All posts by Ripley Casdorph

Cheddar Curds 10-8-17


I always seem to come back to Cheddar Curds and although I haven’t posted in a while I am still making cheese. The problem usually comes down to time, I never have enough.

So as a time saving measure,  I had a friend of mine create a curd knife to try to cut the curd quicker.  It had limited success as it was a little bit big to turn well in the pot.

My last batch was a 14 lbs batch.  You can see it in the pictures before it I milled the curd.

Curd Knife
Curd Knife

Emmental – 11.6.2016

Cheese makers apprenticeAnother weekend with fresh milk from R Patch of Heaven! This dairy has great milk and it is making great cheese. So this week I decided to make Swiss Cheese. I haven’t made it in a while and felt it was time. I also picked up a new book, The Cheesemaker’s Apprentice and it contained a recipe for Emmental, which is the cheese American’s think of when we think of Swiss.

emmental2The Swiss recipe I have used in the past, the baby Swiss recipe from calls for an 1/8 tsp of Propionic Shermanii and this new recipe calls for 1 tsp for 2 gallons of milk. This seemed a bit too much so I cut it in half to 1/2 tsp per pot. Each pot had a little over 3 gallons of milk.

In any case, I end up with  a lot of curd, with the nearly 7 gallons of milk. Now that the cheese has come out of the brine and dried for a couple hours it weighs 7 lbs. 8.5 oz.

I am excited to see how a wheel of 7 lbs. reacts when it starts to swell. It will also be interesting to see how this recipe tastes. I added a 1/8 tsp of Alp-D culture to supplement the Thermophilic TA061 culture I have used singly in the past. Follow the complete recipe on the recipes page.

New Dairy – R Patch of Heaven – More Great Cheese

Cheddar Curds Pressing
Cheddar Curds Pressing

There are people who will tell you that cheese can be made from any milk; Goat, Sheep, Cow, Grocery, Pasteurized, Organic or Raw. This is correct, however the milk I have been having great success lately is fresh, raw cow’s milk.  Today’s milk came from a great dairy just outside Eaton, CO. R Patch of Heaven is a organic raw milk dairy where you can get great milk for cheese. John and Joy, from R Patch of Heaven have been dairy farmers for most of their lives and know what good milk is all about. I made Cheddar curds in two batches, one with a little Annatto and one without. It made for some pretty cool looking cheese. Best of all it tasted great.  So if you need milk for every day or for a project, give Patch of Heaven a call.

Spressa – 90 days Without Supervision

This is what happens if you ignore a cheese.
This is what happens if you ignore a cheese.

In July I was making a lot of cheese and quite busy as well, so when a wheel starting to get out of control I decided to let it go.   Another cheese maker recently told me that they were letting a lot of their cheese go natural for the aging process and cleaning it up when it was time to eat it. So this was my chance to take a chance. The recipe calls for several months of aging up to a year. So today I pulled the wheel out after 90 days of aging and cleaned it up a little bit and wanted to share a picture.  I’m going to let it go for a while longer and then we will try it. I’ll let you know how it tastes.

Epic Cheese Weekend – October 2, 2016

Fresh Burrata cheese
Fresh Burrata cheese

This weekend, I made two new cheese and one old favorite. New for the year were Romano and Burrata. I also stayed up late to make Cheddar after the Bronco game. For those who have followed the Cheddar recipe before, you know that particular recipe takes 8 hours.

Wheel of Romano drying.

I have also decided that I should redesign the blog and put Recipes and Makes directions in a separate area and save the homepage for shorter posts pointing to the current recipe. I’m hoping this will make posting easier for me. It should also make things easy to find. The homepage is sort of a mess at this point.

Garlic Montasio – September 5th, 2016

Montasio is a cheese that has been around since the 13th century. It was traditionally made by monks living in the Moggio abbey, located at the top of the Carnic Alps. My recipe comes from Kent Walker Cheese in  Little Rock, AR. I first made this recipe more than a year ago, when I was a real newbie and had a hard time making a decent cheese. Today’s make came out perfectly, at least from the first reviews. Lets take a look at the recipe.

Original Ingredients List :
Cow Milk
2:1 Thermo/Meso Culture
Garlic Cloves
Actual Ingredients List :
2 Gallon non-homogenized, 1 Gallon grocery store Cow Milk
1/16 tsp per gallon Mesophilic type II = 3/16 tsp
1/16 tsp per gallon TA61 Thermophilic  = 3/16 tsp
1 tsp Rennet
3 tsp minced store bought garlic
  • Heat milk to 70° add culture
  • Let culture set for 2-5 mins before mixing, mix in up and down motion, don’t stir.
  • Continue heating – Heat to 88°  should take 30-45 minutes.
  • Add rennet 1 tsp for the 3 gallons
  • Let rest for 60-75 mins,  with 1 gallon of grocery milk we waited 75 mins.
  • Cut curd to 1/4″
  • Heat to 102° stir for an hour,  heating took a little over 30 mins and stirred for 30 minutes more
  • Heat a pot of distilled water to 140°
  • Drain off 1/3 of the whey
  • Scald curd to 110° by adding heated water
  • Stir for 10 additional mins at 110°
  • Drain off most of the whey, its ok if there is a little left in the pot
  • Mix in the garlic breaking up the curds as you go to get a good mix
  • This will cause additional whey to be expelled, drain it off
  • Press curds into a mold
  • Press over night. If 8 lbs wheel press at 65lbs
  • Start with 8-10 lbs for first half hour
  • Double the weight for next hour, flip
  • We got up to 42 lbs. and left overnight
  • Soak in brine for 12-24 hours
  • We went for 15-16, it was a long day
  • Age 2-36 months
  • Coat in olive oil as needed to prevent mold

Update: Oct 1,2016 – I cut the wheel in half and Vacuum Sealed after testing it. The cheese had very little flavor but a great texture and creaminess to it. It might need more garlic next time or it might just need time. We will see.

Welcome to the Fair, July 27th-August 1st

It has been a great week at the Weld County fair making cheese for everyone to try.  Our booth was set up as a demonstration of what cheeses you can make at home.

fair booth
fair booth

The fair board is evaluating if Cheese should be a competition sport.  We had lots of interest in taking classes and making cheese.

This week we made:

Wednesday: Cheddar Curds – Cow Milk
Thursday: Asiago Pepato – Cow Milk
Friday: Manchago – Sheep Milk
Saturday: Ibores – Goat Milk
Sunday: Gruyere – Cow Milk

This week we ate:

  • Ibores – Goat
  • Chevre – Goat
  • Manchego – Sheep
  • Cheddar – Cow
  • Belper Knolle – Cow
  • Feta – Cow

July 9th – Stirred Curd Recipe AKA Cheddar Curds

Another batch of amazing milk from WiMo Farms and I used all 7 gallons for Cheddar. I am able to split the milk into 2 3.5 gallon batches and just combine the curd at the end to finish the process.

I have now chosen to make this recipe several times and under many conditions, so this is the first recipe I will add to a recipe section of this site.

Curd blocks as I waited for the PH

One of the things that always bothers me about the process is that there are hundreds of places to make mistakes.  If there is some way to fake till you make, I want that short cut.  This recipe has that built in.  It is precise PH readings that we are waiting  to reach. Once the step of curd blocks has been reached, you just keep flipping until the PH reaches 5.4, then you stop.

Cut the curd into french fries to salt

Cheddar is a process not a type of cheese. Again this recipe lends itself to success by salting after the correct PH has been reached.

Just out of the press
1 lbs and a 2 lbs wheel of cheddar.

Everyone struggles with making a good looking wheel.  At first I thought it was just me. Afterall, I am new to cheese making and there must be a secret I’m missing. Over time I have come to the conclusion that everyone struggles, but that a good mold and some practice and most of us can come out with a decent looking wheel.

July 5th, More Swiss and Spressa

I started the weekend with 10 gallons of milk, yesterday I made a small batch of Swiss. Today, I  used the rest to make even more Swiss and something new called Spessa.

Spressa is an Italian cheese that dates back to 1249 AD. It is fairly simple as its ingredients are milk, culture and rennet. Spressa can be made with Thermophic culture,  3% yogurt or even day old whey.

The basics of the recipe are  heat the milk to 70, add culture, continue heat to 95. At 95 add rennet.  Wait for clean break and Quickly cut curd to rice size pieces.  Quickly stir curds and heat slowly to 108 (3 minutes per degree). Let the curds fully ripen, that is they will shrink try to stick together. Press for 12 hours. Brine in 20% solution. Age for a 2-12 months wipe with brine as needed.


Aging of Swiss:

  • cold age July 5 – july 20
  • warm age July 20 –

Happy 4th of July

Most of you probably spent the day doing something other than making cheese, but that is the way I started mine.  I have 10 gallons of fresh raw cow’s milk so we need to make cheese.

Getting the milk ready.
Getting the milk ready.

Today, I am going to make a quick batch of Swiss. We will use the same recipe as before.

2.5 gallons whole milk
1/8 tsp MA4002 mesophilic culture
1/8 tsp propionic shimano
1 tsp Rennet

-Heat to 84
-Add Culture, rehydrate for 5 mins, mix for 1minute.
-Set for 45 mins at 84 – ph 6.07
-Add Rennet – mix for 2 mins – ph 6.13
-Set for 45 mins at 84
-Wait for clean break
-Cut 3/8 in cuts
-Rest for 5 mins
-Stir for 5 mins
-Rest for 5 more mins
-Remove 1/3 of the whey
-Replace with 130 water over 5 mins to bring the whey up to 95 while stirring
-Then just stir for 5 mins
-Add more hot water to bring up to 102 over 5-10 mins.
-Cook at 102 for 30-40 mins(I did 35 mins) – ph 6.28
-Drain whey down to 1 inch above curd
-I add a dinner plate on top of curd
-Add a 1/3, water filled, milk jug to weigh it down and begin press. for 15 mins
-Then press curds into a mold – iI used their own weight for 15 mins
-Flip curd use 10 lbs for 30 mins, Flip curd again use 10 lbs for 30 mins
-Flip curd use 20 lbs for total time of 5 hours
-Then rest the curd in the mold with no weight.

The best part of Swiss is the aging process. 2 weeks cold age in the cheese cave. 3 weeks  warm age at room temp. anywhere from 68-80, at this point I wax it for 9 days to get the best bulge and eye development. Un-wax, wash well with brine and eat! Or seal-a-meal it and age as desired.  The period of warm aging is the most time consuming.  It will require that you wash with brine every day, you can skip a day but it get messy.

  • cold age july 5-18
  • warm age july 18-