Author Topic: Mozz Fail  (Read 764 times)

Online JeffHamm

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Mozz Fail
« on: December 19, 2013, 12:18:25 PM »
Hi,

I've had some success with this procedure so I thought would try again.  Unfortunately, I misread the amounts and put 2.5ish mls of citric acid rather than 2.5 tsp!  This meant the curd was way too soft, and not acidic enough.  I noticed this after cutting the curd, so I thought, let's add the missing citric acid and, since the curd had set somewhat, let it stand for a good long time (another hour).  But, all I ended up with was curds that barely matted together, were quite tough, and have, if anything, negative stretch.  At least the curds taste good, but it's not usable as mozz.  Can't slice it as the balls just crumble.  Sigh.

Still, when followed properly, this make procedure is a good one - the failure is entirely my own.

- Jeff


Karen’s Mozzarella, Citric Acid (Thursday, Dec 19, 2013; sunny, 24 C)

The key to success with this recipe, if you are using pasteurized/homogenized milk, is to have the milk cold from the refrigerator when you begin. Also, make sure to be very gentle with the milk and the curd. You want to prevent curdling of the milk after adding the citric acid and you want to prevent the curd from shattering once you are in the cooking/heating phase. Use a skimmer to gently lift the curd, rather than stirring, during the initial minutes of the cooking phase.

2.64 tsp citric acid powder dissolved in ¼ cup lukewarm water
8 Litres HomeBrand Dark Blue (3.3% fat, 3.1% protein)
3 Litres Light Blue (1.5% fat, 3.7% protein) (F:P ratio for make is 0.86:1)
¼ tsp calcium chloride
3.8 Litres whey reserved from cheesemaking process
3/4 cup kosher or cheese salt
1/32 tsp lipase (optional) disoloved in ¼ cup lukewarm water
6.6 ml Renco (65 IMCU)

1. While milk still cold from fridge add dissolved citric acid, stirring very gently to blend well. (9:30 8 C)
2. Warm milk to 29.5 C, occasionally stirring gently.
3. Add Rennet (time: 9:45:00 floc time ??:??:?? = ? m ?? Sec 4x floc = ?? m ??s – cut time ??:??)- For this citric acid make ignore floc and wait 45 minutes (until 10:30)*
4. Cut into 1.25 cm cubes. (10:33; exceptionally weak curd?  Citric Acid may be too old?  Did not use CaCl2 in this make as I’ve read you get better stretch without – could also result in weak curd – actually, just realized that says 2.64 tsp, not ml of acid.  I only added just over ½ a tsp.  No wonder.  Well, will see what we get.; after cutting I’ve added the extra 2 tsp, stirred a little, will heal 20 minutes to see if it helps, may need to recut)
5. Heal 10 minutes (10:35- 11:30 temp ??.? C – gave it a good soak due to previous acid shortfall)
6. Raise heat over 20 minute to 41.1 C (time 11:30 - 11:45 Temp ??.? - 41.2 C – bit quick)
 Curd will be very fragile, so move it around by inserting skimmer under curd and lifting it to prevent matting.
7. Maintain temp and cook for 20 minutes, stirring to prevent matting. (time 11:45 - 12:05)
8. Let stand 5 minutes. (time 12:05 - 12:10; ??.?  C  )
9. Ladle curds into a cloth-lined colander and drain for 15 minutes, reserving whey. (time 12:15 - 12:30)
10. Place curd mass on a clean cutting board and cut into 1-inch cubes.
11. Add salt to reserved whey and heat whey to 79.4 C (temp ??.?)
12. Place about 1 cup of the curd cubes into a heat-resistant bowl or pot and pour some of the whey over the curd. After about 30 seconds, remove a chunk of cheese and start pulling on it. The centre may still be cool, so if it breaks, just mush it back together, then put it back in the whey and allow it to warm a bit longer. When the curd begins to stretch well, take it in your hands and pull into a long rope, putting the curd back into the whey as necessary to keep it soft and stretchy. You will probably have to dump the cooling whey out and replace with hot whey about every five minutes or so – if the curd gets hard to stretch or breaks, it is too cool.
13. Continue to pull and fold over the curd until it becomes smooth and shiny, then put it back in the hot whey for a few seconds to warm up again. Use your hands to form it into a ball or pinch off pieces for bocconcini-sized cheese, or stretch into ½ inch long strand and roll between palms to form string cheese
14. Place stretched and formed cheese into a bowl of ice water for 5 minutes to firm up. Remove and drain/dry on paper toweling. Either use immediately or store in plastic wrap, Ziploc bag or container and refrigerate up to 5 days. It can also be frozen for later use.

* I’ve decided to ignore the floc values for two reasons.  First, I’ve always had bad luck with Mozz and I know Karen (who’s make this is) doesn’t use floc times.  Also, we’re not using culture in this, the acidity comes from the citric acid, which makes it floc really quick but I’m not sure if this “quick mozz” version really should follow the floc guide since there’s no culture working away so it’s not really interacting with the acidity profile of the culture. 

Monster fail.  Absoultely no stretch, just crumbled.  The “long soak” must have over acidified it.  Should have guessed that would happen.  Sigh.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2013, 02:50:20 PM by JeffHamm »
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Offline Geo

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Re: Mozz Fail
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2013, 03:19:23 PM »
Such a shame. But remember that you learn from your failures!

Online JeffHamm

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Re: Mozz Fail
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2013, 03:50:08 PM »
I've had no real luck with Mozz, although I was close the last time I tried Karen's make.  This time, I just messed up and wasn't paying attention.  Oh well, at least it tastes good.  A shame it won't melt. 

- Jeff
The wise do not always start out on the right path, but they do know when to change course.

Offline Pete S

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Re: Mozz Fail
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2013, 04:30:06 PM »
   The good thing about making cheese is that you can usually eat your mistakes ^-^  Pete
THE MORE I LEARN----THE MORE THERE IS TO LEARN---PETE

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Re: Mozz Fail
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2013, 04:54:00 PM »
Jeff,

I've been making mozz for quite some time now, so I'm quite used to it. The first thing about mozz is DON'T USE CACL2!!! lol. CaCl prevents a good stretch. So here's what you do to get a nice firm curd without CaCl:

Once floc time is reached, cut into large 2" cubes and let heal 10-15 minutes. Then cut into 1/2" cubes and let rest another 10 minutes before proceeding to next step.

EDIT: Ooops, I saw in your finer print that you didn't use CaCl. Good call. lol.
- Eric


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Offline margaretsmall

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Re: Mozz Fail
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2013, 04:36:33 PM »
If its any consolation, the 'professionals' have failures too. There's a person who runs lots of workshops here is NSW, and she's good. However, at one I attended she claimed that making mozz. didn't need pH meters, was easy, etc, and set out to teach us how. I think it was the citric acid recipe. Dismal failure, and she was mortified, as she'd had us make up a batch each with the idea that we would all have one to take home. Can't remember what went wrong, and I've never tried mozz. myself since. Much as I like it, I have some sort of psychological block about doing all that and then having to eat it all straight away. Silly, isn't it. I just like having cheese 'in the bank', and amazing my friends when I say its been there for 6 or 12 months.

Online JeffHamm

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Re: Mozz Fail
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2013, 02:12:25 PM »
Yah, mozz is not a beginer's cheese (especially with store bought p/h milk).  I think it works much better with raw milk, from what I've read here.  Would like to be able to make a decent one, as it is very nice on tomatoes with balsamic vinegar and basil, or on baked mushroom flats, etc.  But, so far, I've not had a lot of luck.  Will get there though.

- Jeff
The wise do not always start out on the right path, but they do know when to change course.

Offline MrsKK

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Re: Mozz Fail
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2014, 03:24:00 PM »
Hey, Jeff, I'm glad to see you are still trying.  Since I posted the recipe, I've quit adding CaCl, due to feedback I got here.

I've had good results and poor results when using this recipe for the cheese classes.  All I can say is that it is probably different quality of milk at different times, even when using the same brand.  I used to be really horrified at "failures" in the classes, but my students tell me they are glad that I mess up now and again, too.  It helps them feel like it is okay if things don't work perfectly for them, either.

Online JeffHamm

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Re: Mozz Fail
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2014, 06:58:12 PM »
Thanks Karen!  I messed up the make on this one though, so I think the biggest issue was really due to adding too little acid at the start, then trying to make up for it later.  That doesn't appear to work at all well. :) 

- Jeff
The wise do not always start out on the right path, but they do know when to change course.

Offline John@PC

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Re: Mozz Fail
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2014, 07:40:05 AM »
Jeff, your post makes me feel a little better.  I've probably tried moz 5 times and never got a good stretch.  Last time I used a pH meter before I realized the meter's casing had a crack in it and was giving bad readings, so at least then I had something to blame my fail on that time  :-\ .   


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Offline H-K-J

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Re: Mozz Fail
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2014, 09:51:18 AM »
I have thought I would like to make a mozz, then I see my mentors mess this one up :o
I think I will wait until I see a few successes before I move on to this one ???
At least you have the marbles to continue on your quest Jeff, A cheese to you for your continued adventure  8)
act as if it were impossible to fail.

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Re: Mozz Fail
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2014, 11:48:35 AM »
Pav's Mozz recipe has been a no-fail for me. I've made it many times and it always comes out great! The difference I see from his recipe is there's no citric acid in Pav's recipe. Just a basic thermo culture like T061. The F:P ratio is also different, the milk is closer to 4% fat. Once the stretching is done, the kitchen smells like melted butter. Makes me hungry every time!
- Eric

Offline MrsKK

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Re: Mozz Fail
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2014, 04:16:44 PM »
I much prefer the cultured recipe, too, but use the citric acid one for the classes because in reality, the people who take my classes aren't very likely to go to the extent of culturing their own cheese.  Maybe only 1 out of ten will.  I do give them a recipe for cultured mozzarella and they learn the basics of cultured cheese through making cheese curds for the class.

Jeff, I once did pretty much the same thing when trying to make another variety of cheese.  I was pretty new at it and had something happen in the middle of warming my milk.  I hadn't even cultured it, but it was raw milk so I just covered the whole kettle with a towel and decided I'd go from there the next morning.  It had coagulated to a thinnish yogurt-like consistency and when I added the rennet, of course everything fell apart.  I proceeded to cook it anyway, drained it and pressed it.  It turned into a mass that resembled damp chalk.  I put it in a plastic bag and tossed it in the back of the fridge after aging it for a bit and no real flavor and unpleasant texture.  A few months later, I took it out and noticed it had a parmesan-like odor to it.  I used it in place of parm for over a year and have since re-created the conditions except that I don't add any rennet to it.  So that's how I "fake" parmesan.

Online JeffHamm

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Re: Mozz Fail
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2014, 07:38:12 PM »
I might have a go at a cultured version.

This batch didn't get used up quickly enough, and a bunch of it got mouldy and was tossed.  Oh well.  This is the great thing about cheese.  All the different styles involve very different skills and observations. 

- Jeff
The wise do not always start out on the right path, but they do know when to change course.

Offline MrsKK

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Re: Mozz Fail
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2014, 09:08:58 AM »
Yeah, I've lost mozz to mold, too.  I kick myself when I do that, though, because it freezes so well.  And is actually easier to grate when it is only half thawed.

If you try the cultured, please let me know how it turns out for you.