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.
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