We attempted another cheese. Feta this time. It sorta worked…

Heat milk, add calcium chloride, culture, and rennet. Cover and leave in a water bath for 90 minutes.
Cut the curd into 1 cm cubes. Let sit for another hour. Then gently stir the curds every 5 minutes for the next 30 minutes.
Scoop the curds into moulds. I added some fresh rosemary to the round one. Cover and let drain for 3 hours.

This is where we started to have problems. After 3 hours I tried to get one of the blocks out of the mould and it disintegrated in my hand. So I scooped it back into the mould and we let it sit for another 3 hours or so.

But it was still too soft. So again I consulted cheesemaking reddit and they said it was possibly because our house was too cold and the cheese cooled down before it could knit properly. They said I could just leave it for another day and see if it solidified more by then.

Isn’t it weird that you can leave dairy products out at room temperature for apparently very long periods of time and not get sick/die?? (I think so.)

So finally after TWENTY FOUR HOURS of draining it was semi-solid. So we tipped them out of the moulds.

According to the instructions that I am reading now, we were supposed to let the de-moulded feta sit on a mat to drain for another 12 hours and I’m not sure we actually did that. Maybe that was part of the softness problem?

Feta ready for brining.
Feta brining in a 12% brine solution. Which we later reduced because we found it too salty.

End result: tastes ok, but it’s very soft feta. It jiggles! Not really good for like, salad, but it’s fine in cooked things.

Scott’s spinach, pine nut and feta ravioli made with spinach from the garden and homemade pasta. Good job Scott!!

Part 1 here.

Spoiler: It didn’t really work out.

We were supposed to let the cheddar dry out on a mat for a week, flipping it twice a day. It started out ok but then suddenly developed a lot of black and white mould spots. I consulted cheesemaking reddit and they told me our house is too humid. I suppose we already knew that but didn’t realise it would be such a problem. They said we could scrape off the mould and continue on.

Waxed cheddar. Waxing was… an ordeal. Ask Scott about it. Then we just left it on a shelf for 5 more weeks. Sometimes a few drops of liquid would come out of it. Probably not a very good sign…

Finally this weekend we cut it open. It looked ok!! Not quite normal cheddar texture, more like havarti.. but I was just relieved that it wasn’t a puddle of slime inside. There was a little more liquid around the edges in some spots. Scott read that that is indeed a bad thing.

Unfortunately it tastes pretty gross. It starts out kind of ok but then finishes yuck. Kind of acidic/sour, and bitter. We ate a few pieces but then didn’t want any more.

We re-sealed the big chunks again but I have a feeling it’s not going to improve anything.

Scott bought us a cheese making kit from Amazon for a #smaj activity. We already successfully made halloumi, but Rosemarie said I should document the process next time, so here is our attempt at making cheddar cheese!

Don’t use this as a recipe, I haven’t included the finer details.

Heating the (6L) unhomogenized milk, calcium chloride, starter culture, and rennet.
Once it was set I cut the curd. Then we had to heat it up again very slowly while stirring to break up the clumps.
Curds ready for hanging. I didn’t save the whey this time, but last time I used it to make bread, which turned out weird.
Then we hung the bag for an hour.
Which resulted in a more solid curd lump.
Breaking up the curds and adding salt.
Curds in cheesecloth-lined press.
Scott setting up the press.
We pressed it at 5kg for 10 minutes, then 10kg for 10 minutes, then 20kg for 12 hours.
What it looked like after pressing. Also this is my favourite picture I’ve taken with my new camera so far.
Our cheese cupboard. LOL.

Now we have to leave it in the cupboard for a week, flipping it twice a day, so it can develop a natural dry rind. (We have a mesh food cover for it.) Once it’s dry we have to cover it in wax, and then leave it to age for minimum 5 weeks.

Part 2 in six weeks!!