Wheyward Bound Cheesemaking Club of Sonoma County Message Board › Pasturizing milk (what NOT to do!) and pressing cheese

Pasturizing milk (what NOT to do!) and pressing cheese

A former member
Post #: 3
I bought 12 gallons of milk from John last Saturday with plans to make Fontina, stirred curd Cheddar, chaource, brie and a bloomy rind blue cheese. For the brie and chaource, I had decided to make a half batch with raw milk and a half batch with pasturized milk to compare the differences in yield, flavor and texture, and for the blue, I was going to only use the pasturized. After spending the whole day making the Fontina and Cheddar from the raw milk, at night I started pasturizing about 4 gallons of milk, got the temp to 145, set the alarm for 1/2 hr, laid on the couch to watch tv, and promptly fell asleep. By the time I woke up, a hour or more after I got the temp to 145, I ran to the stove to find the temp was up to 169, and who knows how long it had been that high. I cooled it down immediately in ice water and then put it in the fridge for cheesemaking the next day. Long story made short, I must have ultra-pasturized the milk, because none of the cheese I made with that milk turned out right. The only one to form very soft and tiny curds was the brie. The chaource and blue never firmed up. I tried draining the brie for a day, but every time I tried to flip it, it fell apart into the tiny curds. Last night I came up with an idea - I pressed the brie in the small cylinder of my cheese press, slowly increasing the pressure to 35. This morning I had the prettiest little pressed cheese, about 3 1/2" high and wide. I have no idea how it will turn out, but I salted it and put it in the ripening box, and will hope for the best. Of course, if it turns out to be really good, I'd have a hard time re-creating it! BTW, the raw milk cheeses all turned out perfectly, with a high yield -- I just love the milk from John's dairy! And I am now a reformed pasturizer, who will only do it while wide awake - it was too sad to have all that cheese not take!
A former member
Post #: 2
I have a digital meat thermometer to avoid the problem you have. It has an alarm that goes off for certain meat temps. The "medium rare" setting goes off at 145F so it is my fail safe when pasturizing! Do you add Calcium chloride (CaCl2) to your pastrized milk to put back in the calcium lost through pasturization? That might have helped.
A former member
Post #: 4
The main problem is that I fell asleep on the job, and slept through the alarm that I had set! : ) If milk is cooked at a high temp for a long time, it just loses its ability to coagulate, even with calcium chloride (I did use calcium chloride). That's why they always say to never use ultra pasteurizd milk in cheesemaking. Lots of the goat milk that is sold commercially is ultra pasturized. I don't know why they do that.

And then the other problem was that, although the milk was at 145 for awhile before I fell sleep, the heat did increase up to almost 170. I like the idea of the alarm being built into the thermometer. What brand is that?
A former member
Post #: 3
It was a gift from Williams Sonoma.
A former member
Post #: 18
Sad, after all that work. Sounds like there was lots of lesson in there, though.

One option I would throw in for next time this happens to someone...if you have ultra pasteurized milk...you can still make SOME cheeses without trouble. That is...direct acidified cheeses such as paneer, ricotta, etc.
The ultra pasteurization affects rennet activity on the proteins, but those cheeses don't use rennet.
A former member
Post #: 5
That's interesting, Gabe. Hopefully I won't fall asleep again when I'm pasteurizing milk, but it's good to know there are options. And actually, the small curd that I got from what was supposed to be brie reminded me a lot of ricotta. I'll be very interested to see what the pressed version I made of those small curds ends up tasting like, and what its texture will be. And fortunately, I do have the normal brie from the raw milk. Since my blue cheese ended up more like yogurt, I was determined to make a blue (which will be my first blue), so yesterday I bought Strauss milk and made it from that. The curds are perfect, and I'm looking forward to tasting it when its ready. It will be sort of along the lines of cambozola, if all turns out well.
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