Category Archives: Soft Cheese

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

Colby Jack – October 18th

Jack on the left, Colby on the right.
Jack on the left, Colby on the right.
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Push the curds into the mold.
Just at the flip and it already looks good.
Decided to split in half and then brine.
Bagged and Sealed ready for the frig.
Bagged and Sealed ready for the frig.

I made a Colby earlier this summer and it tasted ok, but not great.  It was a little crumbly and not much taste, but tasted really great melted on burgers. So I wasn’t rushing to make more, but when I pulled a large block of Colby Jack out of the Frig this weekend and my wife told me how much she likes Colby Jack, it came to the top of the hit list.

The “Art of Cheese” had a Colby class in April where I received the Colby and Monteray Jack recipes. The mix of the two cheeses was kind of exciting, so I started with that recipe.

I used 2 gallons of whole $1.99 milk for each cheese. You can see in the top picture, the  probe for the thermometer is draped across both pots.  It was a real pain swapping it back and forth.  If I continue to make cheese I will need another thermometer!

As I poured out the Annatto for the Colby I was sure I needed more, but resisted the urge to add more.  I’m glad I didn’t, the color of the Colby came in perfect.  Recipes are there for a reason.

When the Colby came to the end of its cooking time and I poured off the whey, I decided to leave it in the bottom of the cooking pot still sitting in the water bath to keep the curds warm.  I left a little whey to assist in the warming process.

The Jack settled nicely as the last step is to leave it alone for  thirty minutes, so when I poured out the whey they stayed together pretty well. Once most of the whey was gone I poured everything into to the Colby pot and began mixing.  I quickly scooped out the mixed curds into the cheesecloth lined mold and pressed with 15 lbs. With just an hour of pressing it looked so cool I had to take a picture.

I pressed the wheel for 11 hours before cutting it in half and brining both pieces.  In the morning I pulled them out and put them into the frig for the day to dry.  That night I put them in quart seal-a-meal bags sent them to the cheese cave for 3 months.

They look great already and I have high hopes they will taste great too.

Updated: February 2016, tried cheese and it is a fail.  It is crumbly, and not a great taste.  Maybe after 6 or 8 months we will try it again.

Gruyere and Cream Cheese – June 5th 2015

Another make day started early with cream cheese.  Because it takes 16-24 hours to set the curd, it made sense to start with cream cheese and then set it aside to set.  The second cheese was Gruyere.  I started with 2 gallons of goat milk and added a gallon of whole milk from the store.

Follow the story of each on the following pages: Cream Cheese, Gruyere.

Gruyere Update: I sealed the smaller block of Gruyere in seal-a-meal plastic June 20th.  It looks a little dry.

July 11 Update: Sealed larger block in wax it has been in the cheese frig and it  is a little squishy and seems like it is coming along nicely, but I think it is ready for wax.

Gruyere Sealed in Plastic
Gruyere Sealed in Plastic

May 26 – Feta Mistake

may10I made Feta back on May 10th when I made Cheddar  and Ibores.  It was looking good  as I brined it for 8 hours in a heavy brine. When I took the Feta out it was nicely salty and crumbly in a good way. The Feta was to age in a less salty brine but I didn’t have time to make it up so I poured off half the brine and mixed in fresh water.  This was my mistake! As I look at the Feta today, it is in a creamy bath of thick milk.  It appears that the water pulled apart the cheese.  I’m not sure what to do next…