Author Topic: New to cheese making  (Read 1763 times)

Offline s00da

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New to cheese making
« on: April 23, 2009, 02:53:26 PM »
Hi,

My name is Sa'ad and I'm a Neapolitan pizza home baker. Due to the lack of fresh mozzarella in our region, I have started playing with recipes from the internet. My first encounter is the cheesemaking.com 30 mins mozzarella with a good 2nd attempt. (See picture) It was a good one! melts perfectly on pizza.

Unfortunately I'm unable to reproduce it at the same quality and I hope I can find some guidance here.

Thanks
« Last Edit: April 23, 2009, 04:08:38 PM by s00da »


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Offline John (CH)

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Re: New to cheese making
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2009, 03:26:24 PM »
Howdy Sa'ad and welcome to the forum, pizza avatar looks, you can attach big picture files if you want.

My only mozz try didn't work but lots of Mozz info in the Pata Filata Board!

Offline s00da

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Re: New to cheese making
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2009, 04:10:50 PM »
sorry forgot the attachment. fixed...

Thanks John! will definitely check out the Pata Filata  ;D

Offline Zinger

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Re: New to cheese making
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2009, 05:18:50 PM »
Welcome, I've yet to try Mozzarella but you inspire me. Great to have you as part of this group.

Z

Offline thebelgianpanda

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Re: New to cheese making
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2009, 08:08:06 PM »
Do you have a way of measuring pH?  Were the problems lack of stretch, or lack of melting?  That moz looks fantastic btw.


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Offline s00da

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Re: New to cheese making
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2009, 03:00:08 AM »
Do you have a way of measuring pH?  Were the problems lack of stretch, or lack of melting?  That moz looks fantastic btw.

Thanks...actually I'm a total beginner in cheese making and have the slightest idea about measuring pH. That mozz in the picture was my seconds attempt and it was perfect. Stretching was like what I see in the videos and it melts fast on the pizza with a nice creamy look but still stringy. What's funny is that I'm not able to reproduce it  ;D So I guess I was very lucky making that one. The main difference I noticed when making it is that the milk curdled really fast as I add the rennet. It was happening right in front of my eyes over 30 seconds but I still covered the pot and left it for 5 mins. For the rest of the failed attempts, the milk remains milk as I add the rennet and shows no fast changes.

I guess I will need to focus on perfecting the curds for now.

Offline John (CH)

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Re: New to cheese making
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2009, 04:21:27 AM »
Sa'ad, I built a best practices type page here on Rennet. Rennet is very very concentrated stuff so you need to be very careful about pre-diluting it and about thoroughly mixing it in. If that isn't the problem, then are you using enough or is yours out of date? Next is maybe the milk, is it raw or pasteurized, if pasteurized, many people add Calcium Chloride to help in getting a good curd set.

There is a board just on Rennet with lots of posts that may be of use. Normally most recipes allow for up to one hour to get a good curd set.

Offline mako

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Re: New to cheese making
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2009, 07:13:08 PM »
Sa'ad, welcome to the forum. There's a lot of great info here -- though you might find some of it conflicts with the rest.  :D There are some here who say it's just not possible to get a good stretch out of the 30 minute mozzarella. There are others who say they have no trouble getting a nice, stretchy moz for pizza.

I believe the latter, but I've never been able to duplicate their success. Mine always stretches well out of the microwave, forms a nice, satiny sleek ball... but when it goes into the hot oven, it just sits there and gets grainy, almost like a goat cheese. (Still tastes pretty good, though.)

Anyway, my problems are not your problems.  :) There aren't too many variables to deal with in directly acidified mozzarella (compared to some other cheeses I can think of). Are you using a different milk, citric acid, rennet, or water than you did when you had success? It's hard to imagine a situation in which you get no reaction from the rennet. If it's old, it might not work as well, but should still work. Likewise, if your milk is ultrapasteurized or otherwise not good, you should get a weak, sludgy curd, but still get something. If you don't have enough acid, you won't be able to stretch the curd, but it'll still form a curd (unless you have WAAAAY too little). Possibly if you have heavily treated water, it could be destroying the rennet... but I've never heard of that happening. Just in case, I use filtered water, and I boil it in an open saucepan for a few minutes and then cool it before adding the rennet to it.

Your experience with the near-instantaneous curdling is the same as mine. When I have everything right, I stir for about 15 seconds, because I once went 30 seconds and the curd had already started to form, and I ended up breaking it back down. I thought I'd ruined it, but was able to scoop out the little broken curds with my hand, and then in the microwave they came back together.

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: New to cheese making
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2009, 07:37:38 PM »
Welcom, trying to get 30 min mozz to melt is hard. Good luck, I'd help buy I'm no expert at mozz.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline s00da

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Re: New to cheese making
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2009, 06:17:51 AM »
Sa'ad, welcome to the forum. There's a lot of great info here -- though you might find some of it conflicts with the rest.  :D There are some here who say it's just not possible to get a good stretch out of the 30 minute mozzarella. There are others who say they have no trouble getting a nice, stretchy moz for pizza.

I believe the latter, but I've never been able to duplicate their success. Mine always stretches well out of the microwave, forms a nice, satiny sleek ball... but when it goes into the hot oven, it just sits there and gets grainy, almost like a goat cheese. (Still tastes pretty good, though.)

Anyway, my problems are not your problems.  :) There aren't too many variables to deal with in directly acidified mozzarella (compared to some other cheeses I can think of). Are you using a different milk, citric acid, rennet, or water than you did when you had success? It's hard to imagine a situation in which you get no reaction from the rennet. If it's old, it might not work as well, but should still work. Likewise, if your milk is ultrapasteurized or otherwise not good, you should get a weak, sludgy curd, but still get something. If you don't have enough acid, you won't be able to stretch the curd, but it'll still form a curd (unless you have WAAAAY too little). Possibly if you have heavily treated water, it could be destroying the rennet... but I've never heard of that happening. Just in case, I use filtered water, and I boil it in an open saucepan for a few minutes and then cool it before adding the rennet to it.

Your experience with the near-instantaneous curdling is the same as mine. When I have everything right, I stir for about 15 seconds, because I once went 30 seconds and the curd had already started to form, and I ended up breaking it back down. I thought I'd ruined it, but was able to scoop out the little broken curds with my hand, and then in the microwave they came back together.

The 30 minutes mozzarella IS possible. I made it myself and the image I posted proves it. Too bad I didn't take pictures of it melted on the pizza. It stretches perfectly and tastes amazing.

Following are my attempts with changing the milk; all using the same acid, rennet and water:

1- Pasteurized/Homogenized Full Cream milk: Very soft curds that broke down to small grains, does not melt in microwave and creative a tough mass.
2- Raw milk: Pasteurized (heated to 145-150 for 30 mins) then cooled to 85. When renneting, milk curdled ultra-fast and submerged in whey. Melted perfectly in microwave and produced a perfect mozzarella ball for my taste.
3- Skim pasteurized/homogenized milk with added full cream: Soft curds that became small grains, slight melting and created soft grainy mass.
4- Skim powder milk with added full cream: Very soft curds that disintegrated quickly and unworkable...
5- Raw milk (different farm from attempt 2): Pasteurized (heated to 165 for 20 seconds) then cooled to 40: Very soft curds that broke down to small grains, does not melt in microwave and creative a tough mass.

What's interesting to me is the difference between attempt 2 and 5. Where I only changed the pasteurization technique.

Before I do further attempts I'm waiting for my pH meter and candy-pot thermometer to better control the variables and will do more testing.


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Offline mightyjesse

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Re: New to cheese making
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2009, 08:01:53 AM »
Good idea with the ph meter. It is my understanding that mozz won't spin unless it is at a 5.2-5.3 ph range. The directions I used suggested that if your cheese didn't spin, you should wait for more acid to develop. (They were using a thermophilic starter - I'm not sure if citric acid will develope any more than when you dump it into the pot.)

I only made mozzarella once, and it took 5 HOURS from this recipe but the resulting cheese was just beautiful and melts wonderfully. It's odd to know that my first attempt might have been a lucky fluke...

Offline MrsKK

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Re: New to cheese making
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2009, 07:49:06 AM »
When using raw milk to make mozzerella, you really don't need to pasteurize it.  The heating of the curds in the microwave (or in 170* water or whey) will kill off anything that you don't want in it.  That's why it is safe to eat mozzerella (or other high-temp) cheese as fresh, rather than the 2 month ageing that is recommended for raw milk cheese.

I drink the milk from my cow raw and fresh, though, so I don't worry about ageing forever, either...but that's just me.  I think I would be more picky about possible contaminants if I were getting milk from someone else, too.

Offline s00da

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Re: New to cheese making
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2009, 01:36:30 PM »
When using raw milk to make mozzerella, you really don't need to pasteurize it.  The heating of the curds in the microwave (or in 170* water or whey) will kill off anything that you don't want in it.  That's why it is safe to eat mozzerella (or other high-temp) cheese as fresh, rather than the 2 month ageing that is recommended for raw milk cheese.

I drink the milk from my cow raw and fresh, though, so I don't worry about ageing forever, either...but that's just me.  I think I would be more picky about possible contaminants if I were getting milk from someone else, too.


That's exactly what I've been wondering and it makes total sense. The only problem is that all recipes that I came across indicated that the milk should be pasteurized; that's the 30 min's recipe from cheesemaking.com and http://www.dairyfoodsconsulting.com/recipes_Direct_Acidified_Fresh_Mozzarella.shtml

So I thought of staying on the safe side and do the pasteurization  :-\

Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: New to cheese making
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2009, 01:53:16 PM »
I was going to state that it seemed to me that regardless if you pasteurize the milk beforehand, or the cheese afterward that the end result is the same. 

But as I sit and think about it,  I'm not so sure.  The critters pasteurized at the beginning might have changed the cheesemaking process, and/or the critters pasteurized after ripening might have affected the aging (as much as mozz ages...)

So,  I take back my original thoughts.



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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: New to cheese making
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2009, 11:13:42 PM »
I've always found the key to good mozzarella is in the stretching. Once you get long thread like pulls without breaking (I think they call it window panes?) ball it and throw it in ice water to rapidly cool then the brine water.

Also when you drain the whey in the cheese cloth give it a few good squeezes before nuking it.