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How to Make Cheddar Cheese

Make Cheddar
Make Cheddar Cheese

Cheddar cheese is a semi-hard, yellow-orange cheese that varies in sharpness. It is named after an English village called Cheddar and is widely popular in the United Kingdom. This article will help you to produce your own cheddar cheese at home.

From Quick Guide: Cheese Making Basics
Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Things You'll Need:

  • Thermometer
  • Cheese Press
  • 3 Cheesecloths
  • Cheesewax
  • 2 gallons of milk
  • 1/2 cup of cultured buttermilk
  • 1 tsp liquid rennet
  • 1/2 cup of chilled water
  • 4 tsp non-iodized salt

    How to Make Cheddar Cheese

  1. Step 1

    Heat the milk to 88 degrees Fahrenheit in a large pot. Stir in the buttermilk. Let sit for one hour while maintaining the 88-degree temperature. This can be accomplished by letting the pot sit in a sink partially filled with warm water.

  2. Step 2

    Add rennet, which contains a proteolytic enzyme, which coagulates milk and divides it into curds (solids) and whey (liquid) into the cool water. Stir the water-rennet mixture into the milk for 30 seconds. While maintaining the 88-degree temperature, let the mixture sit for 45 minutes. During this time, the milk will separate into liquids and solids.

  3. Step 3

    Cut the curds into small cubes and let them sit for 20-25 minutes. Slowly stir them for 30-45 minutes while gradually increasing the temperature to 98 degrees Fahrenheit.

  4. Step 4

    Strain: Once the curds have settled to the bottom, pour out the excess liquid. Strain the curds in a colander for about 10 minutes. Pour the curds back into the pot, add the non-iodized salt and mix well. Let the pot of curds sit in warm water for one hour. Stir frequently.

  5. Step 5

    Line the press with cheesecloth. If you do not have a press, you can make one by cutting both ends off of a large coffee can. Cheesecloth can be improvised from a clean pillowcase. Pour the curds into the cheesecloth. Place a wood follower on top of the cheese and apply 15 pounds of pressure for about 20 minutes. To apply pressure, consider wrapping bricks in aluminum foil.

  6. Step 6

    Redress the curds in new cheesecloth. Cover with the wood follower and apply 30 pounds of pressure for 2 hours.

  7. Step 7

    Redress the curds in new cheesecloth, cover with the wood follower and apply 30-40 pounds of pressure overnight or for at least 8 hours.

  8. Step 8

    Remove the curds from the cheesecloth and allow them to air dry for 3-5 days. Turn the curds frequently to allow all sides to dry evenly.

  9. Step 9

    Coat the curds in cheese wax. Age for 2-6 months at 55 degrees Fahrenheit. The longer the cheese ages, the sharper the taste will be. For very sharp taste, age for approximately one year. Basements, cellars and non-working refrigerators are ideal environments for aging cheese.

Tips & Warnings
  • Make your own cheese press from a coffee can. Use a non-working refrigerator to age your cheese



Becca said

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on 1/18/2010 While air drying, what should the temperature be? Is the fridge best for this step?

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on 3/12/2009 Thanks! I'm an amature cheesemaker and hope to use this article soon!


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