Making cheese at home is fun, easy and only needs the equipment in your kitchen--plus moulds to form the cheese. There are many recipes on the Internet for making cheeses such as Camembert, Brie, Feta and Cheddar. The moulds you need vary according to whether you are making a soft cheese or a hard cheese. Soft cheeses only need a mould to shape them: hard cheeses need to have weight applied to press them.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Things you need
- PVC pipe, 4 inches by 4 inches
- 1/8 inch drill bit
- 2 pieces of thin wood, 5 inches square
- PVC pipe, 6 inches by 9 inches
- 2 oak boards, 1 inch thick, 7 inches square
- 1/4 inch drill bit
- Heavy can or weight
Make a mould for a soft cheese such as Camembert or Brie by sawing a 4-inch length of 4-inch wide white PVC pipe and filing the edges smooth. Make sure that you have the pipe held securely in a vice or with clamps as it can otherwise roll as you cut it. Make sure that both ends are cut absolutely square so that the mould will stand straight when it is draining.
Drill 3 rows of 1/8-inch holes staggered at intervals of about 2 inches around the circumference. These will allow the whey to drain from the cheese curds. To handle the mould and turn it when in use, you can use the 2 pieces of wood, one on the top and one on the bottom, to stop the curds from falling out.
Make a mould for hard cheeses (actually a cheese press) by cutting a 9-inch length of white 6-inch wide PVC pipe, and file the cut edges smooth. This will provide the basic mould shape.
Drill 1/8-inch drain holes around the mould, allowing about 20 in all. Make sure that the inside of the mould is perfectly smooth, otherwise the cheesecloth may catch on it.
Use a jigsaw to cut two round followers from the oak boards. They should be a tight fit to the inside diameter of the PVC pipe--about 5 3/4 inches. Drill 1/4-inch drainage holes in one of them. This one will be used as a base in the mould and the other one will be put on top of the cheesecloth-wrapped curds to press them down.
Tips and warnings
- To use the press, the bottom draining board will be put in the mould, and the cheese curds will be wrapped in cheesecloth and put on top. The wooden follower will go on next and then a heavy weight or can will go on top of that to apply pressure. The mould should stand in a bowl to catch the whey that drains out.
- When making your own cheese moulds make sure that they are made from food grade materials.
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