Cheddar Cheese and Cheese Curds
Inoculation temperature: 88f throughout the entire ripening period.
Culture: Kazu (also great for Gouda), or MA4001-2 or MA11.
Annatto: ¼ tsp. Start pH for raw milk 6.75-6.85
- Add culture. Ripen one hour or until the pH drops by 0.1 from start pH.
- Add Annatto if you want a little color.
- Add rennet. Stir gently for 2-4 strokes.
- Check for clean break, cut into 3/8 inch cubes.
- Rest (heal curds) for five minutes.
- Raise heat slowly in 45-60 minutes to 102f. while continually stirring.
- Hold curds at 102f for 30 minutes or until pH is 6.1-6.3.
- Draw off whey. Slab to one side of vat.
- Pile (cheddar) the slabs four times in one hour at 15 minute breaks.
- pH should be 5.4-5.5.
- Mill curds to size appropriate for your cheese mould or press.
- Salt curds at 2.5% of the total yield. At this point you can eat the curds or allow them to rest at 65-75f for a day to further ripen for more flavor.
- Hoop and press for 30 minutes at 25-40 psi or weight.
- Rotate, re-hoop and press for another 30 minutes.
- Dress and press for 16 hours at 40 psi. or use 30-40lbs of weight.
- Air dry, coat with cheese coating, wax or vacuum packed and age at 45f. for three months for mild flavor.
-Steve Shapson, The CheeseMaker