Help making mozarella

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  • #8115 Reply

    Hello all,

    I started making mozzarella but it did not come out as the cheese I was wanting. The curds never fully formed. They formed into chucks. I used a 30 minute recipe because I wanted it to be simple. I have read on many blog posts/websites that this recipe works and is widely used. So as far as I can tell, it will work. The recipe I used is linked below

    30 Minute Mozzarella Recipe

    Here is an abridged recipe:

    1) Add 1 1/2 tsp. of citric acid to 1 cup cool water, pour this into your pot.

    Now, pour cold milk into your pot quickly, to mix well with the citric acid. This will bring the milk to the proper acidity to stretch well later.

    2) Heat the milk slowly to 90°F. As you approach 90°F, you may notice your milk beginning to curdle slightly due to acidity and temp.

    Note: If you’re having problems with milk forming a proper curd, you may need to increase this temp to 95°F or even 100F.

    3) At 90°F, remove the pot from the burner and slowly add your rennet (which you prepared in step one) to the milk. Stir in a top to bottom motion for approx. 30 seconds, then stop.

    Cover the pot and leave undisturbed for 5 minutes.

    Check the curd after 5 minutes, it should look like custard, with a clear separation between the curds and whey. If the curd is too soft or the whey is milky, let it set longer, up to 30 more minutes.

    4) Cut the curds into a 1″ checkerboard pattern.

    Place the pot back on the stove and heat to 105°F while slowly stirring the curds with your ladle (if you will be stretching the curds in a hot water bath, rather than using a microwave, heat to 110°F in this step).

    Take the pot off the burner and continue stirring slowly for 2-5 minutes. (More time will make a firmer cheese)

    Ok so after this, you form the cheese. However I never got to this part of the recipe so I will stop here.


    1) 1 Gal of Costco whole mile. As far as I can tell, this is not Ultra pasteurized so it should work
    2) Liquid vegetable rennet
    3) Citric acid

    Again, what ended up happening is that the curds formed chucks and I couldn’t cut it.

    After looking back, I made some mistakes:

    1) I did not dilute the citric acid or the rennet (I used vegetable rennet). However, I did add in 1 cup of chlorinated water to the pot thinking that would work. I also recently read that chlorinated water is a no go.

    2) After finding out the curds were not forming, I added in more citric acid and rennet. Not sure how much but it was more

    I think for the next time I will be doing this:

    1) Diluting the rennet and citric acid before combining into the pot
    2) Use distilled water

    However, I want to turn to you guys and see if there is anything else that I can do with the recipe to make it turn out like cheese?


    I am aware that I can add additional cultures to help it curl better but I want to stick to the simplest ingredients because this is all I have right now

    #8184 Reply
    Tom Valois

    I have had the same problem several times. The problem each time has been the milk. Most milk is pasteurized at higher temperatures than it used to be. The high temperature breaks down the milk proteins, and then a firm curd will not form. To remedy this with some other cheeses, you can simply add calcium chloride to pasteurized milk. However, with mozzarella, this doesn’t work, because the cheese will not stretch properly in the last step.

    I have had some successful batches by luck (my store bought milk managed to form a firm enough curd), but most of my successful batches were made using raw, unpasteurized milk. For mozzarella (if you make it properly), you heat the curds up to a high enough temperature that the final product is effectively pasteurized. If you can’t find raw milk, check around for local dairies that deliver to stores in your area, and contact them and ask about their pasteurization process. You want to find milk that is never brought to a temperature higher than 167 degrees Fahrenheit.

    #8186 Reply

    Hi all

    I’m getting the same problem, and I’ve tried following the 30mins recipe and the recipes in a home making cheese kit issued by a company called Cheese Monkey. Each video I see online, the curds form perfectly smooth on top, but I’ve not managed to achieve that consistency yet.

    Today, I’ve tried 3 batches and each has failed apart from the last batch with was only partially successful:

    1st Attempt: used 250ml of water with 1.5 tsp of citric acid and about 1/4 tsp of rennet in 60ml of water. 4ltr of pasteurized homogenized whole milk.

    Added the milk straight from the fridge to the pan and mixed in the citric acid and started to heated to 37 degrees. Milk started forming small grain like curds throughout the milk being stirred. At 37 degrees, removed it from the heat and stirred in the rennet. Mixture didn’t set after 50mins, and while a slight curd had formed, it was more grains than solid curds.

    2st Attempt: the same instead I used unhomogenized whole milk. Used a whisk to try and stir the mixture, Same result as before, small grains formed during the heating process and the curd failed to set again after the rennet was added.

    3rd Attempt: stayed with the unhomogenised whole milk. This time I waited for the milk to reach room temperature before putting in the pan and adding the citric acid. Also I only heated the mix to 32 degrees. Again the milk started to show some small grains of curd but I generally left it alone on the pan which seemed to be better for it – as little stirring as possible. I took it off and gently stirred in the rennet. After 15mins, I had a semi good curd – it wasn’t smooth on top and still had lumps from the small grains but I could cut the majority of the curd without them disintegrating. When I stirred the curds after putting them back on the heat, I say 1/3 of the mix was looking like mozarella pre stretching, but the rest against was clumped and grain like.

    So, where am I going wrong? I get the feeling if I’d left the last batch to sit longer after adding the rennet, I might have had a better result. Saying that;

    1. Is 1.5 tsp of citric acid too much for 4ltrs of milk? Does that cause too much acidity and hence the small grain like curds to form when heating the milk prior to the rennet being added?
    2. Stirring – some recipes say vigorously and some say as little and gentle stirring as possible. My 2nd attempt failed as the whisk simply annihilated the curds into bits.
    3. Does heating the milk too quick cause the grain effect? The 1st and 2nd attempts it took me about 10mins to reach 32 degrees while the last attempt I took it on a very low heat and took about 20mins to reach 32 degress and I got a much better result.
    4. How do I get a smooth top curd as we see in nearly all the 30min videos using standard store bought whole milk?

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