Author Topic: Wensleydale #1 (and first pressed cheese)  (Read 471 times)

Offline Tom Turophile / CheeseStud

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Wensleydale #1 (and first pressed cheese)
« on: January 28, 2013, 11:00:05 AM »
Finally, after years of prep, I've begun my first pressed cheese -- Wensleydale, from 200 Easy Homemade Cheese Recipes.  I chose this one because of its short aging time and waxing (too avoid worrying about humidity). 

And I say "begun", because I have had quite a few...learnings?

  • My press broke, so I did what I could -- pressed the cheese under my new pot.  It's only 44 lbs, so at best I had very light pressure (about 1 psi!).  Instead of 2 30-minutes under medium, and overnight at high, I've pressed it for 16 hours and counting.  It has actually formed well, but I'm sure this will affect the final product
  • The recipe calls for the final curd to be cut in 2 in x 1/2 in curds...um, what's the third dimension?  Perhaps whatever fits in the mold?
  • The night before, I realized that the 5 gallon pot that I was going to make had to be aluminum.  I was able to find a 22 qt stock pot at Wal-Mart for $22.  Great deal, and nice and wide (as opposed to tall).

4 gallons from Whole Foods (freshest I can find, and I know it is local):


The graniteware pot, with thermometer rigged to hang directly into the middle:


Happy with the curd size and whey release, almost through 35 minutes of stirring:


Fun with physics:


Curd mass re-cut into four pieces:


Cheese in press before adding weight and breaking (the white piece on the right snapped in the middle)



Yield: 3 lb 14 oz, surprisingly below the 4 lb average -- surprised because of the lack of pressing, but I suppose that the lower yield is from the milk quality.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2013, 06:14:49 PM by Tom Turophile / CheeseStud »
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Offline Tom Turophile / CheeseStud

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Re: Wensleydale #1 (and first pressed cheese)
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2013, 11:13:28 AM »
After 23 days of aging:





Good moisture, tighter knit than I expected (since the press broke), but a slightly sour/off taste.  Still, it's good for what I expected.  I've vacuum-packed most of it to age and see what more aging will do.

I didn't do a great waxing job; there was some greyish mold underneath the wax, and the red from the wax leached on to the cheese.  I'll be vac-packing my gouda for sure.
CheeseStud(.com coming soon)
4 store-bought cow's milk mozzarellas, 1 rather rubbery raw cow milk mozz, cow's feta that melted, 0 ricotta

Offline Tom Turophile / CheeseStud

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Re: Wensleydale #1 (and first pressed cheese)
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2013, 08:58:47 AM »
Great news -- my wife brought it into her office and people were really impressed.  Nice to know that even when things don't work out, you still get a fine result.
CheeseStud(.com coming soon)
4 store-bought cow's milk mozzarellas, 1 rather rubbery raw cow milk mozz, cow's feta that melted, 0 ricotta