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Dee J

Hard cheesemaking

As in the making of hard cheese...

Anita is going to make a batch of hard cheese. She has the Ingredients, the data, and a day's worth of cheesemaking course.

I am technical hardware consultant! Shocked
50l starting volume of milk. Most likely process containers: 2 x 25l brew buckets - because a) we've got them and b) they're food grade.
I need to arrange heating methods to bring the milk up to 35 and 38 C - my thoughts are - brewing belt heater, warming pad, bain marie or immersed heated (fishtank heater). Anyone got any experience of jury rigging such a setup?
Draining the whey? Our brew buckets don't have drain points - ideas please?
Cutting the curd - some sort of stainless wire frame?
Cheese mould/press? suggestions.

All of the above to be achieved at minimal cost and minimal accumulation of new stuff - so experience of short-cuts and make-dos appreciated.

Target date - next Saturday.


I use 300w fishtank heaters for winemaking - I seem to remember about 13 off ebay. they do fine on 25 L.

You can buy "barrel taps" to fit to rainwater butts etc or else perhaps a syphon tube as per winemaking.

Fish tank heaters will do the job for sure. To get the right temperature they should be almost horizontal, otherwise the element is below the thermostat and they won't heat the general mass.

I use to make and sell a simple Apple press for cider. Someone shoved a washing machine drum in it to use as a cheese press.

I have a big electric jam maker from lidl which i fill with water then put in a 5 gallon FV. worksa treat.

For cheese cloths I use muslin squares found in the nappy department in supermarkets and for moulds I use a stainless steel cutllery drainer found in asda about 6" tall x 4" wide. my dad made blocks of wood so as I could press the chesse with weights.
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