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What the hell, people? - A little less than a happy high
komos
komos
What the hell, people?
I have now attempted making Ricki Carroll's "30-Minute Mozarella" three times, and have been moderately successful only once. This is a frighteningly simple recipe whose successes are lauded again and again on the internets, but my attempts have produced little better than vaguely mozarella-flavored brain-like orbs. Taffy consistency? Try cottage cheese.

The curd is behaving exactly as Carroll describes ultra-pasteurized milk would - ricotta consistency, and with curds that just don't ever come together. What's weird is that this is happening with Shaw Farm milk, which claims a low-temperature pasteurization process - a claim that's supported by the fact that their milk tastes like the grasses the cows fed on.

I'm stumped. Part of me is starting to believe that mozarella is just beyond my ken.
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Comments
oxlahun From: oxlahun Date: December 2nd, 2008 09:35 am (UTC) (Link)
I know someone who sells unpasteurized milk, if you're interested.
komos From: komos Date: December 2nd, 2008 12:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
I am, actually, though I'd prefer if I could use it without destroying it in the process.
inahandbasket From: inahandbasket Date: December 2nd, 2008 11:00 am (UTC) (Link)
odd, we tried it once and had no trouble... I have a gallon of milk in the fridge right now for another go soon.
Perhaps your rennet is crap?
komos From: komos Date: December 2nd, 2008 12:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was wondering about that. Where are you getting yours?
inahandbasket From: inahandbasket Date: December 2nd, 2008 12:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
came in the cheesemaking kit we got, i think it was this one: http://www.cheesemaking.com/30-Minute-Mozzarella-Ricotta-Kit.html
At least it was packaged like that, I don't remember it being that image though.
wanderyng1 From: wanderyng1 Date: December 2nd, 2008 11:13 am (UTC) (Link)
I had similar problems when I made mozzarella the first few times. I ended up going with Carroll's suggestion for nonfat dry milk powder mixed with cream, which worked quite well. Here's the tidbit I dug up from the recipe I copied:

Believe it or not we have had fabulous results in making our mozzarella from this combination. If you can not find good quality local milk give this a shot

Use a good quality Non Fat Dry Powder milk such as 'Carnation' brand. We have found that some NFDM produced in other parts of the world and sold through "discount" stores does not work due to the method in which it is produced (too high temperature for drying).
Choosing Non Fat Dry Milk Powder is important because the butterfat in Dry Milk Powder can turn rancid due to process damage and storage conditions.
Some Dry Milk Powder is made at higher temperature and results in a caramelized and sometimes other 'off' flavors. This milk may be fine for the baking and other food industries but not for cheese making

For 1 Gallon of milk ....

* Mix up 4 quarts of NFDM powder according to manufacturers instructions
* Let it re-hydrate overnight .. remove 1/2 -1 pint milk to make room for cream in next step
* heat cream to 100F (1 pint light cream or half and half or if only heavy cream can be found use 1/2 pint) ... add this to your milk
It is OK if the cream is UP because the calcium and protein curd making components will be found in the NFDM portion.

You are now ready to use this milk in making your cheese...
komos From: komos Date: December 2nd, 2008 12:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
The thing is, it is good quality local milk, so this shouldn't be necessary, right?
wanderyng1 From: wanderyng1 Date: December 2nd, 2008 12:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
I know nothing about the quality of the milk from Shaw Farm so I have no idea whether or not it's necessary. I would think it wouldn't, but I'm not an expert.
learnedax From: learnedax Date: December 2nd, 2008 02:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I've used that a bunch of times (including with a camp stove at Pennsic), and never had any trouble. I sometimes wind up using extra acid to make the milk curdle, but it sounds like you're seeing it curdle alright, just not set. Sounds like the new rennet suggestion may be right.
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