HOW DO I GET STARTED?
The 30 minute Mozzarella and Ricotta kit is a great place to start. There are pictures of Ricki making the Mozzarella online, they show details and good reference points. Also ordering the book Home Cheese Making contains all of the basic information you need to get started.
I'VE LOST MY MOZZARELLA RECIPE is it somewhere on your site?
Crush 1/4 rennet tablet in 1/4 cup cool water. 1 gal Milk heated on medium 1.5 level tsp citric acid into milk and stir at 88F add rennet stir briefly continue heating to 105F when firm scoop curds into microwave bowl. Press gently to remove whey pour off as much whey as possible. Microwave on high for 1 min drain whey. Microwave 2 more times at 35 sec. drain more whey and work into ball knead until smooth stretch
I MAKE MOZZARELLA WITH 1% and 2% MILK. THE CONSISTANCY IS NOT RICH AND CREAMY, WHAT DO I NEED TO DO?
To make the cheese softer you need to retain more moisture. Use a shorter time from adding rennet to separating whey and turn off the heat earlier, not allowing the curd to reach 105F after renneting. Going a bit easier on the kneading will give you a softer cheese. Knead only enough to equalize the heat in the cheese after heating in the Microwave. The use of lower fat milk will also keep your cheese from having that wonderful soft moist character.
WHY IS MY MOZZARELLA TURNING INTO RICOTTA?
This could be due to one of two problems:
1-You are stirring your milk too long after adding the rennet, with today's milk, stirring 1 minute after adding rennet will be plenty. 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 easily. If you continue stirring after this point you are actually cutting the curd as you stir, hence your ricotta like curd.
2-This happens when the milk you have bought ahs been "Ultra"- Pasteurized. The protein is denatured at the high temperature, the whey proteins bind on the casein and block the site of action of the rennet. This damage to the milk is irreversible.Look for another brand of milk and make sure it has not been Ultra- Pasteurized. A local brand is always best.There is one more alternative if Ultra-pasteurized milk is all you have available use dry milk powder and cream.
NOTE: While you are at the store ask the owner to stop buying UP milk, there is nothing of any value left in it.
HOW DO I HEAT MY MOZZARELLA WITHOUT A MICROWAVE?
The microwave is just a shortcut, you may use hot water or whey at 175F, our instructions in the Mozzarella & Ricotta Kit explain this in detail.
I HAVE A GREAT CURD BUT IT WILL NOT STRETCH?
Your curds need to be 135F before they will stretch, it sounds like you simply need a little more heat.
WHEN USING A MOTHER CULTURE DO I STILL NEED TO USE CITRIC ACID AND RENNET?
You will need the rennet but not the citric acid.You add the culture and let rest for 30-60 min so that the culture can ripen the milk, then add rennet but DO NOT ADD CITRIC ACID, the culture will produce the acidity.
CAN I GET A RICHER CHEESE BY USING HIGHER FAT MILK?
Yes, aAs the butterfat increases the cheese will have a tendency to hold more moisture and more effort will be needed to remove the whey and less rennet will be required for a firm curd.