Tag Archives: Havarti

A tale of two cultures – Havarti/Takelma -April 9

Many of the cheeses I have made involve adding two cultures, Swiss and Jarlsberg, Manchego, to name a few, however, I haven’t made many that require 2 mesophilic cultures. I started reading Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking some time ago and I am fascinated by many of the recipes.  They are more about technique than about the name on the cheese.

Today I made “same temperature, light brine, washed cheese” p260, it most closely resembles Havarti or St. Paulin.

cheese fresh from the brine.
cheese fresh from the brine.

The creamery also created a name for the cheese they were making, Takelma after native Americans close to where they make cheese.

This was also a chance to try out my new cheese mold that has a built in cheesecloth. I ordered the new mold from Amazon using Christmas cash.

Mold with follower and attached cheese cloth.
Mold with follower and attached cheese cloth.

I love it when Christmas extends all the way to April. The mold is super sturdy, easy to use, easy to clean. Wish I had a couple.


  • 2 Gallons Whole milk
  • 1/8 tsp. MM100 Mesophilic
  • 1/16 tsp. C61 Mesophilic (Called for LM)
  • 1/4 tsp. rennet
  • 1/2 tsp. Calcium Chloride


cheese curds in the mold
cheese curds in the mold
  • Heat milk to 79°  – mix in cultures, let sit for 5 minutes,
  • Stir for 2 minutes – Up and down motion, not stirring motion. (PH was 6.34)
  • Continue to Heat to 89°
  • Stir in Calcium Chloride for 1 minute – let rest for 5 before proceeding
  • Add Rennet for 1 minute, goal time is 45 minutes
  • wait for clean break, cut 1/4inch cubes slowly…over 20 minutes
  • Let rest for 15mins.
  • Heat 1 gallon of water to 89°  –
  • Drain off 1 gallon of whey, slowly add water and 1 teaspoon of salt while stirring
  • Stir and heat to 100°  –  over a 30 minute period
  • Press under whey for 10-15 minutes ( I put a plate on top of the curd and placed a half filled milk jug on top)
  • Drain whey and place into mold – pressed with 4 lbs for 15 mins.(Probably should have been 2 lbs.)
  • Flip curd for 30 and double the weight
  • Flip for an hour, flip for 8 hours
  • Brine for 2-3 hours per pound( I went for 4 hours total)
  • Pat dry and put in frig.
  • 2-3 months aging. Can be washed or waxed.

Note: When I began to age this cheese, I placed it into the wine frig and wiped it daily with a brine solution. After just a few days the top started to look dry and cracked, so I flipped it washed it in brine. Then the other side started to look the same, until I placed it in tupperware and the cheese is looking great.  I also put 4 drops of Annatto into a cup and half of brine and used it to wipe down the cheese daily.  It is aging as well as anything I have had in the frig. Higher humidity may be the answer, but if you can’t keep up the humidity, tupperware is the answer.

Annatto Brine rub
Annatto Brine rub

Havarti For the New Year – January 3, 2016

Havarti with a little mold
Havarti with a little mold, don’t ignore your frig!

Recently we were tasting some wine and had a cheese plate, it was Havarti and it was wonderful.  So I decided to try to make some Havarti. I found a recipe on-line  and printed it out.

In hindsight, now looking at my notes, I’m not sure I can recreate this cheese or even give a good account of making it because my notes are somewhat sketchy, however I did take some PH readings and there were some PH markers in the recipe.  So, I’m going to hit the points of this recipe that stand out and just plan to remake the recipe soon.

Basics of Ingredients:

  • culture I used C101
  • 2 gallons of milk
  • 1/2 tsp rennet
  • Heat to 86°

Milk PH after heat was 6.1. The curd quickly broke down to very fine rice even though I didn’t cut it that way.  After you have stirred curd for 15 minutes remove 1/3 of the whey and add 130° water to bring the milk up to 100° over 10 minutes. Now add 1/2 oz of salt and stir for 15-30 minutes.

Drain whey and place in mold with 8 pounds of weight. I flipped at 15 min intervals 3 times. Then flipped at 60 min intervals 3 times. Then it get submerged in cold water over night. You are shooting for a PH of 5.2, I was at 5.37 and I figured that was good enough.

Brine for 5-6 hours. Dry and frig.

I put this into an aging box in my frig and turned and wiped it with brine every day for the first couple days.  Then I left it a few days at a time before wiping with brine.  Then time got away from me and it sat for a week and half.  I came back to mold on the outside.  I wiped with brine but the outside of the cheese was very soft and the mold only partially came off.  I decided the only course of action was wax.

The recipe says 10-14 weeks till mature and as I write this it has been 6, so look for more notes in a month on how it came out.