How to Make Successful Quick Mozzarella Curds




About: I am a cheesemaker and author of Kitchen Creamery, a book on home cheesemaking. I love to make, grow, harvest and enjoy all types of food but fermented foods in particular. Sourdough, miso, pickles, chocolat...

This recipe, often called '30-minute Mozz' or 'Quick Acid Mozz,' is pretty popular (because of '30-Min Mozz' kits found at cheese and DIY / crafting stores) but it is also tricky. A lot of people have tried it once and flopped. The recipe ahead will steer you around some of the common pitfalls and land you at a colander full of fresh curds, ready to be stretched into beautiful balls and ropes.

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Step 1: Gather Ingredients

Here's what you'll need in terms of ingredients:

2-gallons VERY FRESH cream line
(unhomogenized) milk----and I HIGHLY recommend that it is raw or only mildly pasteurized

2 and 3/4 tsp citric acid crystals diluted in 1/4 cup cool water

1/8 tsp lipase powder (optional)

1/2 tsp single-strength rennet

You can find these items at on-line cheesemaker supply stores. The rennet and the lipase will expire so pay attention to their expiration dates. The milk should be extremely fresh--so much so that all the cream at the top is still 100% liquid (not congealed into one of those 'butter pucks').

Step 2: While Milk Is Cold, Add Acid

It is very important that the milk be colder than 60 degree Farenheit when you do this next step: Take the citric acid crystals and mix with the 1/4 cup cold water. Stir until they are completely dissolved. Then, while stirring, add the dissolved citric acid to the cold milk.

Step 3: Heat Milk

Bring the milk to 90°F (over medium flame) then turn off the heat. Sprinkle in lipase (optional) and allow 1 minute for it to dissolve. Then stir gently for 10 seconds.

Step 4: Add Rennet

Add the liquid rennet (I use a medicine dropper to get a more precise measurement). Stir the rennet in for 10 seconds then stop the motion of the milk. Immediately start a timer and wait for 4 minutes. After this amount of time, the milk should look like silken tofu.

Step 5: Cut the Curd

When the milk has set into a very soft gel, cut it down into columns which are roughly 2 inches by 2 inches. Immediately, you will start to see the whey weeping out of the curd.

Step 6: Stir, Heat, Drain

Stirring very gently at first, start to make gentle horizontal cuts to the curds, breaking the columns into cubes. Continue stirring to get all cubes into motion. This should take 3-5 minutes. Next, turn the heat back on to low and start to heat curds slowly to 95°F, stirring gently the whole time. It should take 10 minutes to raise the temperature from 90 to 95°F. Once at temperature, turn off the heat. Stir curds at 95°F degrees for 5 minutes more then dump the contents of the pot into a colander. Drain for ~ 20 minutes, flipping once part way through. Your curds are now ready to stretch.

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    10 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    I'm looking forward to seeing this 'ible expanded. I don't know the rest of the process and would like to do the whole job right. Thanks for what's here so far!


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Started out great then ? sorta let in mid curd not the way to get votes


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Great 'ible, a link to, or, an addition for stretching and final steps would be most helpful, thanks.

    2 replies

    4 years ago

    Quick question about rennet- I make some cheeses during milking season and always add rennet/water mixture which was what I thought the proper procedure is. It looked as though you just added the rennet without dilution.


    4 years ago

    my situation was exactly like the last one of dolmetscher, the very fine grains in a kind of watery milk. Smelled good but I couldn't make anything with that. But I used the method of vinegar and warm milk. I have no idea if there's a place to find raw milk where I live in Argentina. 3% fresh milk won't do? When it expires it becomes a curd, although with a strong acidic smell. Well, I want the long tutorial too so if you can, it will be welcomed.Thanks!


    4 years ago

    Thanks great job! I think I might be able to do this!

    Oh man, this is a great Instructable. I am, however, interested in reading more about the "long-version" of how to make Mozz curd. I tried to make Mozz once with some mail order kit that had me microwaving curds. It literally just didn't work. That was 17 years ago, so I probably just did not have unhomogonized milk or something. I tried again about 9 years ago, using fancy organic milk, and it still just did not work. This time the milk didn't even separate into curds. It just kind got "grainy" like very very fine cottage cheese curds floating in a weird milk broth.

    I am back! I wanna try again! Now I am older, smarter, wiser, and more patient. Plus I have the money to buy the tools and ingredients I need. How do you feel about posting an instructable on the longer/harder version? Or maybe a link to a resource/recipe you stand behind. P.S. All of your Instructables are fantastic! Thank you.