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Cheddar making, attempt 1

Pictures are at the bottom...

The whole purpose of buying a cheese making kit was to make hard cheese, and after a few practice runs to get the hang of hot milk and curds and whey, I decided it was time to actually make some. First, a bit of a rant at www.cheesemaking.com. They sell a "basic hard cheese kit" which is what I bought. One of the things (apart from a cheese press, which I didn't expect to be included) that you need is a lid (a follower) for your cheese mould so that you can press down on the cheese in whatever makeshift press you come up with. The "basic hard cheese kit" does NOT include this. It includes the same basic plastic mesh mould that's in the soft kit, with no follower. Not real cool.

I ended up cutting one to size out of some perspex, though I've cut it a bit small, and my cheese has a bit of a lip :) Still, I got a follower made, and now that I had a bigger pot, I thought it was time to give it a go. I kinda split the difference between Ricki's "farmhouse cheddar" recipe, and Dr Fankhauser's "basic hard cheese" recipe.

Basically, I just followed the recipe, and did a bit, and then waited a lot, and did a bit more, and then had fun stacking and balancing things on top of the follower to press the cheese. I ended up with a full keg of beer balanced on a steel candle holder on the follower, propped up against the wall, the kitchen table and a chair. No pictures of that though as it was too crowded.

It's now air drying to develop a rind and lose some residual moisture, and getting turned every few hours, and in a few days it will get waxed. Then in 8-10 weeks, cheddar! Yum!

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