Have you ever wondered how a wheel of cheese becomes round like a wheel? Well let me share with you how we do things. After stirring the curds to remove excess whey I drain the remaining whey to leave behind only the solid curds. This is what will become the actual edible cheese portion. These solid curds then get loaded into our dairy grade plastic cheese moulds. The moulds have four essential components; the bottom bucket(fig.1), inner hoop(fig.2) and top or lid(fig.3). Each part has a special purpose and without one piece nothing would work. The bottom bucket has many small holes in both the sides and bottom. These holes allow whey to drain from the wheel freely and if the holes get plugged the whey can't come out and the cheese will stay very wet and soggy. The inner hoop is a special mesh that also allows whey to be removed as well as helps to form a matrix on the outside of the wheel which will become the rind on our wheel. The top or lid is a combination of both the bucket and hoop. The solid part of the lid also has drain holes in it for whey expulsion. The mesh portion of the lid is the same material and design as the hoop and serves the same purpose. When the bucket and hoop are combined and filled with curds we then add weight to the top of the moulds to "press" out and of the extra whey(fig.4). This added weight will then force the soft curds to fill in the holes of the mesh forming the very important outer rind of the cheese. Believe it or not but our square Polkton Corners is round for a short time until we allow it to change.
Cheese Maker Evan