Monday, July 15, 2019

Homemade Cheese Press

I woke up one morning last week to this surprise. Alex made me a cheese press! And he printed out my web site's name too! :) One of the reasons I stopped making cheese was because my cheeses kept failing. I figured it was one of two reasons:

1. Bad quality cultures and rennet
2. Bad equipment (moulds and press)

OR BOTH. Alex knew how much I missed making cheese, but I was adamant. Until I had the right equipment and ingredients, I wasn't going to waste my time and money. A store bought cheese press can run a person hundreds of dollars so that wasn't in the budget at all!

We watched a video on You Tube. It was this normal every day guy who makes cheese at home and he made his own press. Little did I know I was going to be on the receiving end of my own press too! 😊 We already had a bread board that we weren't using (the bottom one). It had some cracks in it and we were worried about food safety so we stopped using it. But it was perfect for the base of the press. Alex found a spare piece of wood in the basement and mimicked the bread board for the top piece. He drilled holes on each corner of the boards, sanded everything and used mineral oil to cure the wood pieces. 12-inch bolts hold everything together. Total cost was under $20  for the bolts.

He wanted to make sure that my largest mould fit and it wasn't an issue at all. Because he made the top exactly the same as the base bread board (with a handle hole and everything!!), it's very easy to store and use!

I've mentioned that I used to use bricks and my dumbbells before to weigh down the cheese. Well, Alex came up with a better solution. A water jug! He brought down the bathroom scale and we added water and marked the weight starting at 10 pounds. The entire filled water jug weighs 45 pounds. 

I decided that I would dump all of my old ingredients and moulds that I'd bought from a mediocre store and replace them with better ingredients and moulds. I now buy all of my supplies from Glengarry Cheesemaking in Ontario, Canada. I noticed the better quality immediately!

So I was ready to go!

In the above photo I'm making a Cheddar that requires 50 pounds of weight for 12 hours, so I just added my two 4 pound dumbbells to the top to give it about 53 pounds in total. I have a level handy to make sure the weight is well distributed (Alex's idea again!)

I have to say this works like a charm - and on a budget!!! My first wheel of Cheddar is perfectly pressed with no lips, edges or holes.

Cheese making is possible again! I love my man! :) 💘


Leigh said...

That's an excellent cheese press! So simple but it looks like it works better than the cheese press I bought off eBay. Mine pushes down in the center of the cheese so it's almost always lopsided when it's done. Alex's design is so much better. And the idea to use a water jug and mark water weights is brilliant! Your cheddar is indeed perfect. :)

baili said...

How lovely for Alex to realize your problem and try and find solution which was time and energy consuming but LOVE MAKES EVERYTHING POSSIBLE :) ISN'T IT :)

this looks impressive and effective work dear Rain!

i am so happy for you that you can make plenty of cheese now without any stress :)

Rain said...

Thanks Leigh :) I love the simplicity of it and yeah, the water jug works very well! :)

Rain said...

Thanks Baili :) I was really surprised and he did such a good job, very happy! :)