Homemade Sbrinz Style Cheese

This summer has been a bit of a blur as far as cheese making goes for me...it seems I have just been doing my best to keep up with the abundant supply of milk my cow has been producing while at the same time making Cheddar (and like recipes) over and over again so my rounds will store well through the winter.

So, I do apologize to those of you who have been looking to my site for maybe a new cheese to try and have not seen one for a while...but I hope this recipe will have been worth your wait.  Here it is:

To start off, I partially skim the cream off my whole raw milk to get 8 gallons of partially skimmed milk.

Next, after sanitizing my cheese vat, the thermometer, and stirring ladle, I pour all 8 gallons of milk into the vat and set it to medium-high heat on my largest burner.  Until the milk is heated to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, I stir the milk every couple of minutes while checking the temperature.

When the milk gets to 90 degrees.  Turn off the heat and sprinkle 1 teaspoon of thermophilic culture over the top of the milk.  

After the culture has moistened for a minute or two, I use the ladle to draw down the culture with up and down motions about 20 times to make sure it is fully incorporated into the milk. Then just cover the pot and wait a short 15 minutes.

  Next, the rennet gets added by mixing a 1/2 of water with 1.5 teaspoons of rennet.  Make sure to stir the rennet into the cultured milk really well, just like the culture had been stirred in, with about 20 up and down strokes, otherwise the cheese will not set properly.

Now cover and let the pot sit for 30 minutes maintaining the 90 degree temperature.  Just a note on maintaining temperature.

After 30 minutes, your cheese should have set and it should look like milk jello.  

With a sanitized knife, cut the curd into small pieces.


 And then let the curds firm up for 10 minutes.  They will sink a bit during this process.

Next, stir the curds for 1 hour while slowly heating the entire mixture up to 130 degrees.  If you pace the temperature increase to 10 degrees every 15 minutes you will be heating the curds properly.

  Let the curds then settle while sanitizing the items I need to remove the curds and press them. 

Now, with very clean hands (and I would also suggest a heat-proof glove if you have one), scoop the curds out of the whey and put them into a stainer that is lined with doubled up poly cheese cloth.  The reason I double up the cloths is because when the curds are this warm and are then pressed, they tend to stick to the natural cloth, but since my poly cloths are always a bit small I arrange them so none of the curds escape.

Lift up the cloths and move all the curds into the tomme mold.

With the cloth still around the curds, put the mold into the cheese press with firm pressure for 1 hour.

After an hour, take the cheese out of the cloth, turn it upside down and re-wrap it with just a poly cheese cloth.

Now the cheese, in the mold, sits under firm pressure for 15 hours.

  After pressing, mix 1 cup of sea salt with about 3 inches of cold water in a plastic container (see below).  And place the unwrapped cheese into the salt water brine.  Just a quick note, I cut my cheese into 2 pieces at this point because when I long term store my cheese for aging I vacuum seal them and the full cheese is too big for the sealing bags I use.  If you want a full round you do not have to cut your cheese in half like I do.

The cheese should sit in the brine for a total of 20 hours - 10 hours on each side.  Then, after being in the brine for 20 hours, take the cheese out, place it on a sanitized mat and put in the refrigerator for a few days to dry.  Then flip and dry for a few more days.

  Your cheese, when completely dried, will be ready to store for a year or more until you are ready to eat it.


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