Cheddar Cheese and Cheese Curds


 How to Make Cheddar Cheese & Cheese Curds

Your favorite cheesy snack is about to be your favorite homemade recipe.


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



  1. Add culture. Let ripen for one hour or until the pH drops by 0.1 from start pH.
  2. Add Annatto if you want a little color.
  3. Add rennet. Stir gently for 2-4 strokes.
  4. Check for clean break, cut into 3/8 inch cubes.
  5. Rest (heal curds) for five minutes.
  6. Raise heat slowly in 45-60 minutes to 102F while continually stirring.
  7. Hold curds at 102F for 30 minutes or until pH is 6.1-6.3.
  8. Draw off whey. Slab to one side of vat.
  9. Pile (cheddar) the slabs four times in one hour at 15 minute breaks.
  10. Test your pH. It should be 5.4-5.5.
  11. Mill curds to size appropriate for your cheese mould or press.
  12. 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.
  13. Hoop and press for 30 minutes at 25-40 psi or weight.
  14. Rotate, re-hoop and press for another 30 minutes.
  15. Dress and press for 16 hours at 40 psi. or use 30-40lbs of weight.
  16. Air dry, coat with cheese coating, wax or vacuum packed and age at 45F for three months for mild flavor.


-Steve Shapson, The CheeseMaker