Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The First Cheddar

Well, the first attempt at cheddar cheese making.  I certainly won't say it's a success when there's still a day and a half of pressing and then months of aging to be done.
These were the milks:
Only one gallon of the Perrydell was left at the Farmers' Market and anyhow I like using at least part non-homogenized
Then I warmed the milk, added the culture, kept it warm (not hot, mind you, 86-90F, about 30C), added the rennet, kept it warm...this takes a couple of very boring hours.
Pretend you only see how nice and clean the new pot is and ignore how filthy the stove top is, okay?
Then I cut the curds (yeah, let all the adolescent jokes come out here).
If I were a competent cheesemaker, you would see 1 cm cubes here rather than random shapes each slightly larger than 1 cm in every direction

The curds submerged themselves in the whey as they expelled it.  This is good.
Then we had to actually, you know, cheddar it!  That involves slicing the curds into rectangular blocks, layering them, and letting them sit in 100F warmth, flipping them every 15 minutes, for another boring 2 hours.
Be warned:  having a 6 year old "help" at this particular point in the process involves an inevitable small amount of excited flinging of curds, no matter how careful the little hands think they are being.

Finally, the curds go in the mold!  If I were a "real" cheesemaker or had fifteen cents to my name, the mold would now go in a cheese press.  However, in my household where every spare cent goes to prescription costs, I do this
One gallon of water is a little under 10 lbs, right?

and this
To extrapolate, I took the 4 gallon pot and filled it...
and eventually tomorrow I need to up it to 50 lbs (which will involve the pot and a 20 lb rock together).


galiah said...


florapie said...

Where do you store it that helpful teenagers won't eat it before it's ready?