Or maybe more of a weak passing grade. I made some 30 minute mozz. It came out as well as I've made it. Not great, but not too bad. I forgot the lipase, but found the effect on the flavor to be pretty minimal. A little sweeter, a little less depth.
Then I really put it to the test. Had a bunch of people over for pizza, and made one of the pies with half store bought fresh mozzarella, and half my own.
The storebought stuff completely melted down and got delightfully stretchy. Mine... did not. It melted a little, got chewy, but remained in thick white globs on the pizza, and the blistering was much more like a goat cheese or other lactic cheese (fried panir, maybe?) than the bubbly browned bits on a mozzarella. A few big black spots of burnt, no spots of more smooth golden brown deliciousness.
That said, the guests said mine tasted better than the storebought stuff. And I'd probably agree. Very rich and creamy (perhaps too creamy, although I'm eventually shooting for something that compares with bufala, so I'm going for creamy). I think at this point I'd prefer homemade for a caprese salad, but for pizza, it's not yet there.
As far as the make, it was good. 30 minute make + knowing you'll be using the cheese within 24 hours = no worrying about sterile procedure. What a joy.
I kept the heat right at the low end (never above 89 degrees), leading to a really delicate curd. Thought it would be a problem, as the curds would almost fall apart when i stirred, but I got the whey drained off, and microwaved, and drained off more whey, and they started to come together. After about 1 min, 35 sec, 35 sec, 15 sec, 10 sec, it stretched really well. Pulled it to about 5 feet without it breaking. It's possible I needed to stretch it even more, but it looked smooth and happy when I started pinching off balls.
Couple other questions, if anyone's got any ideas: 1) Could the microwave method be used for a traditionally acidified moz? I don't see why it wouldn't work... something about the dry heating vs the wet method might throw the moisture content out of whack, but I'm not sure.
2) I have yet to produce a brine/pickle that doesn't completely dissolve the cheese within hours. Last time I tried a bit of CaCl2 with salt and water, and it dissolved and imparted a poisonous CaCl2 flavor to my cheese. I don't remember if I've actually used straight, unsalted, unacidulated water, but I feel like I have, and that was a failure as well. This time, I used 2 Tbsp salt in 3 cups of undiluted fresh whey from this make, after dunking the balls in cold water to firm them up. Upside: the saltiness was just about perfect -- too much for a real delicate bocconcini, just right for something that'd have to stand up to the flavors on pizza, not so much as to overpower the other flavors. Downside: after about 18 hours, the balls are smaller, quite slimy, and the brine looks completely opaque, like a glass of milk.
Not sure if whatever's causing them not to be stretchy enough is also meaning they're not strong enough to sit in a liquid base, if something about the 30 minute method produces a cheese that doesn't quite function like other fresh mozzarellas, or if something else is leading to the meltdowns.
Here's a pic of the pizza, but it's a bit out of focus. My cheese is on the right. Not gooey.