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need "30 minute mozzarella" help - update: SUCCESS!

Discussion in 'Egg, Chicken, & Other Favorite Recipes' started by patandchickens, Oct 24, 2008.

  1. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I know there's folks here who make it, and was hoping I could pick your brains. I bought the kit from www.cheesemaking.com and tried it out today, and just got a mess. I am not sure where I went wrong. The dairy SAYS the milk is 'regular' pasturized not ultrapasturized. It seemed to form a good custardy curd after I added the rennet.

    I proceeded with the directions (cutting the curd, moving it around gently while heating further, etc) and when I ladelled it out into a microwaveable bowl it was still in good rectangular chunks... but I just could NOT get it to hold into a single cohesive mass. No amount of draining, folding, and heating managed to produce anything remotely stretchable. It just fell apart into a sort of dense wet ricotta [​IMG] Tastes fine. Sure ain't mozzarella, though.

    So I am using it in lasagna for tonight [​IMG] but what the heck did I do wrong?

    (edited to add: the only way that I can think of that I didn't do EXACTLY as the booklet's instructins said was that I used a big enamel [nonreactive] canning kettle, on account of my stainless steel big stewpot is full of stew in teh fridge right now. Consequently it was made in a much larger shallower container than I think they were expecting. Could that possibly have made a difference? Grasping at straws here...)

    All guesses appreciated,

    Pat
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2008
  2. DrakeMaiden

    DrakeMaiden Overrun with Drakes

    Jun 8, 2007
    Kitsap County, WA
    Hey Pat, I'm sorry you didn't have success.

    I'm no expert, but could this be the problem?

    Homogenization is not usually done for most cheesemilk. It disrupts the fat globules and increases the fat surface area where casein particles adsorb. This reults in a soft, weak curd at renneting and increased hydrolytic rancidity.​
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Thanks Drakemaiden -- Yeah, I know about that, but the kit CLAIMS that this particular recipe works fine with homogenized milk (hm, I thnk I've been in Canada too long -- started to type "homo milk" which is what it's called up here [​IMG])

    I think probably I just did something stupid but I don't know what [​IMG]

    Pat
     
  4. DrakeMaiden

    DrakeMaiden Overrun with Drakes

    Jun 8, 2007
    Kitsap County, WA
    [​IMG] That term wouldn't float down here in the states.

    I wish I had more cheesemaking under my belt so I could help.

    What I did read made me think the problem was related to the hydrophobic interactions being lacking at the curd treatment stage, but that could also be caused due to protein denaturing probably.

    I hope someone who knows more comes along soon. [​IMG]

    Any chance you could start with raw milk? I bet you'd get better results.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2008
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:I did read a sort of offhand comment about making hard cheeses, to the effect that you mustn't heat the curds (or was it the not yet curdled milk? I forget) too quickly or they will be too weak. I don't know what too quickly is, though, nor whether this could be my problem.

    I gather you have done some cheesemaking -- does it sound to you like my problem is simply the curds were too soft and I, like, massacred them apart? or should they still come back together if that were the case and the problem is something else?

    Any chance you could start with raw milk? I bet you'd get better results.

    I don't think so. The only person I know IRL here who has milk cows, WHOOO BABY you don't wanna get her started on the subject of The Dangers Of Raw Milk; and the only farmer I had ever heard of who sold raw milk in this general region just got convicted of ignoring hygeine laws and general naughtiness with respect to failure to cease and desist, so, that's out too.

    I mean, I bought this kit *specifically* because it said you could use storeboughten milk. <grrrrr>

    Thanks for the suggestions though,

    Pat​
     
  6. mrsengeseth

    mrsengeseth Chillin' With My Peeps

    how long once you microwaved did you knead it? Did you stir it too much while it was forming curd?


    here's what the cheesemaking site says about the problem...
    Why is my quick Mozzarella just giving me Ricotta?


    AThis could be due to one of two problems:

    1...You are stirring your milk too long after adding the rennet. We are finding with today's milk, that stirring 1 minute after adding rennet will be plenty .. then stop stirring (make sure you have turned the burner off) and let it sit quietly while the curd forms
    If you do this a nice firm curd will form which can be cut nicely. If you continue stirring after this point you are actually cutting the curd as you stir.. hence your cottage cheese or ricotta like curd

    2...This happens when the milk that you have bought in the grocery store has been "Ultra"-Pasteurized. The protein is denatured with the high temperature the milk is processed at, the whey proteins bind on the casein and block the site of action of the rennet. This damage to the milk is irreversible. My suggestion is to look for another brand of milk and make sure it has not been ultra-pasteurized. Usually a local brand of milk is best.
    There is one more alternative if Ultra-pasteurized milk is all you have available you can use dry milk powder and cream. (This is a new recipe which you will find in the recipe section.)
    Note: While you are at the store ask the owner to stop buying this type of milk, there is nothing of any real value left in it.


    I personally have had the best luck using powdered milk and adding cream to it.
     
  7. corancher

    corancher Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 18, 2007
    Colorado
    Maybe this is the problem which is off the web site

    Ultra Pasteurization
    This is a range of milk processing temps from 191-212 F for varying times
    once the temp rises above 174F the calcium component of the milk will be damaged to the point that a curd will not develop properly. If your curd forms as a loose mass or something looking like ricotta, then your milk source has been probably Ultra Pasteurized.
     
  8. the simple life

    the simple life Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have the same kit and had the same exact results 3 times.
    one reason was I used the flavoring additive they say is optional, lipase.
    It turns it too liquidy and you have to increase the amount of rennet called for.
    You do have to use the exact materials they say to use for cooking and stirring.
    You have to measure the rennet exactly, even a little under will throw it off big time and you will be eating lasagna again.
    The milk makes a big difference, I cannot use supermarket milk even though it says not ultra pasturized, I buy it at the local dairy farm, its not raw but its just not ultra past. and for some reason it works better than the kind I can buy at the store.
    Lastly, if you do everything right and it still does not work you can add just a tiny bit more rennet to the mix next time.
     
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Do I understand that you've had the same thing happen to you? If so, am I ever glad to hear it! (Um, you know what I mean [​IMG])

    This is local dairy milk, and the guy on the phone swears it is not ultrapasteurized. I did use the exact materials they specified, although due to other pots being busy I used an enamel canning kettle which was much wider (and thus the liquid shallower) than they're likely to be thinking of. Didn't use lipase so it's not that.

    But your comment about exact measurement of rennet... hmm. I tried real hard to split the tablet into equal quarters but it shattered a bit and you know what, in retrospect, it is certainly possible that a bit too much of the dust may've gotten left on the cuttingboard and not made it into the milk.

    So does that seem to you like it could have produced the results I got? (My big problem is that I know zilch about cheesemaking and don't even know if my problem was overly-soft curds or something else altogether) Maybe I should try again, same milk (I really don't have another option, other than powdered) but make POSITIVE that the full quarter-tablet's worth of rennet goes in?

    Thanks,

    Pat
     
  10. DrakeMaiden

    DrakeMaiden Overrun with Drakes

    Jun 8, 2007
    Kitsap County, WA
    LOL.

    You know Pat, you should try to find someone in your area who has a degree in some sort of science that requires chemistry classes (not saying it is necessary, but it certainly lends a perspective!) and who also owns a goat or a cow. I guess I got REALLY lucky when I moved where I did. I'd have to agree that raw milk can be dangerous in the wrong hands.

    My cheesemaking skills so far have not evolved into the realm of rennet.

    Whenever I read "don't overheat" in a recipe it makes me all freaky nervous and I get weird about hovering over the stove with a spoon and an eye on a clock. I start at really low heat and when nothing happens, I gradually up the heat. Once I know how hot I can probably go, I try to remember, though I should really make a note of it. So, I guess I like to err on the side of caution to the extent of being obnoxious. [​IMG]

    Could be a problem that you overheated there towards the end.

    Unfortunately I don't know enough about cheesemaking to really pick this apart for you. I suspect it has to do with fat. Fat content of milk? Fat molecules disrupted? Proteins denatured before the critical last step? Your cheese isn't shedding water the way it should.

    Try try again! Buy a different brand of milk this time!
     

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