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- Pressing Your Cheese – Bringing It All Together
Gruyere is an alpine cheese, originating from region of Gruyéres in Switzerland. It is a hard, sweet, yellow cheese that was traditionally made in wheels so that the cheese maker could roll the cheese back down the mountains to be sold.
- 10 litres/3 gallons of whole cows milk
- 1/3 teaspoon of thermophilic culture (I use Chr. Hansen’s)
- pinch of propionic culture
- 1 teaspoon of Rennet diluted in 1/4 cup water
- cheese salt for brine
- Warm milk to 32 degrees Celsius/90 degrees Fahrenheit
- Add cultures and stir thoroughly
- Cover and leave to ripen for 45 minutes
- Add diluted Rennet
- Leave to set for 45 minutes – 1 hour, until you have a clean break
- Carefully cut the curd into 3cm/1mm cubes
- Leave to rest for 10 minutes
- Then carefully stir the curd with a whisk to cut the curd again
Your curd should end up in pieces slightly larger than grains of rice
- Very slowly increase the heat of the curd until the temperature reaches 46 degrees Celsius/115 degrees Fahrenheit
It should take you between 30-45 minutes to reach temperature – SLOWLY!
A longer scalding period produces a drier cheese, a shorter period will give you a more moist cheese
- Stir gently but regularly (every 5 minutes or so) during the scalding period
- Once the temperature is reached, leave the curds to rest for 10 minutes
- Drain off the whey to the level of the curd
- Scoop the curd to one side of the pot and place approximately 5kg/10lbs of weight onto the curds.
I use a large plate and 1 x barbell weight to do this pre-press
- Leave for 15 minutes
- Pour all remaining whey out.
- Move curds immediately into cloth lined mold
Handle very gently so as not to break them
- Press at 10kgs/25lbs for 1 hours
- Remove, flip and redress
- Press at 15kg/35lbs for 2 hours
- Remove, flip and redress
- Press at 20kg/50lbs for 8 hours or overnight
- Remove and un wrap cheese
- Soak in saturated brine for 12 hours
Turn cheese over every 3 hours to ensure even coverage
- Remove and pat dry
- Air dry at 10c for 2 weeks or until obviously dry on the surface
- Salt rub the cheese and then transfer to your cheese cave
- Wash with brine 3-4 times a week for the first 2-3 months to manage molds
Gruyére should be aged for 12-18 months.