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Last week I made mozzarella cheese (not fermented) for the first time. After heating the milk and removing the curds, I microwaved the curds repeatedly until getting them to 135 degrees F, then formed the cheese. Last week's cheese was delicious.

I tried again today and the cheese turned out very "squeaky" in that its texture is kind of plasticky and it actually makes squeaking sounds when I chew it. This batch seems drier than the first batch as well.

My guess is that I either overworked or overheated the cheese. I ended up heating it to 135 degrees twice: it cooled down too much when I was working it, so I heated it again. I also heated it in longer bursts than I did the first time as I realized that it took quite a few 30 second bursts on my microwave to get the cheese to 135 degrees. Finally, I heated the cheese a bit too much on the last burst: it got to 138 degrees.

I can't tell which of the aspects I mentioned in the last paragraph are relevant to my issue. I'd rather not make poor cheese from another $5 gallon of milk...

Edit: I may have found the answer, posted below. Other insight into this is still appreciated. (as well as suggestions for how to fix the botched cheese)

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I may have found the answer I was looking for from http://www.cheesemaking.com/store/pg/242-FAQ-Mozzarella.html

Many folks try to knead their cheese like bread during the stretching phase. That will result in too much moisture loss which can cause your cheese may become tough and chewy. Instead, you want to use a process more like pulling taffy. Let it fall on itself a few times until it all seems smooth and shiny.

I was making dough at the same time and I think I might have gotten carried away with the shaping process and did it too much like dough.

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