Friday, March 23, 2012

Cheese Press

There are some pretty fancy cheese presses out there.

At some pretty fancy prices.

I neither have the disposable income for a press, nor the place to put it. 

If I had a place to put it, I might be more inclined to find the disposable income needed to get it.   Or beg it for a gift.   Or something.

In the meantime, we...actually, Eric put his head to the problem and came up with this cheese press.

He's freaking brilliant.

Brilliant, I tell you.

And this is how it works:

He got a 6 inch pvc union.   At Menard's.   Where we regularly save big money. 

It didn't matter that there was a ring in the middle.   We were kind of worried about it, but when we put the cheese basket inside it, the top of the basket rested comfortably just touching the inner ring and fitting perfectly right inside it.


Here is the cheese in the cheesecloth in the basket in the press.

It's beautiful, isn't it. 

So, after we put the cheese in the cheesecloth and then the cheese filled cheesecloth in the basket and the basket in the press, it was time to put the weights in.

And what weights did we use?    Why the weights that hang out in the back room where they are not used by anyone for upper body development but rather contribute to the overall clutter of the back room, of course. 

Yep.   Those weights.

We have little ones and bigger ones.

And guess what?

They fit right inside the press.


But before I put the weights in, I put an old plastic lid over the cheese.

And after that, I put a ziploc bag, so the weights wouldn't touch the cheese at all.

At all. 

And then, finally,   I put the weights in.

I put the little ones in first in case things pushed down below the ring in the center of the pvc union.

Because the big weights fit inside that pvc union just perfectly.

Just like this. 

Those big weights fit right inside, but if they jiggled a little, I was afraid they'd get caught on the inner ring.

And so my cheese got pressed at exactly 35 pounds of pressure for the 6 hours required.

And it was delicious.

And Eric got the first taste because he's brilliant.

Brilliant, I tell you.



  1. The oheese basket looks just like the inside bowl of my salad spinner.

    And I must are BOTH freakin geniuses!!!! When is your book coming out? :)

  2. That is truly brilliant!

    What kind of cheeses need a cheese press? Cheddar? Where did you get the cheese basket? Is that also something you repurposed?

    1. I got my cheese basket in the regular cheese kit [not the mozzarella kit] from You press all cheeses that are going to be aged or that need to be drier. The pressing gets the whey out. I did a queso fresco [post tomorrow], which is aged only overnight, but is pressed to firm it up. Yum.

    2. Thanks! Off to read your post for today. :)

  3. *HIGH FIVE*! Eric is brilliant, but so are you and so are your kids and of course, I've always known that. I'm so glad you pressed on and got that going! (NPI) Can't wait compare notes if you start making more aged cheeses. Of course, that won't happen until...April 4th?

    1. I live for April 4th. We can call ahead and tell them how many gallons we want and they'll have it for us. I want 3. Or 4. I'll have to bring the big cooler.

  4. Ooooh! I love reading you in spring. All the busyness starts.


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