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Cheddar cheese
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How to Make Cheddar Cheese at Home

Ingredients

  • 2 gallons of goat or cow milk
  • Mesophilic culture, either ⅛ teaspoon of bulk mesophilic culture or one packet of direct set mesophilic a culture
  • tsp of diluted calcium chloride (dilute with 1/4 cup of water)
  • ¼ tablet vegetable rennet or ½ teaspoon liquid animal rennet
  • 2 tbsp of sea salt

Instructions

  • Heat your milk in a large pot to 85 degrees Fahrenheit and stir continuously.
  • If you are using calcium chloride, which is optional, add it to the milk as it heats.
  • Once the milk reaches 85 degrees Fahrenheit, you can add in the culture and stir it in using an upwards and downwards motion. Then, cover the pot and allowed to firm it for an hour.
  • Stir the milk to help it homogenize and then slowly fold in the diluted rennet slowly. Make sure you use an up and down motion to add the rennet, as that helps it work into the milk thoroughly ensures you get the most cheese possible from this batch.
  • Take your mixture off of the heat and let the cheese set for an hour. It needs to set for long enough so that the way the curds separate from each other. How do you know if it is done? You will see a layer of way floating on the top, and this layer should be mostly clear. The curd should start to pull away from the sides of the pot.
  • Use a knife and cut the curd pieces into 1/4 inch cubes. Let that set for five minutes but don't stir.
  • Now, heat the curds slowly for about 30 minutes, allowing the curds reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Stir the curd as it heats, and as you stir, the curds will start to get smaller. When the curds reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit, keep that temperature and continue to stir for an additional 30 minutes. If those curds become too hot, you'll have to take them off the heat.
  • Next, quit stirring and let the curds settle. It should take them about 20 minutes to settle completely.
  • Pour out your curds into a colander and put the colander and milk curds into the cheese pot. Let that drain out for about 15 minutes. Then, take the colander out of the pot and place the curds on a cutting board.
  • The remaining whey mass should look similar to jelly and be semisolid. Dump the whey out of the pot and cut it into 5 equal slices, then place it back into the pot and cover.
  • Fill up a basin with water that is 102 degrees Fahrenheit and put your curds and pot into it. Keep the temperature of the curds at around that level and turn the slices every quarter hour for the next two hours. This process turns your mixture into cheddar, giving the cheese its particular flavor.
  • Once the two hours are over, your curds should look firm and shiny. Take them out of the pot and slice them into cubes that are about half an inch in size. Then put them back into the pot and cover the pot, and place it into your basin of water.
  • Let the pot sit there for about 10 minutes and then stir it gently with a large spoon. Repeat this step two more times.
  • Take the pot out of the sink and add salt and stir once more.
  • Use a cheesecloth to line cheese press and place your curds in there. Wrap up the cheese with the cloth and then press for 15 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure.
  • Take the cheese out of the press and unwrap it and then flip it over. Wrap it again with a new cheesecloth and press for 12 hours at 40 pounds of pressure.
  • Then take the cheese out of the press and unwrap and flip it again. Wrap again in cheesecloth and press for 24 hours at 50 pounds of pressure.
  • Take the cheese from the press and allow it to air dry for two or three days. When it is finished, it will be dry and smooth when you touch it. Then, use your cheese wax and wax the cheese. Age it at a temperature between 55 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit for duration of at least 60 days.