Mozzarella issue

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air621

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Hi there, happy to have found this place.
I made my first batch of mozzarella today. I used 3% homogenized milk, that's what seems the best for regular storebought milk up here in Toronto, Canada. I used the Fermentaholics cheesemaking kit and followed the instructions to a T. I know there are many factors that make cheese come together and work so if you need more info to get an idea, let me know.
The curd came together and there were no issues until the end when I added the balls back to the 185º whey bath to get it stretchy. After probably a half-hour of attempts, it wasn't getting stretchy at all. So, I just finished the mozzarella and put it in the fridge. I tried a sample ball and while it's firm, it's a bit squeaky and seems more like firm ricotta. I want it for Neapolitan pizza but it doesn't seem like it's going to melt easily. Does anyone have an idea where I went wrong?
 

LilMissMuffet

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Hello.
I've only been making cheese for a month and a half and only one of my mozzerella attempts turned out well, but for me, I believe, different reasons than you. If I understand correctly, it is the citric acid that aids/causes elasticity. Did the kit include some little packet of CA? Was it too old ? (although I have no proof that even matters) For me, I believe my issue has been in rushing the clock.
Two random ideas.
There are brilliant cheese makers on this forum. I hope you/they can figure it out.
LMM
 

Kittyfeet

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I've had the same issue with the mozz not stretching. First, it was because I added way too much citric acid. The second time I added the correct amount of citric and had the same problem. Now I'm thinking part of the issue is the milk I'm using. While it says pasteurized on the label, it could be ultra pasteurized, which isn't that great for cheese making.

Give another brand a try, and if you don't have a ph meter, consider picking one up to test the acidity in the milk.
 

bernardsmith

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Mozz is not an easy cheese to make. Period. The acidity needs to be very specific for the cheese to stretch. I think the pH needs to be about 5.2 Too low a pH (too acidic) or too high (too alkaline) and the cheese does not stretch. And sure you can make Mozz with citric acid or lemon juice but the cheese will always taste better - because far more complex, if you use cultures to ripen (acidify) the cheese. Cultures work far more slowly than acids you add but they produce lactic acid from the lactose and lactic acid is a less harsh acid than citric or lemon juice.
The problem with too much heat being added to milk on pasteurization is that the heat destroys the proteins in the milk and that prevents the curds from binding and coagulating. If the curds properly coagulated then there is no problem with pasteurization but I would always add calcium chloride to any store bought milk to help repair any damage to the milk.
 
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Quality of milk, and pH (e.g., too much/little citric acid). Even with a pH meter, I've had a hellova time making mozz.

Failures always result in ricotta. Make some homemade ravioli with that ricotta. Or stuffed shells, whatever. When life hands you lemons, make lemonade :) Use the whey as a base for seafood soup. Man, whey is too good to dump in the sink!
 
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i didn't think "real" moz melted anyway?
Not sure what "real mozz" means, but meltability has a lot to do with pH. If it is too low, which is common for home cheesemakers, it won't melt. Under 5 and forget it.

For mozz, most of the stuff you buy in the store is "low moisture" and it melts fine. I'm not sure how they get to that low-moisture thing, but no doubt the pH is in the 5.5 range at which meltability is perfect.

Aaaaand, I suck at making mozz, so use that to assess my comments above.
 

bracconiere

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Not sure what "real mozz" means, but meltability has a lot to do with pH. If it is too low, which is common for home cheesemakers, it won't melt. Under 5 and forget it.

For mozz, most of the stuff you buy in the store is "low moisture" and it melts fine. I'm not sure how they get to that low-moisture thing, but no doubt the pH is in the 5.5 range at which meltability is perfect.

Aaaaand, I suck at making mozz, so use that to assess my comments above.

i was just going by some pizza show i saw a long time ago, and they said "real" moz doesn't melt and their pizza just had softened round slices of moz on it.....


edit: i shouldn't say just, because i never got the round loves you buy in brine to melt either....
 

bernardsmith

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I think every mozz I have bought or successfully made melts. Mozz is the signature cheese of pizza and pizza cheese is melted cheese. As passedpawn suggests when a cheese has a very low pH (ie it is VERY acidic) then it does not melt but most of the firm cheese you will make do not have such a low pH and so they melt. If the don't melt that in fact suggests that you are not making the cheese you think you are making.
 
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