Acidity and pH Testing

Measure Acidity or pH

Q. I'm just starting to make aged cheeses and I'm wondering what you think of acidity testing vs pH testing? 

A. Acid Titration and pH each measure distinctly different elements in the milk, whey or cheese. You will find both measures mixed within cheesemaking books.

We measure the titration of the milk while it ripens until adding the rennet. This is because there is very little acid produced and the titratable acidity will show a greater change. If you were to try to measure this with a pH meter, you might only find a half-point change.

Once the process is underway and a greater amount of acid is being produced, the pH Meter or pH Testing Strips seem to be the most convenient.

However, in the final stages when the cheese is in the more solid curd stage, it is difficult to read the pH because the readings work best in a liquid. You can then collect a bit of whey running from the cheese and measure that.

Often times, the best cheese makers can tell just by tasting and observing the texture. Remember, the tools we use are not that old compared to the history of cheese making itself.

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