This page to become devoted to the projects that become cheddar.
I often say making cheese is easy, but making good cheese is hard. I have confirmed many times over the last 6 years that great cheese is hard to come by when made at home. Cheddar is the one cheese I can make great over and over. I will try to share my success for cheddar so you can make it too.
The Cheddar recipe I use is based on the stirred-curd by
July 11, 2020 – I made this cheddar in the middle of July and it is only now at the end of the year that I get to look back at what a success it was. A five gallon batch, was divided into 4 wheels. The first wheel, a 2 pounder, opened at 3 months was so good the whole wheel was gone in a weekend. Another wheel enjoyed with wine. The third wheel journeyed to California for Christmas via USPS. Cheese ships easy in December! The last wheel the only one in wax, sits in the Frig waiting for the right moment. I have reviewed my notes, nothing stands out. It did get molded under 70 pounds of weight. Don’t be afraid to put enough weight to close the rind!
April 26, 2020 – Cheddar has been my go to cheese for so many years. I have made it nearly 50 times but am still amazed that there are times it turns out differently. This last week was one of those times, the curd was squeaky, but just a little and had a soft mouth feel. The curd was even a bit fragile even though I had been pressing and flipping for most of 2 hours. It still had a good taste and the wheels I pressed turned out great. The nagging question about why is still here after so many makes.
October 2, 2016 – Cheddar has become an old friend. The recipe that I use takes 8 hrs and I know that. There is no way to speed up the process. It has predictable PH markers that are easy to follow(or wait for). During the last 5 times I have made cheddar it has come out great. Sunday threatened to break that. I was making cheese after the Bronco game which should have been my first clue not to do it. The make proceeded as normal till I got to the point where you stir and wait for the PH to drop. It just wasn’t going down. It is supposed to fall to 6.1 or 6.2 and it won’t get below 6.45. The curds were even drying out a bit so I gave up waiting and drained the whey. The final PH was about 5.8 and it should finish at 5.4 after a lot of flipping and waiting. In the end it was delicious but the texture was different, it was denser felt strange in my mouth. I’m not sure what happened, but we will make it a few dozen more times and see what happens.
March 20, 2016 – As a new cheese maker you have lots of culture options for making cheese and all of it is complicated. At first it seems simple, the recipe calls for C101 and it makes cheese. After a while I started to say what are all of these other Mesophilic cultures? The more I looked the more complicated it seemed to be. I like to test things, what are the minor differences that will make a difference in the final product? I ordered MM100, and C61, both mesophilic cultures and today I made cheddar with them. The recipe was a little different, but I think I like them both as well as any other cheddar I have already made.
Culture – Cheddar can be made with a variety of cultures. I have made some of my best with MM100 a basic mesophilic culture. Straight out of the book the recipe calls for MA4002,(1-3-2021) it also makes a great cheddar. I have recently created one with Kazu and it went together just fine (12-27-2020). I have mixed a couple mesophilic culture together to see if something interesting would happen, the jury is still out. I also tried TA61 and the make went fine, somehow it just got eaten and no notes were exchanged. I created a post with my most recent cheddar culture test.
pH Readings – pH meters are tricky pieces of equipment, very handy when they work right, a pain in the ass to get to work right and you are never really sure they are working right. When a Cheddar make works just right, the pH just before salting is at 5.2. The pH of the Curd when you first drain is 5.8-5.9 and the pH at the end of the cook, the beginning of the drain, is at 6.2 and the initial pH of milk at Temp should be 6.65. I sort of wrote the list in reverse because the eye is on the prize, a pH of 5.2 to throw in the salt.
May 10, 2015 – Cheddar at the end of a long make day. I was just going to make curds to eat right away but I botched the job the the curds wouldn’t really stick together, so I pressed them into a block and waxed right away.
Don’t try to make 3 cheeses in the same day.
July 4, 2015 – I used the cheddar on burgers with the Colby and it tasted really nice, but I didn’t use it all up so I waxed it again and I’ll eat it in September.
September 23, 2015 Time was right, so we opened up this cheddar again and it has gotten nice and sharp. Just a really nice flavor and worth the wait.