Making Parmesan with nettle rennet

Homebrew, cordials, cheese, dehydrating, smoking and soap making. An area for all problems to be asked, tips to be given and procedures shared.
JT101
Tom Good
Tom Good
Posts: 72
Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:55 am

Making Parmesan with nettle rennet

Post: #283013 JT101
Wed Nov 19, 2014 10:24 am

Hi everyone

I want to make parmesan from locally sourced high welfare standards milk. But I can't accept slaughtering a calf just for the rennet. And no, I don't eat lamb for the same reason.

I need to look at vegetable rennet. Of those on offer stinging nettle, purple thistle, melon, knapweed, yaroow, butterwort plant, fig, and safflower, I don't think any are suited to hard cheeses.

However, I did come across one recipe, the owner of which I cannot get hold of. They suggest nettle extract gel capsules from a health food store. Fresh nettles are recommended only for semi hard cheese like gouda, so I presume this must be some sort of concentrated dose.

I want to make this myself. So, does anyone know A) if this would actually work in making parmesan, and B) how you can make this extract yourself and to what concentration / quantity?

There is a vegetarian parmesan on the market, but they use the microbial rennet produced in a lab which I don't want to do.



Thanks

User avatar
Green Aura
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 8326
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:16 pm
latitude: 58.569279
longitude: -4.762620
Location: North West Highlands

Re: Making Parmesan with nettle rennet

Post: #283014 Green Aura
Wed Nov 19, 2014 1:25 pm

My understanding is that you can't use nettle rennet for aged cheeses (such as Parmesan) for two main reasons

1) it makes cheese, more than a couple of weeks old, bitter - I'm not sure if it's the nettle or the salt which causes this

2) because a very salty solution is needed to get the coagulant out of the leaf it inhibits the ageing process

I'm not sure how these go together because if it won't age in the first place then you'll end up with an old, bitter but not aged i.e. hardened cheese, yes? :dontknow:

So, can the coagulant part be drawn out without salt? If you can do that you might have it cracked. But bear in mind this method has been used for a very long time - you'd think someone would have improved it by now.
Maggie

Never doubt that you can change history. You already have. Marge Piercy

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin

JT101
Tom Good
Tom Good
Posts: 72
Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:55 am

Re: Making Parmesan with nettle rennet

Post: #283018 JT101
Wed Nov 19, 2014 7:31 pm

Some really good points.
I need to get to the bottom of the claims made by that person online.
If you boil the leaves in brine to extract the coagulant, why can't you just rinse it in fresh water??

User avatar
Green Aura
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 8326
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:16 pm
latitude: 58.569279
longitude: -4.762620
Location: North West Highlands

Re: Making Parmesan with nettle rennet

Post: #283020 Green Aura
Wed Nov 19, 2014 8:23 pm

It's the liquid that's used, not the leaf pulp.

I'm guessing that these capsules are just highly concentrated. So you might be able to reduce the liquid, without adding salt. Given the price of milk and nettles (which hopefully would be free) it would be worth a go.

Maybe some of our resident chemistry boffins could explain what the salt does.

My final concern is that super-concentrated nettle juice might turn your cheese bright green - not necessarily a problem, Sage Derby is fairly lurid. :lol:
Maggie

Never doubt that you can change history. You already have. Marge Piercy

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin

User avatar
MKG
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 5010
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 5:15 pm
Location: North Notts.

Re: Making Parmesan with nettle rennet

Post: #283021 MKG
Wed Nov 19, 2014 9:21 pm

Probably rupture the cell walls by increasing the osmotic pressure.

Just a guess, though.
The secret of life is to aim below the head (With thanks to MMM)

User avatar
Green Aura
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 8326
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:16 pm
latitude: 58.569279
longitude: -4.762620
Location: North West Highlands

Re: Making Parmesan with nettle rennet

Post: #283056 Green Aura
Fri Nov 21, 2014 12:41 pm

Assuming that is the reason, how else can you break down cellulose. Heat, I think, but it gets boiled anyway so maybe not.
Maggie

Never doubt that you can change history. You already have. Marge Piercy

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin

JT101
Tom Good
Tom Good
Posts: 72
Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:55 am

Re: Making Parmesan with nettle rennet

Post: #283120 JT101
Thu Nov 27, 2014 5:55 pm

Just thought I would let you guys know that I've had some in depth discussions with the person I referred to who claimed to have made the parmesan with vegetable and nettle rennet.

Well it seems that what he has infact been using was microbial vegetable rennet, which he has very successfully used to make parmesan.

He also successfully made one batch with nettle rennet gel capsules, but has since not been able to find a supplier.

He seems to think it would be possible with standard nettle rennet, so long as you boil it long enough you could use less salt.

Some serious experimentation required

Anyway, will post back when I have my results. If it doesn't work out then I'll just leave parmesan out of my diet.

littlemissrose
Tom Good
Tom Good
Posts: 93
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:30 pm
Location: Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Re: Making Parmesan with nettle rennet

Post: #283121 littlemissrose
Thu Nov 27, 2014 6:37 pm

Good luck looking forward to hearing how it goes...
My blog: https://thelifeofalittlerose.wordpress.com
My dutch blog: https://hetlevenvaneenroosje.wordpress.com has the same content bu is updated sooner.


Return to “Home Brew and other Country Skills”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 5 guests