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Making Cheddar Cheese

April 14, 2011

We made cheddar cheese last weekend. It was my whirlwind cooking weekend. I had been wanting to make cheese and my husband love cheddar and that was the one he wanted me to make. So, we looked up the recipe and found out that I had all the ingredients except calcium chloride. I went to the local health food store and they actually had it!

I got my recipe from

We don’t have access to raw milk, so I had my husband buy 4 gallons of whole milk from the store for our experiment…

Pete bought the milk on Friday, and since the fridge was full, we put them in the dog room for the next day. We have a room that is not very insulated that keeps fairly cool when it is chilly outside, which in the Far North, it is sadly, still winter… Don’t worry about the dogs in that room, they are Newfoundlands and like it cool. We keep the beagle where it is warmer…

Anyway, the next day, I put the milk in a big stock pot and then realized the stock pot was too small. So, I then had to go to the store and get a large canning pot that would be big enough for the milk to fit in.

So, got home put the milk in, heated it up, and let it get too hot! I had the heat on and went to work on my sourdough and let it get too hot. It is supposed to be about 86 degrees Fahrenheit, but it got to 91. So, I had to wait for it to cool. It seemed to take forever, an hour or two. Then my husband woke up from his nap, and checked the temp and it was about 84, so he put it on the heat and raised it to 91 again… 😦

So, again had to wait for it to cool, finally it was at the right temp, and I added the ½ tsp. of mesophilic powder. I let it sit there for 45 min like the recipe said. It wasn’t hard to keep the right temp, the milk doesn’t seem to cool or heat too quickly.

We then added the rennet, stirred, added the calcium chloride (because it was not raw milk), stirred and let it sit for 45 minutes.

Then, we had to cut the curds into 1/2 inch squares, I did it like Wardeh showed on gnowfglins. Then you have to slowly heat it to 97 degrees over 40 min. and keep it there for another 30 while stirring occasionally. You are not supposed to stir for the last 5 five minutes.

Then you drain the whey through a cheese cloth in a colander, I used 2 layers of butter muslin. You keep a 1/3rd of whey in the bottom of the pot and put the colander with the curds back in the pot and basically steam the curds for an hour. (I suggest having a little less whey in the pot, I think it would have been better if all the cheese hadn’t been touching the whey, that is what we are going to try next time.)

You are supposed to keep the temperature the same, so we turned up the heat until we got it up to the right temperature and then turned the heat off. We checked it occasionally. We just kept the thermometer in the cheese during this time.

When the hour was up, I took the cheese out and cut it into pencil sized strips and then mixed in a Tbs of salt.

yes they squeeked!

The cheese curds in a bag ready to eat!

These were the cheese curds and they were yummy and yes, they did squeak like they were supposed to!

Then we put most of them in the cheese press and pressed it for a day…

By the way, this is what my daughter did while I cooked…

crawling in the cupboards!

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