The Year of the Monkey
I'm running somewhere tomorrow. It's going to be beautiful. I can't wait.
Love, Run, Sleep
Reaching 1,243 in 2008 -- one day, one week, one mile at a time.
A Saucy Wench
I have become Death, the destroyer of electronic gadgets
"When I got too tired to run anymore I just pretended I wasnt tired and kept running anyway" - dd, age 7
Thought I'd tack on a few pics to this thread. I sampled my first homemade cheese today. My friend and I made a 2 lb batch of Caerphilly 4 weeks ago and it turned out great.This all started when I figured out how to make yogurt a couple years ago. I bought a cheese kit at the local homebrew store last year to make some fresh mozzarella. It came with the basics, cheese cloth, rennet and salt. I've made a few batches since then that turned out fine. A couple months ago a friend and I built a dutch press based on plans we found online. We decided on making the caerphilly for the first cheese since it only took 3 weeks to age. We ended up waiting 4 weeks to cut it open and it turned out pretty tasty. My friend converted the freezer of his beer fridge into an aging cave for the cheeses which works pretty good. The second cheese is a 4 lb Colby. Instead of using the traditional wax to age it we decided to vacuum seal this wheel. Today we made our first cheddar. It took a bit longer since the cheddaring process takes a full 2 hours. It's currently in the press for another 10 hours at 75 lbs.
The Caerphilly - 2 lb
The dutch press
The Colby - 4 lb
Vacuum sealed Colby
That is damn impressive! Nice job Cameraready!
How long are you going to age the cheddar?
We're planning on aging the cheddar for 3-6 months. I think I might have cut the curds too large for the cheddar so I'll have to see if it comes out of the mold as a good wheel. For these first few batches we used regular store bought milk. Once we get our methods perfected we'll probably start using some fresh local milk.
I think I forgot to mention the other cheese we get out of each batch. Once you're done collecting the curds you can heat the whey to 200 F and add some vinegar to make fresh ricotta. This last batch used 4 gal of milk which resulted in 3 gal of whey. The final result was 13 oz of ricotta. I enjoyed some of that with my dinner tonight.
Tell us about the cheddaring process, I have never found many details about it.
We used the instructions from the Making Artisan Cheese book. After you collect the curds you cut them into 1/2" strips. Then you place them in a pot or pan stacking them in a criss-cross pattern. The pan gets placed in the sink with hot water to keep the temp around 100 F. Every 15 minutes you pull the strips out of the pan, drain the whey and re-stack the strips back in the pan. This gets repeated every 15 minutes for 2 hours. I guess the point is that the curds expel the whey during this stage and shrink slightly. It did seem to make a difference after it was done. Although the whole time I was doing it I was wondering how a commercial cheese maker would do this process since it was very labor intensive.
Here's a pic of what they looked like in the pot.