Dave and Jay made me this cheese press for my birthday based off of a very quick mental image I described once long ago to Jay (good memory husband!).
This simple cheese press requires very little planning, tools, and materials:
- Two pieces of 1 inch thick board, about 18 inches by 24 inches (the guys reused some layered plywood type board, VERY heavy, which Jay reasoned, “Will help with the pressing.”)
- Four small chunks of wood about 4 inches by 4 inches for legs (for drainage)
- Four one inch dowels. I think they bought 1 long dowel and cut it into four pieces about 16 inches high. You may want to adjust this height based on how tall your own cheese molds are. For example, I easily can use the 1 foot high press for both my molds, which are about 4 inches high and 6 inches high, plus allowing for 2 inches for the follower (lid) and a little wiggle room.
- Equipment to cut and sand the wood and drill holes for the dowels
- Food grade sealant (such as silicone) to seal around the legs.
- Perhaps a food grade oil to seal the wood
You will need a tub or sink space large enough to catch the whey. I am using my three gallon pot for the initial pressing of about 2 pounds of cheese (finished weight) assuming about 20-25 pounds of weight for a hard cheese and I have a jar of honey to add later, which will get me up to almost 40 pounds of weight, which should be sufficient for the final press. I used this recipe: https://spiritedrose.wordpress.com/cheese/pressed-raw-milk-cheese/