Saturday, December 13, 2008

The cheese has been waxed

With farmhouse cheddar, you are supposed to let the cheese dry for a few days until it developes a rind, and then wax it. We suspect ours might have a problem with excessive moisture, because it was not fully dry after nearly a week. We waxed it anyway. We just have to wait and see how it turns out. It still has to age for a month.


Gordon said...

It looks beautiful. How did you dye the wax red ?

Brian said...

I think a good cheese press might be the key. I watched a show on discovery channel and saw some really simple but effective cheese presses. Basically, you will need two 24" two by fours. A 3/4" 20" square piece of plywood and a roughly 18" diameter tin from something like Christmas cookies. You'll also need an 18" diameter circle of 3/4" plywood that fits inside the tin you have. You'll also need 3 24" pieces of "all thread" (thick heavy duty stuff, about 3/8" diameter or more) and 6 nuts and 6 washers to fit the all thread. You also need either one more nut and washer or a washer and wingnut (all the right size to fit the third piece of allthread)

You basically drill holes in the two by fours on the sides so that you can make a square with two pieces of allthread.

The plywood square will screw into the bottom piece of plywood and you'll cut the bottom out of the tin. You'll use the third piece of allthread in the center of the boards with a wingnut on it and the circular piece of plywood in the middle.

The idea is that you can tighten down the nuts on the althread, and clamp the circle of plywood into the top of the tin (which has your cheese in it) applying enough pressure to squeeze out any water.

Alternately, you can get some BIG C-clamps and use a couple of them to squish your cheese.

Piri Jenkins said...

I think you are right, Brian, if we continue making hard cheeses, we definitely need to make a cheese press.

When I was ordering the cheese making supplies, I ordered cheese wax, it comes in 3 colors, red, yellow or black. Red seemed the most appealing.

Innes said...

the first photo was really impressive--then, with your hands for reality-check, i saw how little the cheese was! how many gallons of milk for the dainty cheese?

i remember making cheese a couple times, way back in the seventies. talk about well-aged!


Piri Jenkins said...

We used 2 gallons of milk, and the cheese should be about 2 pounds. Those are Guy's big hands holding it, not mine. I think the cheese is about 5.5 inches across and several inches thick.