Yesterday, we had the pleasure of Margaret’s company. Her daughter in law, Amanda had bought Margaret a cheese making class as a birthday present.
Margaret made a 2kg Wensleydale cheese from 20 litres of cow’s milk, fresh from the farm that morning.
We pasteurised the milk and scooped out 20 litres with a jug from the small vat where we were making a Tasty Yorkshire make and put it into the small ‘vat’ (little crate) which we placed inside a larger crate and filled it with two buckets of hot water. It is amazing how quickly the milk is warmed up and before we knew it, we added starter culture at 30 oC and ripened for an hour. It is important though, to keep checking the temperature of the milk to ensure that it does not cool down and to occasionally top up the larger crate with hot water.
We used just 5mls of rennet to achieve a set in about 40 minutes as it was cold in our little dairy yesterday. We have
noticed that the difference in ambient temperature affects things like set. Margaret then cut the curd into cubes and stirred for about 1hr 20 mins when we jugged the whey off and formed a block of curd.
It continually amazes me that in a relatively short space of time milk is turned into solid curd. Margaret turned the block three times and we could see a change in the colour of the whey which is a good indication of a build up of acidity.
We then cut into cubes and moved them about until it was ready to add salt and mill with our fingers, breaking the curd up until it resembled fine crumb and was evenly coated in salt.
The cheese was then potted up, given a few hours press whilst Margaret and her husband explored Hawes and went for a walk by the river. We gave Margaret the cheese for further pressing along with some wax and instructions on how to look after it when she got home. Margaret was a pleasure to have with us and we compared lemon curd recipes and all compared our favourite comfort foods to the point we were all drooling!
Good luck, Margaret with your home cheese making and please keep in touch as we would love to know how you are progressing.