Two weekends ago, I attempted my first cheddar, although I’m not sure it qualifies as a true cheddar. I started the ripening process around 1 or 2pm and didn’t end up going to bed until around 11pm, and I skipped a few steps. The first issue arose when I couldn’t get a clean break with 1/4 tablet of rennet. I had given up hope but thought I should try more rennet just in case. I put the rest of tablet in and within 30 minutes I had the break. I was using a different milk (Straus Family Creamery – http://www.strausfamilycreamery.com/) so that may have something to do with it although it is kind of odd since I only used a half gallon. I decided early to practice in smaller quantities, less I go and screw up a huge 5 gallon batch of milk!
So back to the cheddar. I used a combo method/recipe for this:
- Half gallon Straus Family whole milk, non-homogenized
- 1-2 teaspoons buttermilk starter
- 1/4 tablet rennet (and then another 3/4)
In terms of the process, I followed Cheese Forum’s advice although I have to say I didn’t have time to follow through with all of the flipping and pressing. We shall see how this turns out.
I waxed the cheese a couple of days ago. It had formed a nice rind after about 5 days, however my wax didn’t arrive until around 8 days. Looks good to me though!