Author Topic: (Hello)-Mozzarella milk standardization, mc's, etc  (Read 295 times)

Offline ThriceGreatest333

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(Hello)-Mozzarella milk standardization, mc's, etc
« on: March 23, 2016, 12:38:43 AM »
Hello Everyone. This is my first post and would like to introduce myself before calling upon minds wiser than my own for information. Especially those like Linuxboy, Sailor Con Queso, etc whose names came up time and again during my initial research to acquaint myself with the basics of cheese making, and whom are the sole reason I decided to join. Anyway. I am on a quest to make a from scratch mozzarella cheese viable in a wood-fired pizza concept; in an attempt to elevate my product above my competitors. I have scraped and saved for a long time to get 1 chance to make something of myself & intend to make the most of this opportunity. I can think of no better way to elevate my product than from scratch, house-made mozzarella.

      That being said, my initial attempts have followed this process(Problem......):
 - Store bought whole milk(1 gal Publix brand) which is standarized to 3.25%fat & I believe 3%protein & warmed in a water bath to 90F over about 40min period. I know they're processing factory is relatively close to me and I hope even though it's commerically pasteurized/homogenized that it hasn't been held in cold storage for too long comprimising the proteins, etc.

- I have used the direct acidification method via citric acid like a true noob. 1.5tsps per 1 gal. Though thanks to Sailor I am going to use his mother culture process to increase efficiency as well as the benefits of using real bacteria to acidify my cheese milk.

- At about 85F I add 1/4tsp mild lipase diluted and "set" for 20 minutes before being stirred in briskly to milk.

- At 90F I add 1/8tsp(11drops) double strength vegetable rennet & stirred for 30 seconds.
 
- I have gotten OK curd formation everytime. After about 40 minutes it forms a clean break when I insert my finger and lift which leads me to believe the milk was sufficient enough to make cheese with? I cut the curds in about 1/4" cubes and allowed the curds to heal for about 15 minutes. Then I begin to very gently stir the curds once every 2 minutes or so as I slowly heat the healed curds to 105F over a 40 minute time period.

- I pull them together and pour away the whey and begin to cheddar the curds. They do form a tight, slightly bouncy homogenous mass. When I said cheddaring. I did not cook keep them at 105F while matting the curds. I just let them drain at room temp and rotated accordingly. But I was very consistent with my temps throughout the process other than this slip up. My Ph was at 5.5 as far as I could tell from my Ph test strips. Too low for proper stretching/melting. I let it sit covered at room temp over night and it still read 5.4-5.5. Why did it bottom out?

- I gave it the spin test anyway and it had basically no stretching characteristics. I tried to knead it, but it would just break and break. I have no idea if the citric acid is attracting excessive calcium affecting stretch? Or if the milk was not good enough? Or if my C/F ratio is not right for pasta filata applications. I am overwhelmed at this point with so much newly learned information.

(My attempt at solution) - In further research into this lead me to the C/F ratios for mozzarella which should be at least 1:1ratio if not 1.5:1 or higher. Knowing that my store bought milk is 3.25% fat and 3.25% protein(8g fat per serving as well as 8g of protein per serving) I read quite a lot about standardization of milk via Ultra-filtered milk liquids/powders, other WPC's, non-fat powerdered milk, etc in order to raise the protein to fat ratio. I used the same method as above except this time I diluted 1/3 cup NF milk powder into enough UF filtered milk to equal a 1.25 cups total for the mixture. I added this to the milk prior to acidification. After I added the citric acid I noticed a lot of floating solids on top of the milk. I don't think this was standard curdling. It seemed to be the powdered milk mixture. Did I not properly hydrate the powdered milk? Or did the acid have an effect? Was it the fact I mixed NF powder into whole milk FairLife Ultra filtered milk and the fat in that had adverse effects? I don't know........but just like before the Ph bottomed out at around 5.5ish.

      When I attempted to give it a spin test after 18 hours room temp ripening. It seemed to have small spots throughout it that were very stretchy, but as a whole when heated to 135F internally it took 5 minutes of kneading a lose, grainy curd into something that actually stretched!!!!It actually had a smooth glossy surface! It actually resembled mozzarella for once. My excitement was quickly stifled during the oven test when it failed to produce the same stretchiness it had when forming balls. It also had very bad melting as well. Browning was a little excessive probably due to the extra lactose added with the extra milk powder mixture. I expected that much though. I have no idea what went wrong? Was I still short on my C/F ratio's? I don't know why small spots in curd were extremely stretchy but the majority was not?

     Which leads me here to ask people wiser than myself for any possible advice they could give me to help me achieve a top quality mozzarella cheese. I intend to use a thermo culture MC maybe t52 or T60 series as well as LH100 finish off that pesky lactose. But I still need to get my C/F ratio up to at least 1.5:1 for better stretching/melting. Is my mind in the right place in my thinking to add NF powerdered milk/Ultra filtered milk to increase the protein while keeping the fat the same? Should I add more fat too via cream or is 3.25% enough to get the 15% minimum fat needed to legally call it mozzarella? I can't even begin to calculate Fat/solids ratios. I worry too much ultra-pasteurized products(cream,UFmilk) will affect curd formation though. I also worry I will never be able to achieve top quality mozzarella when I'm adding these powdered products instead of having access to high quality raw milk sources like cheese manufacturers do. This is not an option for me. However I have made this same recipe with 100% grass fed jersey cow raw milk and it was absolutely amazing in every aspect. No problems with stretching/melting, flavor and texture was amazing. This just confuses me further. I am at the point where I don't know if this is even realistic to make my own cheese that is reliable and consistent enough to use for commercial purposes everyday. I'm sorry for making this sooo long but I know how much you guys appreciate detail and need it to give the right advice. I hope I have not over-stepped my welcome. Thank you so much for reading this and replying. Have a great day

Online Sailor Con Queso

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Re: (Hello)-Mozzarella milk standardization, mc's, etc
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2016, 10:18:21 AM »
What kind of Mozzarella do you want to make. Soft and moist for salads, or drier and firmer for making pizza? There is a lot of difference between the 2. Is your "end product" the cheese or a wood fired pizza? If your end product is pizza, you might consider buying unfinished Mozz (sold packed in whey).

It is illegal for grocery stores and restaurants to make any cheese from scratch. You have to have a separate, dedicated, licensed facility. However, they often buy unfinished Mozz and simply stretch it in house to achieve the desired moisture content. Since they actually finish the product, they can legally call it "house made" Mozz. And so could you. You could even press it and age it for a few weeks to achieve a Provolone consistency. IMHO, the best pizza cheese is a blend of Mozz & Provolone.

A few observations.

IMHO your first mistake is the 1/4" curds. That is way too small for Mozz.
I initially cut Mozz curds to 1"+, let them heal for a bit, and then cut them a little smaller if I want a drier cheese.
Quickie Mozz from citric acid is instantaneous and does not use bacteria. Therefore, letting it sit serves no purpose.
There was no "stalling" of acid production. There was simply no bacteria producing additional acid.
Traditional, cultured Mozz is significantly higher quality, and more predictable.
Mozz is not aged, so LH-100 will not "finish off the pesky lactose". Use a meso/thermo blend.
You need to add calcium when using pasteurized milk.
pH strips are not accurate enough. If you want consistent results, you need a good pH meter.
Your pH was not low enough to stretch.
Mozz is a fresh cheese so it is illegal to use raw milk. Big producers have to use pasteurized milk too.
I would not use NFD milk unless you are intentionally trying to produce a low-fat cheese.
If anything, add a little cream to enhance the flavor.

A moldy Stilton is a thing of beauty. Yes, you eat the rind. - Ed
www.boonecreekcreamery.com

Offline ThriceGreatest333

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Re: (Hello)-Mozzarella milk standardization, mc's, etc
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2016, 11:47:40 AM »
Thank you for your prompt response Sailor.

""It is illegal for grocery stores and restaurants to make any cheese from scratch. You have to have a separate, dedicated, licensed facility.""

Ouch....that one hurt. That was the one thing I had put off researching because of my naive conception that the only reason for the regulation on cheese making was because most manufacturers pasteurize their own sources of Raw milk. I thought making cheese with already pasteurized milk was simply considered "cooking". Like using raw eggs in pasta or lemon curd or a million other recipes that use eggs/dairy products mixed with other ingredients to create an end product, in my case mozzarella. I guess the fact that I'm reintroducing bacteria to the medium that causes the issue? In that case shouldn't the citric acid recipe with no added bacteria not apply to these restrictions?

I have considered the stretching a commercial unfinished mozz. But when talking to prospective food distributors. The price of unfinished mozz, is substantially higher than finished mozz. Which sounds completely counterintuitive, and is way to expensive ($5.30lb range). I would love to support a small scale cheese maker instead of Polly0 or Grande, mass scale manufacturers; but I just can't afford to do so being that I will be operating out of a very small town whose customer base is not willing to pay the extra for top quality ingredients. That's why I wanted to make only the mozz cheese myself not only for the selling point that "we make our own mozz", but also for superior freshness & cost and hopefully texture too. Darn, that really breaks my heart that I am not able to do that :'(

This is my sole motivation for wanting to learn cheese-making so I hesitate to address all other advice you've given me about my current procedure right now. I am not one to take no for an answer and believe that something can always be done to think around a problem like this. Do you think there is any viability to my idea that using citric acid instead of introducing foreign bacteria in the form of culture would exclude me from needing a licensed facility as it really seems no different than cooking a recipe that includes curdled milk, raw pasteurized eggs etc that require no such special facility? I'm just thinking out loud in desperation here lol.....anyway

I appreciate your response & your consideration Sailor. Have a good one man
 
« Last Edit: March 23, 2016, 12:03:44 PM by ThriceGreatest333 »

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Re: (Hello)-Mozzarella milk standardization, mc's, etc
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2016, 12:18:17 PM »
Do you think there is any viability to my idea that using citric acid instead of introducing foreign bacteria in the form of culture would exclude me from needing a licensed facility...
Nope. Not a chance. When making any cheese you are starting with a raw product (even if it is pasteurized), milk, and physically turning it into a unique end product so you are considered a manufacturer. The inspectors do not care about bacteria. They focus on milk safety. This is regulated through your state department of agriculture and NOT by a local health department.

By comparison, if you make a cheese spread you are simply blending various ingredients and not making a unique end product. This would be inspected and regulated by your local health department and not by a state agency.
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Offline Kern

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Re: (Hello)-Mozzarella milk standardization, mc's, etc
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2016, 02:18:05 PM »
It is illegal for grocery stores and restaurants to make any cheese from scratch.

Is this a state regulation or one of the USDA? 

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Re: (Hello)-Mozzarella milk standardization, mc's, etc
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2016, 09:54:01 AM »
Every state regulates milk safety. Nationally cheese plants are inspected by the FDA, not the USDA (meat).

Last year I was contacted by a native american casino/restaurant complex in Minnesota. They wanted to hire me to teach them how to make cheese "in house" in their restaurant kitchen and they obviously had plenty of money to put into the project. I pointed out to them that it was actually illegal to make cheese in a commercial kitchen. They quickly pointed out to me that they were on an Indian Reservation and that the state regulations didn't apply to them. While they were legally correct, I still turned them down because my reputation would have been on the line too.

So, you could always find an Indian reservation to partner with. ::)
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Offline ThriceGreatest333

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Re: (Hello)-Mozzarella milk standardization, mc's, etc
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2016, 01:56:19 PM »
So, you could always find an Indian reservation to partner with. ::)

hahah....I live in Florida. So I'm not without options ;)....As for the legality of it. It's extremely difficult but not impossible seeing as it's being done right now by a handful of restaurateurs. http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/certification-regulation-in-house-chartcuterie-cheese-making-restaurant/Content?oid=15597249

- I just have to continue to study the laws and look for weak spots I may be able to use to my advantage. After all I'm not even pasteurizing or aging cheese. Just making fresh mozz. That may give me a shot at filing an official grievance to allow for the making of only fresh, un-aged cheese from pre-pasteurized milk sources...maybe. I'm not giving up yet.....where there is a will, there is a way.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2016, 02:32:49 PM by ThriceGreatest333 »

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Re: (Hello)-Mozzarella milk standardization, mc's, etc
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2016, 02:07:40 PM »
...and the restaurant still had to get it's cheese making license (certification). They have to have a separate area for making cheese.

... as the article says:

There's a certification for a dairy manufacturing plant, but not for a restaurant making cheese. "So we've got the same certification as Dean's or Prairie Farms."
A moldy Stilton is a thing of beauty. Yes, you eat the rind. - Ed
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Re: (Hello)-Mozzarella milk standardization, mc's, etc
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2016, 02:23:14 PM »
After all I'm not even pasteurizing or aging cheese. Just making fresh mozz. That may give me a shot at filing an official grievance to allow for the making of only fresh, un-aged cheese from pre-pasteurized milk sources...maybe.

"Just making fresh mozz" made me chuckle. Because they are MUCH more likely to make people sick, fresh cheeses are actually more scrutinized than aged cheeses. When making fresh cheeses for sale, the regulatory agencies will almost always make you pasteurize your milk "on location" even if it has already been pasteurized. The reason is that you really don't know how a pre-pasteurized milk has been handled before you obtained it. There has to be a formal chain of custody documenting proper temperature control. You would most likely have to have a milk haulers license just to legally transport milk from the grocery to your home/kitchen. So using pre-pasteurized milk means nothing. And fresh cheese operations are much more likely to be inspected by the FDA.
A moldy Stilton is a thing of beauty. Yes, you eat the rind. - Ed
www.boonecreekcreamery.com