With 1x VW camper van with 1x40litre churn full of fresh unpasteurised cows’ milk, 2x large plastic tubs, endless cheese moulds, 1x heat wand to warm the milk, 1x welbeck bicycle, 2x excited cheese makers and numerous other bits and bobs, we were ready for a Saturday cheese make safe from the steady snow falling outside.
Before we got going, we filled the bath with cold water and hypochlorite and gave the equipment a thorough cleaning. We then poured 20 litres twice into the two tubs so that Jill and myself could make our much acclaimed and distinguished washed rind which has rapidly become the most famous cheese in Creswell. Ladies and gentlemen I give you ‘The Juke’. The rest went to Laurie and Merlin who are planning on taking that title away from them with their much discussed ‘Maurie’. Let’s be honest, that ain’t gonna happen.
Having divvied up starter cultures and warmed the milk to a comfortable 24ºC it was time to let the curd do the talking. We stirred in 60g of our mixed mesophilic and thermophilic cultures and allowed them to proliferate for 50 minutes. With a quick dose of the heat wand to keep the milk at 32ºC we added 5ml of diluted natural rennet to the milk and stirred for 5 minutes until we were happy that it was evenly distributed. We then left the milk undisturbed for 45 minutes, put some choice music on and had a cup of tea. Some of us texted, others just struck camp poses..see below.