Ok, more mozzarella this week, but this time I have a ph monitor. So, once again I started with what going to be my standard milk it seems, the Clover Stornetta farms whole milk, p/h at $4 a gallon. Seems to be the best milk for a balance of quality and price. This was purchased and used on Nov 10, sell by date was Nov 19. So, I got out the ph meter, and spent a bit of time fussing with it, need to soak it in bottled water first, and calibrate it, and such. Took a bit, and in the end I didn't become too confident in it. It has a readout to a tenth of ph unit, but the calibration and reproducibility seemed to show that the accuracy was 2 tenths of a unit. And there seemed to be some time delay in coming to a stable reading. But I forged ahead in any case.
The milk was at 6.6ph when put in the pot to warm, which I did with a hot water bath, to 93-94deg. I added the lipase, and 1.5tsp. of citric acid that was dissolved in 1cup of distilled water. This brought the ph of the milk to 6.0ph. This doesn't seem acidic enough. The recipe mentioned in the previous post suggested a ph of 5.1 for the stretching, so I added 0.5tsp more of citric acid dissolved in 0.5cup of distilled water. This dropped the ph to 5.6, which seemed like a large change compared to the change for 1.5tsp, so like I said, not sure bout the ph monitor and its accuracy beyond 0.2ph or so.
Anyway, so added the rennet, and waited 30 mins, cut into 1.5inch cubes or so, and started to pour off the whey. The whey was very clear this time, more so than before. Transferred the curd to the double boiler to heat for stretching, over 195deg. water. This took a little while to drive off more whey, but once the amount of whey in the curd fell, it started to stretch just fine, quite quickly. The mozzarella formed a ball, but it was very soft, almost mushy actually. The whey after removing the curd was 5.3ph, not sure what to do with that number.
And then I put it on pizza, and not really much difference there. It melts, but only a little, and does dev. brown spots from the lactose burning. But it works, tastes good, and keeps the kids happy, and I get lots of mozzarella for about $4 a pound. So, I'll stick with this, time to get a large pot, and start making more at a batch, and freezing the extra and see how that goes.
So, it seems that the ph for stretching needs to be at least 6.0, and the other recipe suggests 5.1, but here at 5.6 it works, but I think it was going a little too far. I am going to use 1.75tsp of citric acid per gallon from now on. And on the other hand, it seems that using these types of milk, larger scale p/h milks, you are just not going to get a mozzarella that melts right on the pizza. To get a melty cheese you need to start with raw or small scale lower-temp pasturized non-homogenized milks. Or at least, I think I've learned enough to draw that conclusion for now, unless someone else has found a way to disprove this assumption of mine.