1.Clean and sanitize all equipment.
2. Dissolve ¼ rennet tablet in 1/4 cup cool, non-chlorinated water. Store remaining rennet tablets in refrigerator, in a zip-lock bag.
3. Dilute 1 ½ tsp. citric acid in 1 cup cool, non-chlorinated water.
4. In a stock pot, pour 1 gallon of milk, then add diluted citric acid solution while stirring.
5. Continue stirring milk while bringing up to a temperature of 90°F/32°C.
6. Remove from heat and stir in rennet solution using an up and down motion for about 1 minute. Calm milk and let sit roughly 5 minutes to let curd form. Test for a clean break.
Note: To test for a clean break, insert index finger or knife into the curd about 2 inches at a 45 degree angle. Pull up and forward gently. Look for smooth edges where the curd breaks away and a yellow/green color whey. If edges of the curd are jagged and whey is white it will need to sit a few minutes longer.
7. Cut curd into 1/2 inch cubes in pot.
8. Heat curds up to 105ºF/40ºC while slowly stirring curds.
9. Once at 105ºF/40ºC, remove from heat and continue stirring 2-5 minutes.
Finishing with a heat bath:
1. Preheat a pot of water to 185ºF/85ºC.
2. Using mesh ladle, ladle curds into a colander to drain off the whey. Gently move curds to drain excess whey.
3. While in the colander, dip the curds in pot of 185ºF/85ºC water. After several dips, begin folding curds with spoon over one another. When curds reach 135ºF/57ºC they become stretchable.
4. When curd is stretchable, remove from heat. Take curd in each hand and pull hands away from each other. This will elongate the proteins. If curd is not stretchy or breaking away from itself return it to the heat bath for a few more dips.
5. Add 1 +/- teaspoon of salt by kneading it into the cheese.
6. Now it's time to form your cheese! Form in bite size pieces, large ball, log, or braid. Once formed put cheese directly in ice water for 10 minutes. This process will help your cheese keep its form. Refrigerate or eat fresh!
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