Why is my mozzarella disintegrating at the stretching stage?

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This topic contains 1 reply, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Joanna Hoyt 5 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #5296 Reply

    Joanna Hoyt

    I make cheese from raw milk from my goats. I started making Mozzarella this year, using an “Instantella” recipe modified for goats by a friend (recipe at bottom of post), and seemed to be getting better over time. Until this fall when the milk yield went down and the cheese yield per quart went up. Recently I got 1.5 lbs of Mozz instead of the 1 lb I had been getting from 2 gallons of milk,and the Mozz was less stretchy and cohesive than usual. I thought that might be because the ratio of citric acid to actual cheese was lower. Then I made a 1.5-gal Mozz with the same amount of rennet(1t) and citric acid (2.5 t) I usually used for a 2-gal batch. The resulting cheese was basically good,highly stretchy and ‘plasticy,’ and not quite as inclined to hold its shape as some earlier Mozzes. I got just under 1 lb of that cheese. Last week I made a 2-gal batch with 3 t of citric acid and 1.25 t of rennet. I got a super-stretchy ‘cheese product” that was slightly sticky and wouldn’t hold its shape—it stayed together but flowed out flat. I got 1.5 lb of ‘cheese product.” I thought this might be from too much citric acid; someone on another forum confirmed that guess. I also wondered if it could be from having the stretch water slightly overheated (175 not 170)but didn’t hear that confirmed.

    Today I tried Mozz making again using the usual 2.5 t of citric acid. Curd handled somewhat differently from the previous batch–cut curds held their shape longer, and after draining in cheesecloth the curds were less dense. I poured the hot water on (166 F this time, not poured directly onto the curd but against the side of the bowl) and at first the cheese seemed to be handling well. But after I had squeezed it into a rope,returned it to the hot water and reballed it a few times–I think 4–the texture changed dramatically; pores visibly opened in the cheese and it began to absorb water and stopped holding its shape and staying adhesive. I think it’s going to be another ‘cheese product.” I can’t figure out what is happening.

    Below I’m listing the basic recipe I usually follow–which was working for me until the last 2 weeks. I know the milk has changed in that time–the goats are getting less fresh food and at least one has been in heat. If you have any thoughts about what might have gone wrong and how I could stop future curd disintegration,I would greatly appreciate hearing that.

    2 gallons milk
    2 1/2 tsp. citric acid powder (used 3 today) dissolved in 1/4 c water
    1/4 tsp lipase powder dissolved in 1/2 c water
    1 tsp liquid rennet (used 1 1/4 t today)dissolved in 1/4 c water

    Brine:1/3c canning salt dissolved in 10c water

    Dissolve lipase for 1/2 hr (more like 45mins today)
    Add citric acid and lipase solutions to milk as it starts heating (72 F today)
    Heat milk to 88
    Add rennet,stir 15 sec
    Let sit 15 min (Today there was a clean break as usual; also,as often, the curd was a bit grainy; there were more tiny loose particles on top than usual)
    Cut into 1/2”-5/8″curds
    Rest 5 min
    Heat to 108 over 15 min
    Remove from heat, (I generally interpret this to mean,remove from double boiler), stir 20 min
    Pour into colander, let sit 15 min
    Cut into 1” strips,lay crosshatched in bowl
    Pour 170 F brine over strips (was 175 today)
    Pat cheese into ball, then pull out gently into long rope, return to water, reball and resqueeze; repeat for 10 mins (today I didn’t have to squeeze it into a rope-it flowed into one of its own accord if I held it up)
    Remove, knead to remove excess whey (Skipped this as by then it wouldn’t hold shape)
    Shape into ball, submerge in cold water til cool and solid

    As I said, this usually works for me—but not today. Any advice greatly appreciated.

    #5297 Reply

    Joanna Hoyt

    Sorry–parenthetical notes refer to last week’s batch of cheese,not today’s.

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