DIY Cheese Press

Given The Baker Jules has most of the say on the blog it was about time for me The Butcher & random stuff maker to have a go. As Jules has always let on I love any gadgets related to cookery and the quirky or more old-fashioned the better. Previous projects include a clay pizza oven, bread bin hot smoker, along with a meat/cheese safe suspended from the outhouse ceiling and restoring a clockwork spit (I’ve promised to blog about both of these  soon). The next project in the pipeline is a cold smoker. The burner has already been fashioned from an old gas bottle but I just need an elusive wooden barrel for the smoking chamber…And you thought Jules was a food geek!

My first attempt at cheesemaking was Basic Hard cheese. This was soon followed by an attempt at a basic blue cheese. All was going well until somehow Mr & Mrs Robin found their way into the shed and found this delectable fatty treat. It couldn’t be saved for human consumption, but certainly gave the birds a feast. After that hurdle the cheese safe was born. Since the beginning I wanted to make a cheese press that would form the cheese properly and give it its characteristic truckle shape. Not one to buy things like this, I wanted to make a press from scratch. It gives me the Engineer in me a challenge. It was more or less made of items I found in the outhouse or at the Aladdin’s cave of Dad’s garage. It’s not difficult, more of an easy/medium project, you just need some basic woodworking knowledge and tools. Hopefully the photos above help explain it better than I can.

You will need:

Piece of  hardwood for the base (hardwood won’t swell with the whey)
2 blocks of hardwood for inside tube
Broom handle (for holding the parts together)
Suitable lengths of wood for the sides
Modified G-clamp
Piece of drain pipe
Large baking tray
muslin/cheese cloth

1) First construct the base. Router a gully into the hardwood to allow the whey to drain from the curds easier.

2) To make the uprights at one end cut out a suitable sized notchfor the cross bar to sit in. Secure the two uprights to the base with screws.

3) For the cross bar you have two options. Fashion yourself a screw mechanism or, like me, chop down a g-clamp and  embedded it in the cross bar. It works perfectly. With the cross bar in place drill the holes for the broom handles through both uprights and crossbar at the same time to ensure the holes line up. The cross bar can then be held in place with short lengths of broom handle.

4) Cut a round piece of hardwood to match the internal diameter of the pipe that will for the truckle (This needs to be a snug fit)

5) Below the screw place the piece of piping and line with cheesecloth. Fill the tube with the curd. Place the round block of hardwood in the pipe. Screw down the screw onto the block, squashing the curds (If the screw isn’t long enough use a block of wood as a spacer). Keep turning until the screw becomes tight. Tighten the screw each day until the desired density is achieved.

Post Author: Jules

Freelance food geek who's passionate about food education.

10 thoughts on “DIY Cheese Press

  • Merlotti

    (March 29, 2010 - 7:27 pm)

    Brilliant – I’d love a go at this but don’t think I’d ever find the time. And anyway, I can’t find rennet anywhere down here :( Well done Butcher – it looks great!

  • the caked crusader

    (April 6, 2010 - 7:36 am)

    Love it! This cheese press is surely the work of genius!

  • Browners

    (April 6, 2010 - 7:31 pm)

    Fantastic stuff. I love your cheese making experiment.

  • Easy Cheesy Biscuits « Butcher, Baker

    (April 25, 2010 - 8:30 pm)

    […] some variety in the fridge. I think it would be one of my Desert Island foods. Hubs had a go at making his own cheese press. Many of my pupils have asked if we can make cheesy biscuits in Cookery Club. Like all the recipes […]

  • Heather

    (April 26, 2010 - 1:56 pm)

    This is seriously impressive.

    I’ve been getting a tad enamored with the idea of making my own hard cheese lately, but I would definitely buy a kit that includes a cheese press. The uber crafty (such as this) does not come easily to me. :)

  • Tandoor Oven

    (October 4, 2010 - 3:14 pm)

    […] many time on both the blog and on Twitter about my sometimes eccentric projects. From the cheese press to the hanging meat safe ever since I came up with the idea of making a tandoor oven I knew I had to […]

  • Kimber from Stilettos In The Mud

    (March 6, 2012 - 6:34 pm)

    This is awesome…I want to mention you and this idea on my blog…is that ok?

    • Jules

      (March 6, 2012 - 7:29 pm)

      Yes you can.

  • […] mentioned many time on both the blog and on Twitter about my sometimes eccentric projects. From the cheese press to the hanging meat safe ever since I came up with the idea of making a tandoor oven I knew I had to […]

Say hello!