December 15th, 2006

sad-mac

cheese failure

The other day we decided to try to make some cheese with our newly acquired cheese making kit. We thought we'd start with a mozzarella, because it's quick and easy and we had done it a couple of times before (with decibel45). So, we got all the supplies together, found some whole milk, got out the big new pot, and reviewed the recipe again.

We heated up the milk to the correct temperature, added the salt and some lemon juice (citric acid) and the rennet, and waited for the curd to form. A couple of minutes later, no change. Five minutes, no change. Ten minutes (at this point you're supposed to have a nice solid curd), no change. Twenty minutes, no change. The curd was nowhere to be found. We figured that the milk we bought was "ultra-pasteurised", which means it was heated to a somewhat higher temperature than that of normal pasteurisation. This makes the shelf life longer, but it breaks down the fragile proteins in milk and makes it completely unsuitable for cheesemaking.

Sure enough, when we called the milk company the next day they confirmed it was ultra-pasteurised. So, we'll need to find some whole milk that hasn't been heat-treated to oblivion if we're actually going to be successful. Disappointing, but at least we were out only a few dollars for the milk.