Hello to everyone. I am really, really stuck and I can use some help. I am trying to make mozzarella from milk, following a recipe I have come across on the internet. I am very new to the cheese making process and seem to have run into a bit of a bump I can't overcome. Any help would be greatly appreciated and I am getting frustrated, and really craving some mozzarella
Here is the ingredients I am using:
1 gallon local milk, sadly pasteurized and homogenized (I live in a big city in a state where it is difficult to obtain raw milk, it would cost me about $30 in gas to get me a gallon)
1 1/4 teaspoons Geffen Brand Citric Acid dissolved into 1/2 cup of cool spring water
.78 g Ball Brand calcium chloride disolved into 1/4 cup of room temp spring water
1/2 tablet Junket Rennet disolved into 1/4 cup of cool spring water
Process I am following:
Add milk to sterilized double boiler pot.
Add calcium chloride to the milk and stir until well mixed.
Add citric acid with water to milk and mix.
Bring pot to 88 degrees F (am am using a digital thermometer and have tested it for accuracy)
remove pot from heat and add rennet mixture, stir for 1 min gently.
Leave for 2 hours to cool to room temp ( I should note that my room temp is 63 degrees F. It snowed today where I live)
I can't get a clean break! I cant get any break
The milk is separating a little, a small amount of whey is present on top of the "curd" and a little under the curd. The Problem is the curd has the consistency of clumpy yoghurt! I can't get it to firm up, or even separate completely. The next step would be to cut the curds, but it is more like glop and cutting is not a real option.
Here is what I have done already:
I have gone through three types of milk. One local, one a big chain, and one a local organic milk. I have tried rennet from two different stores thinking one might be bad. I have sterilized EVERYTHING with boiling water. I have switched to spring water for chlorine concerns.
I am running out of ideas. I have tried different milk, tried re-adding the calcium that is destroyed through the pasteurizing process. If anyone has any suggestion I would really appreciate it. The only thought I have is that the milk could be cooling too quickly due to the cold climate and thus inhibiting the rennet form doing its job?
Sorry about the long post, thank your for your time and assistance.