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Discussion Starter #1
I attempted my first batch of cheese today. I added the buttermilk last night, let it sit overnight then added 1/2 a rennet tablet after dissolving it in 1/4 cup of cold water. It took awhile for the curd to set enough to cut but it did finally set. I cut the curd and that seemed to go well enough but when I turned on the heat and began mixing the curds gently by hand, they dissolved back into a creamy mix! I now have it draining and will consider it Neufchatel I guess. It looks and smells wonderful but all of my curds disappeared. Should I have used liquid rennet instead??

Sherry in GA
 

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If you're making cream cheese, after all the whey has drained, your cheese will firm-up after you've put it into the refrigerator to chill.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well, I wasn't planning on it being cream cheese but that is what I have ended up with. I just need to know why my curds disintergrated! I was going for hard cheese, haha! I got so frustrated that I almost fed it to the chickens before hubby intervened.

Sherry in GA
 

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Sherrynboo said:
I just need to know why my curds disintergrated!
You left the milk to culture overnight, and too much lactic acid developed. The milk curdled from the acid instead of from the rennet, which gives you a different curd type not normally used in "hard" cheese.

I don't understand why your recipe would call for leaving it so long (unless they assumed the buttermilk was very weak, or the milk was all but sterile?), but you'll have much better luck if you find a recipe that calls for adding the starter just an half hour (or hour, at most) before adding the rennet. That way just enough acid will develop for the rennet to act properly, and give you a nice curd, rather than the acid curd you got.
 

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all the recipes that call for leaving all nite dont call for renet later that i remember

renet is added 10-90 min after adding culture

you can make a cottage cheese, small curd, by culturing over night, adding NO rennet and then cutting and heating the curd.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you Julia and Jersygurl! I got the recipe out of the package of rennet and it said to add buttermilk and let set overnight, then add the rennet. I may try again this weekend and see how it goes. I had a feeling this was not going to be as easy as it seemed!

Sherry in GA
 

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When I took a chessemaking course, the teacher tested the ph and the titratable acidity of the curd mixture several times, in order to know when to add or do what. A lot like chemistry class!
 
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