Thank you for the reply and the links. I have not used Ricotta before, just seen it in the supermarket in the States. And I ran across it in a high end market in Manila where they carried Italian buffalo milk mozzarella. I popped for the Mozzarella, but didn't buy the Ricotta, though I should have, so I would have a better idea what I was looking for when we made Ricotta.
I do realize that ricotta is traditionally a by-product of other cheeses such as mozzarella. But the cheese manual I got out of Australia had recipes for both whey based ricotta and whole milk Ricotta. Since I had 3 liters of carabao (buffalo) milk sitting in my refrigerator, I figured I would try one using the ricotta recipe they gave in the Australian cheese manual. No reason to let the buffalo milk go to waste. And I still have two liters I have to use tonight or tomorrow.
I will try one liter with my old rennet. The first time I tested the rennet it seemed to still work, but I was just doing a sort of slap-dash test using a pint (glass) of cows milk. The result looked very good, like mozzarella almost, so I thought it would be fine. I got 4 liters of cows milk and 3 liters of buffalo milk. I used most of the 4 liters on a Mozzarella try. The recipe taken from the internet used simply citric acid and rennet. They don't sell citric acid powder where I live but they sell lemons pretty cheap. I read that 4 tablespoons of lemon juice was the equivalent of 1 teaspoon of citric acid powder.
So my first try for mozz used 8 tablespoons of lemon juice, doing the temperature thing in a water bath (double boiler) that I very carefully regulated. Added the rennet (20 milliliters) to the 1 gallon of milk. I got curds, small, pretty firm or even hard to the bite and they didn't coagulate into a mass, but wanted to be loose. So I added a bit more rennet in case it was due to old age/lack of strength. Maybe another 10 milliliters. No joy. Still loose though they did coagulate a bit when I removed them from the whey and let them drain in the colander.
With that failure on my hands and 3 liters of buffalo milk, I decided to try the whole milk ricotta using the buffalo milk I had hoped to try as Mozzarella. I got small nobs that did coagulate into bunches, but were quite firm. Maybe not as firm as the failed Mozz expiriment, but firmer than I expected.
So I will read the guides again and keep trying. I will order rennet tablets from the USA. And I ran across recipe that uses cultured buttermilk instead of a direct set starter for Mozz. I want to try that since I can get the cultured buttermilk starter mailed overseas easily, it doesn't require being kept at a low temperature. Later I will get the traditional starter cultures, either from the USA or from Australia when I find a shipper that will send via FedEx or UPS so there will be a chance of timely delivery and the starters might survive the trip.
I have access to 10 - 20 liters of raw or pasteurized (but not homogenized) cows milk daily, at a price. Buffalo milk is half again more expensive and only available raw and frozen. Still with those resources, I should be able to start making simple cheeses pretty soon. Whole milk Ricotta and the Queso Blanco seem to be my only options for the moment.