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Thread: Is Anyone Here a Cheese Whiz?

  1. #11
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    Here's the press. It's 3 pieces of oak, the base piece being covered with Formica so it doesn't absorb any whey. The two small blocks are there to support the upper stage of the press to make it easier to get the tomme (form) in and out of the press. Those blocks come out for squeezing the cheese. The weights are marked on the Formica tab on the right side.

    Press.jpg

    This is the tomme, or form that contains the cheese and gives it shape. The tomme is lined with cheesecloth before packing it with curds. Then the edges of the cloth are folded over the top of the curds before pressing.

    Form.jpg

    And finally, this is the second cheese, as it is drying. It's supported on a wire cooling rack to allow air to circulate on all sides. It gets flipped several times a day until dry, then it gets waxed and aged. The white color is the natural color of cheese. The orange cheese found in the store has had dye added for eye appeal.

    Cheese.jpg

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  3. #12
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    We have cheese! The first round has completed 30 days of aging and is out of the cheese cave, and it tastes great! The texture is a little drier than I expected, but that likely can be corrected in the next batch by not drying quite as long before waxing.

    The temperature of the cheese cave was easier to maintain when I used 3 GatorAde bottles filled with water and frozen, swapping all 3 every 12 hours. That gave me a surprisingly uniform temp of 52F. The "cave" is a cheap styrofoam ice chest in a corner of the kitchen. I put a thick piece of foam in the bottom to raise the bottom enough to give me more room for the 2 cheese rounds and the 3 bottles (sloped walls).

    Cheese 1.jpg

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  5. #13
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    Pretty! It looks pretty "right" as far as the texture, Olfart. Cheddar is a drier cheese.

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  7. #14
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    Well, it's a little drier than store-boughten cheddar that I'm accustomed to eating. I've done some reading on the dryness issue, and it seems I need to keep the curds a little larger so they don't lose so much whey. I'll try that with the next batch. We introduced friends to it today, and they gave it a thumbs up.

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  9. #15
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    OK, the new batch of cheese is in the press. In about 5 weeks, it will be ready to take its place on the table!

    This time I utilized the whey from the cheddar to make a batch of Ricotta. It's a softer cheese and doesn't require aging, but it also needs to be refrigerated and used within 10 days. I doubt it will last anywhere near that long. I was a little confused when the directions said something about Ricotta being a sweet cheese. I couldn't imagine how anything coming from the cheddar whey could be called sweet. But by George, it is!

    Here's the site where I got the recipes. Excellent instructions with lots of pics made it possible for even a dumbard like me to get it right the first time.

    http://www.cheesemaking.com/recipes/recipedetails.html

    Just scroll down the list to the type of cheese you want to make, and have fun!

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