Author Topic: Mozzarella Mayhem!  (Read 326 times)

Offline ashton

  • New Cheese
  • *
  • Location: Canada
  • Posts: 2
  • Cheeses: 0
  • Default personal text
Mozzarella Mayhem!
« on: October 14, 2013, 11:33:52 AM »
 Ive tried making mozzarella a few times now and every time its turned out dry and crumbly. More like dry ricotta than anything. I think I may have figured out the problem but I need some help fixing them perhaps. So basically heres what I do according to the recipe I have. I use 1 gallon homogenizd 3.25% milk (living in canada it is illegal to buy amd sell fresh raw milk or trust me I would use it) I add 1 cup buttermilk and 2 tsps citric acid. Bring up to 32°C and let sit for an hour (I assume im supposed to find a way to keep the temp at the 32?) Then I add 1/2 tab of rennet diluted in 1/4 cup cool water and let sit 15 minutes. Bring up to 32°C again and let sit another hour. After this im supposed to cut the curd. Let sit 10 minutes then strain and hang 24-48 hr before stretching. However as soon as I add the citric acid at the start the milk starts to coagulate and then when I add the rennet it just breaks up into small pieces. Im wondering if I should omit the citric acid and just let the acidity come uo on its own from the culture in the buttermilk? I also read somewhere that mozza should eb made using a thermophilic culture and buttermilk is a mesophillic. Should I be adding 1 cup of live yogurt like dannon plain instead of the buttermilk as well?


Guests, join the CheeseForum.org community to remove this ad.


Offline Lynda Garneau

  • Young Cheese
  • **
  • Location: Ottawa, Canada
  • Posts: 10
  • Cheeses: 0
  • A cheese lunatic
Re: Mozzarella Mayhem!
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2013, 03:08:49 PM »
Hi I live in Canada also and I am using 2% milk and I never have problem with my mozzarella cheese. I find it is the easiest cheese to make.

1 gallon 4litres 2% milk
1 teaspoon calcium chloride
2 teaspoons citric acid
1 tablette renet or 1 teaspoon liquide renet
2 teaspoons cheese salt

1 hour total and the mozzarella cheese is excellent every time.

Offline ashton

  • New Cheese
  • *
  • Location: Canada
  • Posts: 2
  • Cheeses: 0
  • Default personal text
Re: Mozzarella Mayhem!
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2013, 03:41:38 PM »
Ohhhh maybe my problem is I dont have or use calvium chloride... ive also been wondering... why cant you makenhard or pressed soft cheeses (similar to brie or camembert) from straight buttermilk? Ive made fresh quark from buttermilk but never thought ofbtrying a harder buttermilk cheese.

Offline Spoons

  • Sailing The Seas of Cheese
  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Ottawa, ON, Canada
  • Posts: 544
  • Cheeses: 39
  • Default personal text
Re: Mozzarella Mayhem!
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2013, 04:40:20 PM »
I make mozz once every 2 weeks or so. I've had much more consistent results since I bought a PH meter and switched to non-homogenized milk. It helps a lot! I don't do the 30 minute or 1 hour recipe though. In my case, it takes about 8 hours to make using the thermo culture T061 as opposed to citric acid.

The best milk I've come across so far is Harmony Milk. I buy it from the Natural food Store. They have a non-homogenized whole milk which is perfect for making cheese. They also have a non-homogenized cream to which you can mix with a skim to make a "somewhat" non-homogenized 2%. Huge difference in the strenght of the curd since I switched to Non-homogenized! The downside to this milk :$$$. But it's worth it if you're cheese is consistently good.

Here's some links for non-homogenized milk in Ontario:
http://www.harmonyorganic.on.ca/
http://www.organicmeadow.com/

If you're outside Ontario, google "organic milk" and your province and find out if they carry non-homogenized.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2013, 04:51:55 PM by Spoons »
- Eric

Offline UVM-cheese-LAB

  • Young Cheese
  • **
  • Location: Burlington, VT
  • Posts: 8
  • Cheeses: 5
  • Default personal text
Re: Mozzarella Mayhem!
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2013, 02:55:09 PM »
Dear ashton,
This is a very common problem that is encountered when attempting to make a stretched curd from homogenized milk.  In short, when milk fat is homogenized, the membrane that naturally surrounds the fat is disturbed and replaced with casein proteins.  These casein proteins are not able to interact with one another as well when they are stuck to the surface of fat globules.  The result is that the casein proteins are unable to interact as well and will not knit together properly and result in a crumbly curd.

This is confounded by what appears to be a slightly excessive dose of citric acid.  Regardless of the amount of citric acid that you use, you do not want the curd to clabber before you add the rennet.  High acidity and clabbered milk also result in a weak curd that can fail to knit together.  You can prevent the milk from curdling by adding the citric acid while the milk is still cold.  Try to add only 1 tsp of citric acid.  Remember that the buttermilk also contributes acidity just because of the lactic acid in the buttermilk.  In addition, the culture in the buttermilk will produce enough acidity in a short time to allow the curd to stretch.  It is much better to contribute less acidity in the form of additives than to to add too much.  Let the cultures do a little work for you until you get a feel for the process.  Eventually you will know exactly how much acid to add; a pH meter is also helpful if you would like to perfect a directly-acidified mozzarella.  Believe it or not, most companies in the US and Canada produce mozzarella without cultures, even if is labeled "fresh mozzarella."

The use of calcium chloride is advisable because it increases the activity of the rennet, produces a firmer curd that is less prone to shattering, and increases the drainage of the curd, which speeds up the process.

Do not be too worried about keeping the temperature steady while the milk is renneting.  As long as the temperature is in the 32 C range, the rennet will work to the extent that you need it.  In the time that it takes you to set the milk with rennet (a half hour or so), the milk will not cool to the extent that the rennet stops working, even if you are only using a gallon of milk.

Instead of using homogenized whole milk, consider using a lower percentage if you would like to use homogenized milk.  As Lynda demonstrated through her own experience, homogenized milk may yield a decent mozzarella if the fat content is not very high.  This is logical as it would result in less casein protein being stuck to fat globules and not inhibiting protein-protein bonds to such an extent as in homogenized whole milk.  However, mozzarella-style cheese is often best when the fat content is very high, such as in fior-di-latte cheese.  This can be emulated by adding unhomogenized cream to skim milk.  For stretched curd, any heavy cream (even ultra-pasteurized) will do.  Add about one cup of heavy cream to a gallon of skim milk to emulate whole milk. 

Be cautious not to coagulate the milk when you add the citric acid and you will have a beautiful curd that knits together and will stretch when heated.

Happy cheesemaking,

UVM-cheese-LAB


Guests, join the CheeseForum.org community to remove this ad.


Offline scasnerkay

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Sunnyvale, California
  • Posts: 306
  • Cheeses: 45
  • Default personal text
Re: Mozzarella Mayhem!
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2013, 04:34:24 PM »
UVM.... Is that one cup of cream per gallon, or one pint per gallon nonfat, to equal fat content of Holstein type whole milk?

By the way, nice to see the University of Vermont presence - I assume that is what UVM stands for!
Susan

Offline UVM-cheese-LAB

  • Young Cheese
  • **
  • Location: Burlington, VT
  • Posts: 8
  • Cheeses: 5
  • Default personal text
Re: Mozzarella Mayhem!
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2013, 05:58:43 PM »
Dear scasnerkay,

UVM is indeed the University of Vermont -- GO CATS GO! --

One cup of heavy cream per one gallon of skim milk will yield a milk solution with approximately 3% butterfat, which is approximately the same as holstein milk.

It is important to note that the composition of heavy cream is not regulated in the US beyond the requirement that it contain more than 36% fat by volume.  My calculation is based on the relatively liberal assumption that heavy cream contains 50% fat by volume.  In reality, the composition of heavy cream found in supermarkets probably falls somewhere between those two values.  The ratio of one cup of heavy cream per gallon of skim milk is easy to remember; however, if you are earnestly trying to emulate the composition of holstein milk, you are better off using closer to 1.5 cups of heavy cream per gallon of skim milk.

I hope this was helpful.

Happy cheesemaking,

UVM-cheese-LAB

Offline scasnerkay

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Sunnyvale, California
  • Posts: 306
  • Cheeses: 45
  • Default personal text
Re: Mozzarella Mayhem!
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2013, 07:59:25 PM »
UVM
I had read before, and heard in a class, that it should be one pint of heavy cream per gallon of skim. Perhaps that is more like replicating the type of milk from Jersey cows? Seems like a pretty hefty percentage?
Susan

Offline UVM-cheese-LAB

  • Young Cheese
  • **
  • Location: Burlington, VT
  • Posts: 8
  • Cheeses: 5
  • Default personal text
Re: Mozzarella Mayhem!
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2013, 10:34:56 PM »
Dear scasnerkay,

If you assume that heavy cream contains the very minimum butterfat content (36%), adding one pint of heavy cream to one gallon of skim milk would produce a milk solution that is just under 4% butterfat, not unlike Jersey milk, as you commented.  This is a perfect butterfat content for some stretched curd cheeses that are high in moisture and very delicious.

I believe the ambiguity lies in not knowing exactly how much butterfat is in supermarket heavy cream.  I have assumed in the past that the fat content is not actually the very minimum.   It would be interesting to see what the butterfat numbers are in actuality.  They may fluctuate by region, and in some areas, there may even be a bit of seasonal variability.  All said, it would benefit home cheesemakers, many of whom rely on supermarket milk, to know the exact butterfat content of heavy cream.  Without this information, home cheesemakers can only standardize store bought milk by rough estimation.

Although measuring butterfat content in the lab is very easy, I am unaware of an easy method of measurement that is available to the home cheesemaker.  It appears that there is still good work to be done.

Happy cheesemaking,

UVM-cheese-LAB