Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Home-made cheese

A year or two ago I experimented with cheese-making.  It was a pretty hit-or-miss method, using Junket Rennet tablets.  Still, a couple of times I did get cheese.  After doing research on the Internet, I found out Junket isn't the best rennet for making cheese.  I sent off for some cheese cultures, the proper rennet, and some instructions.  Since the new instructions made a larger amount of cheese than my old method, we had to figure out a bigger cheese press and somehow come up with a way to put twenty pounds of weight on the cheese in the press.  Here's what we used for our first attempt, back in April:


That's two ten-pound dumbbells.  If they weren't wired in place, they would fall over.  Cliff has to be here for this step, since I can't wire it properly to get it to balance.  
Anyway, I followed instructions as best I could, put the special red wax on the cheese, and stuck it in the back of the refrigerator to age for two months.  Even though the time wasn't up, last weekend I inspected the two cheeses that were aging and saw mold on one cheese.
Once I got all the wax off and inspected it, I found all the mold was on the outside of the cheese, so I cut it off.  A little mold doesn't scare me:  I watched my mom cut mold off store-bought cheese throughout my childhood.  We tasted the cheese, and it was harder, dryer, and sharper than I expected, but still, not bad cheese.  When I open up my next cheese I am going to test it for meltability.  Maybe I'll try a grilled cheese sandwich. 
Because there had been mold on this first effort, I didn't want to risk losing it all.  I grated the whole two pounds and put it in the freezer for use on salads.

Maybe I'll try making cheese again soon.  It's a little difficult to acquire two gallons of milk around here since Jody only gives about a gallon and a half at her once-a-day milking; but it isn't impossible.

Speaking of Jody:  Although she came into heat three times while the bull was here, and he eagerly did his job each time, she did not breed.  It's a shame, but remember, I almost had her butchered because of lameness before she even had her calf.  Now I have a nice heifer calf from her, so I am way ahead.  I will use her milk and let her raise her calf up to six or seven months of age, and we will then butcher her.  That's how things go when you have livestock.   


Celeste Sanders said...

I want cheese. Some cheese keeps the mold on them. Mold does not bother me. I love cheese!

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I read somewhere that you shouldn't use cheese that has mold on it, but I always have done the same as you and just cut it off. I never had any adverse effects from eating any of it either. Sorry to hear Jody didn't bread but with her weakness maybe that's just as well. She may have not had the strength to carry another calf. Life on the farm is different, but still sounds wonderful to me.


My favorite cheese is called Saga Blue and it's full of mold. Your attempt looks good. like the red.

Margaret said...

How about bleu cheese which has blue mold running through it? Or other French cheeses with mold on the outside. The French outlive us, so let's eat some mold. :) I would gobble up your cheese; I'm a dry, sharp cheese lover!

Lucy said...

As you know I have always been interested in your home made cheese. You are brave compared to me. This has been so interesting.