Ok so we have tried to make cheddar cheese two times and both have failed miserably. The first two attempts took nearly 12 hours and that only included a few 15 minute breaks to get off your feet.
As you can see the lines of the curb did not seal up like they are supposed to. They are supposed to come together and look like a very smooth block of cheese. We would take special care and even go as far as waxing the cheese but in the end they would fail. We would still eat them but have to cut out the mold that accumulated, not the good mold. It was a very bitter experience for both of us. Once he got back from his class he decided that cheddar was the first cheese to make. We pumped ourselves up and began the process. It only took about 7 hours this time, it really helps when you know what you are doing. Joel showed me all the steps and we watched our favorite cheese-making video at the same time, she makes cheddar at home and so we followed a lot of her directions. We set it in the mold and weighed it down with about 70 lbs. of water weight then walked away. It was very hard not peeking at it for the full 24 hours but when the time came we got to see if it had worked. It was a huge success for us. We were actually dancing around due to all the excitement. Well now we have to age it for at least 3 months before trying it. What is so crazy is at Joel's class he had a teacher who forgot about a block of cheddar in his cheese fridge and found it not that long ago... it had been aging for 10 years! It goes to show you that cheese can last for a long time. Don't ever throw it out- just cut any mold off and it's fine. By the way- the students asked if they could try it and he said no way! He is keeping it for himself. Who knew cheese-making could be filled with so much drama and excitement?!