in Australia here.

Calcium chloride is a natural calcium salt solution. During pasteurisation, and the subsequent rapid cooling of store-bought milk, the calcium and protein balance is disrupted. Adding calcium chloride to store-bought milk, restores this natural balance. Its addition improves the rennet coagulation properties of the milk, resulting in a firmer curd and a higher yield of cheese.

This is most likely due to having over-worked your curd during the stretching stage. Over-stretching the curd, or squeezing it to much, results in a loss of butter fat which provides softness and creaminess in your cheese. The less you can work it, whilst still getting it glossy, is the best.

Place your cheese in some milk for 1-2 hours, the milk will draw out a portion of the salt.

This can be due to two factors. Either the brine solution has a lower calcium level than the feta, leeching calcium out of the cheese, causing it to become slimy, or the cheese acidity is higher than that of the brine again, leeching calcium from the cheese. Both can be fixed by adding some calcium chloride or acidity (citric acid or white vinegar) to the brine solution.

A few things need to be considered:

  • The rennet health: Ensure the rennet has been stored correctly, and is not past its expiry date.

  • Time and temperature challenge: If you were unable to maintain a nice warm temperature over a time period, as specified by the recipe, the rennet activity declines. It should still set, but may take much longer.

  • Non-chlorinated water: Did you dilute the rennet in tap water? Rennet must always be diluted in cool, non-chlorinated water. At home you can use cooled, boiled water – as the chlorine is lost during the boiling phase.

  • Disturbing the curd formation: You need to ensure the milk is completely still/undisturbed during the setting time. Movement of the milk will disrupt the curd formation.

  • The right milk: Ensure the correct milk has been used, as specified by the recipe.

 

A few things need to be considered:

  • The starter culture health: Ensure the starter culture has been stored correctly and is not past its expiry date.

  • Time and temperature challenge: If you were unable to maintain a nice warm temperature over a time period, as specified by the recipe, the starter culture activity declines. It should still set, but may take much longer.

  • The right milk: Ensure the correct milk has been used, as specified by the recipe.

  • Disturbing the curd formation: You need to ensure the milk is completely still/undisturbed during the setting time. Movement of the milk will disrupt the curd formation.

 

Liquid whey has already had a good portion of the milk proteins extracted for the first cheese, and therefore the remaining milk proteins are relatively minimal. The final yield can also be influenced by seasonal variation, the whey acidity, temperature and the type of cheese they whey came from.

Successfully getting stretchy mozzarella comes down to several factors:

  • The quality of the milk: The milk needs to be fresh and un-homogenised. However, even some un-homogenised milk brands won’t be successful at times, due to seasonal fluctuations in the milk, or if the milk has been pasteurised at a high temperature. See our tried and tested unhomogenised milk recommendations.

  • The right amount of acidity: Mozzarella only stretches at the ‘perfect’ acidity (PH 5.2), therefore it’s important you ensure you use a measured 5ml teaspoon to measure the citric acid. Be vigilant in your measurement or get yourself some PH testing strips.

  • Temperature: The curd needs to be approximately 75°C to become stretchy.

  • Cheese making citric acid: Supermarket citric acid may have other additives. It’s best to use a citric acid specified for cheese making.

That’s fine. Just make sure you cool the milk back down to the correct temperature before adding your starter culture and/or rennet.

Can’t find the answer you’re looking for? Get in touch with us here.