Mozzarella (cultured)

There are two main methods of making mozzarella: the easiest and fastest way is a simple acid-set mozzarella using citric acid; the second, more time-consuming method uses cultures and coagulant. Which way is better? Well, that depends on whether speed or flavor is your priority. Cultured mozzarella is more flavorful, but takes several hours longer to make. We prefer the cultured method, so we recommend the recipe below. 

For best results, please read recipe entirely before beginning.

Ingredients needed:

2 gallons of milk
OPTION 1: ¼-teaspoon of (TA 61 OR TA 62 AND ¼-teaspoon LH 100) OR OPTION 2: ¼-teaspoon (TM 81)
3/8 teaspoon (2 mls) calcium chloride
3/8 teaspoon (2 mls) rennet (coagulant)
Water (non-chlorinated)

Ingredients for mozzarella brine:

Per 1/2 gallon brine solution; mix together well and chill:

3 1/3 cups (or 1 1/4 lbs.) non-iodized salt (iodized salt can cause flavor issues, such as bitterness)
1/2 tsp. liquid calcium chloride
1 tsp. vinegar OR 1/2 tsp. citric acid



Stainless-steel pot large enough to hold your milk (double-boiler set-up is best)
Measuring spoons
Large mixing spoon
Rubber gloves thick enough to protect your hands from 165⁰ F temperatures during stretching process (optional)
Long knife (blade approx. 9 to 12" or longer) for cutting curd
pH strips or pH meter (optional)
Note: Please be sure all equipment is sanitized before use.


  1. Heat whole milk to 90⁰ F in stainless steel pot. Initial pH should be at 6.5-6.7
  2. Add ¼ teaspoon of TA culture AND ¼ teaspoon of LH 100 culture OR ¼-teaspoon (TM81). Allow to sit on top of the milk for 3-5 minutes.  Then stir into the milk.
  3. Allow culture to ripen for 30 minutes. Keep pot covered to help maintain the temperature at 90⁰ F. pH may not change during this time.
  4. Add 3/8 tsp (2 mls) of calcium chloride per 2 gallon.  Dilute in ¼ cup non-chlorinated water.
  5. Add 3/8 tsp (2 mls) rennet per 2 gallon by diluting in ¼ cup cool, non-chlorinated water. Stir in an up and down motion 5-7 times. Allow the milk to stop moving and do not disturb the milk during the coagulation time.
  6. Allow rennet time of 30-40 minutes until the milk is coagulated.
  7. Cut into cubes ¼-½” by using a metal spatula or long knife. Cut the coagulated milk into cubes by cutting at a 45⁰ angle, from the left and then to the right and then turn the pot ¼ turn and repeat process.
  8. Allow the curd to sit in the whey for 30 minutes.
  9. Start stirring the curd slowly and gently as it is very fragile at this point.
  10. To increase the acid production, raise the temperature to 105⁰F over a period of 30 minutes. Caution: Do not cook too fast or over cook. One method is to place the container of curds and whey into a sink with 120⁰ F water.  This will allow for a slow warming of the curd.  Occasionally stir the curd to allow for even heating.
  11. Spoon the curd into a cheese cloth or draining bag; allow the curd to drain by hanging cloth or bag for one hour (use a drip pan to catch the whey).  After one hour, place curd in a covered pan and let set for 2 hours to increase acid level.  A high acid level is important to promote the stretch in mozzarella. 
  12. Check after 2 hours for sufficient acid production by cutting off a ½ inch cube section of cube section of the curd and place in 160-165⁰F water to test for stretch.  If it doesn’t soften and stretch, place curd back in the covered pan for another 30 minutes. The pH of the curd should be between a 5.2 and 5.4 for optimum stretch. 
  13. When ready to stretch, cut the mass of curd into ½ inch cubes to be submerged in hot water (160-165⁰F) to soften the curd and start the stretching process.
  14. Mix the curds in the hot water with wooden spoons or by wearing sanitized rubber gloves and kneading like bread dough. The curds will soften and lose their shape and begin to stretch. Pulling curd out of the water, stretch the curd repeatedly until the curd mass temperature is 135⁰F. Shape the curd mass into a ball for final form.
  15. Place formed cheese in ice water to cool the cheese until firm. This should take about 30 minutes.
  16. Place firmed curd in a cold salt water brine (see ingredients above).  Keep refrigerated for 3-4 hours in the brine.  Cheese is now ready to eat at any time.
  17. Remove cheese, dry with paper towel and refrigerate in plastic wrap.