We age our cheeses in our cheese cave - an enclosed place where we can control the temperature and humidity of the cheeses as they age.
This is a 150 gallon cheese vat which heats the milk to the specific temperature required by each variety of cheese and also serves as the place where the various bacterial cheese cultures are introduced into the milk. It is also the place where the curd is cut and the whey separates out.
Our Cheese Vat
Making 'green cheese in the vat. This will later be aged until it is ripe.
Benjamin Makes Adjustments
Some varieties of cheese require that the curds be cut very small, while others achieve their final form and flavor with bigger curds that are then pressed into wheels.
Curd Cutting Knives
Only a small part of what began as fluid milk becomes cheese. The majority of what separates out is whey which is fed to the chickens.
Curds and Whey Separate
Coagulation of the solids in milk is the first step in the cheese making process.
Cutting the Curd
The white cheese in the foreground will soon become Camembert. The various cheese wheels in the background will spend anywhere from four to fourteen months aging in the cave.
Inside the Cheese Cave
Some cheese is waxed in natural beeswax soon after it is made, while others are brushed with a brine solution (repeatedly over many months) to develop a natural rind. Each of the large wheels, except for the waxed wheels, rests on two hardwood slips to allow air circulation around the entire wheel.