Author Topic: Mold For Pressed Cheese - Ikea Cutlery Bin!  (Read 3921 times)

Offline riha

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Mold For Pressed Cheese - Ikea Cutlery Bin!
« on: July 28, 2009, 05:42:07 PM »
My cheese wax arrived today. Also, my self-made cheese press is ready. Gouda & Cheddar, here I come. Only one slight problem. I don't have proper molds. I was going to make some myself, but found out that they don't sell food-grade plastic/PVC tube here, at least not in small batches. I think 5 meters is a bit of an overkill. So I have been looking for alternatives and I have a couple of questions.

1) They seem to sell all kinds of molds, I don't know what I need. If I want to press a cheese, do I need a mold that is straight (as opposed to slightly conical)? Does it matter?

2) What kind of holes should it have? Big/small, few/lots of them? Does it matter?

3) Does it need to have / not to have a bottom? Does it matter? :)

One of the best alternatives I have found is this Ikea cutlery bin. Pros: It's made of stainless steel, it's OK size (12cm x13,5cm), it costs as much as similar plastic molds in Moorlands or NEC, it's available. Cons: it's got holes big enough to leave marks even with a cheesecloth and it has an edge that folds slightly inwards.

Could saw the edge off if they cause problems. Could saw the bottom off as well if that causes problems. I've just made a few gravity-drained egg cheeses and tofu with these and the rim wasn't big problem. It's just that I can't get a tight-fitting follower into the mold.

I wouldn't like to make another overseas order for some molds. That'd be fourth this month and my budget is already screaming. Expensive hobby.

Offline John (CH)

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Re: Mold For Pressed Cheese - Ikea Cutlery Bin!
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2009, 07:19:40 PM »
Riha, good questions and problem. My 2 cents FWIW:

1) Hoops of moulds for pressing cheese should be round or Kadova Brand molds type shape (modern version of old Dutch style wooden molds in these pictures). Pressing into a pyramid shaped mold will I thing bend the sides.

Sorry but while cheap and good idea I don't think your Ikea kitchin tools container in pictire above will work as holes too big and rolled edge means you will have to make your follower smaller, resulting in extruded curds up around the sides. Let us know if you go that route.

Holes should be small and many, unless you intentionally want bumps. Otherwise your pressed cheese will have "character" like Tea's pictured here or pictured here ;D.

I, and may others used white PVC plumbing from local hardware store, where can luckily get short lengths, maybe you could get ends from a local construction site? Then drill holes and cut a round follower from a old polyethylene cutting board, pictures of mine here, but many other pictures and ideas on this forum. I used another cutting board as a flat base and drilled a few holes in it to allow whey to drain out bottom. I've often thought about using 100 blank CD round polyethylene "cake boxes" and just drilling holes in that as when pressing, I don't think much of the vertical weight-force is translated into horizontal stress, so it should tale the load.

Offline MrsKK

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Re: Mold For Pressed Cheese - Ikea Cutlery Bin!
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2009, 09:51:01 AM »
How big are the holes on the Ikea tool container?  When I was first making cheese, I didn't want to spend much money until I knew whether it was a hobby I really wanted to carry on with.  So I used a basket from a deep fryer.  The holes were similarly spaced to what I see in your picture and were probably about a quarter of an inch across.  The sides were slightly sloped, but not enough to cause much trouble.

Because of the sloping, I couldn't use a single follower, so I cut several rounds of plastic from the lids of ice cream pails.  I cut them the size of the bottom of the basket and arranged them on top of the curd so that all of the curd was completely covered.  I think I used about 4 of the circles of plastic to get this affect.

Yes, the holes in the basket gave my cheese "character", but I thought the bumps were lovely myself.

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Mold For Pressed Cheese - Ikea Cutlery Bin!
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2009, 10:54:25 PM »
Do you have a Home Depot? They sell PVC pipe in 24 inche long pieces up to about 5 or 6 inches in diameter here for like $5. You have to drill your own holes though. I like small holes 1/8 to 1/4 inch because they don't seem to grab at the cheese cloth as much when you try to slide out the cheese after the first press. Larger holes allow to much cheese to squeeze into them and hold on to the cheese.

Offline riha

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Re: Mold For Pressed Cheese - Ikea Cutlery Bin!
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2009, 04:39:36 AM »
Well, as I am enthusiastic about my newly arrived wax, I had to try the first one with what I had. I made 2 goudas (440g and 460g) with my Ikea molds. As suspected, they have some "character". I made a wooden follower that I was so tight I had to push it rather hard to get it through the rim. The problem was that a wooden follower swells when in contact with whey, which caused a problem. Next will be hygienic plastic.

In the end my follower was so tight there were not enough room between the rim of the mold and the follower with my cheesecloth in between (it didn't slide even under pressure), so I ended up having to fold all of the cheesecloth under the follower. This leaved a bit uneven surface no matter how nicely I tried to fold it. I thought I could maby have a plastic follower that I could put directly on top of the curds, hoping to have an even surface. How do others do this?

John, I asked plumbing around, but most stuff would cost me way more than ready molds ordered from US or UK. Only the cheapest sewer tubing is close the desired price range and I'm dubious about using that. I don't know many places here that'd sell that stuff to private people. I have considered CD cases. I have two sitting on my desk as we speak. Hmm... anybody else tried this?

DeejayDebi, no Home Depot here. You can apparently get Everything from HD. This is not the first time I've been envious of having one nearby :(

MrsKK, holes in the container are 8mm and the mold itself is 115mm in diameter. I think I also am rather happy with these for now, at least until I can scrape together some more money to put into cheese stuff. (Hopefully soon, I'm almost out of starter cultures!)

Anyway, here are my very first hard cheeses, made with my self-made press in Ikea cutlery bins. Two goudas on their way to air drying.


Offline John (CH)

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Re: Mold For Pressed Cheese - Ikea Cutlery Bin!
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2009, 07:20:56 PM »
riha, looks great, congrats, bumps add character!

PS: When I used to make pressed cheeses, I'd place the plastic disc follower on the cheese and fold cloth over the top and then weights.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2009, 07:27:37 PM by John (CH) »

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Mold For Pressed Cheese - Ikea Cutlery Bin!
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2009, 08:14:23 PM »
Riha -

They look nice. I kind of like the little blisters. Looks like they belong there. Nice job.

I have actually eyeballed the CD cases myself a few times. I have no idea what type of plastic the are made from but I am sure it's not food grade.

As for followers I by those cheap white poly whatever they are cutting boards and cut them into followers. They are food safe and don't stick. They usuallu have 1/2 inch ones here at the dollar store.

Offline riha

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Re: Mold For Pressed Cheese - Ikea Cutlery Bin!
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2009, 05:12:23 AM »
Thanks. I'm quite happy with them. Poor things started developing mold while drying (2 weeks now), since the humidity tends to be a bit high :( Not bad, and I all the visible stuff off with brine.

I took John's advice and made a plastic follower out of a cutting board. It's quite a tight fit (have to bend it to get it through the rim) so it doesn't leak from the sides. I pressed a cheddar with it and the result was very good-looking cheese. At least by my standards.

Still, rim and bumps are impractical, so a better solution is needed at some point. I'll go and look for some pipe from an industrial plasticware shop today, if they'd have something I can use. Thanks for the tips everybody. I'll report if I find anything.

Offline pam

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Re: Mold For Pressed Cheese - Ikea Cutlery Bin!
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2009, 09:21:42 AM »
As for low budget pressing...
I use a Chinese style bamboo steamer as a mold. They come in several. sizes. They can be steamed between uses for sanitation. I have cut a bottom piece from a stainless steel screen from one of those circular lids for on top of a frying pan to stop grease splatter. I lay in inside the steamer on the bamboo slats. The other thing I did (I am cheap, I mean frugal), is to buy some cylindrical Tupperware at a yard sale and drill holes in the bottom and sides, trim the lid to be a follower and use that.

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Offline BauerHaus

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Re: Mold For Pressed Cheese - Ikea Cutlery Bin!
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2009, 07:52:05 PM »
Pretty cheap ($2.50!!)and at most large restaurant supply stores. Very little vertical slant.

IF I did my math right the 1 quart should work perfect for say a two gallon/two pound yield cheese. 

I think the 2 and 4 quart ones would need a minimum of 4-5 gallons.

They can be nestled together just like the stainless steel containers the big boys use. Get a pair and use one as the follower or add a third and double the recipe.

All you need is the drill and you are off and pressing.

http://www.webstaurantstore.com/cambro-rfs1-1-qt-round-white-food-storage-container/214RFS1.html

http://www.cambroequipment.com/pdf/77.pdf
« Last Edit: August 26, 2009, 08:05:59 PM by BauerHaus »

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Mold For Pressed Cheese - Ikea Cutlery Bin!
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2009, 08:07:00 PM »
Poor things started developing mold while drying (2 weeks now) ...
Riha are you saying you have been drying the cheese for 2 weeks? Or aging the cheese for 2 two weeks?

Offline riha

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Re: Mold For Pressed Cheese - Ikea Cutlery Bin!
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2009, 03:57:25 AM »
Bauerhaus, so you are saying that you don't mind a little vertical slant? Because I can probably get something like that rather easily, it's just the perfect straight tube that's causing me problems.

Deejay, drying 3 weeks. My recipe (From the book "Great Cheese Making") told to air-dry it 3 weeks (no mention about humidity) and then wax & age at 50F & 85-95%. Newbie read, newbie do.

It also states that gouda should be aged 3-6 months while it also says that cheddar's edible after 45 days. I just checked the gouda recipe from this forum's archive and the info there says actually just other way round  ???

They are now waxed.

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Mold For Pressed Cheese - Ikea Cutlery Bin!
« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2009, 05:15:53 PM »
WOW 3 weeks at room temperature in the summer seems a bit excessive. Hmmm Is it summer or winter where you are? I get confused easily!  ;D

I don't normally leave cheeses out for more than 3 days in the summer ad they are really dry. I have dry heat so winter isn't much better.

Offline riha

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Re: Mold For Pressed Cheese - Ikea Cutlery Bin!
« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2009, 05:22:46 PM »
No, sorry, I was a bit unclear. 3 weeks in my basement (10C/50F), not in room temp. Still, it does seem a bit excessive to me too. My cheddars have gotten dry to touch in five days in room temp. I think I will bite into one of them before trying again. Witch will be soon, since I got my new press finished and all.

At the moment optimists here would call this summer and pessimists would call this fall. I on the other hand do think that it is almost Christmas :D


Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Mold For Pressed Cheese - Ikea Cutlery Bin!
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2009, 05:40:35 PM »
Ah sorry I guess I misunderstood. 10°C is a normal aging temperature. Good luck with it. Some cheeses just seem to mold easier I think the wetter ones.