First mozzarella attempt

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jcam222

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Jun 13, 2017
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Northeast Ohio
Followed SmokinAl SmokinAl step by step. I did have quite a bit of loose curds. At the end I heated 45 second at a time pouring off whey each time. I never did get to a shiny floss finish or stretchable. Honestly the next to last time I heated it I think I could have stretched it. It's almost like the last time I heated it it "broke" It was noticably more porous and didn't knead as well. I did add 1t of kosher salt and shook on some Italian seasoning that I didn't measure to knead in on the last pass. It's not porous on the cut and tastes good. I did think it would yield a little more. I got 15.9 oz yield. I strained the whey so don't believe I lost any there. I'm going to try another batch tomorrow. Couple pics here of the whole ball and sliced up to gift 2/3 to friends tonight. Questions for those of you who have done this more than me. 1) I've read that when using tab rennet if you don't get good sould curds you can increase to 1/2 or even while tab. Anything new yet that or have thoughts? 2) Does it make Sense that I had a smooth shiney consistency and seemed to break it with an additional heat? 3) What t xture do you achieve? This is somewhat squeaky like fresh curds I've bought. I feel like most fresh mozzarella I've bought was less squeaky/ creamier. Appreciate any advice. I'd really like to get this down pat as I have several ideas for it.
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Another thing I've been looking to do . Just haven't decided yet . My Son is the dairy manager at a local grocery , and he brings home all kinds of cheese that he gets from the vender to try .
Had a motz the other day that was so good .
 
I don't know enough about it to share any advice. But it looks good. This is something I'd like to try myself.
 
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Not giving advice here as I have only done once so far. Yours looks good from here . Did you try to melt a little to see if it was stringy ,
and like you said it tasted good :emoji_thumbsup:

I followed Al's post also. I used 3.5% whole milk. My was very pully shiny. But it did not make very much.
Mine also did not really curd up well , it was more many many little curds . That is why I used the cheese cloth to collect it all.

I did not know about adding more tablet to the batch.

I also want to do this again , as soon as I find some whole milk and I will add another half tablet.

Always a work in progress with me.

David
 
I'm only a little help. I make allot of cheese, but only mozz a few times. I'm not familiar with Al s method, if you post a link that'll help. I'm assuming this was a 30 minute type recipe with added acid.

if you got a clean break in the correct amount of time, don't add more rennet. To much rennet will make the cheese rubbery and that's something that folks struggle with on mozz even with the right amount of renet. Type of renet can matter. Unless you are vegetarian (ha!) don't waste your time with anything but animal renet. Most of the non-animal renet are made by GMO bacteria.

picture of the curds would help. If they are real broken up either you cut them too soon, were too aggressive stirring, or you have pour quality milk. The are different ways companies can pastureize and some are worse than others for cheese making. Check out this list for milk in your area. https://cheesemaking.com/pages/good-milk
The curd being to broken up probably means you lost fat and maybe too much whey. This could explain your yield.

if it didn't stretch, welcome to the cheese making club. I think everyone has this experience, lol. As far as I know it is most likely one of two things. Temp is too low, out pH is too high. Did you measure either?

Since you didn't get a real stretch, texture like cheese curds is what you expect, since that is what you made. The texture will relax a little bit after 3 days in the fridge if you want a less squeaky texture. Unstretchable mozz is perfect for fried cheese stick because it won't melt out everywhere. Enjoy your cheese!
 
I have found that the milk is the most important thing. If you can get farm fresh unpasteurized milk, that would be the best. Don’t buy ultra pasteurized milk, it won’t work at all. We use TG Lee whole milk. I have tried several other brands, and have had several failures. If the cheese doesn’t come together, just keep re heating it & working it until it does. There is a bit of a learning curve. Good luck, and I think you first try was pretty darn good Jeff! OH, and I’ve never used more than 1/4 tab of rennet.
Al
 
Not giving advice here as I have only done once so far. Yours looks good from here . Did you try to melt a little to see if it was stringy ,
and like you said it tasted good :emoji_thumbsup:

I followed Al's post also. I used 3.5% whole milk. My was very pully shiny. But it did not make very much.
Mine also did not really curd up well , it was more many many little curds . That is why I used the cheese cloth to collect it all.

I did not know about adding more tablet to the batch.

I also want to do this again , as soon as I find some whole milk and I will add another half tablet.

Always a work in progress with me.

David
Thanks David. I'm definitely going to work it until I get it down pat. Found a cool site with lots of other cheeses to make too.

I'm only a little help. I make allot of cheese, but only mozz a few times. I'm not familiar with Al s method, if you post a link that'll help. I'm assuming this was a 30 minute type recipe with added acid.

if you got a clean break in the correct amount of time, don't add more rennet. To much rennet will make the cheese rubbery and that's something that folks struggle with on mozz even with the right amount of renet. Type of renet can matter. Unless you are vegetarian (ha!) don't waste your time with anything but animal renet. Most of the non-animal renet are made by GMO bacteria.

picture of the curds would help. If they are real broken up either you cut them too soon, were too aggressive stirring, or you have pour quality milk. The are different ways companies can pastureize and some are worse than others for cheese making. Check out this list for milk in your area. https://cheesemaking.com/pages/good-milk
The curd being to broken up probably means you lost fat and maybe too much whey. This could explain your yield.

if it didn't stretch, welcome to the cheese making club. I think everyone has this experience, lol. As far as I know it is most likely one of two things. Temp is too low, out pH is too high. Did you measure either?

Since you didn't get a real stretch, texture like cheese curds is what you expect, since that is what you made. The texture will relax a little bit after 3 days in the fridge if you want a less squeaky texture. Unstretchable mozz is perfect for fried cheese stick because it won't melt out everywhere. Enjoy your cheese!
Great info! I did not check PH but did monitor temps with a Fireboard probe I have a PH meter and plan on factors ng that on next time. I'll check that link too to find the best milk. I'm in an area with many Mennonites so plan onf looking for some farm fresh whole milk too.

I have found that the milk is the most important thing. If you can get farm fresh unpasteurized milk, that would be the best. Don’t buy ultra pasteurized milk, it won’t work at all. We use TG Lee whole milk. I have tried several other brands, and have had several failures. If the cheese doesn’t come together, just keep re heating it & working it until it does. There is a bit of a learning curve. Good luck, and I think you first try was pretty darn good Jeff! OH, and I’ve never used more than 1/4 tab of rennet.
Al
I did get it to come together into a nice ball ultimately. It's very dry and won't melt. I think I over heated and overworked it during the finishing. It's like I worked the milk fat out of it and / or the milk was low quality with very little milk fat.
 
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This made me want to make mozzarella, lol.
Was reading my books and in one it says trying to stretch before it's ready will make the cheese hard and grainy. This might be the "split" you describe. When checking if it'll stretch, leave most of it alone and try only a small piece to prevent over working before it's hot enough.
I'm going to start my batch tomorrow morning 🤠
 
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Batch #2 today with a few mods. The milk I'm using is the same as batch 1 , Tofts whole milk which is pasteurized and homogenized. Change one was adding a 1/4t of calcium citrate ( I used pickle crisp granules) dissolved in 1/4 cup distilled water. I did that immediately after adding the milk to the pot. No heat yet as I prepared the 1/4 tab rennet in 1/4 cup distilled water and 1 1/2 t citric acid dissolved in 1/4 cup distilled water. Next change from what I did yesterday was to add the citric acid as soon as I turned on the heat. I did check PH and was on point at 5.2. I made sure to heat slowly taking about 12 minutes to hit 90F. I stirred slowly and frequently on the way to 90F. . I noticed a difference in the milk viscosity from yesterday almost immediately. Pulled from the heat and added rennet. Stirred a bit with whisk and then 30 seconds up and down with a potato masher. Covered and set aside for 30 minutes. Here are a couple pics of the curd formation. Much more formed than my first batch.
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Back on the burner and heated to 105F while I gently just circulated the curd mass. Pulled immediately and continued to circulate them carefully for 2 minutes. It did break up some but nowhere near the small fine stuff yesterday. 99% I removed to a towel lined bowl with a slotted spoon. I did strain maybe 2 oz max of fines.
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After squeezing it out good I had this to work with.
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Microwaved 1 minute , kneaded just a little and poured off whey. I did this 3 more times 30 seconds nukes. On the second I salted with 1t coarse sea salt and spiked with herbs. Did not capture pics. Third time was a charm and I got a nice stretch that didn't break. I stretched and folded over 4 or 5 times before forming my ball and putting it in ice water.
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Yield was 1 lbs 2 oz about 2.5 higher than batch 1. It seems creamier. I'm again sharing with some folks for feedback so after icing I cut it in 4 portions and stores each in containers of salted whey. I'll tast again shortly and decide what I need to do if anything for next batch. If it's still not as creamy as I want I am considering adding 1/2 cup heavy cream next time.
 
Your whey is nice and clear, you got a good set. But your curd still fell apart some. I suggest trying a different milk source as your next step. If you get fresh milk, you shouldn't need the additional calcium.

Good progress!
 
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Your whey is nice and clear, you got a good set. But your curd still fell apart some. I suggest trying a different milk source as your next step. If you get fresh milk, you shouldn't need the additional calcium.

Good progress!
Yep may try fresh milk or may simulate it with cream added. Just ate a little of this batch and texture is close to spot on what I expect from fresh mozzarella. I'd like to get a little smoother bottom on the ball but I think that's because I should have heated it a little more before doing the final form.
 
Looks good Jeff! And a good tutorial. We followed Al's thread in making mozz quite awhile back with good success at first, then started having issues. Think we finally figured out our liquid rennet lost some of it's potency. And yes, finding a good quality milk is the hardest, at least around me.

Ryan
 
Found a cool site with lots of other cheeses to make too.

Did you post this if not would you mind.

Your third picture, here below is what my curds kind of looked like, but mine even smaller. And there was no solid curd at all to slice.
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It finally ended up ok, see below, but I think with better milk ( whole , not pasteurized at all ) is what I really need.

But I was shocked at how little finished cheese from the amount of milk.

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David
 
Did you post this if not would you mind.

Your third picture, here below is what my curds kind of looked like, but mine even smaller. And there was no solid curd at all to slice.
View attachment 693620

It finally ended up ok, see below, but I think with better milk ( whole , not pasteurized at all ) is what I really need.

But I was shocked at how little finished cheese from the amount of milk.

View attachment 693621View attachment 693622


David
I think it's ok to post the link since it really doesn't compete with this site. Tons of info on this site and has recipes categorized by experience level. https://cheesemaking.com/blogs/learn/faq-30-minute-mozzarella-cheese
 
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I think I may dive deeper into cheese. Seems a great hobby since I love cheese and LoydB LoydB posts have been intriguing. Considering buying a wine frig for a temp controlled cheap cave. Trying to figure out the best SIMPLE method to keep it humid enough. I've seen anything from just a pan of water and a Bluetooth hygrometer to terra cotta bricks. LoydB LoydB indaswamp indaswamp do either of you have suggestions? I'd like to avoid anything requiring wiring, just not in my skill set. I'd also be open to a premade solution in the $1000 or so range.
 
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jcam222 jcam222

For humidity in a cheese cave, an analog cool mist humidifier and an inkbird RH controller is the best solution. Plug and play-no wiring required. But Loyd may have more insights. I know some cheeses are best aged in a container with small vent holes to achieve 90% humidity....which is tough to do in a cave without fighting bad molds....
 
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