After successfully making soft cheese at home from goats milk, provided by the local shepherd, we decided to have a look at how to make hard cheese. From all the reading, we understood that we needed a cheese press. We set about thinking how this could be made with available items around our small holding.
DIY Cheese Press Materials
1 old enameled pan with handles (ours had been burnt so no longer used for cooking)
1 flat-bottomed bowl
1 piece of drain pipe
1 old baby milk tin (or any tin that fits inside the drainpipe)
1 glass jar
1 old inner tube from a bike (fixed to one handle of the pan)
1 hook attached to one end of the inner tube
5 brick off cuts
1 round piece of wood to fit inside the drain pipe
We put the flat-bottomed bowl into the enameled pan, upside-down. The drainpipe was placed onto the bowl. The round piece of wood sat on the cheese, inside the drainpipe, with the milk tin on top. Into the milk tin we placed a glass jar — this is to ensure an even pressure across the whole cheese. On top of the glass jar we laid the bricks. Then the inner tube was pulled over the top and, using the hook, fixed to the other handle on the pan.
The pressure of the press can be changed by adding bricks. We started off with one brick and after a couple of hours added another until we had all five in place.
This cheese press is simple to make, cheap and does the job brilliantly.
Read Part 2 to learn how to make a larger cheese press that can handle cheese made from 10 liters of milk.