Yoghurt

How much of the starter culture would I need to add per litre of milk?
3-4 kernels per liter of milk

The yogurt will not set at all
The milk was not pasteurized correctly and there are still bacteria in the milk;
Be sure to heat to 176°F (80°C) and hold at that temperature for at least 5 minutes before cooling. Or the temperature of the milk was too high or too low when the culture was added; be sure to keep it between 110° and 118°F (43 and 48°C). Or the yoghurt used as culture was inactive; if using purchased yogurt as starter, read the label to ensure it has live bacteria.

The yogurt has set but is stringy and slimy in texture, and it doesn’t smell right
The yoghurt starter was contaminated with unwanted bacteria; use fresh culture or yoghurt. Or the milk wasn’t properly pasteurized. Do not eat the yoghurt.

The yogurt is very firm and taste quite sour
You have incubated the yoghurt too long, and the acidity has increased too much; incubate the yogurt just until firm. Test to see if it is set by tilting the pot/jar slightly and observing the coagulum.

The yoghurt has set for the required time but is still quite soft
The culture was too weak; if re-calculating from previous batches, it is time to start with fresh culture. Or the inoculation temperature was either too high or low, inhibiting bacteria growth; insulate your container well for the duration if the time.

The yoghurt is grainy
The milk was heated too high (boiled) when pasteurizing; do not heat over 90°C.

Yogurt is gritty
Milk was overheated; use thermometer and stir gently when heating.

Yogurt taste very sour
It was set too long; next time, set for 4 to 6 hours as recommended. The longer yoghurt is set, the more acidic it becomes.

Yoghurt is very runny and did not set up adequately.
The culture is weak; Use new culture or increase the amount of starter yoghurt. Or the setting temperature was too low or too high; keep milk at correct temperature and insulate well. Or the pot or container was disturbed during setting; be sure to set in a quiet, undisturbed place and do not move during incubation.

Yoghurt is very runny and sometimes ‘slimy’. I’ve been using your ABT-5 probiotic culture. I’ve tried adding calcium chloride or maziena corn flour but with no improvement. Given that I am working with goat’s milk with a lower cream content, should I try a different culture? Would you have any other suggestions? Does it make a difference if I use plastic vs. glass/ceramic/enamel containers to set the yoghurt?
Glass and enamel is best. It will not make much difference which culture you use although our YFL811 gives the best viscosity but has no probiotics in it. It is very difficult to get thick yoghurt from goat’s milk. All that you can do is heat the milk with a good dose of maziena and/or skim milk powder to 90°C and then cool and incubate. Perhaps you did not add enough Maziena? It won’t help to add calcium.

What culture can be used when making yoghurt with goat’s milk?
The culture for goat’s milk yoghurt is the same ones as for cow’s milk. YCX11, ABT5 or YFL811

Why is YFL811 a good culture for yoghurt? if it is, why is it better than YCX11?
The YFL811 is a yoghurt culture which produces very mild yoghurt with a very high viscosity (thicker than the YC X11). This is a positive thing as you want thick yoghurt.

Are live bacteria necessary for yogurt?
Yes. True yogurt contains millions of viable St. Thermophilus and L. bulgaricus bacteria per millimetre for your health benefit.

Are yogurt and Kefir different?
Yes. Kefir always contains yeast with the bacteria, ethyl alcohol and considerable carbon dioxide, and if it lacks these elements, it is not Kefir.

Does it pay to make yogurt in the home?
Yes. It’s very economical, especially if you have your own source of milk.

What quantity is Your Kefir?
The Kefir we supply is enough for 1 liter of milk.

With the Kefir we supply you can make Kefir from Kefir – so once you have
made a batch, keep some Kefir to make the next batch but not more than 3 days. It is alive otherwise you would not be able to make a batch from a previous batch. It is not yoghurt
since it contains different bacteria to yoghurt.

Soft Unripened cheese

What happens if lactic acid does not develop in cheese milk for soft unripened cheese?
Nothing, no curd will form, and that is the end of Cheesemaking for the day. The unused milk can be converted into Ricotta cheese by adding an acidulate, like vinegar or acid whey powder, and heating to 80°C, but check why the starter culture did not work (antibiotic?). Antibiotic milk will slow or stop bacteria from forming lactic acid.

Is rennet used for cottage cheese?
Yes, but the amounts are small, almost 100 times less than what’s used for cheddar.

Is chevre an unripened cheese?
Yes but it’s made from goat milk. We have excellent cultures for making chevre called CHN-22

Curd is very firm
Too much rennet was added; reduce the rennet. Or the cheese is too acidic; ripen or less time or add less culture.

Curd is too soft
Not enough rennet was added; add a drop more rennet. Or curd is not acidic enough; ripen longer or add a bit more culture.

Milk did not coagulate at all
Milk is of low quality; be sure there are no antibiotics in the milk and that the cows it came from do not suffer from mastitis. Or the lactic bacteria were inactive; keep dry cultures frozen until use. Cultures can remain viable for up to 18 months after expiry date; if using one that’s past its best-before date, double the amount.
Try adding more rennet and allowing a longer set time next batch. The milk may need to be fortified with calcium. Add calcium chloride next batch before heating your milk, increased with each batch until satisfactory curds have been achieved. Also, pay attention to the temperature of the kitchen or cheesemaking room. If it is too hot or too cold, it may affect the development of the cheese. A good room temperature for cheesemaking is between 20-23.9°C.

Fresh-curd cheese is gritty.
Milk was overheated; use a thermometer and stir gently when heating

Cheese begins to smell fermented after a few days.
Not enough salt or inadequate refrigeration; increase salt and keep cold

Should I sterilize the herbs before rolling the cheese or can it be done with dry herbs
Dried herbs can be used to roll the soft cheese in. But delvocid must be added because the herbs will attract fungus.

Feta immersed in brine turns soft and mushy.
The brine is not acidic enough; measure with ph-sticks and lower the ph level to 4.8 – 5.2. To lower the ph, add acid in a form of white vinegar or whey from acidic cheeses, such as cheddar.

Feta is very hard
Curd was stirred too long; shorten stirring time.

Delayed fermentation time with CHN-22 in feta cheese
In general acid development can be stopped or delayed by many different causes, such as:

  • Change in milk composition, for example in protein content.
  • Change in process parameters, like for example temperature. Too high
  • Or too low temperature can delay fermentation
  • Bacteriophage attack on one or more strains of the culture
  • First step would be to check for phages (we could check the whey if needed). If
  • Phages are found, a thorough cleaning and disinfection needs to be done. A
  • Phage alternative to CHN-22 can be used, such as CHN-19.
  • Antibiotic residues present in the milk can stop or delay Fermentation. To detect presence of antibiotics a rapid test like Betastar of microbial test like Copan or BRT can be used.
  • Residues of cleaning or disinfection agents in the milk can disturb.

I’m currently experiencing a problem whereby my feta is all of a sudden is looking like an uncooked cake. Very dense on the interior and as much as I monitor the PH level it’s still melting slightly on the exterior. Is there a possible easy answer to this?
Is your feta at Ph4.6 before you place it in the brine?

And that your brine solution has a ph just lower than the cheese?

And that your pH sticks/ meter is working correctly? Have you cross checked the pH Sticks as well as the pH meter? Sometimes the pH meter can lead you up the garden path!!

What is the weather like? Is it cooler than normal?

Is the milk more creamy than usual? If so then try to remove a little of the cream from the milk before making the cheese. Very creamy milk makes a soft salty cheese.

Have you added the correct amount of Calcium Chloride to the brine? The cheese will melt if the calcium leaks out of the cheese into the water.

Don’t put the cheese in the brine so soon after making. Leave the cheese to mature out of the brine one or two days or even a week longer. Do you have a cold room at 12°C? But even so, placing the cheese in a 4°C cold room for a few days before brining is also fine.

Stretched – curd (Pasta filata) cheeses

Mozzarella will not stretch
The acidity is incorrect; use a Ph test strip to determine when the ph is at 5.0 to 5.2. If the acidity is too low, ripen the curd longer. If the acidity is too high, next time shorten the ripening time of the curd slab.

The texture of the finished cheese is rubbery
Too much rennet in the curd; reduce rennet. Or lactic bacteria is too weak, because washed-curd cheese was too diluted during washing; remove less whey when washing curd or add less water after whey removal.

Mold – Ripened cheeses

Pink colour appears on the surface of the cheese during aging
Moisture is too high in ripening area; decrease humidity. Be sure to drain and dry the container for the first few days after production, when the fresh cheese is still using whey.
The cheese is still safe to eat if pink colour appears.

Black or brown mold appears on the surface of the cheese
Too much moisture in the ripening area; reduce humidity. Airborne bacteria in the ripening area, clean all surfaces and environment with bleach/jik water. To combat mold, rub cheese rind with a blend of salt and vinegar (1tsp/5ml salt to ¼cup/50ml vinegar)

The crust on mold-ripened cheese is thick and gritty
Too much development of mold; reduce amount of mold powder used to inoculate the milk and wrap the cheese as soon as white mold has completely covered it.

Mold – ripened cheese ripens too quickly and taste of ammonia
Cheese is overripe; slow down ripening by reducing the temperature of the ripening area. Too much moisture in the cheese; stir curd slightly longer to reduce the amount of moisture in it when ladled.

Mold-ripened cheese is runny
Too much moisture in the curd; stir longer before ladling

Mold-ripened cheese is too firm and will not soften when ripened
Curd was stirred too long before ladling, expelling too much moisture; stir gently and for a shorter time. Handle curd gently during ladling.

Mold takes a long time to develop on mold-ripened cheese
(Mold should completely cover the cheese within 12 – 14 days)
The temperature of the milk was too low at inoculation; watch thermometer carefully and reheat mil if necessary. Ripening temperature is too low raise temperature. Ripening area is too dry; increase humidity. The cheese has been salted too heavily; measure salt carefully

If I use ash on my Camembert won’t it be black?
The white mould will grow through the blackened cheese.
Ultimately the cheese will be mostly white. The ash helps to change the
pH of the cheese slightly so that the white mould grows more
extensively.

Which cheese are you using the ash on?
Normally one rolls the cheese in the ash if you have a roll shaped cheese.
In the case of a pyramid shape it is normally just sprinkled on the top of
the cheese. The cheese is salted before applying the ash with the quantity you normally
use.

My camembert cheese has a black mould growing on it.
Do not store vegetables in the same place as the cheese.

Empty the fridge and leave it in the sun for a while and sterilise with chlorosan or something similar. It usually happens when the camembert is too wet. Try draining the cheese a bit longer (24 hrs at least) and perhaps stirring a bit longer before moulding. You basically want the white to grow quickly otherwise bad moulds get in first.

The problem is that all moulds are going to want to grow on your cheese. The trick is to make the mould you want on it to grow as fast as possible and then the others won’t have a chance. If you have a special little fridge where you mature your camembert for instance, it will eventually have white mould growing everywhere and then you won’t have competition from the other moulds floating around in the air. This is called “taming” your maturing room as you would tame a horse.

Rub the black mould off with a little salt and a wet cloth as soon as you see it coming. Which means that you need to look at your cheese at least twice a day.

Blue – Veined Cheeses

Pink colour appears on the surface of the cheese during aging
Moisture is too high in ripening area; decrease humidity. Be sure to drain and dry the container for the first few days after production, when the fresh cheese is still using whey.
The cheese is still safe to eat if pink colour appears.

Black or brown mold appears on the surface of the cheese
Too much moisture in the ripening area; reduce humidity. Airborne bacteria in the ripening area, clean all surfaces and environment with bleach/jik water. To combat mold, rub cheese rind with a blend of salt and vinegar (1tsp/5ml salt to ¼cup/50ml vinegar)

Blue mold has not developed in the interior of the cheese
The cheese is too dense and there are no pockets of air to encourage mold growth; pierce the cheese several times at different intervals, depending on the recipe. The cheese is too moist to allow the holes to remain open; reduce moisture in the curd by stirring or cooking it longer before ripening.

The cheese becomes very strong before the ripening time is up
Humidity in ripening area is too high; reduce humidity

Blue mold takes a very long time to develop on the rind
Humidity is too low; increase humidity in ripening area. The cheese is too dry; cook or stir less next time to maintain higher moisture level in the curd.

Washed – Rind Cheeses

The rind is sticky
There is too much humidity in ripening area; wipe off excess stickiness with a damp cloth and reduce humidity.

Cheese is very soft but still has a few weeks of ripening before its ready
Excess humidity in the curd; stir curd longer and let stand longer before placing in the mold. Or too much humidity in ripening area; reduce humidity. Or not enough acidity in the curd; let milk ripen longer before adding to rennet.

Cheese develops large holes and puffs up
Excess moisture (whey) in the curd; stir curd longer before hooping, or filling moulds, to increase moisture loss, and make sure all curd is cut equally. Or cheese was pressed too firmly too quickly, sealing the rind and trapping whey in the curd; begin pressing at low pressure, then increase slowly. Or animal fodder has legumes or silage present; remove silage and legumes from feed. Or there are yeast and contaminants in the milk; use the highest quality milk and maintain high standards of hygiene during all phases of processing. The cheese is still safe to eat. However, if cheese has a nasty of smell, it should be discarded.

Black or brown mold appears on the surface of the cheese
Too much moisture in the ripening area; reduce humidity. Airborne bacteria in the ripening area, clean all surfaces and environment with bleach/jik water. To combat mold, rub cheese rind with a blend of salt and vinegar (1tsp/5ml salt to ¼cup/50ml vinegar)

The texture of the finished cheese is rubbery
Too much rennet in the curd; reduce rennet. Or lactic bacteria are too weak; use fresh culture next time. Or washed-curd cheese was too diluted during washing; remove less whey when washing curd or add less water after whey removal.

Washed – Curd and Semisoft cheeses

The ripened cheese has light – coloured spots in the paste
Curd was not cut and stirred evenly, leaving large chunks of moist curd in the cheese when it was pressed; cut and stir evenly according to directions. Or cheese was pressed at too high a pressure too quickly; begin pressing lightly to knit the curd together and gradually increase the pressure. Or curds were cooked to fast, making the outer skin of each curd too hard and trapping moisture within; cook slowly according to the recipe’s recommendations.

The texture of the finished cheese is rubbery
Too much rennet in the curd; reduce rennet. Or lactic bacteria are too weak; use fresh culture next time. Or washed-curd cheese was too diluted during washing; remove less whey when washing curd or add less water after whey removal.

The cheese puffs up and splits soon after making
There are yeast or coliform bacteria in the milk; the cheese must be thrown out. Always use the highest quality milk and maintain scrupulous standards.

The cheese puffs up and splits after 1 to 2 months of ripening
There are bacteria in the milk that cause gas development; pasteurize correctly. Or there are legumes or silage in the animal feed; eliminate or increase quality of silage fed and remove legumes from fodder. The cheese is still safe to eat.

The rind on a natural – rind cheese, especially an old older one seems dusty and may rot an deteriorate
Your ripening area could have cheese mites that bore into the rind; clean and sanitize the ripening area thoroughly. The cheese is still safe to eat.

The rind of an aging cheese is greasy
Too much fat in the cheese (especially cheddar); Use lower- fat milk. Or the temperature in the ripening area is too high; reduce temperature.

Waxed cheeses develop “bruised” spots, which then start to rot down into the cheese
Moisture pockets under the wax contain bacteria that begin to destroy the cheese; be sure the cheese is dry before waxing. Or the wax has a small hole in it and bacteria have entered; be sure the wax coating is thick enough and remains intact throughout ripening. If you find rotting spots in your waxed cheese cut open the wax and cut out the rot. Use right away or try re – waxing and continue ripening. Monitor the cheese closely.

Cheese puffs up when removed from brine
Moisture has soaked into the cheese; increase the salt content of the brine. Or bacteria are present and have caused gas production; keep brine at 54° to 60 °F (12°C – 1°6C) and salt content at approximately 20% to 25% salinity (18°C – 20°C) Measure with brine meter.

Semi-firm and Hard Cheeses

The cheese is difficult to press and, after pressing, shows cracks in the surface even though it has been pressed firmly. The finished cheese is dry and crumbly.
The curd was cooked too high a temperature, making it too dry; watch cooking temperature carefully. Or the curd was too long and lost too much whey; test the curd during cooking for correct texture.

The cheese has light- coloured spots in the paste
The curd was not cut and stirred evenly, leaving large chunks of moist curd in the cheese when pressed. Or the cheese was pressed too quickly at too high a pressure. Begin pressing lightly and gradually increase the pressure. Or the curd was cooked too fast, making the outer skin of each curd too hard and trapping moisture within; cook slowly, according to the recipe’s recommendations.

The texture of the finished cheese is rubbery
Too much rennet in the curd; reduce rennet. Or lactic bacteria are too weak; use fresh culture next time. Or washed-curd cheese was too diluted during washing; remove less whey when washing curd or add less water after whey removal.

The cheese puffs up and splits soon after making
There are yeast or coliform bacteria in the milk; the cheese must be thrown out. Always use the highest quality milk and maintain scrupulous standards.

The cheese puffs up and splits after 1 to 2 months of ripening
There are bacteria in the milk that cause gas development; pasteurize correctly. Or there are legumes or silage in the animal feed; eliminate or increase quality of silage fed and remove legumes from fodder. The cheese is still safe to eat.

Cheese tastes quite sour and acidic
The cheese contains too much moisture
Take steps to reduce the moisture content during cheesemaking. Cut the curd smaller &/or heat the curd to a Higher temperature &/or stir the curd for a longer period of time.

Gouda cheese – I am not sure what is going wrong with my first experiments using our own goat milk. My end product has a rubbery texture / squeaky-on-your-teeth feeling and has a lot of very small holes within it. Could it be the brine (not acidic enough), our cutting / stirring / temperature —- I have followed my recipe as closely as possible. And again, is there a culture that you would especially recommend for goats cheese Gouda. We are using the CHN22 culture at the moment.
The CHN22 is best. You have to be very gentle with goat’s milk curds – stir gently. The reason it is squeaky is because too much whey has leaked from the curd due to stirring and heating or even cutting the curd too small. You should add calcium to the milk for making cheese.

I would just like to enquire; during what stage do I add the cumin to my Gouda batch?
Dosage: 100gram/ 100 liter milk
Application: Sterilise in boiling water and soak for 1.5 – 2 hrs before adding to curd.

The best sized mould for a goat’s milk Gouda: would it make a difference if we make small (0.25kg) cheeses or 1 kg cheeses?
A 1 kg is better for moistness. Small ones dry very quickly.

I would like to make cheddar. I have not made cheese before.
We suggest the K20L cheddar kit on our price list to experiment with. It is important that you start small and grow with your market. Test the cheese on your family and friends before you start selling.

What is the difference of a small teaspoon versus a teaspoon?
It is difficult to measure the culture amount for 10 liters milk as the culture packets are packed with an amount dependent on the activity of the culture rather than the weight.
Most of our recipes say use 1/3 tsp culture per 10 liters milk. In truth the correct dosage is in fact a little less than 1/3 tsp but it is better to overdose than to under dose, hence the use of the word “small teaspoon” in some of my recipes.

Butter

The butter is too greasy
The butter was over churned; stop churning just when the flecks of butter have separated from the buttermilk and the buttermilk begins to splash

The cream is too foamy during churning
The cream was too old; use fresh cream or add 1 tsp (5ml) baking soda to the cream before churning. Or the temperature at the time of churning is too high or too low; adjust the temperature. If too cold, let stand at room temperature for a short time; if too warm add some ice water to the cream (the water will churn out).

The butter is light coloured, has a whipped texture and will not separate from the buttermilk.
The temperature is too warm; chill the cream by adding some ice water to the churn. Or the churn is overfilled; fill only one-third to one half – full. Or the churn is overfilled; fill only one-third to one- half full. If you are using milk from your own production the quality of the cream could possibly have been compromised, such as by mastitis; check milk quality before making butter.

Other questions

I have been making cheese for a few years now, using unpasteurized full cream Jersey and Guernsey milk from my own cows. I have always used yogurt as a thermophilic starter and your animal rennet – with great success. Recently I decided to try your CNH22 starter culture and the liquid microbial rennet, so that my vegetarian friends can also eat my cheese. Alas, this has not been very successful. I have followed your video recipe for Gouda to the letter and cannot get the curds to set. I heat the milk to 30°C (10 liters), add a sprinkle of the starter, stir in thoroughly, leave for one hour, add rennet @ 4 drops per liter, stir in thoroughly, leave for one hour (nothing) , two hours (nothing ) and so on.

Just so you don’t think this is due to inexperience, I recently went back to the yogurt/animal rennet and bingo, within two hours had beautiful curds. The only thing I can think of is that I am not adding enough of the starter culture. How much should I add for 10 liters? Any other advice

I do not think it is the culture – more likely the rennet. Have you tried a sprinkle of CHN22 and the animal rennet? Wait to hear how it works.

Microbial rennet often requires that one must use calcium chloride. CaCl is added to the milk at the same time as the microbial rennet. It helps with the formation of a coagulum.

My camembert as I said has found enthusiastic punters around here. A few have suggested I should extend my repertoire. I had been thinking of Swiss cheese as I enjoy it myself!

The plan is to make it from 15-16 liters of jersey milk. Would that make about 5 kg cheese? I would be most grateful for any advice and recipes. I really like DVS Flora Danica which I use for the camembert I also need a suitable press and follower. I plan to simply press with weights as required. Surely the springs etc are a little over the top? My camembert moulds are made from irrigation.

Note that 15 liters makes 1,5kg. We have a wooden press and 1.5 – 2.5 kg Kadova mould suited to the job of making a hard cheese.

In the interim have a look at the Raclette recipe, attached – one of my favourite Swiss cheeses. You can use flora Danica. It does not have Propioni bacteria.

The last amount of rennet in my bottle is not coagulating the milk
Where do you store your rennet in the fridge or in the door of the fridge?

Possibilities

  • A change of food for the cows
  • Weather changes
  • You can add calcium chloride to the milk
  • Could there be a possibility that water was added to the milk
  • Another option I found from researching is: Milk is of low quality; be sure there are no antibiotics in the milk and that the cows it came from do not suffer from mastitis.
  • Try adding more rennet and allowing a longer set time next batch.
  • The milk may need to be fortified with calcium. Add calcium chloride next batch, increased with each batch until satisfactory curds have been achieved.
  • Also, pay attention to the temperature of the kitchen or cheesemaking room. If it is too hot or too cold, it may affect the development of the cheese. A good room temperature for cheesemaking is between 20 – 23.9°C.