So I made some Cheddar this last Sunday with my first batch of active Kefir. I keep saying its name Kefir (“Keefer” or “Keifer”) or should it be Ka-Fear, I guess it doesn’t really make as long as it makes great cheese. The make was very different from my regular cheddar makes and I have been pondered many of the facts and wanted to discuss with you all.
I followed my stirred curd recipe for 2 gallon batch
2 gallons raw milk – initial pH 6.85
1/2 cup of kefir – 60 minutes – pH dropped to 6.49
1/2 tsp rennet
The Rennet should set up 40-50 minutes, but it was at a clean break in about 18 minutes. I let it go to 23 mins just to be sure it was really set.
At the curd cut the pH was already down to 6.45, way faster than with freeze dried cultures
Stir for 15 minutes, then heat for 45 and the pH was at 6.18, the correct draining pH.
Drain, press and the pH dropped to 5.38 in another 60 minutes and off to salting and molding.
I am new to Kefir so I have many questions about this make:
1. Have you had your pH drop like that with Kefir?
2. Do you see the rennet setup crazy fast?
3. Are there side effects from the whole acid drop happening so fast?
4.Is it okay as long as I stick to the pH profile?
5. Did I use too much Kefir or too much Rennet?
The wheels are looking good and are properly firm. Drying now even 3 days out. So we really won’t know anything for another 60 days. Stick around and we will discuss cheddar more in depth in the coming weeks!