Heather’s Ramblings

Adventures in Cheese Making – Part 2 Cheddar

Posted on: September 26, 2007

The cheese saga continues.

This time I learned my lesson.   I didn’t over heat the milk and a proper curd formed.  Yippee!!!  I got thru the draining steps unscathed.  The pressing stage didn’t go so well though.

The recipe for this cheese called for pressing it for 15 min with a 10lb weight, then increasing the weight to 20lbs for 12 hrs.   Because I am incapable of thinking ahead I didn’t find anything that would fit in the cheese mold ahead of time and had to improvise.  My spaghetti noodle cannister was the only thing I could find that would fit the mold but it weighs very little so I had to find something to increase the weight.  Inside of the cannister I put a plastic container full of fish tank gravel (clean, unused gravel, thank you very much :)).   This gave me the 10lbs I needed.  I put the mold in my favorite baking dish (to catch the whey that got pressed out), put the cannister on top of the mold, and set the time.  After 15min had passed I took the bag the gravel had come out of and put the whole bag inside the spaghetti cannister on top of the plastic box.  Then I went to bed because the cheese had to stay like that for 12hrs.  (It was after 1am at this time, make a note, if you ever want to make cheddar do not start it at 8pm like I did :))

When I got to the bedroom I saw a plastic container full of coins and thought that that would work better than the bag so went out to the kitchen, took the bag of gravel off the stack and replaced it with the container of coins.  Then I went back to bed. (Did I mention that this was after 1am?)

Ten minutes later I heard a large crash (the dog didn’t wake up).  I went out to the kitchen, turned on the light and saw my favorite baking dish in pieces on the floor, the cheese mold next to it, and the spaghetti jar and containers with coins and gravel on the counter.  I then took the mold (after inspecting it for pieces of baking dish) and put it in a pan in the sink, put the spaghetti cannister back on top and this time put the coins in the cannister first and the gravel on top.  Then, I went back to bed, and this time I was able to stay there 🙂

After pressing for 12hrs I turned the cheese over the next day and pressed it on the other side for 12hrs.  Then I unwrapped the cheese and let it sit to dry.  This is where I am at now.  I turn the cheese a couple of times every day and will continue to do this until it dries.  After it dries I will wax it and let it sit for at least 4 weeks.  Then I get to eat it 🙂  I will be sure to let you know how it turns out.

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3 Responses to "Adventures in Cheese Making – Part 2 Cheddar"

Can’t wait to hear how it turns out, Heather! You are so adventurous in the kitchen.

I cant stand cheese, but I love making things from scratch, so I’m with you on all this. One observation though – we need more pics. keep the camera handy ( yep even at 1am!) if you are intending to blog something – I’d love to see the process.

yup…second the need for pics..

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