10-11.5"Wide x 3"High, hand crafted wooden cheese mold. This is a wonderful high quality mold that will be a great addition to any cheese makers treasure trove. This mold is used when making cheeses between 11 and 12 pounds.
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These molds are traditionally used in the Alpine regions of the central European mountains to form large cheeses such as Gruyere, Comte, Abondance, Beaufort, and the Bitto or Montasio cheeses of Italy. A similar form is even used for Parma cheese. These forms were also used here in the US for the Swiss style cheese of Wisconsin.
They are comprised simply of a flexible wooden hoop with a chord that can be tightened for the cheese shape. There is no follower used for these forms. Two boards each larger than the hoop diameter are used as pressing surfaces above and below the hooped cheese.
How to use them:
The curd is first gathered in a large cloth from the cheese vat, allowed to drain briefly and then placed into the form resting on the bottom press board. The curd mass is then pressed moderately by hand (sometimes I do see them applying their full body weight here) to eliminate the initial free whey.
The cloth is then folded neatly over the surface of the cheese and the chord around the band is tightened with a couple of good raps on the floating block that pulls the hoop tighter. The key here is to have 1-2 fingers of space between the press boards and the hoop edges. The press weight is then applied to the top board. As the curds consolidate the goal is to have the boards barely resting on the hoop edges when final pressing is finished. Often I find that there is a bit of curd that sneaks over the edge of the hoop. This is then cut away with a knife as the final pressing step before the cheese goes to drying.