I built my first 'bigger wheel' and I use that totally relative to my production. It is a 5 gallon batch of stirred curd cheddar. I did add Annatto for coloring and pressed according to the psi method of thinking and referenced Carter's chart for the force needed.
Used 5 gallons of store bought whole milk and brought to 91 degrees in a water bath. First off this is the max capacity for this pot. Added meso and allowed to ripen for 45 minutes then added CaCl and rennet (both dilluted in 1/4 cup water). Curd set nice and firm in 45 minutes. My curd knife (frosting spreader) wasn't long enough so I scrambled for something to work and found a kabob skewer that was thin. Cut the curd to approximately 1/4 cubes and started raising temp in water bath. Rested for 30 minutes at 100 degrees then drained whey and returned to kettle in 100 degree water bath. Salted and stirred and allowed to cheddar for 1 hour stirring every 5 - 10 mintus to keep curd broken up. Used cheesecloth lined mold and pressed for 15 minutes with 45 lbs then another 15 minutes with 60 lbs and finally 15 hours with 120 lbs of force. Pulled the cheese from the press at 76 oz and looked pretty good. The top of the cheese/curd was a little open after pressing. Bottom and sides were good.
capacity of pot exhaused with this one.
curd after salting and in the 'cheddaring' phase.
close-up of the curd
pressing - first time - very milky whey
Cheese out of the press and ready for drying.
Couple of thoughts;
First, in picture 4 I lost alot of very milky whey when pressing. What would cause this and how can I avoid. I assume that isn't normal.
Secondly, I tried to make sure this curd was very well 'milled' before molding and there is no way it would have knitted even as good as it did without the amount of force I was putting on the press. I think there is definately a lot more research that needs to be done on the whole 'pressing' question.