When we made the ricotta cheese, it became obvious that if we wanted to make any other (harder) cheese, we'd need to find a way around homogenized milk. As if in answer to this need, within the week, there was a notice on a homeschool board that a raw milk co-op was beginning! (I'd asked a local friend about buying milk from her, or rather buying containers that she might fill with milk if so inclined, but her cows were both just about to give birth.)
We joined the co-op and have LOVED the milk so far. We made sour cream and I've been finding as many ways to utilize the two gallons a week we buy as possible. It's interesting, how strict the rules are for selling raw milk in Texas. We have to purchase it there on site; they can't deliver. Fortunately, we have a co-op driver who picks it up so I don't have to drive to Dallas. But it seems like it should be a lot easier than it is.
Anyway, James went to Austin Homebrew yesterday and picked up, among beer brewing supplies, a mozzarella-making kit that was only $5 and will make four "batches" of cheese. So this morning, we tried it for the first time.
It took a whole gallon of milk!
While I started heating the milk, James dissolved a rennet tablet in water, and then also some citric acid and calcium chloride in another bowl of water.
We added the calcium chloride and citric acid when the milk was at 55 degrees. Then, when it hit 88, we added the rennet. The magic began almost immediately.
Side note: James appears not to have been a huge fan of taking the labels off of things before he met me. Once you heat up and cool down cookware several dozen times, those labels just don't want to come off. If this is among the most annoying of issues we ever have... ;)
Next, we had to kneed then reheat (in the microwave), and kneed and reheat the cheese a few times.
Finally, we added some "cheese salt" (read: salt repackaged and up-priced). The finished product: