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I am new to cheese making and I do not want to use raw milk to make cheese for health reasons. So, my next option is to use pasteurized milk. However, since pasteurization destroys some of the proteins one can say that there will be some differences considering there are going to be less proteins to coagulate.

I heard that most cheese makers are adding ingredients to help pasteurize milk coagulate. What are these ingredients? Are they natural?

What is the best approach to take for making good cheese with pasteurized milk?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Unfortunately, the usual store bought pasteurised milk undergoes a process that kills virtually everything needed for coagulation to occur, which basically means making cheese becomes a whole lot harder.

The cheese you buy from stores that is made from pasteurised milk is either made from low heat pasteurisation or by the addition of additional ingredients, typically calcium chloride.

I have no idea where you may be able to acquire calcium chloride where you live but you may be able to obtain low heat pasteurised milk from health food stores, maybe some of the larger supermarkets will stock it, also.

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It's also becoming easier in many places to find raw milk from local producers. –  kevins Jul 15 '10 at 13:43
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@Pulse, as a very amateur cheesemaker myself I know you can get the ingredients such as Calcium Chloride from your local store that sells cheesemaking supplies. If you can't get it locally try (cheesemaking.com/cheesemakingadditives.html) Please note, I'm not affiliated with New England Cheesemaking, I have purchased their products in the past and have success with them. –  Nathan Koop Jul 15 '10 at 17:50
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25 kg of calcium chloride seems fine; you're just not thinking big enough! –  Brendan Long Feb 4 '11 at 1:33
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@Pulse - I just noticed this answer- a little late admittedly. This isn't strictly true- at least in the US. Pasteurization can damage the milk but it is inaccurate to say that "virtually everything" is killed. It is not hard at all to make cheese with store bought milk but I have never used raw milk so maybe it is much easier in comparison. See my answer below. –  Sobachatina Jun 15 '11 at 13:54
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Calcium Chloride is also used a water conditioner in beer making. Most home brew supply shops carry it in packages smaller than 25 kg. –  pdemarest Jun 17 '11 at 15:20

Most pasteurization is done at temperatures under 165F and does not damage the milk proteins enough to prevent coagulation.

Milk that has been heated past 165F will be labeled as Ultra Pasteurized and is likely to not be suitable for cheese making because too many casein molecules will have denatured and will be unable to bond with the calcium in the milk.

The calcium chloride is often added as a safety net for milk that may have been mistreated. Both pasteurization and homogenization can damage the milk structure. The extra calcium makes it more likely that the undamaged proteins will be able to find calcium to bind with and the structure of the curd will be acceptable.

Again most store-bought milk in the US is not Ultra Pasteurized and a suitable curd can often be formed with no extra additives. Most home cheese recipes call for store bought milk and I have personally had no instance of store bought milk (or even powdered milk) failing to form a curd.

pasteurization: http://www.fcs.msue.msu.edu/ff/pdffiles/foodsafety2.pdf
Milk selection in home cheese making: http://biology.clc.uc.edu/fankhauser/Cheese/Cheese_course/Cheese_course.htm

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The standard for pasteurization is 161F, for UHT it is 275F. There is another type called low temperature pasteurization and it is at least 145F and not industrially used. –  Recep Jun 16 '11 at 6:01

I've seen some recipes that use cultured buttermilk, stirred into the milk as an agent to acidify everything before adding the rennet. I'd say this is your best bet.

pasteurization isn't sterilization, so some types of bacteria may survive, but you have more of a chance to get an infection from something undesirable, I would wager.

No actual experience though. Fair warning.

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