Wednesday 8 May 2013

A home made cheese press

The old, Tala tongue press we were using as a cheese press wasn't up to the job, it came apart last time we used it. A trawl of the internet unearthed some DIY plans from the highly sophisticated to the down right crude so I ended up with a hybrid. You need to exert up to 1 tonne pressure on the cheese so the construction needs to be sturdy and here it is.

The base  block is 75 x 50mm and the beams 50 x 25mm well seasoned oak from the Loch Sunart temperate rain forest at Resipol, remnants of a piece I bought to make a fire surround.  The threaded steel rod and M10 nuts came  from Screwfix and compression springs from Ebay......simples! I am still waiting for wing nuts to screw the beams down and the compression spring is too weak. You need a spring that is rated at about 1kg per millimeter of compression (40lbs per inch) that's on its way.

Sandy Adam, the wood turner at Achosnich, is making the followers, 25mm thick oak discs that go between the beam and the top of the cheese inside the mould. The whole thing is then set in a roasting tin to catch the whey as it oozes out of the curds.

Apart from the springs and the followers all of the components were just lying around the workshop so we should have a working press for less than half  price.

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