Author Topic: Pressing cheese  (Read 713 times)

Offline Lynda Garneau

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Pressing cheese
« on: September 09, 2013, 09:59:44 PM »
How does adding more weight when pressing cheese affect the final product? Does it make the cheese drier, firmer, etc? What is the most you have ever pressed a cheese?


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Offline H-K-J

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Re: Pressing cheese
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2013, 11:27:19 PM »
7.8 lbs per sq/in
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Offline jwalker

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Re: Pressing cheese
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2013, 12:35:19 AM »
I was pressing my Goudas originally with 100 lbs in a 5 inch mold which is 19.6 square inches in area.

100 lbs divided by 19.6 is just over 5 PSI , and I found they were much to hard , dry and crumbly , I'm now using a 6 inch mold with 40 pounds of weight and they seem just perfect , not nearly as hard.

There are other factors at play tho , pressing temperature , duration , curd size , moisture retention etc.

That's what works for me.
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Offline Boofer

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Re: Pressing cheese
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2013, 09:32:41 AM »
My Double Gloucester with "calculated pressure of 575lbs and 13.7psi"

The cheese is very hard, but not grating level, and yes, sliceable.

Check this: Consequences of pressing too hard

And this.

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Offline dthelmers

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Re: Pressing cheese
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2013, 10:55:30 AM »
I've been pressing my Caerphilly at 4 psi, and 8 psi for Cheddar. I press initially at 2 psi, turning the cheese a couple of times every half hour, then the full weight once the surface looks good to me.
Dave in CT


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Offline chewie

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Re: Pressing cheese
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2013, 07:02:32 PM »
and when pressing, does it work best to have a mat or something that allows draining under the molds or the molds directly on a flat/solid surface?   

Offline Anonymous

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Re: Pressing cheese
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2013, 08:03:25 PM »
Hi Lynda,

I haven`t made any pressed cheeses in a while now, but here's what I learned from experience;

One thing to consider when pressing is ambient temperature. You can press the same exact PSI for two cheeses of the same make on different days and still get two different results due to pressing. If the ambient temperature is too warm, then your curds should knit real easily, but the whey and possibly even precious butter fat may expel too much. If the temp is too cold, then if might not even knit all that well.

I woke up one cold February morning a few years ago anxious to see how the overnight press went. It was 14C downstairs (like -40C outside). Needless to say the knitting was initially disappointing. So I created a press box with an ambient temperature control.

So try to press in areas where the ambient temp doesn't get too extreme.

The most I've pressed was around 12 PSI on a cheddar. It did a magnificent job! also got to test my newly acquired press from Smolt1 at the time.

Offline Lynda Garneau

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Re: Pressing cheese
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2013, 08:56:59 PM »
Thanks I will remember this.


Offline Boofer

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Re: Pressing cheese
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2013, 07:19:21 PM »
So try to press in areas where the ambient temp doesn't get too extreme.
You can also use a double-boiler with warm water to create a warm environment in which you can get a tight knit. You can also use an electric seed-germination mat to achieve the same goal.

The environment only needs to be kept warm to knit the rind for the first hour or so.

If you have a poorly-knit rind, you may be able to correct that condition by dipping the cheese in warm water (150F/65C) briefly, and then pressing.

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Offline Don

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Re: Pressing cheese
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2013, 08:33:08 PM »
Gianaclis Caldwell says in her book Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking that you use only as much pressure as it takes to get the desired shape, moisture and acidity. She looks at the pressures provided by recipes as guidelines. She goes on to say that once you understand the other things that influence pressing - the moisture and temperature of the curds - you will be able to choose the appropriate amount of pressure to be applied. You observe the cheese at each flip and note the progress and adjust the weight accordingly. I guess it's not the black and white answer us newbies want to hear but it's probably the right answer that comes from experience.


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Offline H-K-J

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Re: Pressing cheese
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2013, 09:18:16 PM »
Quote
I guess it's not the black and white answer us newbies want to hear but it's probably the right answer that comes from experience.
Good answer 8)
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But the ability to cope with it."

Offline Alpkäserei

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Re: Pressing cheese
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2013, 02:30:31 PM »
Hello,
It is true the ambient temperature needs only to be warm for an hour or two.

Keeping it too warm past this time can lead to over-acidification.

Many people press in a pot of warm whey. Large cheeses have enough mass to retain their own heat, when covered, for an hour or two. Remember that mass is your friend. Mass=stability. So if you have a small cheese mass, you can use a large mass of whey in the press to achieve this heat sink. The 20 to 30 pound wheels I make have more than enough mass to regulate themselves, I only have to cover them. the 100 kilo wheels of Emmentaler like they make in Switzerland have enough mass that they do not even need to be covered to get a good knit.

I have said before that the general guideline I see repeated by Swiss cheesemakers is 6 to 10 pounds of weight for every pound of cheese being pressed. I have come to think that on smaller cheeses, this needs scaled up slightly, maybe to 10 to 12 pounds per pound of cheese. This is a different school of thought than most are used to, since PSI is generally what is related in the USA.   Both work, just a matter of how you think I suppose.

Note that also this weight category is for a specific family of cheeses, the Swiss Alpine style. This also works for many similar cheeses, but for cheddars and some others, the weight requirements are totally different.

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Offline Alpkäserei

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Re: Pressing cheese
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2013, 02:34:49 PM »
As for mold type/ what to have under/over cheese, etc that also varies by type and personal preference.

I use always solid molds with open top and bottom -some with fixed width and followers (Vätterli) other with fixed height and adjustable dia (Järb) and always press the cheese in the cloth. The cloth is changed with each rotation, and first is soaked in the whey so that it will not stick to the curd.  Underneath the cheese is just wood or food grade plastic, same on top.

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