cheese molds

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cheese molds

Postby kikodenzer » Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:20 am

has anyone ever seen or made a turned wooden cheese mold? If so, any tips, advice, pix, warnings, etc.?

-- Kiko Denzer
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Re: cheese molds

Postby robin wood » Wed Sep 19, 2012 8:56 am

I have seen and made them (sorry don't have pics) and there are pics of a 17th C cheese mold turner at the lathe in my book the wooden bowl. It's just the same as turning bowls really.
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Re: cheese molds

Postby kikodenzer » Wed Sep 19, 2012 4:46 pm

Robin,

I've been wanting to send you a proper thank you for your book (which, ahem, I've mostly read -- and completely admired). I've now checked the index, but am wondering about thickness, grain-orientation, kind of wood (alder?), whether to turn dry or green, dynamics of making fitted "lids" or followers, etc. I've done some wandering through the land of google and noticed that most of the wooden molds are either flexible, flat rings open top and bottom, or barrel-style construction, w/straight "staves" contained by a metal ring. I buy milk from a lady who makes cheese and is interested in trading for molds -- I'm sure I can figure it out by consulting w/her and going through a bit of trial-and-error, but it is nice to have a place like this where I can -- as my father in law would say -- "have a natter" about it all.

thanks again, very much, for the beautiful book and all the related inspiration and instruction!

-- Kiko
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Re: cheese molds

Postby robin wood » Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:03 pm

Hi Kiko,
I did some cheese molds for Shakespeares birthplace trust and they sent me pictures to work from. They were basically straight sided flat bottomed bowls with holds drilled in the bottom for the whey to drain. Grain orientation was same as for making bowls.
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Re: cheese molds

Postby Tom B » Thu Sep 20, 2012 12:22 am

A few thoughts...

What kind of cheese is it for? A soft, fresh cheese that could be moulded to any shape, or a harder cheese that will be compressed more, so might need a more cylindrical mould...

Do they have to be turned? Here are some old Finish ones...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Saint_Johns_Arms_cheese_mould_Finnish_National_Museum.jpg

I have heard said that sycamore (acer pseudoplatanus) it traditional in these parts for dairy stuff. Don't know what you have available, but I guess you want a wood that is not too porous, and won't taint the cheese- probably rules out resinous woods and oak...

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Re: cheese molds

Postby kikodenzer » Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:56 am

Tom and Robin,

thanks for the replies -- both very useful. I'm going to try for the straight-sided bowl (for hard cheese), and maybe cut the follower from a flat plank after the bowl is dry (and oval). I have maple and alder to work from -- and a chunk of holly, but I'm expecting that to be real work.

Tonight I've been toasting some alder bowls in the oven and oiling them. They turn a lovely shade of brown that brings out the grain. Only 1 cracked so far!

I'm also thinking porosity might be good, as that would help draw away the whey...

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