I've been away for a while, but now I'm back, wondering about ricotta curds.
I've tried to make ricotta many times, with whey left over from different cheese makes. Everything from drained youghurt whey to hard cheese whey. Always the same result...
See, when I make ricotta (heat to 91 celsius, add vinegar, rest long enough to form curds), I don't get anything that could be ladled into a cheesecloth lined colander or such, but a watery mass with teeny tiny bits of curd, small enough to pass through any ladle, sieve or anything. What I end up doing is pour the whole liquid into the cloth lined colander, but it takes ages to run through because the curd particles are so little that they go into the holes of the cloth, and create a very dense barrier through which the liquid doesn't pass easily.
So, if I have, say, 10 liters of whey, it takes me a whole day to pour it through the colander... I fill the colander, then I wait for the whey to run through, pour in some more, etc. And all I'm left with is a wet mass that is about 3mm thick above the cheesecloth. I'm lucky if I can scrape of a couple of spoonfuls of the stuff.
So, what am I doing wrong? The resulting whey appears bluish and quite clear, so I imagine that not much is left in it, but for some reason my curds gather into very small particles instead of larger ones that I could ladle.
It seems that the resting time after putting in the vinegar would not be the issue, since most of the stuff waits on the counter for hours, before there is room enough for it in the colander.