How we make cheese

(G. N. Brown Photo and Arthur Zachai have graciously permitted our use of their images documenting the making of our cheese.)

Jack Cheese

It all starts with truly happy cows…

Cows looking at viewer

then their milk is delivered to our facility.

The milk is then pasteurized at our plant.

We add starter bacteria and enzymes to the pasteurized
milk to cause the milk to curdle.

After the milk has turned into a semi-solid we use wire
knives to turn it into curds and whey (the curds are the
solids and the whey is the liquid).

Curds and Whey

The curds and whey are heated to the desired temperature
and then are allowed to rest.

For Jack cheese, after draining off some of the whey, we add
cool water back into the curds and remaining whey. (For
differences in making Cheddar see the Cheddar Section

After the curds and whey have been sufficiently cooled
most of the remaining whey and water is drained from the curd.

Salt is added. Herbs and/or spices may also be added at
this point.

Adding salt to curd.

The curd is transferred to a cheesecloth lined form which
will give the final cheese it’s shape.

Adding curd to forms.

The cheese is pressed overnight in the forms to firm the
cheese and remove any remaining whey.

Finally, the next day the cheese is removed from the form,
sealed in plastic, and moved to the cooler to age. After the
appropriate amount of time has passed. The blocks will be cut
into retail size, repackaged and made available for sale.

Cheddar Cheese

Cheddar cheese is made in a similar way to Jack except
that when the curds and whey are done resting, almost all of
the whey is drained from the curd (without adding any water).

The curds are pressed against the sides of the vat to squeeze
out the remaining whey. Then the curd is cut into slabs which
are turned and piled in a process called “cheddaring”.

The slabs of curd are then run through a curd mill where
they become cheddar curd.

The curd is then salted and transferred to forms or sold
as Fresh Cheddar Curd.

After the curd are in the forms the rest of the make is
the same as for Jack cheese.