Troubleshooting; mozzarella

Discussion in 'Dairy' started by kesoaps, Sep 7, 2007.

  1. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

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    Thought I'd give it another go, this time using Ricki Carrol's 30 minute recipe. I added the citric, brought it to 90, let it set and added the rennet.

    Wandered away for a few minutes as it said leave it to sit 3-5. It should have curds by then.

    But it doesn't. It's been seven minutes and while it's thicker, it would appear to be cream rather than curds. I don't think miss muffet would approve.

    So...as I'm sitting here looking at my cream, what did I do wrong? And...how to fix it?
     
  2. suzyhomemaker09

    suzyhomemaker09 Well-Known Member

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    Has it separated at all? When I do microwave mozz ( something I've moved away from ) the separation is not as obvious as with some other cheese...the curds are not firm and seem almost like yogurt..very soft and silky. Do you have a way to test your PH level ?
    It may have not developed enough acidity, later lactation milk will act this way sometimes.
     

  3. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

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    It's beginning to thicken, but certainly not curd like. Let's see...it's been nearly 30 minutes and it's definitely thicker, but when I slice it with the knife it's not quite as firm as I'd pictured it. It's thick all the way to the bottom, though.

    Think I should just pull it out and start microwaving it?

    You could be right about the acidity...perhaps I didn't use enough citric acid. Would the fat content of the milk play a part in that? I'm using sheep's milk, not cow or goat, so I suspect there are some things that may come into play.
     
  4. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

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    Okay...appears to be back on track :)
     
  5. Julia

    Julia Well-Known Member

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    High butterfat milk (like sheep's milk) requires a larger amount of rennet to get a correct curd. I've never worked with sheep's milk, so I can't tell you how much more, but perhaps someone else can...
     
  6. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

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    It hasn't really got higher butterfat, but it is higher in solids. Fat is still around 6% for the friesians, but solids are at 18%.

    When I had some 'ewesarella', as the maker called it, she told me it wouldn't stretch like cow's milk, but I just got mine to stretch really well. Not sure how much of a yield a gallon typically makes, I weighed mine just now and had 10 oz.

    Tried to do a bit of ricotta afterwards and got squat. My failed mozza gave me about 4 oz ricotta, so I was a bit bummed...then again, I did get mozza!
     
  7. suzyhomemaker09

    suzyhomemaker09 Well-Known Member

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    Not to sidetrack the post too much...I usually retain some of my skimmed milk ( we have goats ) I run through the separator and make ricotta with the leftovers...I don't drink the skimmed so it would otherwise go to waste. I use a whole milk recipe and I get great yields.
     
  8. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

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    I left the whey, complete with vinegar, sitting on the counter to cool before feeding it to the critters. Looks like there's plenty of ricotta, but the curd is so fine that I'm not able to scoop it up. Citric acid does tend to do that with the queso blanco, so I suspect that's the culprit here, too.
     
  9. Julia

    Julia Well-Known Member

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    That's low for sheep's milk, but still high for making cheese. Next time try adding a bit more rennet and see if that won't give you a clean break.

    A gallon of milk will give you about a pound---a bit more if it's soft cheese, like fresh Mozz, and a lot more with the kind of solids your Friesians have. It sounds like you lost a lot of butterfat and other solids to the whey. It will really help to work on getting a proper clean break. Without that, you can lose a significant amount of potential curd to the drain.

    You can't make ricotta from the whey of citric acid mozzarella, only from traditional mozz.
     
  10. Farmer Gab

    Farmer Gab Well-Known Member

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    Hi! I am new to Homesteading Today and this is my first post. I have made mozarella twice now using the microwave method. Both times I am unable to get my mozarella to stretch like taffy as instructed. What am I doing wrong? :shrug:

    Thanks,

    Gabrielle
     
  11. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

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    Gabrielle, I'm wondering if it's the heat? Did you take the temp of the cheese after it came out of the microwave? I did with mine, just to see if it had reached 135. The first minute didn't give me any stretch, the second did and the third it was plumb wild with stretchiness.
     
  12. Farmer Gab

    Farmer Gab Well-Known Member

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    I didn't take the temp, but next time I will. With that said, it was really, really hot. My hands turned bright red while kneading it. I am wondering if I heated it too much and it dried out???? I microwaved it four times for a minute a piece with kneading in between, but never had any stretchiness....
     
  13. suzyhomemaker09

    suzyhomemaker09 Well-Known Member

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    If you didn't get a stretch the 1st time you microwaved something went wrong somewhere...the extra microwaving is because after you start stretching it cools down to a point where it won't stretch.
     
  14. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

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    Suzy, I wish I'd taken photos of what mine looked like at each step, because I wouldn't have called the first round in the microwave stretchy. Maybe a little, but sure not much. The second was, and the third most definitely.

    Farmer Gab, I just took the temps to see if the cheese had reached 135, most of the time I'm not a temp taker. Since my first try failed, I figure I'd be a bit more scientific (perhaps I should have worn goggles and a lab coat?)

    I sampled a bit once it had firmed up and it's okay, but not as moist as I'd like it. I squeezed a lot of whey out so think next time I'll not be so fastidious over that aspect.

    Julia, thanks for the tips and tidbits! Very helpful.
     
  15. cseger1

    cseger1 Well-Known Member

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    After making this several times with varied results, I have stopped trying to knead it if it has no stretch after the first round in the microwave. If, after 1:00 there is not ANY stretch, go another 30 seconds. Also- you can work it with a spoon the first couple times, rather than your hands. Saves a lot of pain.:)
     
  16. Jillis

    Jillis Well-Known Member

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    I took a workshop on this, and I remember that for some reason, it took the mozzeralla a long time to develop the acidity needed for the stretching. We did not begin the stretching until the ph was at a certain level. Google "Peter Dixon" and go to his dairy consulting page. I think there are a few recipes for mozzeralla on there.

    Cheese is alive. There are many factors that can affect when you stretch, and everything else. Type of milk, amount of protien, butterfat, etc. Humidity and temp when you are cheesemaking. All these thing affect the rate at which the acidity develops.

    That's why you just can't "follow the recipe" and get the same results all the time. You could almost look on it as interacting with the cheese organisms.

    Like driving shift as opposed with automatic, or heating with wood as opposed to oil---you are much more reactive and involved with the process, and you have to pay more attention.

    I like it.