What I’ve been doing for the last few days (other than working) …well been making more cheese…I have a new pass time at the moment…now I’ve discovered that it’s not as scary as I thought it would be I’m on a roll!!!
So I now have a Cheddar type cheese maturing (the one I made last weekend) in it’s wonderful wax jacket and in addition 2 Gouda’s maturing in the fridge and another Cheddar sat in the press ( will be out tomorrow to go and air dry).
It’s a fascinating thing to do…and I have cheeses…they look like cheeses anyway….now we’ve just got to wait until they’ve matured to find out if they taste like cheese. The one thing I am learning (other than making cheese obviously) is patience ~ with this new process for me it’s all very exciting while you are making it but then it all comes to an abrupt halt and you have to wait….no choice in the case of cheese.
Well I pretty much think says what I’ve been up recently..I’ve not been keeping up with writing on here.
I’ve wanted to make cheese for a long time. I thought to begin with how hard can it be…then I started reading …..Oh good grief to quote someone I was speaking to recently..it seemed like a dark art !!!!!!
So I avoided it for a while even though I had my lovely cheese press.
Cheddar type cheese
What I used:
- 16 litres of raw milk (4 gallons roughly…I worked it out on 4 litres per gallon and it worked fine)
- 7.5mls liquid rennet (7mls per 10 litres of milk)
- 1oz salt
- Mesophilic starter culture
- Large heavy bottomed pan (or a double boiler)
- Cheese cloth for draining
- Long knife for cutting
- Warm the milk until it is 30 deg F..needs to be done slowly.
- Then add Mesophillic starter (I’m not going to put amounts because it will depend on who the supplier is or if you make your own as to what is needed for the amount of milk you are using…mix thoroughly and then leave it to ripen for an hour.
- Add the rennet and then slowly pour it into the milk and stir for at least 5 minutes.
- Allow the milk to set for 1-2 hours until you get a clean break
- Cut the curds with a long knife into ¼ inch cubes and then let them sit for 15minutes to set.
- Slowly raise the temp of the milk to 102 deg F over a 45 minute period stir every few minutes so the curds don’t stick together. Then cook them for another 45 minutes at 102 degrees – keep stirring. (I sat the big pan on top of a roasting tin filled with water (it was too big to fit in anything else..but a smaller pan could go on a double boiler to keep it at 102.
- Drain the whey off quickly into a cheese cloth lined colander….try not to let the curds mat together. I drained off as much of the whey as possible before I drained the curds into the collader.
- Put the curds back in the pan / double boiler and stir then to break up any bits that have matted.
- Add the salt and mix well.
- Cook them for one hour stirring every few minutes (I kept the heat really low and it kept the temp at 102)
- Put the curds in a cheese cloth and then………….
Ta da…the cheese press gets it’s first use (the beginning of many I can now tell you)…..
- Press the cheese at 20lbs for 45 minutes
- Remove from the press and turn it over and press at 40lbs for 3 hours.
- Remove from the press , turn it over and press at 50lbs for 24 hours.
- Remove from the press, put on a cheese board and dry at room temp for 3-5 days until the cheese is dry to the touch…turn every day.
- Wax the cheese and age in the fridge for 3 – 24 months depending on how sharp you want the flavour. Make sure it is turned every few days so it dries evenly.
(You can use shop bought milk and add ¼ tsp calcium chloride per gallon of milk)
If you want flavours like horseradish or jalepeno then you add them just before the first pressing…Sprinkle them evenly and then mix well.