One thing I have been thinking about (and was also mentioned by another poster on the other site) is that when I switched from a 4" wheel to a 6" wheel, I did continue to use the exact same pressing weights without any problem.
Even though the difference betwen 4" and 6" is not as great as the move to an eight inch mold, you would think that there would be some loss of quality.
I'm now wondering if my problem might have been in not getting the weight distributed evenly.
If you've ever done a swiss you know that the curd is certainly not the same as say a Gouda. With my 6" molds, I could barely fit a two gallon Gouds curd into the mold but with a swiss I could easily fit a three gallon curd.
Well because of this, I had to place a kitchen bowl on the top of the follower so that my press had something to rest on. Without this bowl, the pressing board would simply have been sitting on the mold sine the follower was well below the top of the mold.
What I'm thinking is this:
Because this bowl sat on the very center of the follower, the full pressure might never have reached out to the edges of the cheese. In the center the curd knitted together really well, yet outside this center part it didn't knit nearly as well. I'm wondering if a need to make a thick wooden block that covers the entire surface of the follower so that the pressing weight is distributed more evenly.
Please let me know your thoughts on this. I changed so many things while making this cheese (higher culture and rennet amounts, new forming mold, no cheese cloth in the press, direct heat cooking, etc) that I'm not sure what has caused this.
On the bright side, once I removed this cheese form the brine, it is nice and elastic and is a very nice wheel. Now if I can just get it through the sweating stage without excessive mold problems, I think this will turn into a very nice swiss.
Thanks for all of your help so far (and thanks to everyone who has responded).