today i decided to make mozzarella with my girls. a gallon of milk, a teaspoon and a half of citric acid (dissolved), heat to 90º, add rennet (dissolved), stir, then wait for the curds.
well, curds have formed... ish. they are slightly curdy, but not hard enough to cut. it has been about 2 hours. wah.
i researched if it was ok to add more rennet, "they" said no.
but i wonder if i bring it up to 110º, if the curds would form enough then to cut it?
thanks for any help!
There are at least two excellent threads on this, even on correcting mistakes. Do a search, and don't throw out (at least not yet!) what you've done so far.
Great photos and directions from Chow on making your own mozzarella -- very helpful:
Look at the looseness of the curds there -- and see how "unformed" they are in all the photos.
These threads cover procedures and mistakes:
Are you following a recipe?
Two things: you may be misinterpreting the word "cut" and thinking the curds should be thicker than they are at this stage. Right now, you just have coagulation, not cheese.
Only if the curds are not as loose as in the Chow photos would I increase the heat slightly first, then add more acid, second. But increase the heat very slowly, and add additional acid in very tiny increments.
Another thing: making mozzarella goes through several stages. Forming the cheese comes later, and it will require much higher heat -- you will need to use clean, heavy rubber gloves to form the cheese -- the water needs to be that hot.
My mother gave me a cheese making kit last Christmas, and I was excited to make mozzarella. She has one, and she said hers always turns out perfectly. But my aunt (who also got a kit) and I have had the same experience you have had. I've gone to the company's website to try to figure out what I'm doing wrong. I've switched brands of milk, knowing that differences in things like pasteurization can affect the outcome. I've even ignored the instructions and added extra rennet. But not only has it never quite come out like it's supposed to, it's never been consistent enough for me to figure out what I might be doing wrong. Having said that, I would encourage you to not throw out what you have. I've taken the meager curds that have formed and kneaded them into a ball of mozzarella that was much smaller than I expected, but was still pretty good. And once, when I ended up with a batch that was too soft, I sliced it onto a pizza anyway, and it melted into something that was so deliciously creamy my friends were amazed, as if I had achieved that effect on purpose. :-)