Here is a cheap DIY cheese press you can make at home for not a lot of money. If you do decide to try your hand at cheese making, I highly recommend using raw milk if it is available in your area. The curd size of store bought are about the size of a nickle, and raw milk curds are about the size of a golf ball due to the protein and fat content.
- 6 inch pvc connector fitting
- Two 3/4×12 threaded iron pipe
- 2 screw down fittings for the pipe
- 6 inch cast iron damper
- Scrap piece of 4 inch pvc
- Scrap pieces of wood
Assemble your materials.
Cut two pieces of wood 14 inches long.
Do a test layout.
Screw down the connectors.
Hand tighten the pipes into the connectors.
Use a saw to smooth any rough ends of the pipe.
Starting to look like something.
Lay the base on it’s side to figure where the pipes will line up.
Mark the centers on the boards and use a 1 1/4 wood bit and drill out the guide holes, since the pipe is only 3/4 there will be some play for the top board to fit.
Remove the handle from the damper.
It acts as the push block for the press.
Assemble and make sure the clearance is good once you add the curds.
If needed, use the chop saw and cut of another 3 inches off the 4 inch pvc pipe.
To use the press, lay down some paper towels on top of the board.
Line the larger diameter pipe with a piece of cloth.
After draining your curds; set them into the lined pipe.
Fold the material over.
Set the damper on top of it.
Set the 4 inch pipe on top of the damper, put the push board on the pipes and add some weight.
Swap out the paper towels every 1/2 hour, and after 3 hours pull everything apart.
Unwrap your cheese and admire your work.
Flip the cheese over and press it again for a couple more hours.
The total cost for making this DIY cheese press was less than $32. For more recipes and ideas, here is a great book that I can recommend from my personal library. Enjoy your cheese!
Ashley English provides a feast of information for dairy-loving foodies! She guides readers through all the essentials in four topic-specific sections: Butter & Ghee, Cultured Dairy Products, Cheese, and Ice Cream