Dreamy's Delights

It's all about the food!

Making Cheddar Cheese

on January 13, 2013

Today is the day! I found a source for un-homogenized milk that won’t break the bank. It’s only $4.50/half gallon. Still not cheap but doable. Eventually I’ll need a cow lol. One surprise is that the cream not only rises to the top of the bottle but actually makes a semi-solid plug.

Currently I have my milk heated to 86F in a double boiler set up. Because of the amount of time I’ll be holding the milk at certain temperatures this is important to keep from scorching the milk. Fortunately I have several large pots 😉  For those of you who haven’t seen my pot selection it’s quite extensive ranging from small sauce pots to extremely large stock pots, a couple of them range in the 20+ quart range.

Anyway, the milk is currently sitting with the mesophilic culture and then I’ll get serious about making the cheese. I decided to make the traditional cheddar which is going to require that I hold the curds at 100F for a couple of hours. I never could do anything the easy way.

Time passes with much stirring and holding at 100F….

Now that it’s almost 11pm, I have finally finished making the cheese curds. They are GOOD. I am very happy with the results. This makes me much more comfortable with buying a cheese press. I’ve been putting it off because they start just under $200. Of course, I have absolutely no problem with eating just the curds but it would be nice to press it and then let the cheese age. I hope to do this as christmas presents for friends 🙂

I’ve found the process to be both very frustrating and satisfying. Now that I know I can accomplish cheese it’s time to get my press and get serious about it. I need a few other cultures to create other cheeses like mozzarella and swiss cheese. I don’t see myself doing this every weekend since my fridge would rapidly fill up with aging cheeses but maybe once or twice a month lol. Maybe later this year we’ll be able to move to a larger place and I’ll have a dedicated space for cheese and sausage aging. 😉

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