My name is Piers, and I am currently living in London Ontario. About 8 months ago my girlfriend and I decided we would like to start making cheese. For her, it was an opportunity to spend time with goats, for me I was particularly interested in the cheesemaking side of things. So we started off making Chevre and Feta, some of which were complete disasters, others were incredible. We have a solid supply of goat milk fresh from the teat.
After a while I got a bit more interested in giving hard cheese a go, so built a press:
Which had some serious design issues obviously, but would have to do. Interesting what can be made out of a swiffer handle and a couple of cutting boards. Anyway, we made some OK cheeses, but we needed something that would keep the force vertical. So I went to the hardware store (realized that 2x1 is not actually 2" by 1") got some wood, bolts and screws and threw this together:
Now for some cheeses. First up was a cabra al vino, which turned out incredibly well. We have not quite yet sorted out our cheese cave so this one was pretty young, but very tasty.
The latest (about a month ago) was a cumin and saffron gouda. We thought we might try a larger format, so we modified our hoops, found a suitable follower, and away we go:
Here is the final cheese after drying. Since it is the middle of winter and we have a crappy apartment, it turns out we must have a leak to the outside in our air ducts, so on one of the return vents we have a nice 50F ish spot to age our cheese (at least while it stays cold during the days).
In about 6 months, we will be moving to Belgium, and we hope to continue our cheesemaking there. As such, I have been investigating cheesecaves, so that we will have control over the ageing process, which we are currently lacking.
I would like to know if anyone has any thoughts on thermoelectric cooling modules, aka peltier elements. I have not found much on them in this forum, however, they seem to be fairly popular on the home brewing circles. What I would like to do is re-purpose a wardrobe or build a cave from scratch (polystyrene insulated) rather than go the modified fridge direction. I have some thoughts about having computer control over the cave as well, which might be relatively easy with something like the Raspberry-Pi http://www.raspberrypi.org/