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A cheesemaker's day...


Previous Entry A cheesemaker's day... Sep. 13th, 2012 @ 11:51 am Next Entry
never ends. :heh: We were back up to 2.5 gallons of milk, so I need to make more cheese (I'm out of lye, or I'd be making soap. Ah, well....)

I mentioned that we built a Dutch Cheese Press......for some reason I HAD to have it NOW. Don't know WHY, but I HAD to, so.....we did. Here, have a photo:

Total cost for our press: $16. It would have been $0, but Himself and I ran out to pick up pulleys and hooks this AM, to increase the mechanical advantage of the press, and *decrease* the amount of weight needed to reach the proper pressure. (Sounds like I know what I'm talking about, huh? :wink:) IF I've done the math properly, this press gives us 10x - for example, for every 1 pound attached to the pulley, we get 10 pounds of pressing weight. (It's actually a little bit more - my scale tops out at 10 lbs, and 1 pound got me an error message. This is close enough.) (And anyone out there that's better at Physics than I am (that would be ANYBODY!), I'd welcome input. The lever length is 30", the drop is 4.5" from the pivot point, and we have a single pulley on the bottom and a double pulley on the top. Help?? I figured the MA for the lever alone was 6.3333...but I'm not sure that's right.)

The press is made out of scraps - which is why it's kinda ugly. The plastic on the base is from a cutting board SG bought 2 or 3 years ago - I honestly don't remember how much it cost, but it wasn't much. All the screws and bolts were in the shed.....and the cord is Texsolv from my loom. :sigh: We bought 10' of cable this AM, but didn't get any crimps, so we can't use it. I'll replace the Texsolv with it later - I need to go back anyway and pick up more lye so I can make soap.

Anyway, I have Manchego in the pot - SG wants to wax a wheel of it, and see how it ages. Can't wait to try the press out - I'm impressed with the kids and my work (we did most of it - SG just sanded it nicer and drilled the holes.) (And, for comparison's sake - the cheapest dutch press I've found is $100. Um. $16 is a LOT better! Granted, most of the ones for sale are a LOT larger...and that's a problem for my kitchen. This is much better for us.)

Need to go add rennet - have a great day!!

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