What Happens If You Put Too Much Rennet in Cheese?Cheese-making is an art that requires precision and attention to detail. The use of rennet is critical in the coagulation process that turns milk into cheese. It is an enzyme that helps solidify the milk proteins, separating the liquid (whey) from the solid (curd). However, adding too much rennet can have adverse effects on the cheese, resulting in texture and flavor issues.
Rapid Coagulation and RubberinessOne of the most significant impacts of using excessive rennet is rapid coagulation, which results in firm and rubbery curds. When coagulation occurs quickly, it creates a tight and compact cheese structure that can be difficult to cut. The curd can tear rather than slice, leading to a less desirable texture. The excess rennet causes curds to cluster together, trapping too much whey and resulting in a rubbery appearance and consistency.
Curds Retaining Excessive WheyWhen curds hold too much liquid, the cheese becomes overly soft and can turn slimy. As mentioned previously, too much rennet can cause curds to coagulate too quickly, preventing the whey from separating efficiently. The trapped whey leads to excessive moisture in the final product, resulting in a soft and slimy texture. This is particularly problematic in firmer types of cheese like cheddar, which should have a drier, crumbly texture.
Bitter Taste from Improper DilutionExcessive rennet can also lead to bitterness in cheese. Dilution with water is necessary in many cheese-making processes to prepare the milk for coagulation. However, using chlorinated water can have adverse effects on the cheese’s flavor. The use of chlorinated water can react with the rennet, resulting in a bitter taste. This problem becomes more severe with high concentrations of rennet.
- Pro Tip: Dilute rennet only in non-chlorinated water to avoid a bitter aftertaste.