Lab 2: Cheesemaking Data

Group B: Trina, Sam, Andrew, and Raine (recorder)

Thursday, April 8th, 2021 on Mai Fete Island

Weather: 63°F, windy, partly cloudy

Used the open fire throughout

A picture of our fire setup. Burning logs on the left, and to the right a heightened grate. Our pot sits on top of the grate, with the lid on and thermometer poking out.
Our fire setup

Initial Measurements

Pot Temperature79°F (important to note because we went second, so the pot had been heated already)
Milk Temperature69.1°F
Milk Volume1 Gallon
Milk Weight3.877 kg
Water Volume2 cups
Water Weight0.430 kg
Vinegar Volume1/4 cup
Vinegar Weight0.054 kg
Total (Milk+Water+Vinegar) Weight4.361 kg

Pre-Rennet Timeline

Here, we slowly combined the vinegar-water mixture with the milk and then set the pot over the fire to heat it to 90° F.

TimeTime Since Beginning (minutes)Temperature (°F)Actions/Observations
3:090Poured vinegar into milk slowly while stirring
3:10168° Placed pot on fire
3:145Tent fell over, we had to restart our rennet solution
3:16780°Added another log
3:18982°Still looks like milk, has some specks of ash in it
3:221389°-90°Took pot off fire, added in the dissolved rennet tablet and water. Placed the lid on the pot to retain heat.
To the right, Trina pours the rennet and water into the milk while stirring. Sam watches from the left.
Sam and Trina pour in the dissolved rennet.

Post-Rennet Timeline

Here, we added in the rennet and waited for the curds to form while trying to maintain 90°F.

TimeTime since adding Rennet (minutes)Temperature (°F)Actions/Observations
3:22090°Added rennet, placed lid on pot to retain heat
3:26488°Took the lid off, placed pot near fire to keep warm
3:371587°Added half of a log to the fire
3:4220105°/85°Took pot off the fire entirely. Because we placed the log barely under the pot, one side of the milk got heated much more than the other side
3:4523Achieved clean break; Cut the curd into rough cubes; stirred the pot
3:482592°Stirred the pot
3:522990°Stirred the pot again; Curd texture: very very loosely formed, soft, almost falls apart on touch
3:583590°Stirred the pot; starting to look more solid
4:044190°Curd texture: feels soft, breaks apart slightly less than earlier, more separated on the surface
A pot with curds and whey in it. A thermometer and wooden spoon also are in the pot.
Our curds and whey

Straining timeline

Because we were the second group to go, we had less time to strain our curds and whey, and we did not get a chance to make actual cheese out of them.

TimeTime since pouring into strainer (minutes)Actions/Observations
4:090Curds and whey poured into strainer with cheesecloth.
4:189Curds are soft to touch, still quite wet
4:3324Curds and whey taken to be measured

Final Measurements

Consider that these measurements were only made after 24 minutes of straining, so the curds and whey may not have been fully separated.

Weight of Curds1.710 kg
Volume of Wheyabout .75 gal
Weight of Whey2.597 kg

Miscellaneous Qualitative Observations (from other groups)

From the Mozzarella Group: the curds were falling apart a little bit in the water, breaking into pieces that almost looked like styrofoam. The water was at 150°F. The final product tasted salty and milkier than store-bought mozzarella usually tastes, but overall good.

From the Whey Cheese Group: The only-whey group produced negligible cheese–it tasted a little salty and maybe a little smoky, but you had to get that cheese by literally scraping the cheesecloth. The 25% curd whey cheese tasted faintly like milk and was soft and a bit chewy.

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