Thanks for the welcome and compliments on my cheeses, we'll see how they turn out
I am from Upstate NY where the temperature varies greatly: from several days of 20 below in the winter, to hot and humid summers. The last two days have been hot and humid so my basement temperatures are rising. If it stay like this, I may have to come up with another option for my aging process.
I have a huge, 50 quart, stainless stock pot that I use for the larger cheeses which works great. It is very heavy and has a thick bottom that holds temps nicely and I don't seem to have a problem with scorching. For smaller batches I used a 12-quart stockpot in another pot as a double boiler. Someday, if I get adventurous, and find something large enough to press it in, I may try a large wheel of cheese. I have had two big failures in my cheese where I wasted five gallons of milk in cheese that never would set up. Not sure what went wrong, but all I got was yogurt-like curd. I attempted to press one, but ended up with a mess.
I got the idea for the Tomme au Marc from New England Cheese Making Supply. http://www.cheesemaking.com/store/pg/27.html
Since he doesn't give the cheese recipe, I used a stirred curd cheddar recipe for two gallons of milk. We'll see how it turns out, but it seems to be fermenting nicely with a nice aroma and no off smells for the time being. I put it in a large Folger's Coffee container. Again, time will tell. The cheddar is also from New England Cheese Making Supply http://www.cheesemaking.com/store/pg/23.html
It was getting late (1 am) as I was turning, wrapping and pressing the curd. My patience and stamina were waining (as I wanted to go to bed) but I followed the steps as closely as possible. I did the final press in a shop press (hydraulic for pressing out bearings, etc.) guessing on the pressure I was applying.
Yeah, you could say I have become really obsessed with this.
I will post up some details on how I made my presses when I get them out to try another cheese this weekend. I basically looked what others had made on line and put them together. My building skills are good, but I think my cheese making skills have a long way to go.