A number of years ago, I completed a bachelors degree in Applied Mathematics. I am a firm believer in partial credit so I don't consider this cheese making adventure a complete failure. I followed all the directions and ended up with an edible product off of one batch and some amazing ricotta off the other batch. As far as yummy, smooth mozzarella that “pulled like taffy” as my resource web sites here and here described, that was a fail. Overall, in this experience of trying to make mozzarella, I give myself a C.
I tried two batches. One batch I followed the Junkett recipe with a cross between their directions and the directions at Heavenly Homemakers, including hanging it to drain the whey overnight. I think that was mistake number one. The final product of this was a dry, grainy, firm, rubbery ball of curd that doesn't melt, but tastes ok.
With the second batch, the curds looked really promising. I switched to the microwave directions from the Junkett for firming up the curds. Still didn't work. Once it set, the curd was much like a rich, thick ricotta that is very yummy!
I did some research after this project and found this site. From their pictures, I concluded that my milk was not fresh enough. Next time, I'm going to try finding a local brand of milk and give that a try, or try their powdered milk/heavy cream option. Stay tuned for Cheese Making 102.