Second Cheddar Update:
This is my Cheddar that will be aging until Valentine's Day. One thing I must do daily is flip it and check for mold. If there is mold, you gently brush it off (I use a 'mushroom brush' type of scrubber). Well, as I gently brushed off a little dot of mold, look what happened. May I rant??? That cheese coating SUCKS. Anyway, over the last few days I've re-painted that spot and I'm hoping all will be well.
But this came in the mail today! My first New England Cheese Making Company order. As you see, I ordered cheese wax. So as soon as I have the time, I'm going to wax my first two Cheddars. That way there will be zero chance of mold and I won't have to keep reapplying that darn cheese coating.
Just wanted to mention this. In making my cheese, I've been using a double-boiler method. I decided to follow a different method - the sink method. Oh boy is it easier!! And it's so much more accurate with the temperature. All I have to do is add/remove hot or cold water now and then to/from the sink, to reach my ideal temperature. The milk/curd really holds onto the heat so it's super simple. Plus, the double boiler sometimes raised the temperature too fast and I'd be in a panic trying to move that heavy pot from the stove!
The happy cheese maker lol...Terry I promised a photo of my new hairdo, but this is me at about 8am, so I'm not "red-carpet ready" lol! :) Making the cheese using the sink method allows me to sit too. Each of these cheeses take a good 6-8 hours of work so sitting is welcoming!
So...Tuesday morning I woke up and looked in the fridge and saw the 24 liters (!!) of milk I'd bought the previous weekend, yeah...6 gallons. That milk took up an entire shelf in the fridge! It was a cool and cloudy day...so I deemed it cheese making day! I started with a Jack Cheese. I'll just include the link because I certainly can't make it look easier than the author of the recipe on her web page! This is a BIG cheese...and I halved the recipe. I didn't have a big enough mold, so I used cheesecloth to drain the cheese, which, after pressing, was very flat. I'll have to add a bigger mold to my next cheese order. It's just for looks though!
I used 10 liters of milk for this cheese and it just all barely fit into my 12 liter pot. My cheese knife could be a little longer! I barely reached the bottom of the pot when I was cutting my curd into cubes! The whole process before pressing took about 6 hours, and now my Jack cheese is drying for the next week or so before I wax it and age it for 8 months! It smells divine...Alex and I are really showing our self-control because we really want to try it!
Any bets that I'll print a label with my Jack on it and stick it on my Jack Cheese? I'll take that bet lol!
More cheese making madness...right after the Dry Jack was pressing, I started on a new Cheddar. I decided I wanted to try a red wine infused cheese. I followed my usual Cheddar recipe, but before pressing, I soaked the curds in 2 cups of red wine. I was making cheese for 13 hours on Tuesday and I was exhausted after but it really was so much fun! This is how it looked after the final pressing on Wednesday morning.
The wheel got soaked in another 2 cups of wine for 5 more hours, then I put it back into the mold to drain a little more. I used an Australian Cabernet Sauvignon for this cheese. I'm actually thinking of buying a vacuum sealer to use instead of the wax method...it would really come in handy for food preservation in general and I've read really good things about it but it would be about another $100 investment...food for thought!
How is this for genius? These are dollar-store food protectors for picnics...I saw them the other day and a light bulb lit over my head...it's not the perfect cat barrier, but it works really well!
My new children lol...these are my aging cheeses! The original two Cheddars, my red wine infused Cheddar and my Dry Jack. You can see the size of the Dry Jack compared to the others, twice the size! I haven't quite decided how long I'll age the red wine Cheddar yet, but at least 6 months to maybe a year. I want to read up a little more about how the flavours meld together over time.
So my cheeses so far will be ready to be eaten:
First Cheddar: Halloween
Second Cheddar: Valentine's Day 2018
Wine Infused Cheddar: Valentine's Day 2018 or Labour Day 2018
Dry Jack: May 1st 2018 - May Day