I have tried several times before to make Mozzarella, but due to a lack of a pH meter they never worked out. For Mozz to work, it must be within a fairly tight pH range so it will become stretchy. So, when I upgraded the press (to the fabulous Pickett Press I finally broke down and purchased one.
That was a smart move on my part, since it let me correct some issues with the first big cheese wheel and also allow me to successfully make Mozz! As it turns out, I was getting some parts of the process to sour, which is why some of the cheeses turned out great and others really sucked.
Making Mozzarella is very similar to making other kinds of cheese, except unlike fermented cheese modern Mozzarella is made using an acidic component (in this case citric acid) to lower the pH of the curds. You can mail order citric acid, or many homebrew/wine making stores also carry it.
I used Ricki Carrol's 30 minute recipe with the microwave, and for a first success I'm happy with the results. It does look kinda funky since I wasn't exactly sure how to shape it, but it is absolutely string Mozzarella. I pushed out a lot of the whey so it won't be as creamy on a pizza as I could have made it, but the mechanical properties--the grain, so to say--are spot on. It's going to be fun trying different kinds of milk to see what results I get.
Cheese A Day by Jeremy Pickett is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at cheeseaday.blogspot.com.