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When first starting out making cheese, you’re bound to have endless questions. A lot of the techniques and terminology used in cheesemaking isn’t something you would typically stumble across in everyday cooking.
This FAQ page is the perfect resource for you whether you’re looking to start cheesemaking or looking to perfect a cheesemaking skill you’ve never quite conquered before.
Below you will find the top questions we get asked all the time when it comes to cheesemaking. With our easy-to-follow directions and information, you’ll be sure to feel more confident when it comes to the cheesemaking process.
If you’re a beginner cheesemaker, you’ll want to check out our Beginner FAQ first. There you’ll find everything from the types of equipment that are essential when it comes to cheesemaking, more information about aspects like cultures, the importance of milk, and also the different techniques when it comes to cheesemaking as well.
Common Cheesemaking Problems
Nothing is more frustrating than spending hours on end trying to make the perfect cheese and when it’s time to unwrap it, you notice it all went horribly wrong. You have discovered that when you start to unwrap the cheesecloth, all the curds are stuck to it and no matter how carefully you pull, they won’t budge.
- When making hard cheeses that require to be pressed for hours on end or longer periods in general, you need to ensure that you’re turning and rewrapping your cheese a couple of times during this process. Especially when using heavier weights, turning and unwrapping your cheese multiple times during the pressing time will not only help the cheese develop a more uniform shape but also ensures that the curds don’t mold to the cheesecloth.
- Cheese that contains a higher pH level can tend to stick to your cheesecloth. Cheeses like Halloumi are the perfect example of high pH cheeses that commonly stick. This happens because as the curd shrinks, it loses whey and forms a soft rind. This soft rind tends to end up pulling the cheesecloth into the curd and binds it all together.
Both of the reasons above are common but require different solutions. When pressing harder cheeses, it’s essential to unwrap, turn, and then rewrap the cheese as we specify in our recipes. It’s best not to skip or use any shortcuts when it comes to cheesemaking as you tend to pay for it later.
For cheeses that are higher in pH, like Halloumi, to avoid the curds binding with the cheesecloth, soak your cheesecloth in whey before you begin the molding process. This should ensure that that cheesecloth doesn’t get roped in with the formation of the soft rind.
If you’re ever not sure of the pH level of your cheese, it’s always best to just soak your cheesecloth anywhere. No harm will come from doing it, but it can definitely come from not soaking it.
Do you have any further questions about curds sticking to your cheesecloth? Join our discussion at the CheeseDigest Form to learn more!
You’ve just completed your first batch of Feta and you’re so excited to try it. Afterall, Feta is delicious! It’s been properly salted as per instructions and aged. You follow recommendations of storing it in a salty brine solution for a few days before enjoying it. A few days later when you’re ready to add some fresh Feta to your salad, you realize that it’s gone slimy and almost looks like it melted in your bine solution.
Feta melting in brine during storage is not unheard of. That being said, it’s not ideal after all your hard work, having to throw out your precious fresh homemade Feta. When Feta melts in brine, it’s often either due to the brine having a lower calcium level or the pH level isn’t right.
For a brine solution to properly preserve the Feta cheese, it needs to have the right calcium levels. Having calcium levels that are too low causes the calcium to seep out of the cheese and change the overall structure of the brine solution.
The pH level of the cheese can also affect the brine solution and therefore melt your Feta. If the pH levels of your cheese are too high, you don’t have enough acidity in the solution, and therefore just like not having the right calcium levels, the calcium leaves the cheese and in turn, makes your cheese slimy and melt.
How Do You Prevent Your Feta from Melting?
You can opt to use whey with additional salt instead of water to make your brine solution. That being said, your whey needs to have the correct pH and calcium balance for your cheese, or you’ll deal with the same problems all over again.
You can add additional Calcium Chloride to your brine to balance out the calcium levels. You only need to add a little bit to accomplish this balance.
You can add some vinegar or citric acid to your brine. Once again, you should only add a little bit to the brine to create the proper balance.
You can age your cheese at room temperature for at least 3 days after salting the cheese. This allows the surface of the cheese to toughen and allows the acidity to be high enough to withstand the brine solution.
Another common question we get with Feta is how long does it actually last in the brine solution. The typical answer is that as long as the Feta stays properly submerged in the brine solution, it should stay fresh for at least 6 months.
With the complications that can occur with putting Feta in brine, it can be normal to seem overwhelmed at the process. We have an article all about creating brine solutions where you can find the perfect brine solution for Feta specifically.
Using Saturated Brine Solution in Cheesemaking
Do you have any further questions about Feta cheese or brine solutions? Join our discussion at the CheeseDigest Form to learn more!
Ricotta is a great recipe to make along with making another cheese recipe at the same time. Since Ricotta is traditionally made from leftover whey from other cheese recipes, it’s probably something that you are, or should be making, every time you make a cheese recipe.
That being said, you may find that sometimes your Ricotta yield is extremely low compared to other times. With getting such a small yield, it can be discouraging and make the process almost not seem worth it.
We’re here to help you avoid getting a small yield by understanding why it happens and how you can fix it.
There are a few things that influence the amount of Ricotta that is produced from your whey. Factors including the season that the milk was produced in, the level of acidity, the temperature that you heat the whey to, and therefore the type of cheese you made prior to get the leftover whey from, all affect the amount of Ricotta that can be produced.
Ricotta cheese is created from the remaining protein of the cheese in the form of whey. Some cheeses take out more protein than others which therefore leaves different amounts of whey to curdle into Ricotta cheese.
Mozzarella is a common cheese that leaves a great amount of whey for making Ricotta cheese. Other cheeses include Parmesan and Romano. These cheeses are great for using the leftover whey to make a high yield of Ricotta, which is very fitting as you can traditionally use Ricotta cheese with Mozzarella or Parmesan in lasagna or other Italian dishes.
It’s more complicated to find out what cheeses don’t work the best to create Ricotta. At the end of the day, you can make Ricotta with any leftover whey, so it’s important to start doing your own research and trial and error in the kitchen. There’s a lot of conflicting information online too with differing opinions on whether using aged or fresh whey is best so that’s why we recommend testing it out for yourself to see what you prefer.
It’s not so much about how fresh or aged your whey is but really about the amount of acid that your whey contains. Allowing your whey to rest for 24 hours or more will allow the acidity to increase during this time.
Personally, we think that fresh cheeses always seem to give a pretty good yield when making Ricotta cheese as the acidity levels seem to be typically suitable. That being said, some cheeses may leave whey with lower acidity levels.
To combat the acidity, you can add more acid such as vinegar, lemon juice, or citric acid. This will allow you to start using the whey right away. That being said, it’s important that you don’t add too much acid to the whey, or your Ricotta cheese will be too tangy.
The best way to figure out what cheeses give you the best Ricotta is to take notes and make observations for yourself. Try different cheese whey and see what negatively and positively impacts the end results.
If you’re looking for something a little more consistent with your Ricotta recipe and don’t want to take the risk of it not being up to standard, there are Ricotta recipes that use full milk and cream instead of leftover whey. This way, although it’s not the traditional way to make Ricotta cheese, it’s more consistent in terms of the yield.
Do you have any further questions about Ricotta cheese? Join our discussion at the CheeseDigest Form to learn more!
Storing your Feta cheese in a brine solution is the most common way to preserve Feta. However, there are a couple of problems that can arise from storing your Feta in brine, including it becoming way too salty.
Everyone has different salt tolerances and Feta is known for being saltier than other cheeses due to it’s the aging and usual brine preserving method.
If you try traditional Feta from Greece or Cyprus, you’ll notice that it’s much saltier than any other Feta cheese you’ve eaten in the U.S. before. That being said, Feta cheese should never be too salty that it’s practically inedible and it’s very disappointing after doing all the hard work of making your delicious Feta for it to come out practically inedible.
There are a couple of reasons your Feta cheese may be too salty. One of the most common reasons is that your brine solution is more saturated with salt than you intended it to be. Another common reason is that your Feta cheese has soaked up more of the salt than it normally does due to a particular structure from the cheesemaking process.
No matter how closely you follow a recipe, it’s nearly impossible to replicate the same exact cheese over and over again. No matter what you do, all cheese will end up being slightly different batch to batch.
If your Feta is so salty, your first reaction might be to simply throw it out. However, there are many ways to reduce how salty your Feta is after the fact.
Rinse the amount of Feta you want to use underwater and allow it to drain. If you are only planning on using a portion of the Feta for right now, you should only wash that piece of Feta as opposed to everything.
Place your Feta in a container that is large enough to hold the Feta along with some liquid.
Add some fresh milk to the container until it completely covers the Feta. Place a lid on it.
Allow your Feta to sit in the milk for a day or two. During this time, the milk will draw out some of the salt that’s in the Feta cheese.
After a couple of days, taste-test the Feta and if it’s still too salty, pour out the milk and replace it with fresh milk. You can leave it for another few days before testing it again.
Another easier way to still eat your salty Feta is simply just incorporate it in dishes as a substitute for salt. For example, sprinkle on a fresh salad with no other salty ingredients to create a nice flavor and balance. You can also add it to dishes that typically require salt and Feta but skip on the salt and just add the Feta instead.
Do you have any further questions about Feta cheese? Join our discussion at the CheeseDigest Form to learn more!
Mozzarella is one of the most popular cheeses and because of that, it’s one of the first choices for beginner cheesemakers because of its quick turnaround time and delicious flavor.
Recipes like our Mozzarella recipe are a quick and easy to follow Mozzarella recipe that is absolutely perfect for beginners. However, although this recipe is quick and rather simple, it can lead new cheesemakers incredibly frustrated and with countless questions of how to truly master the art of making delightful stringy Mozzarella cheese.
What Makes Stretchy Mozzarella
For Mozzarella to perfectly stretch, it needs two things: the right amount of heat to properly soften the curds and the right level of acidity. The pH level should be approximately 5.2 to create beautifully, stretchy Mozzarella.
For properly heating your Mozzarella, it’s important that you follow the directions exactly as the say. With any cheese recipe, it’s important to follow the recipe, but especially with Mozzarella, having your temperature just a few degrees off can make a huge impact. The Mozzarella should be about 180ºF throughout the appropriate heat periods.
Having the proper acidity is key for ensuring that your Mozzarella is stretchy. Acidity can increase either over time or with the addition of items like cultures or acidic ingredients such as lemon juice, citric acid, or vinegar. Some recipes incorporate acid into the recipe, while other, more traditional recipes just simply incorporate more time into the Mozzarella cheesemaking process.
What Causes Mozzarella Not to Stretch
Sometimes when it comes to Mozzarella cheese you need both heat and acid, depending on the type of milk you use. Some recipes completely neglect this fact but can make all the difference with your Mozzarella outcome.
Before you become a Mozzarella expert, it’s important to spend additional time in the kitchen and study the Mozzarella recipe you are using. We personally have never had any problems with our easy-to-follow recipe which is why we encourage beginners to check it out.
To achieve the proper acidity that’s required, you should leave the curd for at least 24-48 hours for ripening. This means it’s important to plan ahead and not rush the Mozzarella process.
It’s best to usually test the curd at the 24-hour mark but assume that you have to wait for 48 before continuing the process. This way you won’t rush the process and truly evaluate if the curd is ready to use at 24 hours or if you should wait another day.
We typically use fresh, raw milk for our recipe. You should complete the spin test to determine what your ripening time is depending on the milk source you used.
With Mozzarella being so versatile we recommend making large batches of it and freezing it. Of course, fresh Mozzarella tastes best, but frozen Mozzarella works beautifully on any Italian dish! Making large batches at once will allow you to properly spend the time it needs to ripen you Mozzarella and create beautiful, stretchy cheese.
Do you have any further questions about Mozzarella cheese? Join our discussion at the CheeseDigest Form to learn more!
When it comes to the cheesemaking process, there will be times you try something, and it doesn’t work out the way you planned. When it comes to pressing your cheese, if not done correctly, there are quite a few problems that can arise, one of them being your curds not knitting, or mending together.
The point of pressing your cheese or adding weight to your cheese mold is not only to expel any whey from the cheese but also to mend and knit the curds together to form one smooth shape in the form of your cheese. Pressing your cheese also determines the texture and density of the cheese as well.
For a cheese that requires to be pressed and molded, if it’s not done properly, it can have huge effects on the cheese as a whole. When curds don’t knit properly you can get a range of different results in your cheese including creases and cracks throughout the cheese or curd that doesn’t form any kind of shape and just simply falls apart.
What Causes Curds to Not Knit Together?
There are a couple of reasons that curds typically don’t knit together.
The most common reason that curds don’t knit together is the lack of sufficient pressure or pressing time to mold the cheese. This is especially prominent when it comes to hard cheeses like Cheddar cheese. This is why it’s essential to follow recipes exactly when it comes to the pressing time and weights.
It’s also important to take into account if you’re making a larger batch and adjust the pressing time accordingly. Another factor is how deep your molds are. A deeper mold may require more surface pressure to compensate for the density and springiness of the curds.
Another reason your curds may not knit together can be due to the temperature of the curds when you press it. If the curds are too cold when you place it in the mold, it can be very difficult to press it as it tends to firm up while it cools. It’s important to keep the temperature consistent and warm enough during the pressing process.
If you are living in a colder climate, keeping your curds consistently warm at room temperature may be difficult. If this is the case for you, we recommend doing the following:
Put an empty stockpot in the sink. Put your cheese in the cheese mold into the stockpot and place the first round of weights on the top to press the cheese. We recommend using plate weights for this step.
Next, fill the sink up with hot water so that the inside of the stockpot reaches about 86ºF. Put the lid on when the temperature is reached.
Keep the cheese pressing in the pot for the first and the second press in the recipe. Remember to properly turn and unwrap and rewrap your cheese after each press.
Since the pot is warm, the curds will start to warm and therefore it will help mend the curds together and ensure they’re properly knitted together.
Although it’s important that your curds stay nice and warm throughout the pressing process, too much heat is also very bad for your curds as well. If you warm your curds too quickly during the pressing process, it can make a skin form on the surface of the curd and therefore harm the knitting process.
The best idea, regardless of the process, is to simply stick to the recipe as close as possible, especially when it comes to temperatures and pressing times.
Do you have any further questions about curds? Join our discussion at the CheeseDigest Form to learn more!
Waxing is a process on its own and is one of the most popular ways to store various cheeses while they age. However, if you tend to use one color wax, it can be hard to label your waxed cheeses and know what’s what.
The obvious answer to keeping track of what cheese is, is to label it. However, when it comes to waxed cheese, the thought of how to go about labeling may seem more confusing than it’s worth.
There are a number of different types of labels that cheesemakers use.
Common labels include:
A Standard Label Maker
Paper and Pen
Start by applying your first or second coat of wax.
Next, start preparing the label from any of the chosen label methods above.
When labeling your cheese, make sure to include the following:
Type of Cheese
Batch Number: Some cheesemakers also put a batch number to help identify not only when the cheese was made in reference to other cheeses, but also to refer back to their cheese logs for what was used to make it. This is great if you’re testing out different ingredients and cheesemaking techniques.
Maturity Date: It can also be helpful to put the expected maturity date on your label to see when your cheese is ready to be eaten.
After you’ve created your label, apply your last coat of wax. As you’re applying this last coat, press the label flat onto the side of your cheese while the wax is still warm and soft, so it sticks properly.
When you have finished applying the last coat of wax, you can apply another few light coats of wax over on top of the label. This will help you seal the label and avoid it from falling off.
Other Methods to Label Cheese
If you’re looking for a quicker, more simple process, you can simply just write the cheese details directly on the wax with a permanent marker. The downside of doing this is that you won’t be able to reuse the wax later on and it’s also not nice having permanent markers all over your hands.
If you’re looking to invest a little bit more money, a cheese stamp is a great investment to make. A cheese stamp is a great, professional, and easy to use on your cheese. It’s also great to have if you’re planning on selling your cheeses in the future.
At the end of the day, regardless of how you decide to label your cheese, the underlining idea is that you include the basic information. Regardless if you use a standard label maker or even Christmas labels, having your cheeses properly labeled is the most important part.
Do you have any further questions about waxing cheese? Join our discussion at the CheeseDigest Form to learn more!
Nothing is worse than after all the hard work you put into making the perfect homemade cheese and it comes out dry and crumbly. The worst part is that you won’t know that it turned out this way until weeks or months into the aging process.
There are cheeses, like Feta, that are meant to be crumblier than others. However, if you’re not planning for a crumbly cheese, it can be really disappointing when you end up with dry, broken cheese.
Although the consistency isn’t desirable, it is still edible, but that’s not how you want it.
There is a saying that good cheese is made in the vat and therefore, bad cheese is created in the vat as well. It’s not that your cheese becomes dry and crumbly during aging but gets exaggerated in the aging process instead. The foundation for your cheese is determined from when you have a vat full of milk.
What Causes Dry, Crumbly Cheese?
There are a number of things that can contribute to cheese being crumbly such as using the wrong amount of ingredients, heating the curds up to fast, not enough, and overall how you treat the curds in general. As with anything pertaining to cheese, for the best results, it’s best to stick as close to the recipe as possible.
Another common reason is having too much acid in your cheese and therefore over-acidification. This means that during the cheesemaking process, your cheese was able to overdevelop the amount of acid and therefore reduced the amount of protein in the cheese. With more acid and less protein, your cheese will automatically become more brittle. It can also cause the curds to shrink and lose moisture, which is another factor in having drier cheese.
Reduce the amount of culture you use. Too much culture will create a lower pH level and contribute to drier cheese.
You can use a pH strip to test the pH if needed.
Reduce the amount of time your cheese ripens for. When you shorten the time between when you add your culture to when you add your Rennet, the more likely your cheese will not be dry.
The longer you allow the culture to rest in the milk, the more acid is created in the mixture. Once you add the Rennet in the mixture, the acid production slows down immensely due to the formation of the curd.
Wash the curd after it’s been cut and cooked. This will slow down the acidification process and ensure that your cheese doesn’t become too acidic.
Another important factor to ensure your cheese comes out as intended is to use fresh milk in cheesemaking. Older milk can often have higher acidity levels and will be further acidified during the culture and ripening stage. The quality of your milk will also affect your cheesemaking results as well. This is why it’s always best to use great quality, fresh milk when it comes to cheesemaking.
How much you handle your curd is also directly related to the texture of your cheese. Rough handling can shatter the curd and create a cheese that’s not as elastic as it should be.
Cutting your curds too small for the specific type of cheese will produce a similar result of being too dry and crumbly. This is why it’s important to follow the recommendations of the size you should cut the curd for that particular cheese.
Temperature can also have a huge impact on your cheese in many ways, but especially when it comes to texture. Under or overcooking can severely impact your cheese results. Curds cooked at lower temperatures can cause the lactose to be retained and result in more acid later on. A few degrees higher or lower can truly make a difference in the results along with cooking a few minutes longer than the recipe states.
We recommend keeping a cheesemaking log to keep track of all your observations and trial and errors while making cheese.
Do you have any further questions about crumbly cheese? Join our discussion at the CheeseDigest Form to learn more!
Camembert and Brie cheeses are known for their beautiful, soft, edible white mold on the outside. So, it can be a real bummer after successfully making delicious Camembert cheese that when it comes to the aging process, it doesn’t age properly and developing white mold as it should.
If this has happened to you, although it’s hard not to be disappointed, it’s to be expected. Many beginners are likely to face the challenge of growing mold on their Camembert. There are a few reasons why mold isn’t growing and a few things you can do as well to encourage proper mold growth during the aging process.
Why Is There No Mold?
White mold should start growing on Camembert and Brie within 3-4 days of being placed in the aging area. If mold doesn’t start to appear after a few days, you should check the following:
Temperature – If it’s too cold in the aging area, the white mold will simply not grow. The aging area should be consistently around 54ºF.
Salt – Salt should be applied in one way or another to the Camembert. You can rub, sprinkle, or brine the cheese, but regardless, salt is very important for the growth of white mold. Salt also restricts the growth of unwanted molds, which in turn leaves more room for desirable, white mold to develop.
Moisture – It’s important to wipe down your cheese every day or few days as white mold will not grow in conditions that are too moist.
Application – There are a couple of different ways you can add Penicillium Candidum during the cheese process. One way is to add it directly to your milk, another is to spray it on your cheese once you have formed it in the cheese mold. If one way doesn’t work well for you, try the other way along with making sure you are using the proper amount.
Competition – During the aging process, you will from time to time find some unwanted molds growing on your cheese. This is why it’s key to wipe down your cheese regularly. However, other than just being annoying, these molds take real estate away from your desirable white mold from growing and therefore can severely be hindering your positive mold growth.
It’s important to create the best aging environment for your cheese for it to develop and age as it should. Having the correct temperature, moisture levels and also making sure to turn your cheese daily, will all help with the mold growth on all sides of your cheese. Turning your cheese allows the mold to not only develop, but evenly and consistently around the whole round. It will also help avoid the mold from developing around the draining mats and therefore tearing the mold off when turning.
Do you have any further questions about mold development? Join our discussion at the CheeseDigest Form to learn more!
For a lot of home cheesemakers, attempting to make Camembert or Brie can seem like a very challenging task at hand. When you start experimenting with the Camembert cheese recipes, you’re moving into the more advanced cheesemaking territory.
The truth is, to make delicious soft cheese is actually a fairly simple and straightforward process. It’s the ripening and aging period that can seem a bit complicated and cause some stress to cheesemakers.
There are numerous things that can go wrong during the ripening process, such as your mold not developing. Dilemmas occurring during the ripening and aging process can result in anything from different flavors, textures, strong smells, and sometimes in more severe cases, completely destroy your cheese and make it inedible.
The most alarming occurrence that can happen during the aging process is Slip Skin forming.
Slip Skin, or toad skin as it’s also commonly called, is an ugly looking defect that can occur on the outside of mold-ripened cheeses such as Camembert or Brie. The Slip Skin is so unappealing that it makes you question if it’s even safe to eat the rind or the Camembert at all.
Other than it’s ‘toad-like’ appearance, Slip Skin can be recognized by a gnarled and bumpy rind. These bumps tend to start spreading around your cheese within the first 10 days. You will also notice a difference when you pick up your cheese as it will feel like the mold rind is moving or almost slipping around the cheese.
Needless to say, it’s very disappointing when your soft cheese develops Slip Skin.
Camembert Rind Problems with Aging
Geotrichcum spores cause the pH level of the cheese to rise over time and promote the cheese to over ripen on the surface level. This causes the cheese to get a gooey consistency and therefore cause the rind to feel like it’s moving.
To avoid overgrowth of Geotrichcum Spores, try using either Geotrichum Candidum and Penicillin Candidum together or simply just G. Candidum on its own. Using these will help promote a more stable rind.
You should also make sure to properly dry salt all the surfaces of your cheese as it helps to keep unwanted molds and spores away.
Having condensation on your aging space is a clear give away that the humidity is way too high for your cheese to properly age. This extra humidity can directly cause Slip Skin to develop.
It’s important to make sure the curds are well-drained before moving them into the molds and dry salting.
It’s also important to make sure your Camembert is properly dry before putting it in the aging space.
If you have properly drained the curds before placing your cheese in its aging space, then the cheese should be dry enough where it’s not sitting in the whey. This is why it’s important to make sure your cheese is completely drained before moving on to the aging process.
If there is any whey under or around your cheese, make sure to wipe it up as soon as possible to avoid any extra moisture being added to the cheese and to help keep the cheese surface dry.
The best cheese takes time, and this is also the case when it comes to your mold rind developing as well. When your white mold ripens too quickly, it will typically result in Slip Skin.
Your cheese should ripen between 46ºF-50ºF. If the temperature is too high, it will encourage the cheese to rapidly grow mold instead of supporting the ripening of the cheese as a whole.
Moisture is a huge component of your cheese developing properly and should be monitored throughout the whole process.
As well as an unappealing looking rind, your cheese will also more than likely have a strong ammonia smell if it has ripened after the Slip Skin developed. This smell may go away if you let the cheese sit out for at least 20 minutes or more. If it doesn’t, it may be best to count this cheese as a loss and try again.
We don’t necessarily recommend eating the Slip Skin, although it mostly harms the atheistic of the cheese more than anything. You can easily just cut the rind off the cheese before enjoying it.
Do you have any further questions about Camembert? Join our discussion at the CheeseDigest Form to learn more!
Typically, mold isn’t a good thing when it comes to food, but when it comes to cheese it’s typically greatly appreciated. That being said, there are good kinds and bad kinds of mold, even for cheese which we will discuss down below.
Mold occurs when you mix together milk, cultures, and bacteria. Some molds are very desirable especially when it comes to mold ripped cheeses like Camembert, Brie, and Blue Cheese.
However, with the good comes the bad and unwanted molds can cause countless problems for your cheese changing the texture, flavor, smell, and even sometimes making it completely inedible.
Not all mold is the same on cheese and some are very harmful to consume. However, most “harmful” molds are normally okay if you just simply remove them from your cheese.
Black or white cat hair mold (looks like fluffy cat fur)
Blue Mold (Different from Blue Cheese mold)
Soft, delicate white mold (what you would see on Camembert and Brie)
Blue Mold (as you would see on Blue Cheese)
Cleaning Up Mold
Before you start throwing out moldy cheese, for most cases, you can simply remove the mold and have perfectly edible cheese.
Soft Cheeses: for soft cheeses simply just slice out the unwanted mold and re-salt the area.
Hard Cheeses: for hard cheeses, wipe the mold off with a brine solution mixed with white vinegar. You may need to gently scrub to actually get the mold off. If it doesn’t come off, you can cut the mold off and wash the exposed cheese with the brine and vinegar solution. Return it back to the aging area to continue aging.
Why Do Molds Occur?
Mold can develop on your cheese for a variety of different reasons including:
Poor sanitization of equipment, aging area, and hands
Not enough air circulation
Cheese isn’t dry before aging
Cheese is left sitting in whey and not properly drained
Cross-contamination between cheeses
Not salting enough
At the end of the day, the great thing about cheese, unlike most other types of food, is that most of the time, mold won’t really affect it too much.
Do you have any further questions about mold development? Join our discussion at the CheeseDigest Form to learn more!
We’ve talked about Calcium Chloride or CaC12 a number of times, especially when it comes to creating brine solutions.
Calcium Chloride is a salt solution that is used to restore the calcium balance of milk during the cheesemaking process.
You have probably seen in a lot of recipes and cheesemaking recipes in general that if you’re using pasteurized, homogenized milk in your cheese recipe, you will more than likely need to add some Calcium Chloride.
Calcium Chloride is required to re-balance the calcium content of milk after it’s been pasteurized, heated and rapidly cooled and homogenized as it decreases the amount of calcium in milk and can affect clotting properties of milk.
All this will be visible by slower coagulation of the milk after adding the Rennet where a less stable curd occurs. When the calcium levels are extremely low, no coagulation will occur.
Your calcium in your milk needs to be balanced during the cheesemaking process because it helps result in a firmer cheese which is much easier to cut and work with.
It’s not just cow’s milk that you need to add Calcium Chloride to. You may need to also add it to goat’s milk to achieve a firmer curd as goat’s milk goes through a natural homogenization process in the goat’s body. Without adding Calcium Chloride, the curd may end up being too weak to cut it properly.
You may also require Calcium Chloride when working with fresh, raw milk, depending on the quality of the milk. Typically, this isn’t the case when using fresh, raw milk, but if you find that you’re getting a weak curd, this may be something you need to implement into your milk to help balance the calcium levels.
We recommend this Calcium Chloride here.
Calcium Chloride can be necessary to make your cheese properly form. That being said, it’s essential to have exactly the right amount of Calcium Chloride so that the curds form, but not too much that the mixture is deemed unusable.
The recommended serving for Calcium Chloride is ¼ teaspoon per one gallon of milk and it’s normally added to the milk prior to the cheesemaking process. Some cheesemakers even add the Calcium Chloride to the milk the night before to ensure that the milk has plenty of time to rebalance before starting the cheesemaking process.
To add Calcium Chloride to milk, you need to dilute it in ¼ cup of cool, distilled water first. After that, you can add the mixture into the milk and stir until combined.
Calcium Chloride can also be used in brine solutions to balance out the calcium levels between the brine and the cheese. This balance can help prevent your cheese from melting or going slimy such as what can happen with Feta cheese. This is a common occurrence and adding Calcium Chloride is normally a reliable solution to the problem. It balances out and stops the calcium from being sucked out of the cheese into the brine solution.
Do you have any further questions about Calcium Chloride? Join our discussion at the CheeseDigest Form to learn more!
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