Monday, February 15, 2010

Testing Cheesepress 2.0

I made Queso Fresco from the Home Cheesemaking book yesterday, mostly because it was one of the few cheeses that I had all the ingredients for AND I don't have to wait weeks or months to see how it turned out AND I could try out the cheesepress I "made" a few weeks ago.

Here's the cheese press I used.  Two pieces of PVC pipe cut to 9 inches long, resting on a wooden cutting board, with a fence post stuck under the windowsill and a weighted bag hanging from the end.  I've got a gallon of water (8.3 pounds) plus 2 cans in the bag.  So about 10 pounds at 2 to 2-1/2 feet distance, or maybe 20-25 pounds of force pressing down on the cheese. 
It was good, but not perfect.  You can see that the force didn't push down evenly on the PVC pipe.  Because of the angle, the fence post hit the PVC only at one point.  Every hour or so I rotated the PVC so that the pressure would move.  I suppose I should cut the PVC shorter, to cut off some of that angle, or make a slot, or something. It's something I should fix at some point, but doesn't need to be done immediately.
The cheese came out well, proving that the cheesepress works!  It's well-pressed and smooth.  Not very flavorful though, meaning that's the area I need to work on next.  If I buy brining salt, I'll have everything I need to make Muenster, which is what I think I'll try next!


  1. I'm impressed, Jordan. It seems every day you are learning or trying something new.

    Would it work better if the bottom of the cheese, whatever it is sitting on, is raised, so there is less of an angle, or would that be worse? Can't tell, not being there!

  2. Thanks Kate! Unfortunately, I feel like a day where I only relax and enjoy myself is a wasted day because there's so much that needs to be done. I really need to get over that!

    PS - I just discovered that Hennessy Homebrew in East Greenbush sells cheesemaking stuff as well as wine and beer making stuff.

  3. Jordan-
    It does LOOK great, so what do you do to improve the flavor? Guess I'm not sure what you add to change that? But I'd pick it on looks alone!