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Off the Wall Press Plans

Item #:OWP 

   Our Price: $4.95
Quantity
Availability: In Stock
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Our press plans will help you make your own lever-style press. You will be able to accurately measure your pressure and use any type and size of mold. With a little time and some simple woodworking, you will have a very convenient and easy to use cheese press.

Pressing


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1. Why do we use cheesecloth when we are pressing the cheese?

Cheesecloth is essential in molding. Its purpose is to wick the moisture from the surface of the cheese to the drainage holes during pressing.

2. Why am I supposed to start with less weight and then add as I go?

The low press weight to start with begins to consolidate the curd and will not block the whey release. By the time you add the highest weight, most of the whey has been pressed out.

3. If I cut the recipe in half, should I use the same pressing weight?

We discourage folks making cheese for aging from using less than two gallons of milk. The reason for this is that the smaller the cheese the higher the ratio of rind to body. This, among other things, tends to allow the cheese to lose moisture too readily.

The simple solution to this is to make a larger cheese and when it approaches its targeted age of ripening, cut it into smaller sections and re-wax the sections you are not using.

http://www.cheesemaking.com/images/feedbackpics/Chzpress1.jpgIf you do plan to go ahead and use the curds from a smaller batch and use the same mold as our recipes call for, you can use the same amount of weight because pressing is more a matter of surface area and that remains unchanged.

4. How do I press my cheese when I have increased the recipe tenfold?

If you are making a larger cheese and keeping the height to width ratio the same (as you should) simply increasing weight proportionately should work. However, many people decide to use a differently shaped mold where the height to width ratio is not kept the same. In this case, the important factor is surface area. Keep the press weight proportionate to the change in surface area. Our recipes are designed for our small mold (2 lb.) with a surface diameter of 4.5.”

5. How do I keep the temperature and humidity up while pressing?

One method is to place the cheese and forms with weights back into the curd pot that has been emptied and cleaned and immerse that in a large pan or sink of water. Then hold it at 95F until pressing is finished.

Or, some of our customers make insulated hot boxes that have a heater and can be kept warm. This requires creativity! No air vents are needed but it will be very humid in there, especially if you are using pans of hot water to keep the temperatures up. Your insulation should be something that will not absorb this moisture. We find that the foil faced rigid insulation is best.

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6. When I pressed my curds, they remained separate. (They didn't meld together.)

The curds you made turned out too dry for some reason. This could be due to using milk that isn't fresh, using too much culture, cutting the curds too small, ripening too long, cooking at too high a temperature, or stirring the curds too long.

The focus of your next attempt should be to watch the moisture of the curds, keeping in mind the above points and trying for more moisture in the curds when done.

7. My cheese had cracks in it after it had been pressed.

It was too moist going into the press. Stir it longer before molding and pressing.

8. My cheese is dry and I think I might be over-pressing.

Dry cheese is rarely due to over-pressing. You might look at your final curd moisture here. Too much stirring or too high a temperature will produce a very dry curd. Also, low humidity during aging will cause dry cheese problems.


Being new to cheesemaking, I did not want to invest a lot of money; so I purchased these plans for a home build cheese press. I modified the design slightly so that it does not actually mount to the wall, due to my backsplash design, but instead to a piece of 2x6 wood so now it is a complete unit. I did however measure it so the whole thing fits snugly under the cabinets and just the weight overshoots the countertop. I used it with the kits platic mold, and it worked well. I am ok with woodworking and such but if you are good, you can make a very nice looking cheese press that could look like art. 

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