What Is Calcium Chloride and When Should I Use It?

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What Is Calcium Chloride and When Should I Use It?

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Calcium chloride (CaCI2) is an essential ingredient in several cheesemaking recipes. It is a salt-based solution that cheesemakers use to restore the calcium balance in milk as you progress through a recipe’s instructions.

Whenever you use pasteurized, homogenized, or store-bought milk to make cheese, it is almost always necessary to add calcium chloride. The manufacturing processes that makes milk safe to consume or store for a long time can also affect its clotting properties.

You’ll notice the difference between milk with calcium chloride and when it is not available. After you add rennet to your recipe, store-bought products tend to have less (or no) coagulation because of the mineral changes that happen during heating.

Cheesemakers also use calcium chloride when making goat milk cheese.

How Much CaCI2 Gets Added to Milk?

Every recipe calls for a certain amount to calcium chloride to get added if you’re using pasteurized, homogenized, or store-bought milk. Follow that amount precisely to ensure your results form as expected.

You must add the CaCI2 to the milk before you start the cheesemaking process. Although some people prefer to put it in the stockpot the day before to ensure a balanced result, it is generally acceptable to add the required amount at the time you start the recipe.

It works best if you dilute the calcium chloride into 1/4-cup distilled water. The addition is similar to the processes followed when added rennet. Keep stirring it evenly through the milk for a few minutes to ensure it is mixed well.

If you don’t receive instructions for the amount of calcium chloride to add in your cheesemaking recipe, the general rule to follow is 1/4-teaspoon for every 4L of milk.

Additional Uses for Calcium Chloride in Cheesemaking

Although CaCI2 gets used primarily to balance overheated milk so that it is useful for making cheese, it can also get added to a salt brine to provide homeostasis. Some varieties require a saltwater coating to prevent the exterior from getting slimy or melting when it goes through the preservation process.

When you add calcium chloride to the brine, it stops the mixture from leeching extra calcium into the cheese. That means you have fewer issues with melting of softening.

You can often find calcium chloride at homebrewing stores and winemaking centers. If you have a business close to your home that sells supplies in these areas, you’ll have quick access to this essential ingredient.

If a business is not available locally, you can get your calcium chloride online, shipped directly to your home, for an affordable price.

You can also get liquid rennet online to facilitate the cheesemaking process. This product can expire, so lackluster results or slimy textures from CaCI2 may be a result of that issue. If you only make cheese occasionally, consider using rennet tablets instead.

Calcium chloride allows you to enjoy cheesemaking with store-bought milk. Grab your supplies today so that you can follow your preferred recipe!

For a more in-depth look at testing calcium chloride in cheesemaking watch this video

Video Credit to gregpryorhomestead

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