Sunday, January 22, 2012

Insert Cheesy Jokes Here


Saturday, as it turned out, was cheese day.  My wine hasn't quite fermented enough for racking, so instead I got out my cheesemaking equipment and ingredients (most of them Christmas gifts, some that I picked up last week from the good folks at Austin Homebrew Supply):

 This cheesemaker takes no crap.  I'm like the Samuel L. Jackson of cheese, sort of.  With a bit more hair.

This is where my homebrewing gear came in handy - I scoured my 5 and 8 gallon stock pots (also good for making turkey soup, BTW) until the interiors were spotless and sterile, then set them up as a double boiler for the milk.

 One the milk was at 90F, I added mesophilic starter culture,
 then stirred vigorously.
After adding the rennet, I stirred some more, then let it sit until I got curds, which I broke up and let sit for a bit longer...
 ... and then (carefully) poured them into a cheesecloth-lined colander to drain.
 Once drained, I transferred them to a clean bowl so I could remove more of the whey*.
 Then they were ready to knead with cheese salt...
 ... and put in the cheese press.
 After about 4 hours of pressure, it looked like this:
And after being pressed overnight, it looked more like a wheel of cheese:
I've got it sitting out so the rind can dry, then it'll be 3 weeks of curing, at the end of which I'll have a little over a pound of Caerphilly cheese.

Next on the agenda, probably either Edam or feta.  Maybe both.

* - The whey, I've discovered, makes for delicious bread and pizza dough, so I've got over a gallon of that to use up by the end of this week in the fridge.  Mmmm, carbs....


  1. Read the first line as "my wife wasn't ready for racking." Which would have been different.

    Where did you get your cheese press?

  2. That was from Austin Homebrew. They ship anywhere, or you can check your Friendly Local Homebrew Shop.

  3. Oh YUM. I love Caerphilly! Good pix. Did you get your son to take them?

  4. Took most of them myself, as our youngest was out playing with his friends. A surly teenager took the one of me.