Cheddar - traditional English style
the goal of making this cheese is to develop the proper amount of acidity
while removing enough moisture for it to age well

we begin by adding the proper amount of starter culture to our milk
and then ripening the milk for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
At which point we add enough rennet to get a firmly set curd in 45 minutes to 1 hour

once the curd has set firm to our satisfaction
cut it to 3/8-5/8" cubes
...and stir slowly for several minutes until we note a slight firming of the curd then begin heating very slowly
to102F firming the curd
...stir constantly until the curd is firm and dry enough this point allow the curd to settle to the bottom of the vat and check the acidity... if it is correct then begin to remove the whey to the curd level
Now transfer the curd to the draining Cloth ...and wrap to keep it warm, flipping it @ 5-10 min ...special care should be made to keep it warm (90-95F) after 15-20 min the curd should consolidate into a firm block which point cut it into 4" blocks and begin 'Cheddaring' turn over again at
10-15 min intervals
increasing the height of stacking will accelerate the acid production After about 1 hour notice the curd strips flattening out
...and upon breaking you should find a very elongated curd structure with a much tougher and drier texture the curd can now be broken or cut into small pieces and 2% salt added in 3 phases
take about 30 min total before hooping the curd
after the salt has mixed well into the curds changing from a coarse texture to smooth... transfer to a hoop then fold the cloth in and set the follower in place.. you are now ready to press.. Keep the pressure low to start ..the whey should run clear and slowly
...then in 30 min increase pressure and then again in 1 hour
after 5-6 hrs the curd will have consolidated somewhat but may still have some openess continue pressing with max pressure for the next 24 hours or so. This will yield a very smooth and tight surface ...we are now ready to bandage the cheese. Start by cutting 2 circles of muslin slightly bigger than the top of the cheese sanitize and soak these in warm water, then spread evenly over the surface and smooth out from center to edge
now apply a light coat of lard or butter and work it into the cloth .. (this will help bandage to adhere) next bandage the other end and repress for an hour or so
at max pressure
the side should now be finished in a similar manner to the top and put back to press overnite upon removing from the press we have a cheddar wrapped in cloth and ready to age for the next 8-24 months
This bandage will now form a fine surface for the ripening of the cheddar, and with little effort develop it's natural surface of mold and age
it now goes to it's shelf in the cave at 55F.. 85% humidity to be turned once a day for the first 8-12 weeks after about 2-3 weeks the first natural molds will begin to grow and spread over time..
at 2-3 months begin turning
only 2 times each week
this mold will eventually dry off as the cheese moisture decreases leaving a rather rustic surface after 8-12 months