Monterey Jack is a cheddar-style cheese developed in California. It can be spiced up with the addition of chiles, peppercorns or toasted cumin seeds. This recipe is for 3 gallons of raw milk and should return 3 lbs. of cheese, however it can easily be cut for 1 or 2 gallon batches. It generally ages for 60-90 days
3 gallons whole milk
3/8 tsp MM100 – 1/8 tsp per gallon – other Mesophilic cultures can be used
3/4 tsp Rennet – 1/4 tsp per gallon
1/4 cup Distilled Water
- Heat milk to 89°
- Sprinkle in culture and let re-hydrate for 2 minutes
- Stir for 1 minutes and let sit quietly for 45 mins, holding milk at 89°
- Prepare rennet and distilled water in a measuring cup at room temperature
- After 45 minute wait is over sprinkle in rennet over stir spoon in an up and down motion so that you don’t stir the milk, just mix.
- Continue with up and down motion to mix milk for 1 minute
- Let sit quietly for 40 minutes
- Check for clean break and cut curd into 1/2 inch cubes.
- let stand for 10 minutes to firm up
- slowly warm curds to 100° gently continuously stirring over 30-40 minutes
- turn off heat and hold at 100° stirring occasionally for 30 minutes more to keep curds from matting
- let curd settle and rest for 30 minutes
- drain whey
- careful place curds into mold and press
- press under own weight for 15 minutes
- flip curd mass, re-dress and press under 20 lbs. for 15 minutes
- Flip and press under 20 lbs. for 30 minutes
- Flip every 30 minutes for the next 90 minutes pressing at 30 lbs, by now the wheel should be closed.
- If wheel is not closed prepare a very warm bowl of water and submerge mold and cheese wheel separately for 2 minutes and press with 30-40 lbs for 30 minutes
- press for 12 hours, flip if you want to, ignore it if you want to as long as it is closed and looking the way you want the wheel to finish
- remove from press and submerge in a 5-1(20% solution) of brine for 12
- remove from brine and air dry 3-4 days on a cheese mat until it seems to have a rind forming, flipping every 12 hours or so. Pictured is 2 days of drying Jack wheel.
- Finish in a vacuum sealed bag or wax for 2-3 months