help? 'tough' mozzarella? - Homesteading Today
Homesteading Today

Go Back   Homesteading Today > Country Homemaking > Dairy

Dairy butter, cheesemaking, yogurt, processing milk, etc.


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Rate Thread
  #1  
Old 03/08/10, 08:49 AM
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: the flat land of Illinois
Posts: 4,651
help? 'tough' mozzarella?

What is causing my mozzarella to be tough? How can I get the melt-in-your-mouth tenderness of store-bought fresh mozzarella?

I finally have succeeded with making mozzarella the 'long' way, no citric acid no microwave no shortcuts. First batch - temps got away from me and it was hard and tough but I figured the too high temps were the cause. Second batch - I had those temps down perfectly! Cheese is much better, but still not light and 'melty', has a tougher rind too.

any ideas why?

I brined both batches for 2.5 hours after firming the hot cheese in ice water.

thanks!
Cathy

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 03/08/10, 11:02 AM
cmharris6002's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NE Kansas
Posts: 1,018

If you post your recipe I can help you troubleshoot

__________________

Providence Hill Farm
http://goatmilksoapandlotion.com
http://artisanfarmsteadliving.blogspot.com
Spoiled Goats Give Sweeter Milk

Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03/09/10, 07:54 AM
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: the flat land of Illinois
Posts: 4,651

from '200 Easy Homemade Cheese Recipes' by Debra Amrein-Boyes

3.5 gallons whole raw milk
(our cow tested at 6.1% fat & 4.1% protein) last month
1/4 tsp thermophilic culture (LH 71)
1/4 tsp calcium chloride
1/4 tsp liquid rennet (using animal rennet)
cool 18% saturated salt brine
(I added a small small sprinkling of LP 400 lipase)

1) warm milk to 92 degrees, sprinkle culture on top, let culture rehydrate for 5 minutes, stir in, let milk culture for 45 minutes.
2) add calcium chloride & rennet, each individually diluted in 1/4 cup cool water, stir in, let set for 1 hr till firm curd forms.
3) cut curd, let set for 5 minutes to rest.
4) begin heating cut curd, over course of 1/2 hour, till it reaches 102 degrees, stirring gently. Do not heat too quickly. Turn off heat and let sit for an additional 15 minutes, stirring gently to prevent curds from matting.
5) drain whey, let curds set for 2-3 hours in bottom of pot, kept at 102 degrees, flipping curd mat from time to time.
6) cut curds into 1" cubes on cutting board.
7) put curds into stainless steel bowl, cover with water heated to 168 degrees.
8) using heat resistant gloves, form large ball from curd cubes. When ball is firm, remove from water and begin stretching and pulling it untill cheese is smooth and shiney.
9) immerse cheese into cold ice water to firm
10) brine chilled cheese in brine for 2-3 hours, turning several times.

my thought about what I could be doing wrong:
- when I had the curd in hot water to stretch I used a pot directly over a low flame to keep the temp up. Maybe the temp got too hot in direct contact on the bottom of the pot?

-if that was the problem, then how do you keep the water hot enough to melt/stretch/soften the cheese?

- I lost very little cream in the stretching process. The water did get opaque - but not as opaque as other attempts and the cream did not literally ooze out when being worked. I tried very hard to be gentle during this step.

ideas? suggestions?

thank you!

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03/09/10, 09:54 AM
cmharris6002's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NE Kansas
Posts: 1,018

Do you have a pH meter? My guess is that you did not develop enough acidity. I have used this recipe myself and never quite reached 5.0. If you have Tim Smith's book, his recipe worked well for me, but it still took way longer than 2-3 hours to reach 5.0. From my experience, I find this recipe too low on culture for such an acid loving cheese. When working with these cheeses 1/4t per gallon works much better.

But what works really well is to cheat a little You can use four gallons of milk, 2 gallons warm and two gallons cold. Add 1/4t Thermo and 1/4t Meso (or 1/2t thermo but I like to use both) to the warm milk, ripen for an hour. Add 2t citric diluted in 1/4c cool water to the cold milk, combine warm and cold milk. Bring the temp up to 92F and proceed with the recipe as written. It is just a little cheat and if will improve your texture by far!!

Christy

__________________

Providence Hill Farm
http://goatmilksoapandlotion.com
http://artisanfarmsteadliving.blogspot.com
Spoiled Goats Give Sweeter Milk


Last edited by cmharris6002; 03/09/10 at 05:25 PM. Reason: Typos as always :)
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03/09/10, 04:40 PM
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: the flat land of Illinois
Posts: 4,651

will try that next week, thank you!

what is the name of Tim Harris's book?

no ph meter, no wet bulb hygrometer yet. Still on my wish list. There is a highly successful artisinal cheesemaker within 3 miles of our house - I called and asked for help/advice. He tolerated my call but pretty quickly cut me off, telling me to get those two tools, master them, use them for 6 months, then feel free to call him back. He told me which ones to buy and where to buy them. I'm hoping they prove to be the things that help jump my cheesemaking to the next step!

Thank you, Christy. I really appreciate your generous sharing of knowledge here.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03/09/10, 05:23 PM
cmharris6002's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NE Kansas
Posts: 1,018

It's 'Making Artisan Cheese' by Tim Smith.

What pH meter is he making you buy? I have an ExStik waterproof meter, I love it! I don't have a wet bulb hygrometer. It would be fun to have one but I can honestly say, I have never needed one.

I sure wish you lived closer to me! I don't have any cheese making buddies around here, just cheese eaters

__________________

Providence Hill Farm
http://goatmilksoapandlotion.com
http://artisanfarmsteadliving.blogspot.com
Spoiled Goats Give Sweeter Milk

Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03/09/10, 08:52 PM
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: the flat land of Illinois
Posts: 4,651

He told me to buy the exact ph meter you have. See, we all knew you have good taste. He makes these aged Tomme cheese that sell for mega bucks and are real works of art - has a real cheese cave and everything. Told me to get the hygrometer when I complained about the b.linens 'appearing' in my wine cooler/cave, said digital temp/moisture thingies work well for the temps but not the moisture levels. Said I probably had close to 90% humidity if I had b.linens showing up, uninvited - use the hygrometer and dump the waxing to move up a 'cheese notch.'

I wish you were closer too! I seem to live in the center of cheesemaking but non-professionals are non-tolerated. lol. I'd love to watch technique while eating your cheese.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03/10/10, 11:53 AM
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 2,733

Is this the pH meter you guys are talking about?

http://www.amazon.com/Extech-PH100-E.../dp/B00023RYQ8

I REALLY want one and I think I've finally worked myself up to spending that much money as the season of way-too-much-milk approaches.

And how on earth do you have 90% humidity!??! I STRUGGLE to keep mine above 50%. How is your cheese cave setup?

__________________
Sand Holler Farm Blog

Check us out on Facebook!

Last edited by madness; 03/10/10 at 11:56 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03/10/10, 12:36 PM
cmharris6002's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NE Kansas
Posts: 1,018

Yes, that is the meter!!

I prefer 55F and 80-85% humidity. My cave is a refrigerator with an override. Inside I have a digital thermostat/humidistat ($7.00 at WalMart) I maintain humidity with a 9X13 ss pan of water and a hand towel as a wick.

__________________

Providence Hill Farm
http://goatmilksoapandlotion.com
http://artisanfarmsteadliving.blogspot.com
Spoiled Goats Give Sweeter Milk

Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03/10/10, 03:02 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 2,733

Grrr! It sounds so simple to get the the humidity up (I use a similar digital meter for the humidity) but I can have several sopping wet rags with pans of water and the level gets to about 75% and is BONE DRY the next day. I just want to be able to have the humidity stay near a good value for a few days in a row! My fridge runs a bit cooler - between 45 and 50. Maybe that's a big difference?

__________________
Sand Holler Farm Blog

Check us out on Facebook!
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 03/11/10, 06:47 AM
cmharris6002's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NE Kansas
Posts: 1,018

It could be the difference in temps. Mine has quite a few cheeses in it, that might help. Does yours have a fan? Mine doesn't, I have to open the door every day for good air exchange. I saw a set up once where a wet sheet of muslin was hung down the back of the refrigerator into a pan of water. This would give you a lot more wick. If my humidity gets to 90% I'll start seeing fuzzies on my natural rinds

Christy

__________________

Providence Hill Farm
http://goatmilksoapandlotion.com
http://artisanfarmsteadliving.blogspot.com
Spoiled Goats Give Sweeter Milk

Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 03/16/10, 08:00 AM
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: the flat land of Illinois
Posts: 4,651

Christy, I tried the 'tweak' - much much better flavor! texture is improved, lighter and less dense. Not as fluffy and open as the stuff in the stores but greatly improved.

thank you!

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 03/16/10, 02:39 PM
cmharris6002's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NE Kansas
Posts: 1,018

More acidity will give you more stretch, more stretch equals a lighter texture.
From your recipe,

Quote:
5) drain whey, let curds set for 2-3 hours in bottom of pot, kept at 102 degrees, flipping curd mat from time to time.
You would be surprised how much longer you can go at this stage. I start my Mozz right after morning milking. I let half of my milk sit at room temp for an hour (freshly drawn milk has antibacterial qualities that will compete with the culture). Then I add the culture and wait an hour. I add the citric to the cold milk etc. and I don't stretch the curd until after dinner.

If you pull and fold over and over you will have a ball of cheese that looks kind of like a ball of yarn. Put the ball into the 170F water then take it out and reshape into a smooth ball.

Playing around with it until it is just the way you want it is the fun part

Christy
__________________

Providence Hill Farm
http://goatmilksoapandlotion.com
http://artisanfarmsteadliving.blogspot.com
Spoiled Goats Give Sweeter Milk

Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 03/19/10, 08:02 AM
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: the flat land of Illinois
Posts: 4,651

alrighty, more questions for Christy (an anyone else who wants to join in!)"

1) letting the curds sit for longer than 2-3 hours: are you still holding them at 102 degrees if you let them sit for longer?

2) when I used your 'tweak', Christy, I immediately noticed more oozing of cream, both in the holding pot and in the hot water dunk. Is this okay?

3) how do you personally cut the curds (size/shape) and how the heck do you retrieve it all from opaque hot water? This part of the process drives me nuts and I could benefit from less frustration when dealing with 168 degree cheese/water.

4) about how long, in terms of time, are you stretching it? I bet I could do much better here and some guidance would be really encouraging.

thanks again!

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 03/19/10, 08:52 AM
darbyfamily's Avatar  
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Kansas
Posts: 922

I am curious about the recipe. I've made mozzarella many times and all I've ever needed was citric acid and rennet and salt.

I never use calcium chloride unless I am using grocery store milk... and the culture and lipase are not necessary with mozz cheese.

really, I've probably done this more than 50 times *shrug* I guess I go for the "less is more" mentality the less stuff I have to add to it, the better it is.

__________________

Jennifer, Chase and the whole Darby clan

Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 03/19/10, 08:57 AM
cmharris6002's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NE Kansas
Posts: 1,018
Quote:
letting the curds sit for longer than 2-3 hours: are you still holding them at 102 degrees if you let them sit for longer?
Yes, when you get your pH meter you will know it is ready when you reach pH5.0

Quote:
when I used your 'tweak', Christy, I immediately noticed more oozing of cream, both in the holding pot and in the hot water dunk. Is this okay?
You might be cutting your curd too soon, but an hour should be plenty long enough... For Mozz you'll want to see a slight shrinking of the curd mass and clear whey around the edges.

I cut 1" curds, set 10-15 min, stir while increasing heat to 102 for a 1/2hr, stir and maintain temp for 1/2hr, drain into ss colander, set colander over the pot with the whey, heat the whey so that the curd stays warm. When it is ready I cut it into slabs and place into a ss bowl, cover the slabs with 170-180F water then stretch. I keep a pot of hot water on the stove to add back to the bowl when the water starts to cool.

To stretch, I'll pick up a slab and squeeze and start to pull then put it back in the water. Once all of the slabs are started I'll go back and see if they are ready to stretch. Once I can pull it real long I just keep pulling and folding and pulling Then I roll it into a ball, put the ball in hot water take it out, smooth it out and put it in the brine.

I am having company this week end but I will try to post pics next time I make it.

Christy
__________________

Providence Hill Farm
http://goatmilksoapandlotion.com
http://artisanfarmsteadliving.blogspot.com
Spoiled Goats Give Sweeter Milk

Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 03/19/10, 02:11 PM
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: the flat land of Illinois
Posts: 4,651
Quote:
Originally Posted by darbyfamily View Post
I am curious about the recipe. I've made mozzarella many times and all I've ever needed was citric acid and rennet and salt.

I never use calcium chloride unless I am using grocery store milk... and the culture and lipase are not necessary with mozz cheese.

really, I've probably done this more than 50 times *shrug* I guess I go for the "less is more" mentality the less stuff I have to add to it, the better it is.
Christy is clearly the teacher here.... and for me, the citric acid version of mozzarella was adequate - the longer version has better flavor and texture, imo. The culture(s) really do wonderful things for flavor.

I guess it all comes down to what goals you have for your own cheesemaking. I like trying new methods and approaches and finding the one that best suits our household's needs, but before deciding I've found it I need to try almost every variation. What that usually translates into is finally mastering one thing and then never making it again because I'm on to the new challenge. lol.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 03/19/10, 02:44 PM
cmharris6002's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NE Kansas
Posts: 1,018

Sorry darbyfamily, I didn't see that you had posted before me.

I don't use CaCl and I don't add lipase in Mozz either. That is really a matter of preference I suppose.

Personally, I wouldn't bother to make Mozz without a culture though. I have made it both ways and prefer the flavor and texture when I use culture. The citric I like to use when I want my Mozz done by late afternoon but I don't always use it and it is about half the amount that most citric Mozz recipes call for. This gives it enough time to let the flavor develop.

I agree so much with this Cathy

Quote:
I like trying new methods and approaches and finding the one that best suits our household's needs, but before deciding I've found it I need to try almost every variation.
Christy
__________________

Providence Hill Farm
http://goatmilksoapandlotion.com
http://artisanfarmsteadliving.blogspot.com
Spoiled Goats Give Sweeter Milk

Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 03/19/10, 09:07 PM
cmharris6002's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NE Kansas
Posts: 1,018

I got some pics for you today Cathy, I hope they help.

10:55am Heated 1 gallon to 92F added 1/4t Thermo

11:55am Added 1tea diluted citric acid to 1 gallon of cold milk, combined warm cultured milk with cold acidified milk, brought temp up to 95F

12:05pm added 1/2tea diluted animal rennet temp 95F pH6.05

1:05pm cut curd, let rest for 15min

Heat to 105F in 30min stir to prevent matting, maintain temp for 30min,

2:00pm drain into colander, maintain temp by placing colander over the warm whey


2:30pm Flip curd every half hour


7:30pm pH 5.25 cut into slabs


Cover slabs with 180F water


Stretch curd


After lots of stretching, when it starts to cool, wind into a ball


Submerge ball into hot water smooth and reshape


Place in cold brine

__________________

Providence Hill Farm
http://goatmilksoapandlotion.com
http://artisanfarmsteadliving.blogspot.com
Spoiled Goats Give Sweeter Milk

Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 03/20/10, 12:05 PM
cmharris6002's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NE Kansas
Posts: 1,018

The cut side is smooth so I tore off a piece so you can see the light stringy texture.

__________________

Providence Hill Farm
http://goatmilksoapandlotion.com
http://artisanfarmsteadliving.blogspot.com
Spoiled Goats Give Sweeter Milk

Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:44 PM.