Author Topic: Cheese Presses  (Read 527 times)

Offline MartinRob

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Cheese Presses
« on: September 29, 2014, 08:53:44 AM »
Hi All,
        I am new to cheese making and I need some advice, please.
Let me explain, I make my cheese mainly for myself, I have no interest in commercial cheese making because (a) I am very near retirement age (b) I would never get a health and safety certificate due to being a 24/7 wheelchair user. (c) At my age its more about the pleasure of making a good strong favoured cheeses than making Pounds.
So given all that information that I only use 2 gallons of milk at a time so the wheels I make are not massive, which type of cheese press should I use?
At present I am using one that was in the Mad Millie kit someone brought me. It works but the pressure drops off when I leave it overnight  and I have no idea when, the pressure drops.
So I am unsure if I have pressed the cheese for long enough or under pressed it.

Thanks any advice gratefully received.

Martin
« Last Edit: September 29, 2014, 09:00:49 AM by MartinRob »
Martin


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Offline ArnaudForestier

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Re: Cheese Presses
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2014, 10:41:22 AM »
Hi Martin -

First of all, good on you for keeping at it despite some physical challenges (a fellow "challengee").  For your two gallon makes, depending on what you want to make, I can suggest a few options.  One, just direct weight - e.g., for my 6 pound tommes, I nest a couple wicker-basket mold types, and use a gallon jug of water.  Works great.  For my small, 1 pound reblochons, I just use small weightlifting plates, readily available.

For smaller wheels in which I want more weight than direct weight affords, I own and highly recommend the "Sturdy Press," made and sold by our very own member, smolt1.  Great guy, very high quality press at a competitive price, in my opinion.  Gives either a 5X or 9X mechanical advantage, all in a compact and elegant design. 

Hope this helps.  Welcome to our little community!

Edit:  p.s., spent some wonderful weeks on a brewery tour through the Midlands, on up to Stoke-on-Trent.  One of the best times in my life.  My son shares my love of English history, hope to bring him back sooner rather than later.....
- Paul

Offline MartinRob

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Re: Cheese Presses
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2014, 08:44:05 AM »
Hi Arnaud,
                Thank you for your kind reply.
I have seen the "Sturdy Press" design it looks nice and I sort of understand how it works plus I've emailed Smolt1 and had some great advice too.
Unfortunately, he only makes the press for the USA & Canadian market due to postage problems which I can understand.
He has however set me a set of plans so I could make one, if I was that talented which I am not.
So at the moment and trying to find a woodworker who could make me one.
Still, I am sure that will work out in due course.

Ref: Your PS: A brewery tour through the Midlands, sounds like fun, if only I was allowed to drink Alcohol again, But in my younger years I know I'd had enough when I could not reach the bar from the floor. ;D
                    Never been to the States to get drunk in those days, went to Alberta, Canada a few times managed it there.
                    May I suggest next time you cross the pond, visit Lincoln Cathedral & Castle that houses the Magna (whatever).
                    England at present is alive with micro breweries many of which are worth a visit plus you can buy a book about the best of them.
Regards,
            Martin
                     
Martin

Offline Geo

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Re: Cheese Presses
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2014, 01:17:16 AM »
Hi Martin,

And welcome to the forum. Boston is indeed a lovely part of the world. I've had friends living there, and around the Newark area, and we've discussed the possibility of retiring up Lincolnshire way sometimes. (I live in Australia at the moment but used to live in Cambridge.)

If you like the idea of the sturdy press, and similar option in the UK is the wooden dutch type press, from the Cheesemaking shop: http://www.cheesemakingshop.co.uk/Wooden-Dutch-type-Cheese-Press.html. It works up to 1 kg of cheese, so would work fine for for your 2 gallon batches.

Offline Boofer

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Re: Cheese Presses
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2014, 08:04:16 AM »
Welcome to the forum, Martin. Do you have any idea what styles of cheeses you will be making?

You may wish to edit your profile and make the "Harbours" safe. ;)

-Boofer-
Let's ferment something!
Bread, beer, wine, cheese...it's all good.


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Offline MartinRob

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Re: Cheese Presses
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2014, 08:45:51 AM »
Hi Boofer,
               You are, of course correct and I have corrected my profile, Thank You. ;D
Sorry, sometimes my fingers don't work as badly as my brain cell.
As for cheeses at first I plan to master making a good Cheddar style ever time and then try something else.

Regards,

Martin
« Last Edit: October 01, 2014, 08:57:09 AM by MartinRob »
Martin

Offline MartinRob

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Re: Cheese Presses
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2014, 08:54:53 AM »
Hello Geo,
               Nice to chat to another traveller, I have looked at the Dutch Press you suggest I don't like the idea of having to clamp it down to a work surface.
I had a new kitchen fitted last year so that goes against the grain.
However thank you for the suggestion, I know Cambridge and Newark both are nice places, just that Cambridge talks too upper crust for me to fit in.
As for Newark, I love the fact it fought in our civil war for the Royalists and held out.
Martin

Offline MartinRob

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Re: Cheese Presses
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2014, 10:33:52 AM »
Dear All,
            I can finally say, I have this one cracked.
Someone I know has agreed to build me a modified "STUDYPRESS",  ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D.
The reason it's modified is more to do with my disabilities not "smolt1's" design, he has been more than helpful and I thank him for that.
I'll put a  picture up as soon as its finished.

Regards,

Martin
Martin

Offline Geo

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Re: Cheese Presses
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2014, 07:56:43 PM »
I'll look forward to seeing this: I'm interested in making myself a dutch-style press at some stage, rather than my current rather unstable jury-rigged contraption.

Good luck!

Offline MartinRob

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Re: Cheese Presses
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2014, 08:09:51 AM »
 Hi Folks,
             Just to let you know my modified "STUDY PRESS" works like a Dream! Thank You, SMOLT1
I have had the bottom raised 4 inches so I can use a drip tray to collect the whey.
It still presses up to 50kg which is fine for me.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2014, 05:43:51 AM by MartinRob »
Martin


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Offline John@PC

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Re: Cheese Presses
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2014, 09:38:54 AM »
Nice work, so I'm giving you a cheese so you can share it with Smolt1 ;).  Interesting drip tray - is that a DIY or store-bought?

Offline smolt1

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Re: Cheese Presses
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2014, 07:44:19 PM »
That is great. So now if someone in the UK wants a press I will send them to you, OK?  :) 

There is one thing I forgot to tell you. I put a 4 inch by 4 inch by 1/4 inch piece of plastic ( HDPE ) on top of the lever arm where it contacts the metal pins. It is to reduce friction and keep the top of the lever arm smooth. It could be any material that is hard and smooth.

A cheese for , but half of it goes to your woodworker.



 

Offline Geo

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Re: Cheese Presses
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2014, 09:45:08 PM »
That's simply awesome. Congrats to both of you.

Offline MartinRob

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Re: Cheese Presses
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2014, 05:53:21 AM »
Thanks all for the encouragement, especially smolt1. I will add the plastic as suggested smolt1, Sire.
As for the drip tray its a stainless steel 12 inch waiters tray with the sides bend up a little to fit the press and then hammered down at the front to form the spout.
All because the man knows a good blacksmith, (anyone remember the Milk Tray adverts?).
Martin

Offline John@PC

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Re: Cheese Presses
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2014, 07:48:14 PM »
All because the man knows a good blacksmith, (anyone remember the Milk Tray adverts?).
I didn't but then again I'm across the pond.  Is this what your referring to?