Cheese Making Day 2

Having two gallons of milk left over from Saturday, I tried Mozzarella again. Armed with a new recipe from New England Cheesemaking Supply Company and their FAQ.

Batch 5:  Slowly I heated the milk with citric acid to 90F and added the rennet.  After waiting 5 minutes I checked the milk.  Oh My!  The curds cut cleanly with a knife!  We had a clean break!  I followed the rest of the recipe and microwaved the curds.  Then I killed it in the microwave by heating it too much. Oh I was so close!  I think the bowl used was too hot and the butter fat in the cheese melted into a pool of once was cheese curds.  It tasted bad, so it got tossed into the trash.

So close… Still one gallon of milk left!

Batch 6:  Slowly the milk heated to 90F and added the rennet and covered for 5 minutes.  The curds were soft so I let is set another 10 checking at the five minute mark.  This was just like the bad Mozzarella curds from earlier batches.

Conclusion:  Finally I have decided that the problem was the Trader Joe’s Milk.  We had two batches of milk in the original 5 gallon purchase based on expiration date.  I was able to go back and confirm that the milk in batch 5, that  made good curds was different than Batch 6.  My guess is that the bad milk was Ultra Pasteurized and not HIST Pasteurized.

I called Trader Joe’s prior to my milk purchase to verify the pasteurization used in their milk.  They told me the specifics of the pasteurization used in their milk, although I did not write it down I thought it was the HIST process.  I assume that TJ’s does not have a way to verify the actual process used on a day by day process.

The plan for next batches is to get milk with a dairy brand on it.  A dairy that is proud of their products like Alta Dena or Rockview Family Farms.


About JimmyZombie

My computer was an IBM PC 5150.
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3 Responses to Cheese Making Day 2

  1. Michelle says:

    Ugh. I wish I had read this post BEFORE I tried making my first batch of mozzarella. I used Ricki’ s kit (same recipe as yours), and it never set quite right. Now I realize it was the milk from Trader Joe’s. I even made a special trip for their milk. It doesn’t say ultra pasteurized, but I suspect they do. The curds never got very firm, and after fifteen minutes, the whey separated, but the curds just fell apart into cottage cheese when I tried to remove them. Way too soft.

    • JimmyZombie says:

      I actually called TJ’s asking about their milk, they claim its not ultra. Last time I made cheese I used Clover Organic Farms purchased at Whole Foods, and the cheese set correctly.

  2. I just tried to make mozzarella yesterday with Trader Joe’s milk and failed miserably. This was my second attempt at mozzarella. The first time, I tried making it with Clover Organic Farms milk from Mother’s Market, and while the curds did not set 100% due to some bad rennet, I still ended up with a large amount of a very firm ricotta-like cheese which we enjoyed for several days afterward. The second time, like I said, was with the Trader Joe’s milk. While the curd appeared to have set perfectly, looking like a shiny batch of yogurt, when I went to scoop the curd out everything turned into mush. I only got about 1 cup of ricotta-like cheese out of the entire gallon of milk, a near total failure. I believe that Trader Joe’s pasteurizes their milk at too high of a temperature for it to be worthwhile for a cheesemaker.

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