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Fat Guy

Making mozzarella @ home

100 posts in this topic

Just to clarify, and someone please correct me if I'm wrong, my understanding is that there are 3 rennet options:

1. Animal rennet

2. Vegetable rennet

3. "Microbial" rennet, which is an analog of animal rennet but made in the lab

I have not seen 3 on any of the cheesemaking sites, only on the lab sites. I'll order some from a lab company if that's the only option, but would rather support the cheesemaking people. You indicated that most internet cheesemaking supply sites sell the microbial rennet, and I wasn't able to find that. Looking upthread, I don't see a link that helps on that front, but I can easily miss things because I'm dumb.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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OK, what is vegetable rennet? Are we talking thistle extracts here? I always assumed that "vegetarian rennet" was microbial rennet.

Edit: My cheesemaking supplier, for instance, lists only calf rennet and microbial rennet.


Edited by mkayahara (log)

Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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There are actually two types of microbial rennet that were developed for commercial use and the one derived from molds is specifically forbidden for use by the European Food Safety Authority because of safety concerns with the "parent" molds.

Cheeses made from this rennet often have a bitter flavor. (I don't know why.)

The other type is the genetically engineered Chymosin (Chymax) made when cow genes are inserted into bacteria, fungi or yeasts and this is produced mostly from aspergillus niger.

I don't like to use any genetically modified product and I want nothing to do with aspergillus niger or anything derived from it.

One caveat. Soy proteins are used in the production of Chymosin and people that are allergic to soy can react adversely.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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Just as an extra bit of info, here is a vegetarian rennet commonly seen in the UK in supermarkets and other shops. It's made from "Mucor Miehei" apparently and after looking that up on Wikipedia I am confused as to whether it is "vegetable" or "microbial" or indeed what the exact difference is. I am only skim reading though, 'tis late here. Fascinating stuff though and plan to have a proper read up on it all tomorrow.


Edited by Jenni (log)

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Rennet nomenclature turns out to be more complex than I'd imagined. I hope someone will present a definitive taxonomy.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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You can start with this brief abstract.

On the right side you will see a list of other reviews and abstracts dealing with this subject.

There have been numerous studies at universities all over the world that evaluated various types of rennet.

Some time ago I read an informative one from a uni in India but can't find it right now.

I subscribe to Culture magazine (quarterly publication) and saw a mention of that study in an earlier issue.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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I haven't made it in a while, but I used Ricky Carrol's recipe from Home Cheese Making and it came out great. I used fresh whole milk from Whole Foods (thus creating the most expensive moz I've ever eaten) figuring it'll be better with "better" mils and if I go through the process, might as well.

I did wear rubber gloves I bought for that purpose, the hot curd 'rubber' is pretty - well - hot. It worked well the two or three times I did it, eventually I figured it's not worth the effort, as I can buy very nice moz at Whole Foods that's just as fine.

But I like the idea of this as a science project, I have to keep that in mind!


"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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I recieved some new dry calf rennet (powdered, ~8% pepsin) and some cultures from Steve Shapson's website yesterday. I'm going to put this 30 minute mozzerella to the test once I get some milk.

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Initial results are discouraging. I got some instant curdling when I added the diluted citric acid (1.5 t citric acid in 1 c bottled water). Possible cause: recipe calls for the dilute acid to be added to COLD milk. I had left the milk on the counter when I got home this afternoon so it would warm up a little bit. It was around 75-80 degrees when I added the citric acid.

I wonder if I'll get a clean break.

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10 minutes later, I got something like this:

30minmozz1001.jpg

Not exactly encouraging. Gonna let it sit for a bit to see if I get something cuttable.

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I can think of a few possible issues. pH was mentioned and this is likely the cause since it has to be pretty much spot on. Also every time I hear the word 'microwave' I start to shudder because there is no way that any microwave is ever calibrated the exact same. Even if they give you a temperature and have the EXACT same model you do, there are so many external factors at work.

The right type of milk has been mentioned and this is a completely possible snag. I think making these is an exertion of the pasteurizing process and having a step already finished in pasteurized milk probably disrupts the entire process.

Does that video have its own forum? Cooking is so fickle (cheese especially) that they may have left out something that they didn't think was a factor.

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I'm thinking it has something to do with the citric acid method of acidification. I was getting some partial acid coagulation after I added the acid. AFAIK, acid coagulated curds aren't melty. I note that both fat guy and I added the acid while the milk was warm.


Edited by TheTInCook (log)

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Disaster. It looked like it was cohesive and there was an atypical separation of curds and whey (couple inch thick cap of curds floating on the whey). The curd shattered when I went to scoop it into the drainer.

I succeeded in replicating Fat Guy's results.

The milk I used wasn't anything special, just a gallon of moo juice I picked up at the 99 cent store. I used 1/16 teaspoon of powdered rennet per package instructions.

I need to do some more research before I can say what went wrong. ATM, I'm thinking it's a fault with the method or amount of acidification.

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Having tried this a few times now, I can say with some confidence that the milk is the most significant variable. Some brands work, some don't. I can adjust the other variables quite a bit but the same brands work and the same ones don't.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I've looked at many websites and watched many videos. I may at some point test the Curd Nerd theory, but to make it worthwhile to do a 48-hour rest it would have to work with milk that the quicker recipe doesn't work with.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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What has the little guy learned from all this? This could be written up at so many levels, including introduction to factorial experiment design. Whats the 1st grade level take away lesson / message?


"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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I'm amazed at your equanimity Steven! I've had just a small portion of the frustrating results you have (including with super-fresh raw milk that I sourced from a farmer down the road from me), did a whole lot of cursing, and vowed never to try it again.

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What has the little guy learned from all this? This could be written up at so many levels, including introduction to factorial experiment design. Whats the 1st grade level take away lesson / message?

The multiple initial failures are going to change the nature of the presentation. I think the display board will be mostly about how we had initial failures and had to isolate the different variables in order to succeed. Our working hypothesis is that most milk in supermarkets (organic included) is pasteurized at such high temperatures that it's not suitable for this kind of cheese making. We're also hoping, in the days before the science fair, to make about 10 pounds of the stuff so we can give out approximately 500 small samples on toothpicks, ala Costco. PJ is a big fan of the free samples at Costco and is really looking forward to giving out samples of his own. This is a non-competitive event with no real rules, so we're not doing anything all that rigorous.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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That's a great experiment to try. I'm assuming you are avoiding animal rennet re: kashrut concerns @ JP's school?


Jon

--formerly known as 6ppc--

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He's no longer at the synagogue nursery school he went to. He's now in the regular NYC public-school system, where anything goes. There are, however, plenty of vegetarians and such around so I'd rather use something that's not directly from an animal. I have no problem using the genetically engineered stuff; I just haven't been motivated to order a ton of it from a lab-supply place and I haven't found it locally.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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. . . . I just haven't been motivated to order a ton of it from a lab-supply place and I haven't found it locally.

What about contacting a member of one of the cheese forums out there (or contacting one of the managers who might know who to put you in touch with), who happens to live in NYC and is working with the gentically engineered rennet, and asking whether you could buy a small amount from him or her?


Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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. . . . I just haven't been motivated to order a ton of it from a lab-supply place and I haven't found it locally.

What about contacting a member of one of the cheese forums out there (or contacting one of the managers who might know who to put you in touch with), who happens to live in NYC and is working with the gentically engineered rennet, and asking whether you could buy a small amount from him or her?

Steve Sharpson sells it on his website. http://thecheesemaker.com/cultures.htm It's the 100% Chymosin Liquid Rennet-

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