First Real Cheese Topic...Pressing Cheese

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SuperiorBrew

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I am thinking about giving it a try this weekend. It says to put the curds in the cheesecloth and set a small plate on top and "add weight by placing a heavy object on top" whats heavy? a beer pitcher full of water, 25 lbs or one corner of my F-350 Diesel?

 

Iordz

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I think heavy might be, an item heavy enough to extract any remaining whey from the curds. You could probably use something that weight about 5lb or so. What are you making?
 

PintOfBitter

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I read something about using a fat book (i.e. a textbook?) as a weight, so maybe 5-10 lbs.. I guess a book probably wouldn't work unless you had a follower to fit into the mold.

what style are you creating? i'd like to hear how it comes out, and any lessons learned.
 

Fish

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The amount of weight depends on the type of cheese you are making the more weight the less moisture is left in the final curd. 10-50 lbs would be the usual range.

how I did my first cheeses with that funky mold from Ricki Carrols kit was I wrapped a cord around a table and put the cheese under the cord. Then I placed a bowl that fit nicely into the mold and that was my follower but the bowl had high edges so when I tightened the rope it pressed on the bowl more which pressed into the curds more. Every time I tried to put a weight on top it just fell off or settled to one side.
 
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SuperiorBrew

SuperiorBrew

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I just found a recipe for farmhouse cheddar, it had pressing instructions of 10lbs for 15 min and 20lbs for 12 hours, flip it and 20 lbs for a another 12 hours.
Looks like a good n00b recipe + it's ready in 4 weeks
 
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I am sure that you've tried this by now, but the recipes I've seen seem to use from 5 - 50 lbs weight, often gradually over the course of 24 hours - for hard cheeses. How did you do?
 

DUCCCC

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I took a large stock pot and set a plate in it upside down on the bottom. I then set my cheese mould on top of that, with the cloth-wrapped curds inside the mould. I then found an appropriate sized tupperware container that fit nicely inside the mould, over the cheese. On top of that I needed 20lbs. This worked out to be a little over 2.4 gallons of water, so I eyeballed that amount in a spare Ale Pail and set it on top, with a couple dishtowels wedged in between the sides of the Pail and the stock pot to keep everything upright.

I'll see if I can work up a rough sketch in a little while to see if that help to visualize this.

ETA:
Here's the quick and dirty graphic...
 

jezter6

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I did something similar.

From the ground up: Pot > Strainer > Mould > Dish > Tupperware Spacer > Ale Pale. It was perfect height on my counter to have the lip of the Ale Pale right around the height of the round knob of the cabinet. If I pressed down extra hard and squeezed it down good, I could get the lip of the bucket behind the knob and used the knob to keep things in place. It was a tight fit, perfect for keeping things upright - until you need something in that cabinet.

I made the mistake of using a bowl under the piston and got a concave piece of cheese that ended up spewing some up and over the side of the mould creating some sort of murshoomy shape. I ended up cutting more than 50% off to get a good round piece to wax. :/

Next time, lessons will be learned.
 

BlueGrot

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Last time I made cheese I pressed with 30 lbs in the end. Ended up as a nice semi soft cheese. It's important to not start out too high though, as that will compact the outer rims of the cheese, leaving the whey nowhere to go and defeating the entire purpose of pressing the cheese.

I'd start with 5 lbs and then move on to 10 after a few hours, at minimum.
 

Curtis2010

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Trying to balance a bunch of household kitchen stuff and put pressure on cheese often does not work out too well -- especially for some hard cheeses where you may need heavier weights -- like 20-50lbs. If you are going to make cheese very often then a good cheese press sure makes life easier and the results better. If you want to DIY then it is a simple project. Pic of my very simple press below. Cheese mold goes under the cross-piece and flat weights go on top. Dead easy to build and use.

SAM_0967.jpg


SAM_0968.jpg


SAM_0969.jpg
 
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