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Got Dairy? (lactose fermenting)

mccann51

NewBee
Registered Member
Nov 8, 2010
637
2
0
Southwestern USA
Do many people here process their own dairy products? My girlfriend seems to be getting interested in cheese production, and I was wondering if you guys had any suggestions or advice (perhaps good books, sites, forums, or getting started tips, things to avoid, whatever).

This also got me thinking how it would be fun to do a fermented dairy drink as well. I know of kumis, which is fermented mare's milk, because the milk contains more sugars than cow's or goat's. I haven't looked recently, but pretty sure the markets around here haven't started stocking mare's milk, unfortunately. I was thinking perhaps some well placed bacteria and yeast might get some weakly alcoholic beverage, though. Or perhaps a milk and honey ferment? Holy Land Mead, anybody? I haven't started researching yet, but if you guys have any experience, it would be great to hear about it.

EDIT: just found some posts on lactomels, interesting.
 
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mccann51

NewBee
Registered Member
Nov 8, 2010
637
2
0
Southwestern USA
Okay, so I've done a bit more reading on the potential of a lactomel, as I've found my fellow GotMeaders refer to it.

I'm thinking of doing a half gallon, as I'm wary of the chance of spoilage.

Gonna go with a pound of honey and use milk up to volume. Depending on how think the milk is, I anticipate a OG of 1.100 to 1.120, hopefully the lower end of that.

I was gonna pitch a Lactobacillus culture to breakdown some of the lactose (I'm hoping Wyeast's strains are heterofermentative so I can get some alcohol as well as lactic acid) and some K1V to help out-compete any nasty micro-organisms. My big question is will K1V also kick out the Lacto I pitch, or will there be enough of a population of the latter to keep going? If they are working on different sugars, will this even matter (is there such a thing as niche partitioning in a must?)? Should I give the Lacto a day head start?
 

akueck

Certified Mead Mentor
Certified Mead Mentor
Jun 26, 2006
4,958
10
0
Ithaca, NY
I would give the lacto a head start in just the milk, then add the honey and yeast. If you pitch lacto into a honey must it might eat the glucose first, and by the time the yeast get the alcohol content up to 12% or so you might have killed off a lot of the bacteria. Starting the milk first also lets you separate the milk solids before mixing in the honey, so it will be less mess later and less chance for odd things to happen.
 

mccann51

NewBee
Registered Member
Nov 8, 2010
637
2
0
Southwestern USA
I would give the lacto a head start in just the milk, then add the honey and yeast. If you pitch lacto into a honey must it might eat the glucose first, and by the time the yeast get the alcohol content up to 12% or so you might have killed off a lot of the bacteria. Starting the milk first also lets you separate the milk solids before mixing in the honey, so it will be less mess later and less chance for odd things to happen.
Thanks, Akueack, sounds like solid advice (pun intended once I realized a pun was present). Any idea what the solids would be? Fats?

By the way, I contacted Wyeast and they got back immediately; the species is L. buchneri, which is heterofermentative. This is the species in all their packets with Lactobacillus.
 

akueck

Certified Mead Mentor
Certified Mead Mentor
Jun 26, 2006
4,958
10
0
Ithaca, NY
Yes, the emulsion in milk will break when the pH drops. The solids that separate are mostly fat. Basically you make curds and whey. If you're adventurous, you could try to make cheese from the curds.
 

icedmetal

NewBee
Registered Member
Nov 16, 2009
794
1
0
Everett WA
Yes, the emulsion in milk will break when the pH drops. The solids that separate are mostly fat. Basically you make curds and whey. If you're adventurous, you could try to make cheese from the curds.
Our curds when doing the lactomel batch actually made a pretty decent mozzarella. The hard part was getting the amount of salt just right.