How we make our cheese
We start early in the morning by bringing milk up from the farm bulk tank into our round, Dutch cheese vat. The milk is gently heated to pasteurisation temperature, and cooled down to our cheesemaking temperature. We then add our cultures to begin the milk’s fermentation.
Over the next 90 minutes or so, we hold the milk at a constant temperature while the cultures multiply which start converting the milk’s lactose into lactic acid.
We measure the lactic acid production and once it has reached the desired level we add traditional animal rennet. The rennet coagulates the liquid milk which sets like a jelly. After around 50 minutes we look at the firmness of the set and measure the temperature and pH. When we are happy with the set, we begin to cut the curd to release the whey. The hundreds of thousands of curd cubes sit at the bottom of the vat for a few minutes to rest. We then very slowly start to stir the curds in the whey, being careful not to damage the curd structure, but to keep the particles separate and free from one another.
Again, we take the temperature and pH of the curd, and constantly feel it for readiness. We draw off some of the whey until we begin to see the curds below, and the moulding can begin. We fill perforated cheese moulds with the curds, and the whey freely drains away. The curds knit together as they drain which forms the new cheeses. The new cheeses are turned over in the moulds repeatedly throughout the afternoon to help create a cheese which is well drained of whey and is evenly shaped.
The following morning, the cheeses are taken out of their moulds and salted. Once the cheeses have taken their salt, the new Rollrights are wrapped in a strap of spruce cambium (the layer between a tree's bark and wood) to maintain the structure of the cheese during ripening. Now the ripening can commence.