I am a new cheesemaker and tried ricotta yesterday for the first time. Two 1 gallon batches with slightly different coagulation techniques. Unfortunately, both batches came out tough and rubbery, not at all the light and airy cheese I thought I would make!
I used farm fresh milk (~7% butterfat, I believe the farmer said). The first batch I followed the Ricki Carroll recipe (citric acid added at the beginning of the heating process). First of all, my yield was pretty low - about 2 cups. I also think I may have overheated the milk by 5-6 degrees F. The batch came out in one large mass, which I broke apart by hand and added a little cream to improve the consistency. After 7 hours in the fridge, it's not at all improved.
The second batch I used the recipe from this site. The only major difference (from Ricki's recipe) is I used white vinegar (6 oz then another 2 later on) *after it* reached temperature ~185 F. This batch came out even more solidified than the first batch.
So, is it the milk, the temperature? Maybe it's supposed to look like this; I've never had homemade ricotta before!