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Common Problems and Solutions

Common Problems and Solutions

Below is a list of the most common issues and solutions for cheese making.


Milk does not form a curd or coagulate



Milk Temperature too low

Rennet too weak or too old

Rennet was mixed in the same container as the cheese color

Colostrum in the milk

Not enough rennet used

Rennet destroyed by mixing in warm water



Cheese forms tiny curd grains as soon as the rennet is added to the milk



Too much acidity in the milk

High acidity can be caused from using old milk, unpasteurized milk or by adding too much culture.

It can also be caused from letting the milk ripen too long or adding too much culture



Cheese Tastes bitter



Unclean equipment or poor hygiene

Poor milk handling or not cooling properly

Too much acidity in the cheese making process

Too much rennet used



Cheese is Dry



Cutting the curd too small

Not enough rennet used

Overcooking the curds

Overworking the curds or stirring too much

Rough handling of the curds

Raising the temperature too high too fast



Mold growing on surface of the cheese



Unclean conditions during aging or drying time

Too much humidity during aging or drying

Not heating wax hot enough for waxed cheeses

Not rubbing with salt soaked rag for rind cheeses on consistent schedule



Cheese Swells and is filled with many tiny holes like a sponge



Yeast or Coliform Bacterial infection.  Both can be caused from unclean surfaces, not covering the milk during coagulation and ripening time.  Yeast can also be a problem if you make wine or beer in the same area that you make cheese.  Either infection can easily be identified.  Yeast gives the cheese the distinct smell of yeasty bread dough.  Coliform gives the cheese an odd funny smell.  Once the cheese is infected it cannot be saved, you must throw the cheese away and take steps to prevent any future infections.  Clean all the surfaces in your kitchen with a diluted bleach solution and make sure you cover your milk during the ripening and coagulation time.



Difficulty removing the cheese from the cheese press/molds or removing the cheesecloth from the cheese.



Bacterial invasion, which can cause the cheese to swell.  See number 6 above.

Cheese was not redressed as called for in a recipe.  This will make the cheesecloth stick to the curds.



Wet Spots on the cheese



Too much moisture left in the curds.  Curds were not cooked long enough.

Not turning an aging cheese often enough.



Oily Cheese



Room temperature too warm when air drying the rind.

Curds were over heated or stirred too hard.



Cheese has no flavor



Cheese not aged long enough

Not enough acidity in the cheese from not using enough culture

Low acidity can also be caused from a residue left on pots and equipment from cleaning solutions.  Be sure to rinse them thoroughly and air-drying.

Not using enough salt to flavor the cheese.



Cheese is Rubbery



Curds were handled too rough/ stirred too much

Curds were heated too quickly during cooking process causing them to get tough.

Too much rennet was used