making mozzarella

sleevendogJuly 16, 2013

I don't see much about cheese making....or my search abilities are not so great?
I started making mozzarella last summer on holiday. It was strange at first....watched many videos and read others experiences, bought a kit, lol.
I see many here using recipes with 'caprese'. Fresh lovely home grown seasonal tomatoes and basil deserves a good fresh cheese. Right?

I made two batches last weekend. Even built a cold smoker.
A friend asked, "WHY?", when it is sold in every NY Italian deli. Well, because i can and it is fun and it is so good fresh and warm and i can fold in fresh basil at the taffy stage and add pink sea salt and have it with my first fresh off-the-vine tomatoes. A gallon of milk is 3dollars and i have fresh whey for the pups and freeze some of the whey to add to our bread making and it is good for the compost.
It is easy and ready to eat in less than an hour...and i can make a double batch, make bocconcini to marinate in pesto....

Just thought i would be encouraging if you have not tried it.

Ready for the smoker with some Irish cheddar...

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I tried making cheese once and it did not turn out well. I can't remember how I did it but not with rennet tablets they are not available here that I have seen. My cheese worked well for lasagne but that is about it. Yours looks fabulous.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 9:12AM
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It is not that easy the first time, or two. We tossed the first batch (i got creeped out, lol)
"this can't be right?!, it looks weird, ew"
I was determined and glad i stuck it out. Now looking at fetta but not sure of my patience for that one. I'm satisfied with mozzarella and with my dad visiting soon, it will be fun to make a warm batch or two for him.
The NewEngland cheese co. has a good video. Also sells the kits and amazon has all necessary supplies. (just need rennet and citric acid)
I watched a few on y-tube. One is a couple gals getting a bit drunk and totally messed up the process and it still came out fine...

Here is a link that might be useful: mozzarella making

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 9:57AM
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I love that step by step I guess I will have to try some rennet next time and cooking it. The kind I made used sour cream and hanging it in cheese cloth not sure what kind of cheese it was supposed to be.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 10:31AM
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There is nothing like fresh warn moz cheese.

"---I made two batches last weekend. Even built a cold smoker. --"

Details of your cold smoker please?

I will show you mine.


    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 10:36AM
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Practicing home food storage means LOTS of powdered milk (both instant and non-instant), and you learn every way possible to use it, and that includes:

-mozzarella cheese
-kefir (using real kefir grains)
-yogurt and quark
-"homemade" buttermilk
-"Medium" Cheddar Cheese
-Farmer Cheese
-Cream Cheese
-Parmesan Cheese
-Ricotta Substitute
-cottage cheese

I always keep rennet and citric acid powder on hand and have been doing some experiments with "Set Milk", a product I got from Wilderness Family Naturals. Not everything works well with powdered milk, but it's fun to try.... :-)


Here is a link that might be useful: Cookin' With Powdered Milk

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 10:44AM
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dcarch- not sure why out of the blue one morning before the 4th holiday i woke with a cold smoker design...when we lived in NYC and 'Joe' smoked mozzarella on the sidewalk just out the back door of his deli...
Well, my father, 85 now, did visit many times and loved it. He will be visiting my coastal salt-box home in Newfoundland in August. (cheese in our small village is labeled 'yellow cheese' and 'old cheese') the rubber stuff.
He has no idea i will be making him fresh and smoked mozzarella without much effort. : )

I did some minor research and did not get very far except temp...(keep it under 90)
This is the sketch i sent DH...he built it in an hour...then off to hardware store for 10$ in tube and parts....

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 11:17AM
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I used a jello mold, lol, for the ice...something i had. So hot here that i added extra ice bottles to keep the temp down. (i read that most do not cold smoke in the summer heat. I managed to keep it at 80 and under easily for the two hours needed.
I do have a bullet smoker i have had for years but like the box used for cheese only. It is attached to our 'side' fired smoker. Made a small fire with hardwood splits, then added wet applewood chips and wet wild thyme for the smoke...
The first test with purchased cheese...

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 11:26AM
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Oh, here is the 'rig' from the other side.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 11:34AM
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I make my own yogurt and have often thought of trying to make some cheese. Your post has renewed those thoughts. Might give it a go.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 12:58PM
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That is in fact a very nice set up. Great idea to use an aluminum flex duct to pump smoke. It cools down the smoke before it enters the smoker.

A suggestion:

If you drive around town, you may see people put out on the sidewalk Styro Foam boxes to be thrown out. In those boxes, you may find those thermal gel packs. Those boxes are people's medicine shipping boxes.

Those gel packs can store much more cold BTUs than water can. You will be able to have more freezer room to cold smoke more in hotter weather.

I will post my cold smoke set up later.


    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 1:45PM
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The jello mold has a hole in the middle to let some smoke through, or that was the idea.
It did work well and the extra water bottle ice was extra insurance since it was a hot day. We rarely have such hot weather in the mountains. This was 8am-ish so about 70-75 out.
I doubt i will smoke cheese often. A few times a year?. This was a whim and woke with the idea and was smoking the cheese i made within 24hrs.
(i'm sure a friend will borrow it and i'll have to beg or steal to get it back)

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 4:32PM
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I also make my own cheese, mostly mozzarella and ricotta, I even took a local cheesemaking class a couple of years ago and posted pictures here. I also make my own yogurt using my Excalibur dehydrator.

Mozzarella is dead easy once you get the hang of it, and delicious, plus you can make a batch of ricotta out of the whey when you are done with the mozzarella. Not much ricotta, but a little. Or you can just make a batch of ricotta if you are so inclined.

I have the Ricki Carroll book, there are lots of good ideas in there, and I usually just use the "30 minute mozzarella" recipe that is all over the internet if you look for Ricki Carroll. She's called the "Cheese Queen", LOL.


Here is a link that might be useful: Ricki Carroll 30 Minute Mozzarella

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 12:36AM
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This is my smoker. It is a converted working refrigerator, 4.5 cubic feet interior.

1. It is an indoor smoker. I can smoke anytime winter, summer, rain or snow.

2. Because it is still a working refrigerator, I can smoke from 32 F to 212 F.

3. It is PID temperature controlled and highly insulated; it uses very little fuel.

4. Smoke is generated by a motor driven cold smoke generator.


    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 8:11AM
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I make fresh Mozzarella all the time and I too live in NY and its definately available everywhere but the Fresh Homemade is best and fun to do!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 9:08AM
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Nice dcarch! Way over my head and so more than i need since i am near off the grid in the mountains...even my water is natural spring/gravity fed. (i've been called the 'red-neck-Martha, lol)
I will show it to husband. He's been steam-bending, making a Greenland skin-on-frame kayak.
(we have a studio/workshop full of projects).

Annie-didn't think i would have a use for ricotta but freezing for my once-a-year fall harvest lasagna is a super plan. I'll read up on it...i think it is just bringing the whey up to 200?...
I'll give it a go on friday. Oh, i could use just a bit for stuffing zuc blossoms! Just need a 1/2cup. But heating to 200 kills the whey's good properties. I'm making a triple batch so i'll keep some whey fresh...
Riki's video taught me how...

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 1:39PM
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sleevendog, I didn't think I would either, but there's that lasagna, and ricotta and spinach stuffed cannelloni, and sweetened in cannoli and my grandkids actually like it on pizza along with the mozzarella. I've drained it to make it even firmer and used it on bagels in place of cream cheese along with my Habanero Gold and the Monkey Princess likes it as one of the cheeses in her mac and cheese.

The whey is good for making oatmeal too.


    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 11:10PM
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