Homemade Traditional Cheddar

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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


Part I

  1. Heat the milk to 86 degrees.
  2. Add the mesophilic starter and stir well. (up\down motion)
  3. 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.

Part II

  1. Make sure the milk's temperature is 86 degrees.
  2. Add the diluted rennet and stir gently with an up\down motion for 1 minute.
  3. Cover and let set, undisturbed for 45 minutes.

Part III

  1. Cut the curd into 1/4-inch cubes.
  2. Allow the curds to set for 5 minutes
  3. 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.
  4. Once the curds reach 100 degrees, maintain the temperature and contrinue stirring the curds for 30 minutes longer.
  5. Allow the curds to set for 20 minutes.

Part IV

  1. Pour curds and whey into a colander, then let sit for 15 minutes
  2. Remove mass of curd from colander, put on a board and cut into 3 inch slices.
  3. Put into pot, and place the pot in a sink full of 100 degree water (Or double boiler heated to 100 degrees).
  4. Maintain the curds at 100 degrees, turning every 15 minutes for 2 hours.

Part V
The curd slices should be touch, and have texture similar to chicken.

  1. Break into 1/2 cubes, and place into covered pot. Put pot back into 100 degree water.
  2. Stir the curds with fingers every 10 minutes, for 30 minutes. (Do not squeeze the curds, just keep them from matting)
  3. Remove the pot from sink, add the salt, then stir gently.

Part VI

  1. Line 2-pound cheese mold with cheesecloth
  2. Place curds in the mold
  3. Press at 10 lbs for 15 minutes
  4. Remove cheesecloth, then flip
  5. Press cheese at 40 lbs for 12 hours
  6. Repeat process but press at 50 lbs for 24 hours

Part VII

  1. Remove cheese from mold, peel away the cheesecloth
  2. Let air dry 2-5 days, or until dry to the touch
  3. 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

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