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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


  1. Add culture. Ripen 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. pH 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