Author Topic: Newbie joining because he failed at making mozerella...  (Read 187 times)

Offline BrianM

  • New Cheese
  • *
  • Location: SE USA
  • Posts: 3
  • Cheeses: 0
Newbie joining because he failed at making mozerella...
« on: January 10, 2018, 10:58:53 AM »
Serious, I thought this was supposed to be the "entry level" cheese... :/

Generally speaking, I'm a rather accomplished cook.  I've made bacon, salami, brew my own beer/wine/cider/mead, am not scared off by tamales to feed 50 even though I'd never made them before....  but this is the 2nd time I've tried cheese and I've failed both times. 

The first time was easy to identify, it was an entry kit received Christmas 2016 that I tried to use a year later.  The liquid rennet was clearly bad (grrr at no expiration or refrigeration info on the outside of the box, or the label), so down the drain a gallon of milk went.

This time I'm lost though.  All fresh/newly purchased ingredients (junket rennet tablets good till 2019, new calcium chloride, new citric acid, milk with a best-by date a week in the future ~ no farm-fresh option so it's store bought whole, pasteurized but not Ultra), decided to cut my losses and go for a Half gallon batch for this very reason.   Added the cold milk, 1/8tsp calcium chloride (in distilled water) and 3/4tsp citric acid (again in distilled water), heated to 90f and added the 1/4tablet (in more distilled water) and let rest for upwards of 30 minutes with just kind of a slimy, tiny curd, mess.  Added heat to 105 just to see and no change.  Heck, I kept heating to 120 just to see, and it got a little stretchy/stringy/gooey, but not like any of the photos/video I've seen. 

Soooo....   if someone might be so kind as to help me figure out what went wrong?  I see everything from the Junket brand tablets being worthless (and then praised on the next link), to too much acid, to only being able to use raw milk and I'm simply a bit overwhelmed.  Sure would like to have DIY mozerella on Friday to put on my DIY neapolitan pizza (since I just found some Italian 00 flour locally). 


Offline Bernardsmith

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Saratoga Springs, NY
  • Posts: 117
  • Cheeses: 2
  • Default personal text
Re: Newbie joining because he failed at making mozerella...
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2018, 12:58:13 PM »
Hi BrianM. I am no expert but (and I too make mead and wine and a little beer) I can say that mozarella is not a cheese for a beginner. Mainly, (I think) because the pH has to be just right ((Between 4.8 and 5.2 if memory serves me - and often it does not), for the cheese to become stretchy. Then there is a small window that affects the smoothness of the cheese: too much kneading and the cheese become gritty. Try Feta cheese as your gateway into cheese making. That,  or squeaky curd cheese and if you follow Giancalis Caldwell's recipe and protocol her squeaky curd cheese takes you a step or two towards cheddaring.
So, the pH is one thing - the other is the junket. Junket is not nearly as strong as the rennet you need to use for cheese making. (I am a vegetarian so I use non animal rennet - but junket comes from a different stomach and it won't coagulate your milk in the way you need for most (all?) cheese.  That said, I do not know whether if you let the junketed milk stand for 24 hours whether the junket will eventually bind the proteins together but best to buy rennet.
Good luck!

Offline Dedicated to trying

  • Young Cheese
  • **
  • Location: Almost Antartica...
  • Posts: 19
  • Cheeses: 5
Re: Newbie joining because he failed at making mozerella...
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2018, 08:08:21 PM »
Have to agree with Bernard that you should try your recipe but with actual rennet. Unless we can get someone with some first hand knowledge of using junket for mozz here on the board giving their opinion and a how to.
Personally I've been at it over 13 weeks and only last 3 times have I managed to have it turn out, I published my recipe last week here:,16808.msg128961.html#msg128961
You will eventually figure it out, keep trying. 1/2 gallon batches are the way to go until then...
If at first you don't succeed, fry, fry a hen.

Offline Gregore

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Santa Barbara
  • Posts: 900
  • Cheeses: 34
  • Default personal text
Re: Newbie joining because he failed at making mozerella...
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2018, 10:34:17 PM »
linuxboys mozza recipe will get you very close , practice will get you the rest of the way ..... it's all in the timing of the acid curve

Offline BrianM

  • New Cheese
  • *
  • Location: SE USA
  • Posts: 3
  • Cheeses: 0
Re: Newbie joining because he failed at making mozerella...
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2018, 07:18:38 AM »
Thanks folks. 

After posting (and searching some more) I now see that Junket isn't a brand name, as I'd initially assumed, but a Type of very weak rennet designed specifically for slow-congeal deserts.  Lots and lots of info out there once you start searching, just took a mess to get me motivated enough to search.

Then I spoke with my wife and she said the reviews on Amazon mentioned needing 8x the called for portions (so 2 tablets vs 1/4).  I gave it a shot with just that adjustment and...

It still wasn't anything like the pictures/videos showed, no clean break, thought it did clump enough to not go straight through my slotted spoon.  I get it transferred to a bowl and started microwaving and it came together.  I guess I'll see Friday evening as I'm making some Napoli style pizza.

Yes, I am going to buy some real cheese-making rennet, have mostly settled on the microbe-based stuff as I have a couple vegetarians in the extended family....