A Pressing Question


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  • #2028 Reply

    Hi, all

    Being small scale producers, most all of the recipes I am following are from internet sources and books for home cheesemaking and the starting volume of milk is generally a gallon.

    So, we are using 4 to 5 times that volume per batch and it’s easy to calculate the ratio’s of ingredients. My question is when it comes to pressing, can I just factor the weight required for pressing, or should I factor weight and time? Is there a general ‘rule of thumb’ in this regard?

    I’m thinking this is where I am going wrong, as if I produce a small batch, I achieve a nicely bonded smooth curd in the final product, but when I produce larger batches, I forever have mechanical gaps and holes remaining when I remove from the moulds.

    Many Thanks

    #2029 Reply

    When you change the batch size you probably change the mold size. The PRESSURE ( not WEIGHT ) should stay the same for different mold sizes. There is an explanation of weight and pressure at “sturdypress.com”.

    #2030 Reply

    What an informative reply, thanks very much.

    Guess I should have paid more attention in physics class all those years ago. Weight is not equal to pressure, but the process of calculation is not difficult to grasp. I’ll be getting my calculator out 🙂

    #2035 Reply

    Martin, it’s really not that hard. Most internet and book recipes are designed for 2 pound presses using a 4 inch mold. For pressing, the amount of cheese does not matter, the size of the mold does. To make 4 pound cheeses I use a 6 inch mold. Math will tell you that a 6 inch mold has 2.25 times the surface area of a 4 inch mold. Thus, to get the same amount of pressure using a 6 inch mold as a 4 inch mold you need to increase the weight 2.25 times. For example, pressing at 30 pounds in a 4 inch mold requires 67.5 pounds in a 6 inch mold. I just built a Dutch press and created a cheat sheet so I don’t have to do all these calculations, including the weight distance on the lever, every time.

    Hope this helps.

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