Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Curse of the Port Salut

I tried yesterday to make a new batch of Port Salut.  Somehow, this cheese seems to be my nemisis.  I got everything together according to the recipe.  Forty five minutes after adding the rennet, the milk had not gelled.  Waited another half an hour and still nothing.  So I ended up tossing three gallons of milk.  I am absolutely positive that I used the proper cultures and the rennet.  So much so, that this morning, after getting another three gallons of milk, I went through all my cultures and packets, labeled Ziplock bags with a Sharpie, organized them, and then took out the mesophillic culture, the b. linens, and the rennet, set them aside, and returned the remaining cultures to the freezer.  Even though I am absolutely certain, I triple checked myself this morning, just to satisfy my anal retentive nature.

I suspect that IF I did, indeed, use the right materials, I may have had residual sterilizing agents on the pot, spoons, etc.  I would not think that the tiniest amount of bleach would do this, but to be sure, I resterilized everything again and rinsed the hell out of them, more than usual. 

The only other thing it could be is the rennet.  I tried adding a bit of it to a little milk and it quickly gelled, so that wasn't it.  I am stumped.

This is no longer a desire to make a different cheese.  It has become a quest.  It will not beat me!

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