ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Homemade Cheese, Pressing, Drying, and Aging Cheese

Updated on December 6, 2012

Step 8: What does "Molding and Pressing the Curds" mean?

For a homemade cheese to acquire great structure, an extra squeeze (pressing) is given to the cheese curds. This removes any unwanted moisture from the curds. Shaping the cheese can take several days, during which time the cheese is flipped frequently from one side to the other to distribute the remaining liquid evenly throughout the entire internal body of the cheese. Otherwise, half of the cheese can become dry while the other half remains moist and springy. Pressing hard cheeses requires a tension device; it can be homemade or store bought but it needs to achieve the correct amount and consistent pressure. A homemade press can be assembled using wood, weights, and gallon containers or PVC pipe, but I recommend simply buying a commercial press to assure a consistent product.




Choosing the Right Cheese Press For You

Commercial presses are pretty easy to put together as well as to use. You will need to determine which type of press suits you personally:


  • These are handcrafted from stainless steel and hardwood. This cheese press is durable and reliable and will be around as long as you are around to make cheese. This cheese press comes with pressure gauges, a stainless-steel mold, drip tray, separating disk, and followers. It is the most pricey of the three presses I show here, but the reliability and durability allow for consistent well shaped cheeses forever. This cheese press allows for a four-pound cheese wheel, with a fifty-pound press weight.


  • This cheese press also comes with a stainless-steel mold, drip tray, and separating disk, but for about a third of the cost of the Wheeler Press. This device has a convenient double basket for containing curds and draining whey, the Wheeler does not. You can count on continued smooth sided cheese with press up to about a two-pound wheel, and offering up to fifty-pounds of pressure.


  • This Dutch cheese press is the biggest of the tree here—accommodating up to ten-pounds of cheese—but is only about half of what the Wheeler Cheese Press will cost you. Usually made in the USA from hardwood, it can give you up to 100 pounds of pressure. You generally have to buy a cheese mold separately for this press.

The Art of Aging Cheese

In this image you see a "waxed" cheese sitting upon a "cheese mat".
In this image you see a "waxed" cheese sitting upon a "cheese mat".

Step 9: Drying Homemade Cheese

Most hard cheeses need a little time on the rack or mat (a mat for drying cheese which breathes allowing good air circulation to the cheese surface), at room temperature, after pressing. Cheeses like Gouda, cheddar, Swiss and others that do not mold ripen can be waxed (painted with food grade wax, usually red, to seal in the moisture) and stored at a cool temperature for aging. Others like Parmesan, can be left to continue to form a natural rind— in some cases, cheese can be rubbed with a little olive oil to seal in the moisture and keep the rind supple.

How to Wax Homemade Cheese

Analog or Digital; a Hygrometer must be used in developing good Homemade cheese flavor and texture

Step 10: Aging the Cheese

Whether it's a ripe Camembert, a creamy Brie, or a tangy Feta, when it comes to cheese, more time means much more flavor. Think of making cheese like making a really rich soup or a deeply infused oil; the flavor intensifies and the texture develops with a little steeping time.

Temperature and humidity are also critical when aging your homemade cheese. Whether you make soft, mold-ripened, or hard cheese, you will need the correct tools. The most important tool for properly aging your cheese is without a doubt, the hygrometer (a humidity-measuring device) that is used to get a daily reading of the climate of your refrigerator or cool room.

A vast variety of cheese is waiting for you to create it!

White Mold Cheese Crust: True cheese lovers say this must be eaten as well as the cheese

Blue Cheese Mold

Mold and Cheese

Once the cheese has been pressed and shaped, mold-ripened cheeses, like brick, Camembert, and Stilton can be injected with additional bacteria (for mold growth, those blue lines in these cheeses are the cause of all their flavor) for ripening and then set aside to dry in preparation for aging.

Ripened cheeses are those that have mold added to the milk during the making of the cheese to impart a specific flavor to that cheese type—different types of cheese require different types of molds. There are two varieties of molds for cheese, blue and white.


  • White molds are usually used on cheeses derived from goats milk. They present as a white chalky bloom (substance) on the exterior of the cheese. Penicillum-Candidum (sometimes Penicillum-Cammemberti ) is the mold you find on such cheeses as Camembert, Coulommiers, and Brie. It is harmless, adding a delightfully sophisticated flavor to these cheeses. You may want to consider using Geotrichum Candidum (provides the velvety look of the exterior surface), which can help stop the skin from sliding off of the finished cheese.


  • These molds are commonly referred to as blue cheese. Stilton, Gorgonzola, and of course Roquefort are the more noted of these cheeses. An injection of Penicillum roqueforti molds are directly introduced into the cheese. The mold then grows inside the cheese, unlike a Brie or Camembert, where mold actually grows on the exterior surface of the cheese. Blue cheese has a strong assertive taste and you will find it in both soft and firm textured cheeses.

NOTE: When making cheeses like chevre, Camembert, and other soft types, be sure you are using stainless-steel or food grade (nonporous) plastic molds, as these cheeses harbor greater moisture and can permeate porous materials.

Comments for Easy Homemade Cheese Guide...

Submit a Comment

No comments yet.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)