Monday, January 30, 2012

Making Mozzarella

I bought this kit quite awhile ago from Urban Cheesecraft just to get started.  I am sure it will be less expensive to buy the individual ingredients in the future, but I am happy to be finally attempting.

The kit came with citric acid, rennet, cheese salt, butter muslin, thermometer, and instructions for ricotta and mozzarella.

We started out by dissolving 1/4 rennet tablet into 1 cup of cool water. 
Then dissolved 1 1/2 teaspoons of citric acid into 1 cup water.

I poured one gallon of raw milk (jersey cows) into a large pot and then you are supposed to add the citric acid solution (we missed reading this part!) and heat to 90 degrees, stirring occasionally.

Then at 90 degrees, we slowly and gently stirred in the rennet solution for 30 seconds.  The milk was heated to 110 degrees.

As Abby and I were watching the thermometer reach 109 degrees and nothing was happening, I started to worry.  Then all of a sudden, within seconds really, the curds started forming.  This is so neat to watch!
We started to wonder before it turned if we had done something wrong and then magic!
Does anyone know the history of cheesemaking?  Who first started using rennet?  I am going to have to do some research - I am finding the whole process pretty amazing.

We then removed the curds from the whey bath (that is what the water has now become) and heated the whey to 185 degrees.  Then we took the pot of the stove and after forming two balls with the curd, we put them in the whey to heat to 135 degrees (when the thermometer is placed in the center of the curd ball).

Next, Abby and Isaac stretched and shaped the cheese after adding 1/2 teaspoon to each ball.

The two vintage pyrex storage containers I bought for $4.00 at a local thrift  store make great containers for the finished cheese.

It did come out a little rubbery.  Is this because we didn't add the citric acid when we were supposed to?
I would love to hear your experiences and tips with cheesemaking.

Warm wishes,


  1. How wonderful to start with a kit - and with raw milk. We've just started looking for rennet. I'm not sure where to find it yet but we were just reading about making mozzarella. Thanks for sharing this!
    (And your little pyrex dishes are perfect - just the sort of things I'll always keep my eyes peeled for at the thrift store!)

  2. Oh, I love the pyrex! I've recently become addicted to vintage pyrex, especially the ones with the sweet little lids, and our thrift store has had some great finds and bargains!

    We recently made ricotta for the first time. We didn't use a kit though. This showed up in my reader right after yours-- maybe it will answer some of your questions?

  3. very fun! i think that it's key to stretch it enough when it's very, very hot! this is my favorite resource-- happy cheesemaking! :)

  4. I know someone who makes cheese, but I have never been brave enough to try it. We get ours through a food co-op, all natural, non-dyed, and extremely delicious! It may be a tiny bit more pricey than the local grocery store, but well worth it. Looks like a pretty good first attempt for you!

  5. This must have been a very delicious project :-) How wonderful that you were able to get a kit to start it all!

    Enjoy it :-)


  6. Thank you for such an interesting post! I have always wondered how cheese was made. I really enjoyed your how to. Thanks.

  7. I've been wanting to do this for some time - you have modivated me!!!

  8. Perfect timing for this tutorial! I have been wanting to make home-made I have to find some raw milk!

  9. Actually, if you don't have access to raw milk you can just use regular pasteurized store bought.

  10. How incredibly cool Tonya! I've had making mozzarella on my to do list for a while now but haven't gotten around to it. There was a really simple recipe in Mother Earth News a while back, I may have to go digging for it, you've sparked my interest.

  11. As someone previously said, stretching it when it's hot is really key. It will look much smoother too.

  12. that is're incredible...homemade cheese. who knew? thanks for your inspiring life!

  13. Yay for homemade cheese! I've not even ventured into mozzarella yet because it seems to be more complex than a basic cheddar. So far I've stuck with a simple recipe calld "farmhouse cheddar" that "ricki the cheese queen" puts out. It's very easy, I've memorized it and make it every other day. And it is so, so good! AND, I've not even tasted my waxed, aged ones yet, lol! I hope those ones are even better! :) The recipe is in her cheesemaking kit and her book. I just Googled & didn't see it. But if you were interested I could type it out. It calls only for the milk, rennet and starter. I make my own starter super duper simply. I could share that if you were interested as well...