Gouda drying on the plate, before vacuum sealing.

Begin with 2 gallons of milk and heat to 86F.

Then add 1/8 tsp MA11 culture, re-hydrate for 2 minutes, mix slowly for 1 minute and allow to sit quietly at this temp for 30 minutes.

Add 1/2 tsp of rennet or 1/2 rennet tablet diluted in 1/4 cup of water. Stir for 60 seconds and then allow the milk to set quietly for 30-40 minutes while keeping the temperature at 86F

Check curd for firmness and then cut. Note: with full fat milk I make a precut of the curds cutting crosswise about 1 inch squares and allow the curds to firm for about 2-3 min. before I continue my final cutting to 1/2 – 3/8 inch pieces in 5 minutes. This will help avoid losing more fat as you cut the curds smaller.

Now slowly and gently stir the curds for 15 min. Allow to settle for 5 minutes.

Remove 1/3 of the whey, then add water at 130 F over 15 min. for a final temp of 98-102. (Higher temp for drier longer aging cheese). This is a very important step since it also removes some of the lactose or milk sugars which can be converted to acid by the lactic bacteria.

Continue stirring gently for 30 minutes, to keep the curds from matting, or until final moisture is reached according to the desired aging requirements (longer stirring = drier curds = longer aging).

Place curds into the mould and press for 15 mins with 3 lbs.

Flip curds in the mould and increase pressure to 6 lbs. for 30 mins.

Each half hour flip and increase the weight until you reach 12-14lbs, then press for 6-8 hours.

Unwrap and place into saturated brine for 6. If the cheese floats, sprinkle 2 tsp of salt on top of the cheese. At 3-4 hours flip cheese and repeat.

Once done with the brine air dry for 3-7 days. Age 2-6 months.