Author Topic: Cheese Press  (Read 3163 times)

Offline imHawesome

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Cheese Press
« on: April 17, 2012, 01:46:41 PM »
Hello everyone I’m pretty new to the art of cheese making and very interested in making hard cheeses, I was wondering if anyone had a good recommendation on a press. Is the Dutch style better than the spring style? If you could please whey in your thoughts and comments I greatly appreciate it.
Thanks


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Offline dthelmers

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Re: Cheese Press
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2012, 02:04:46 PM »
A Dutch style will give you constant pressure as the cheese compresses, and is easy to use. They are easy to build if you have some woodworking experience, and if you don't, one of the members here makes and sells them at a very good price. Search the archives on Dutch presses and you'll find a lot of great ones. I'm on my third version, and have hooked up double pulleys for even more mechanical advantage, so I can go from very light weight to very, very heavy weight.
Spring presses have to be tightened periodically as you're pressing.
Dave in CT

Offline knipknup

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Re: Cheese Press
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2012, 03:09:40 PM »
Here's the one I made this past weekend.  It cost me $2.75 in materials and maybe 6 hours only because I sanded.

I attached the pic because I don't have it hosted at the moment.
Cheesy man, totally cheesy

Offline Caseus

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Re: Cheese Press
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2012, 03:51:16 PM »
I bought a Sturdy Press, which is made by one of the members here.   I believe there may be others on the board who make and sell presses.  I'm happy with the one I bought.

I could make my own, but some of my woodworking equipment is in storage right now, so it wasn't convenient, plus I was impatient.   :)

Offline imHawesome

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Re: Cheese Press
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2012, 10:00:10 PM »
Thanks for your help i think i will go with the sturdy press!


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Offline imHawesome

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Re: Cheese Press
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2012, 10:08:34 PM »
Looking to get a couple molds as well does anyone have any recommendations on where to buy some good quality molds or moulds as some people call them?

Offline Caseus

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Re: Cheese Press
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2012, 12:04:05 AM »
I got a number of molds from cheesemaking.com.  They are a bit pricey there, in my opinion, and I wouldn't mind knowing if there are other sources for good molds at a better price too.  Hopefully someone else will chime in. 

Be sure to consider whether the molds you select are appropriate for the type of cheese you want to make.  Some aren't designed for high pressing weight.  The form factor is important for certain types of cheese.  The capacity of the mold needs to be suitable for the amount of milk you are going to use.  As an example, the Large M2 mold on that site is too large for anything less than 5 gallons of milk.  For a smaller cheese, you'd end up with a poor height to diameter ratio.  On the other hand, the Small M3 mold claims a capacity of 2 to 3 gallons (that is, the volume of curds from 2 to 3 gallons of milk).  But I think 2 gallons maxes it out.

You can make your own molds from PVC pipe, but many people have concerns about chemical leaching.  Schedule 40 pipe would make a super heavy duty mold.

Offline knipknup

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Re: Cheese Press
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2012, 10:15:19 AM »
I ordered two molds from Grains Beans & Things originating in Oregon.  Haven't received the order yet, but it has only been a couple days.  Seems to be good prices compared to some of the other places I've looked.
http://www.grains-n-beans.com
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Offline Caseus

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Re: Cheese Press
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2012, 11:47:35 AM »
The picture of the Camembert mold on that site doesn't look right to me.  I can see feet on the bottom, which makes me think the mold has a bottom.  Camembert molds should be open on the bottom.  To me, that's a red flag.  Of course, if that is the mold you need, it is irrelevant what the description on the site says. 

My point being, it pays to research the proper type of mold for the cheese you want to make, and ask questions of the vendor if unsure about an item on their site.  I've seen a lot of beer/wine/coffee vendors that now sell cheesemaking equipment too, and I see a similar range of cheesemaking supplies and molds offered by them, with similar lack of detailed descriptions, limited and poor quality pictures, and an absense of specifications.  I often wonder how well those sellers understand cheesemaking and the related products they are selling.

Offline knipknup

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Re: Cheese Press
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2012, 12:25:45 PM »
I called the Grains N Beans shop (link above) to ask if my order had been shipped and he confirmed that these are Mad Millie brand molds.  At least the two I ordered, which were the large (1600g) and small (800g) hard cheese molds.  These come with what's called a p-plate.  Not sure if these are sturdy enough to qualify as followers or only a separator to place between the cheese cloth and follower.  I should see soon.
Cheesy man, totally cheesy


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Offline Alumine

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Re: Cheese Press
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2012, 11:33:25 PM »
Hi
just bought my first press, a lovely Dutch Press. The wood is unfinished, am wondering what the best thing to do with it before I use it to protect the wood and the cheese? Any tips? Thanks.

Offline Caseus

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Re: Cheese Press
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2012, 12:51:53 AM »
Since the wood of the press doesn't touch the cheese, you can use any kind of finish you like, if you want to finish it.  Tung oil, boiled linseed oil, food-grade mineral oil, varnish, shellac, or a water or oil based urethane, etc.  Even paint.

Offline H-K-J

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Re: Cheese Press
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2012, 10:46:34 AM »
I used a min-wax stain and polly rub to finish my home made press, as Caseus said the wood or finish should never touch the cheese, using food grade finishes just gives you a more secure feeling about contamination, I didn't see the need and if it bothered me, I would just slide a sandwich bag over the end of the plunger for added protection  :)



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Online smolt1

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Re: Cheese Press
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2012, 01:51:02 PM »
I use food grade mineral oil on my presses because it is easy to do and easy to redo and it is food grade and it has a pleasing look.
You can buy it as food safe wood oil at the lumber yard, or mineral oil at the pharmacy, or in large amounts from STE oil.
As a little adventure, Google mineral oil and you will see MANY uses, for instance Baby Oil is mineral oil with a little smell added. :)

Offline knipknup

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Re: Cheese Press
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2012, 01:58:37 PM »
I have found that, food grade or not, mineral oil isn't something you want to try digesting.  You will have a gnarly mess at the other end.  Not that finishing your press should lead to that - hopefully :)
Cheesy man, totally cheesy