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.