Adventures in Cheesmaking

This all started out as a curiosity. Like most stuff we eat there is a rich history behind it. Centuries of experimentation. Cheese is just another example.

From the horse back tribes of the Asian Steppes to the Silk Road camel caravans to Romans Legions to European Monks to today, milk was a great source of nutrition but spoiled quickly and was heavy to transport.

The answer was cheese.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Whey too much Whey

Stabilized with gelatin 

I have been experimenting with my yogurt method.. When making yogurt you have a balance to make. To get a solid texture your need to let the pH fall to 4.5. This denatures the proteins and forms a gell and also gives you the tart taste. The very low pH needed to give a solid set also gives an excessive tart for my taset. It also is the point where if the curd is cut the whey will be expelled.

The answer to this commercially if to fill it with stabilizers such as corn starch and to stop the fermentation early. You end up with a tasteless, chalky paste.

You can make either a direct set method where you refrigerate without mixing after fermentation, or after fermentation blend it and then store and refrigerate. The first makes a solid set yogurt but when you cut it it releases a lot of whey and in the second you get a creamy product but it also releases some whey, normally at the bottom of the container.

My solution so far has been to use some gelatin as a stabilizer.

Follow the basic method on my Yogurt page.

Once you have held at 190 F for 10 minutes start to cool.  While cooling swell a satchel of gelatin in 1/2 cup of water. Mix the gelatin into the milk and mix well and cool to 120F.
Add one container of yogurt from the last batch
Incubate for 4.5 hours
Place in the refrigerator over night.

The next morning spoon into individual portions. I find that with the gelatin added there is little whey separation and a solid set. You can reduce the fermentation time and pH to around 5 which gives a milder flavor.

Fruit placed in the bottom will soak up any whey released and make a great snack or breakfast

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