Homemade Traditional Cheddar
Making Homemade Cheddar
Author: Ken Wincel
2 gallons whole milk
1 packet mesophilic starter (Or 4oz prepared starter)
1/2 teaspoon liquid rennet
2 tablespoons cheese salt
- Heat the milk to 86 degrees.
- Add the mesophilic starter and stir well. (up\down motion)
- Cover and allow the milk to ripen for 45 minutes
Note: After 45 minutes, you may now add coloring, if desired, stirring to distribute evenly.
- Make sure the milk's temperature is 86 degrees.
- Add the diluted rennet and stir gently with an up\down motion for 1 minute.
- Cover and let set, undisturbed for 45 minutes.
- Cut the curd into 1/4-inch cubes.
- Allow the curds to set for 5 minutes
- Heat the curds to 100 degrees, increasing the temperature no more than two degrees every 5 minutes. This should take about 30 minutes. Stir gently to keep the curds from matting.
- Once the curds reach 100 degrees, maintain the temperature and contrinue stirring the curds for 30 minutes longer.
- Allow the curds to set for 20 minutes.
- Pour curds and whey into a colander, then let sit for 15 minutes
- Remove mass of curd from colander, put on a board and cut into 3 inch slices.
- Put into pot, and place the pot in a sink full of 100 degree water (Or double boiler heated to 100 degrees).
- Maintain the curds at 100 degrees, turning every 15 minutes for 2 hours.
The curd slices should be touch, and have texture similar to chicken.
- Break into 1/2 cubes, and place into covered pot. Put pot back into 100 degree water.
- Stir the curds with fingers every 10 minutes, for 30 minutes. (Do not squeeze the curds, just keep them from matting)
- Remove the pot from sink, add the salt, then stir gently.
- Line 2-pound cheese mold with cheesecloth
- Place curds in the mold
- Press at 10 lbs for 15 minutes
- Remove cheesecloth, then flip
- Press cheese at 40 lbs for 12 hours
- Repeat process but press at 50 lbs for 24 hours
- Remove cheese from mold, peel away the cheesecloth
- Let air dry 2-5 days, or until dry to the touch
- Wax the cheese, and age at 50-55 degree for 3-12 months. (Cheese will get sharper flavor as it ages)
Note: Before waxing, slice off a small piece and place in a baggie and refrigerate. Then try it the next day. After a month, you could eat the cheese but it'll taste more like mild cheddar or colby.
Yield: 2 Pounds