Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Fresh Mozzarella

When my sister Monica and her husband Jim were here we had to suffer through a rainy day, so we decided to make some Fresh Mozzarella. If you've never done it it's easy, doesn't take long, and is way good. I use the recipe from There are lots of recipes around but this one works well, although I think it comes out a little salty so I cut back on that a little.

There are only four ingredients, milk, food grade citric acid, rennet and salt. You can probably find the rennet at the food store, but you might have to order the citric acid on-line. The only tools you need, other than the pot and the stove, is an accurate thermometer and some cheesecloth. You mix the milk and citric acid, and heat it up.

Then you mix in the rennet and let it sit for a little while.

Then you strain it through the cheesecloth.

Then there's a little heating and squishing and stretching and heating and squishing and stretching.

Then you eat it. Tomatoes are optional.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Laminar Jet continued

My sister Monica and her husband Jim came to visit us a couple of weeks ago and we worked some more on my laminar jet project. We focused on two things, one was designing a mechanism to quickly stop and start the water flow, commonly called a cutter among the cognescenti. We also tried to improve the performance of the jets. I would like them to be able to shoot about six feet into the air and to carry about seven feet without delaminating. We were more successful on the first effort than on the second. Here is Monica working on one of the cutter designs we tried.

Ultimately we went with something a little different. There is a solenoid in the container with the green bottom/top and when electrified it pulls on the wire that moves the rectangular piece of plastic and covers the hole.

Here is a video of two jets with the cutters working.

In their final versions the cutters would channel the water away in a more graceful manner, but I'm guessing you get the concept. You can also see that the two jets are quite laminar. You can tell because they make very little noise when they hit the pool.

The problem is that what you see in the video is about the maximum that we could get out of the jets without them breaking up before they hit the pool, and as I said I was looking for a little more distance. We spent many hours experimenting with different jet configurations but they seemed to have little impact on the performance.

Owing to the generous sharing of information by many laminar jet builders on the web I have a few more ideas that I'll be trying soon.