Cooking Curds

This topic contains 3 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Punkin 1 year, 7 months ago.

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  • #3868 Reply

    Tammy
    Participant

    Hi there! I am relatively new to cheesemaking and am curious about cooking the curds. I have made two kinds that require draining some of the whey and adding in hot water over a period of time to “cook the curds”. The issue I am having is that I reach the final desired temperature way sooner than the recipe states. I am also unclear if I have to continually stir the curds during this process. Does this really matter? Will it effect the final cheese?

    Thanks in advance!
    Tammy

    #3869 Reply

    Punkin
    Participant

    Tammy, everything makes a difference in the final cheese. Everything. That does not mean that finishing the heating process early is bad but you may find that that quicker heat cycle doesn’t allow enough acid development or maybe it trap’s just a little more whey in the curd. This may result in a new and interesting cheese. It may eventually lead to bitterness after some aging or a host of other very subtle taste or texture issues. I am always attempting to cut the cheese making time just because I like it and want that great feeling of looking at the finished wheel. What I have found is that so much of what you do, or don’t do, in the vat haunts you week’s an months later. I don’t think one can screw up cheese if you are eating curds and devouring the batch in the first week or two. The bad stuff comes later. Continuing to stir also aggravated me but again without doing that I would get large matted clumps that failed to cook evenly, failed to drain property, didn’t give a smooth finish on the rind, and sometimes actually gave variation in color and texture in the aged wheel after cutting and packaging. Yes. Everything matters.

    #3870 Reply

    Tammy
    Participant

    Thank you for your response! Can you offer any suggestions on the proper way to add the hot water in a way that will not cause the curds to heat too quickly. The recipe I was following called for me to bring the curds from 88 degrees F to 102 degrees F in a 30 minute timeframe.

    #3871 Reply

    Punkin
    Participant

    I have noticed in some industrial cheese making there are small openings in the water inlet that cut the amount of hot water entering the vat. Mind you that the cats are several hundred gallons and the heating is much slower. I think if you just water that is not quite as hot it will be an easy answer. I would use tap water (I have a well and a very good water heater) and do the same as you and heat it up way too fast. Just cutting back on the heat or just use less hot water each heat cycle. Some Gouda makers boast of dividing the water into three cycles rather than two just to stretch out the process.

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