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Making Cheddar-ish Cheese

By jstookey - Posted on 24 April 2010

I made cheese today. I used a gallon of unpasteurized milk that I purchased from Willow Marsh Farm in Ballston Spa, NY to make cheddar cheese.

I used the recipe for "Cheese, basic hard, 1 gallon" from Fankhauser's
Cheese Page
. There is a ton of great information on his site, and his recipes don't require buying unnecessarily unusual ingredients. The first major step is to separate the curds and whey using rennet. This was the first time I was able to get a "clean break" between the curds and whey in a normal amount of time (one hour). I think that I benefited by following the rennetting instructions on this web page. Here is a picture of the curds cooking:

I've been struggling a little bit to put together a perfect cheese press (here is a picture of a previous less-than-perfect attempt). This time I used plastic container with holes drilled in it. Ratcheting straps provide more force than I would ever need, and the whole contraption is very stable:

After pressing, the cheese looks like this:

Now the cheese will need to dry out, and then age for 6 months or so in the basement.

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