Citric Acid

No Curds Forming

Q. I am a farmer milking two Jersey cows. I recently tried to make a quick batch of Paneer with my surplus. I was following your recipe and added 1 tsp of Citric Acid, dissolved in 16 oz of water.

The curds barely formed. I was worried, but as I had added all the acid, I decided to let it sit and be patient. Total flop. It remained the consistency of runny yogurt and never solidified.

Should I have added more acid because it was farm-fresh milk? If so, like double? Ricotta has also been frustrating to me. I find it difficult to achieve curd formation. The whey is extremely milky and the yield of cheese very low.

A. It's the high temperature and acid addition that make these cheeses.

Once the milk reaches the high temperature and the acid is added and stirred in, allow it to set still for a few minutes and watch for small flakes to form. You will likely need more acid with this milk due to the high solids of the Jersey milk, so mix double the acid. Use half of this to start, then wait a couple minutes to see if flakes form. If not, add a bit more acid and repeat. Keep repeating small additions until you see a result of flakes forming. If it works, note the % of acid solution used and use that for future batches.

On a side note, you mention using your "surplus" milk and if that is more than 2-3 days old or already developing its own acidity, it may be past the point of making ricotta or paneer.

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