My first hard cheese project is now complete. I wish I could say it was successful but I’m afraid I will not know the success rate for another 60 days! Cheese making does NOT provide instant gratification. I was a bit disappointed with the way the Pepper Jack pressed. I am hoping the problem was caused by using a 4lb mold instead of a 2lb mold and not increasing the weight enough. If the mold wasn’t the problem I must have messed up the cooking, which will make me very sad. I was also a bit concerned about the drying stage; because the cheese wasn’t pressed well it never looked quite right while drying (I wasn’t sure how dry the insides of the unwanted holes should be?). After 4 days I decided to just go ahead and wax it anyway. I tried dipping the cheese in the wax like they showed in one of my books but it was much easier to paint it on with a paint brush like we did at Heather’s cheese class. Dipping made a HUGE mess and it was more difficult to get it on evenly.
Finally I was able to get my “cheese cave” up and running. I am still playing with the humidity and temperature as I have thus far been unable to get the humiditiy above 50 % and the temperature is about 5 degrees to cold. But like I said before, only time will tell how successful my efforts have been.