Hi there!

I’m slowly working towards some simplicity within the home, but hey! It’s a lot of hard work!

I love having a go at growing my own veges and always use herbs fresh from my garden. I try to plant from seed whenever I can and have learnt to save and share my own seed for the following year. I make Award Winning preserves and pickles; and my husband brews Award Winning boutique beers as well. I love to stockpile and try to limit quick trips to the shops. I dabble in bread making and enjoy making my own stocks too.

I enjoy feeding my family good hearty meals, nothing like those tiny restaurant stacks you have to look for on the plate. My husband maintains our vehicles and machinery and we both enjoy fabricating on a small scale mostly relying on metal & timber recyclers for any materials needed.

While I don’t always have time to reply to comments, I love reading them. I hope you enjoy your stay and I hope you learn something new because I love sharing what I learn, and I'm always looking for another new skill myself.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

GOUDA CHEESE made at home

see my comprehensive list of items needed to make cheese at home....its cheaper than you think, you probably have most of the items in your kitchen

Now let me tell you, that sometimes when you make cheese, well it doesn't quite turn out the way it is supposed to...Is it still edible, sure, usually.  Well; this Gouda didn't turn out quite like Gouda. More like a crumbly stack...well crumbles fell to the side....it wasn't quite looking right but I thought I may as well try it anyway. First of all, let me tell you, I have never tasted Gouda, so my expectations weren't that high anyway....but this tasted good...I was surprised....
I am going to go through with the tutorial, because the 'written word' has no errors, after all it is from my cheese bible  called Making Artisan Cheese by Tim Smith.

Page 108 GOUDA

7.6 Litres of whole milk   (I just use shop milk)
1/4 tspn Mesophilic  direct-set culture
1 ml Calcium Chloride diluted in 1/4 cup non chlorinated water (either filtered or leave some in a jug overnight to allow the chlorine to evaporate)
1/4 tablet of vegetable rennet dissolved in a 1/4 cup of non chlorinated water
6 cups of water (1.4L at 175oF or 79oC)
Cheese wax (softer than candle wax)

Sterilise all containers and equipment before starting. To sterilise your 8+ Litre pot, place on the stove with an inch of water with lid on anllow to boil for 5 minutes.  Swish/Stir around with lid on, it will sizzle inside.

Place all other items in a sterilising solution...you could probably use Milton tablets, but I still have some homebrew product left over, so I am using PINK sterilising powder.

In small cups place 1/4 cup unchlorinated water in 3 seperate cups, this is for diluting each ingredient.
Put crushed renne in one and label, place Mesophilic Starter culture in one, and label, Place Calcium Chloride in one and label.  Stir them all so they dissolve slightly, time will dissolve any residue.
You can keep these labelled containers for the next cheese you make.

1. Pour milk into 8+L Pot, Place 8+L Pot into a larger pot that you pour boiling water into,....this is how you heat the milk (like a double boiler, but not on the stove).

Heat the milk to 90oF (32oC), then gently stir in the starter culture and cover for 10 minutes.


If using homogonised milk, add the diluted Calcium Chloride and stir...

Maintaining the target temperature of 90oF (32oC), add the diluted rennet, and stir for 1 minute. Cover with a blanket and/or towels and let sit at the target temperature for one hour.

Check for a clean break with a curd knife (just a long knife with a flat blade). sometimes it will take longer than expected or the temperature may have dropped, if that is the case, take some water out of the outer pot and replace with boiling water...this will bring the temperature back up...and a clean break should occur, but you may have to wait for another hour.

Once you have a clean break (which can be tested by placing your clean finger in the curds and slowly lifting it out towards you. If your finger comes out clean, then your curd has reached a clean break.
cut the curds into about 1cm cubes. Stir and let the curds rest for 5 minutes at target temperature. (Keep the blanket wrapped around the outside pot at all times, unless your milk gets too hot. This can be regulated by removing the milk pot out of the double pot, replacing some of the warm water with cold water. Keep an eye on the temperature, sometimes just removing the lid of the milk will cool it down enough to reach target temperature.

while waiting for curds to settle, get pot of warm water onto stove and heat to 175oF (79oC)

With a sanitised measuring cup, draw off one-third of the whey.

Gradually add the heated water and stir. Bring the temperature of the curds to 92oF (33oC). This will take about 2 1/2 cups of the heated water. Continually stir to keep the curds from matting at the bottom of the pot.

Once you reach the target temperature, let the curds rest for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Drain off the whey (keep in another pot to make ricotta later) to the level of the curds.
Stir continuously as you add more of the heated water until the mixture arrives at 100oF (38oC).
Maintain this temperature for 15 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent the curds from matting.

Let the curds sit in the pot for 30 minutes, maintaining the target temperature.

Strain off the whey using a colander. Pour the curds into a 900g cheese cloth lined mold. 

Cover the curds with one corner of the cheese cloth, and press at 20 pounds for 20 minutes.

THIS STACK WEIGHS IN AT 20 POUNDS....I WILL BE MAKING A TUTORIAL WHEN I MAKE MY CHEESE PRESS, BUT FOR NOW THIS IS WORKING.   (There is a cheese I needed to press at 60 pound and I stacked 3 of the paper wrapped furnace bricks, you can see one in the center behind the timer.....)   (hey ! it works !!! lol) 
cheese presses start at around $AU 150.oo, so this will do for now until I make one

Remove the cheese from the press, and slowly  unwrap it.

Turn the cheese over and re-wrap the cheese in the cheese cloth, and press at 20 pounds for 12 hours.

can of peaches + cutting board + 1 paper wrapped furnace  brick + 1 canister of flour  =   20 pounds.....hehehe
tricky hey !!!!

Remove the cheese from the press and bathe it in brine solution for 3 hours.

Remove the cheese from the brine solution, and pat dry with a paper towel.

Ripen in a home cheese cave (a dedicated refridgerator) at 50oF (10oC) and 80-85 percent humidity, turning and washing the exterior daily with the brine solution by dipping a clean piece of cheesecloth in the brine that you store in your cheese cave.

NOTE: my cheese was too crumbly to wash each day, so I just carefully turned it instead

After 3 weeks, the cheese is ready for waxing. see waxing your cheese

After waxing, ripen the cheese for another 3 months for a medium flavour, or 9 months for a more intense, extra aged flavour.
Turn the cheese 3 times a week to achieve an even distribution of fats and moisture.


Hope you enjoyed my tutorial. Please let me know if there is a stage that you don't quite understand, I hope I have explained it clearly enough for you to summon the courage to make your own cheese.


  1. What an excellent tutorial. Thank you for putting it together in a way that makes it look possible for those of us who still fear that cheese-making is one of the Black Arts!

  2. Your more than welcome J. It certainly is achievable to make cheese at home. I just cut my Camembert for the first time, DH doesn't like this kind of cheese, so he tried mine hesitantly, Amazingly, He loves it !!!Yay Camembert....I am working on a tutorial for making Camembert. Check back in a few days for it.

  3. This is actually why I knew that I could make a funny press, from your pictures. We tried the fruit tin, but my mold was too full and the tin kept sliding off and everything kept falling on the floor. I showed hubby your picture and told him to get a brick but we didn't have any laying around. Eventually he came up with the idea of hanging the bags of sugar rather than our unstable tower of fruit tins, baking tray, 3L milk bottles. I think we were just lucky that we didn't need a 20kg press that night! The very next day I brought myself an early Christmas Present and brought the same cheese press that Gavin from Little Green Cheese has.


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