Sunday, April 14, 2013

Milk for Cheesemaking

This article was written by my eldest daughter Tracy Bunker for her The Yellow Rose blog...

Milk for Cheesemaking: An Overview

When choosing milk for cheesemaking, it helps to have a basic knowledge of the fundamental makeup of milk and the variations within different kinds and forms of milk.

Parts of Milk

Milk is made up of four main components:

Water is the main ingredient in milk. Cow milk is 87% water, goat milk is 88% water, and sheep milk is 82% water. The cheesemaker’s goal is to remove a very large portion of the water content within milk to make cheese. The water content of a finished cheese is the main factor in the shelf life or aging period of that cheese.

Lactose is a type of sugar found exclusively in milk and is transformed by the cultures you add during the cheesemaking process into lactic acids and carbon dioxide.

Lipids (or butterfat) are fat globules and small proteins in the milk, which contribute to the opaque white color in milk. Sometimes, vitamin-rich lipids will contain carotene, which will cause the milk to look slightly yellow or orange. The actual level of butterfat in your milk depends on the type of milk you have chosen to use, and it also depends largely on the source animal’s breed, weight, and diet within the last week or so. Milk fat is extremely important in the cheesemaking process, for the triglycerides contain 98% of the overall milk fat, and they will be broken down to free some of those fatty acid compounds which help your cheese develop to its full flavor potential.

Proteins within milk consist of whey proteins and caseins, or milk proteins. The most important factor of this duo is the caseins, which will bind together to play a main role in the solidification of your milk during the cheesemaking process.  Whey proteins are contained in the yellow, watery whey.

Types of Milk

Cow milk is the most common type of milk used in cheesemaking and is also the milk with the most developed arsenal of recipes and styles of cheese. It is sweet, creamy, and rich with a fat content generally between 3.5% and 4.4%. The lactose in cow milk is usually around 4.5%.

Goat milk is slightly different from cow milk, being bit more on the tangy side of milk flavors. Sometimes it can taste like a barnyard, or just plain goaty. Cooling the milk quickly and thoroughly immediately upon milking helps to diminish these flavors and bring out the fine flavor of this milk. Goat milk is around 88% water, 3.9% lactose, and 2.5% proteins. Goat milk can also have a higher fat content than cow milk, but the actual fat globules within the milk are smaller, and stay suspended in the milk more easily, making them rise to the top much more slowly than you will see in cow milk.

Sheep milk is a richer milk all around, weighing in at 82% water, 6.5% lipids, 4.5% lactose and 5.5% protein. Sheep milk is richer even than the milk of Jersey cows. It has been described as golden and fatty, and it can have a bit of a musky sheep flavor, even if it is chilled well. Some very, very excellent cheeses can be made from sheep’s milk though. If you plan on getting the milk from your own animal by hand, be aware that they give less milk generally than goats and can be a bit ornery when you go to get it from them.

There are a few factors that will affect the milk you have, making the percentages here and the standardized percentages used in fancy cheese formulas vary just a bit:

·         Diet of the milk animal
·         Breed of the milk animal
·         Health of the milk animal
·         Milking methods
·         Storage methods
·         Stage of lactation (how long after calving the milk was produced)
·         Time of year

Knowing about the milk you are starting your cheesemaking projects with will help you to foresee any problems or overcome minor issues during cheesemaking and you will be one step closer to achieving a healthy, delicious cheese, whatever the milk may be.

Tracy Bunker is about to be 20 years old and was raised Off-Grid.  She writes articles for Cultures For Health and for her own blog.


Michael Bunker said...

To the nice lady who put the nice comment about this article. I deleted it on accident! I apologize. I just hit the wrong button. Please feel free to send your comment again, and thank you for your kind words.

Boštjan said...

I would add that there are also types of milk, they call it A1 and A2 milk. According to studies that came out, A1 milk is not healthy for man, while A2 is. Goats milk is the best milk to do stuff with. Because goats have 100% A2 type milk, meaning they have the right, human digestion friendly, beta-casein protein in the milk. Out of cows, Guernsey have 92% probability to have A2 type milk, Brown swiss 65% and Holstein only 35%. Holsteins are a product of breeding different kinds of breeds some decades ago, which God forbids in the OT, now we know why scientifically. They give the most ammount of milk, but their milk is most likely A1 type milk! I read about all this not long ago. Thought I would share.

God bless you guys

Boštjan said...

Also get some kefir grains (if you don't have them all-ready), put them in the milk and let it ferment for 24 or 36 hours (if you are lactose intolerant), very delicious and very healthy!

(Also Aloe barbadensis or Aloe arborescens plants are good to have, you eat the gel of it's leaves, also very healthy)

(and some Sodium bicarbonate with black strap mollases or maple sirup, maybe even raw organic honey - kills the fungi(yeast) in the gut- yeast/fungy is cancer)

Goodbye and take care friends

Boštjan said...

Oh, I remembered one more thing. Ever heard of ghee? It's butter slowly cooked on heat and then it can be used for cooking, and eating, and it lasts longer because all the water evaporates in the process. I stumbled, praise the Lord, on your page Lazarous unbound a week or so ago. I am 29 years old and I live in Europe, in a small country called Slovenia, the most taxed country in the world. Currently I am listening to your teachings and I agree with them all. How blessed it is to listen to a (KJV 1611) Bible believing Christian who has aquired such wisdom through life. Praise the Lord. After many years of scouring the internet through all the Catholic, Arminian Ecumenical crap, I finally found someone really worth listening to in these latter days (I also listen occasionally to the hated Fred Phelps - WBC and to Don Fortner, a preacher from Danville, Kentucky). Now I also found your blog and it is pretty overwhelming to read through all your interesting posts.

Anyways, back to ghee = cooked butter. I noticed you also make butter at your place, so this is a good information for you guys if you don't all-ready know about this.

"...Tolerates heat well – Ghee can tolerate high temperatures, which gives it an advantage over regular butter (which can scorch due to its milk proteins) and many other oils (notably olive oil, which becomes carcinogenic when heated). Ghee’s smoke point is between 325°F and 375°F, making it suitable for cooking, frying and sauteing. Moreover, ghee’s nutritional structure remains intact when subjected to heat, prompting nutritionist Paul Pitchford to declare ghee as one of the greatest cooking oils in his 2002 book, Healing with Whole Foods."

The proccess is pretty simple, you just cook butter on low heat, and then some white solid stuff falls to the bottom of the vessel and some white foam forms on top. You skim the white foam off, and you wait a bit till the stuff on the bottom becomes a little brownish, which gives the cooked butter a caramel-yellow like color. This process usually lats an hour or more on very low heat, so that the stuff that falls to the bottom, does not overburn.

I wanted to share all this with you.

I hope you guys are doing well, since all these droughts in the summer and cold winters. The Lord is punishing the land for its wickedness (Jeremiah 12:4). It's the same where I live. The Lord is lighting up volcanoes all over the world (Psalm 144:5), Electromagnetic shield arround the earth is weakening, the sun is doing it's part and so on. And we, the elect, will be here till after the sixth vial (Revelation 16:15) and gathered unto our King before the seventh vial.

Isaiah 50:10 Who is among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God.

1Peter 5:9 ...knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

I hope you don't mind, Mr. Bunker, posting all this under this post.

God bless you and your congregation