Traditional mozzarella # 3
When I made this cheese, I put half the curd aside and froze it. I took it out this evening, after more than 5 months in the freezer, and put it on the counter to defrost. A couple of hours later, it still was not defrosted enough, so I put the ziploc baggie with the cheese, into lukewarm water to speed things up. When it was soft enough to cut into curds,I did so, then poured over the hot water with 2 tsp salt disolved. After a few moments, the curd could be collected into a mass and stretched as desired! Nice flavor and feel. It is a great cheese for making pizza, and I am pleased that it kept so well in the freezer.
After doing some reading on Cheesemaking.com, and on our forum, I made some changes to the prior make to try and produce a softer version of traditional (cultured) mozzarella. However, my end product was essentially the same as the prior two, with taste (very good) and texture (somewhat springy and rubbery) as much I can remember it, being about the same. The cheese slices well, melts well, and is nicely stringy when melted.
The primary changes were using a different starter, cutting the curd a bit larger, and cooking the curd at a lower temperature.
During the make, flocculation occurred much faster than I anticipated even though I used the standard amount of rennet I usually do for 2 gallons of milk. Then the pH dropped much more quickly than I anticipated after cutting the curd. Overall make was about 5.5 hours instead of 8 hours. As always, I appreciate any insight as to what occurred.
2 gallons pasturized, non homogenized cream top milk pH 6.7
¼ tsp MA4001 (prior make was thermophillic blend (C201))
½ tsp lipase in ¼ cup water
¼ tsp calcium chloride in ¼ cup water
1.75 ml rennet (Mad Millie)
1 rounded Tablespoons salt (dissolved in 1 quart of reserved whey)
Flocculation multiplier: 3.5
pH target to rennet 6.4, target to drain 6.1, target to stretch 5.1
Calibrated thermometer and pH meter before make.
12:00 Milk to temperature at 86 degrees (prior make was 90). Stirred in starter and covered.
1:00 Temp 86, and pH 6.5
1:45 Temp 84, small amount of heating to bring it back up, pH 6.5. Recalibrated pH meter just to be sure.
2:30 Temp 86 (prior make 90) pH 6.4 Lipase stirred in, calcium stirred in, then rennet in. I missed flocculation as it went very fast. I guessed it to be at about 5 mins. (Prior make was with flocculation at 10.5 mins and I do not know why this time went so fast.) Multipler of 3.5 used, and curd cutting started at just over 17 mins. Curd was cut in 2 inch squares, rested 10 mins, then cut at 1 inch (prior make was ½ inch) rested 10 mins, then very gentle stirring with breaking up larger pieces.
3:00 Started slow direct heating with frequent stirring.
3:15 Temp to 90 degrees, pH 6.3, continued gentle stirring due to curd wanting to mat and due to direct heat.
3:30 Temp 94 degrees, pH 6.2
3:50 Temp 94, pH 6.1 I drained curd into cheesecloth lined strainer, then returned it to the pot over indirect heat.
4:00 Drained whey pH 5.9
4:30 Whey 5.7
5:00 Whey 5.4
5:10 Whey 5.3
Tested small bit of curd in hot water, and it seemed to stretch well.
5:20 Whey 5.1
Half of curd wrapped and placed in freezer. Other half cut into short ½ inch strips and placed into bowl. One quart of whey which had been heated to 180 degrees with the salt added, was then poured against the side of the pot with the curds. After about 5 mins the curd could be gathered into a ball and stretched and shaped.
5:45 Cheese in the frig!