Thursday, March 24, 2011

My First Hard Rind Cheese Results!

Remember the post on making my first hard cheese back in February? I made it on Feb. 5-6, and waxed it on Feb. 16.  It has been aging in the cool and damp root cellar ever since, and I finally decided to cut it open and taste it.

Now, 6 weeks is a short aging time for a hard-rind cheese but according to the Dr. Fankhouser recipe I used, it could have been cut 2 weeks ago.

I must say that for my first cheese and doing a lot of things wrong (but right by the recipe), it tastes pretty good! 

I just dipped it in melted paraffin as a coating, but now I know that the coating (pref. wax which isn't brittle like paraffin) should be around 190ºF or a little higher to kill any surface bacteria. Sure enough, my cheese developed 2-3 spots of mold under the paraffin. They were small, about the size of the tip of a pencil eraser and just on the surface, and they didn't appear until 4-5 days before I cut it open.

The cheese has a nice dry, crumbly texture and a sort of mild cheddar-ish flavor. (NOT like American Kraft cheddar!)  It has a great aftertaste that develops and lingers in my mouth. I may make this recipe again, only in a 2 gallon batch, and let it age 6 months to see what it's like then.

Meanwhile, I have another farmhouse cheddar from a different recipe I made a month ago and posted March 15 that can be cut later this week. It was a 2 gallon batch; I cut the cylinder in half after it came out of the mold and dried, then vac-sealed each half to age. This way I can taste one aged a month and leave the other one to age longer.


  1. I posted a comment on your March 15th cheese topic. I love the look of this cheese, though, and will be making it soonish. Thanks for posting Dr Fankhouser's link, too. (PS. This is kookookachoo from cheeseforum!)

  2. Thanks, Steff. I'll make this one again, in this same 1 gallon/1 pound size as it's a good size for my household of one. I expect my next one will be better, though, as I'm learning soooo much!


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