Curd Herder™ Universal Cheesmaking Equipment Kit

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$154.99
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The Curd Herder™ Universal Cheesmaking Equipment Kit contains all the reusable equipment, supplies, and instructions you will need for every new batch of cheese, including instructions, curd handling, the aging environment, humidity control and monitoring, and as well as special cheese wrapping paper for the final product. When this base kit is paired with one or more of our Specialty Cheese Kits and the appropriate quantity of milk, you will be fully prepared to make several batches of any given style of cheese. Keep expanding your cheesemaking repertoire by adding on Specialty Kits as you master each style. The included book, Artisan Cheesemaking at Home, by Sonoma County local, Mary Karlin, is our favorite book on making cheese and even contains recipes provided by staff of The Beverage People! If you're whey serious about making some curd, we suggest purchasing this kit with the Specialty Cheese Kit for Fresh Chevre for the ultimate starter package. Note: A Cheese Press is not included and will be needed for the Specialty Cheese Kit for Hard Cheese. Also consider enrollment in one of our Upcoming Cheese Classes where we'll help take those cheesemaking skills to the next level.

The Equipment Kit includes the Curd Herder™ Cheese Aging Humidity Box - Complete Set which is a home cheesemakers solution to the challenges of affinage, or cheese aging.  Many cheesemaking hobbyists struggle to maintain the appropriate humidity level, drainage, and ventilation of their cheeses during aging.  This kit will help you maintain and monitor the humidity of your cheese aging environment.  It has been designed to provide simple and effective solutions to the cheesemaking requirements of humidity, sanitation, and ventilation.

 

How to set up the box:

      1. Star San solution as the source of humidity – There are two ripening pans in the kit, one with side cut outs, and one without. The pan without side cut outs should be filled with a cup of sanitizer solution.

      2. Spongecloths bring moisture into the cheese enviroment Place the two spongecloths on each side of the sanitizer-filled ripening box. Use clips to hold the spongecloths in place. They will need to wick water up from the sanitizer solution. They also need to completely fill the cut out spaces in the modified ripening pan. This will create wet walls in your humidity box.

      3. Hygrometer – The HygroSet II hygrometer has a magnet embedded on the back of the unit and includes a sticker-back magnet plate which can be applied to the inside wall of the humidity box. Install the magnet place inside the box. Calibrate the hygrometer, then install it on the wall of the box.

      4. Drainage – To ensure the excess cheese moisture will drain during ripening, the kit includes a drainage tray as well as a nylon mesh mat sized to sit atop the drainage tray. Be sure all equipment is sanitized before the cheese is introduced into the box.

      5. Calcium chloride to remove excess moisture –  This salt is very hydrophilic, which means it loves water and will absorb it out of the air. As it absorbs moisture from the air it will liquify and drain into the lower pan. Fill the aperitif mold with calcium chloride salt when you wish to have a lower humidity in the ripening box. Be sure the liquified calcium chloride is properly draining to the lower ripening pan.

 

Recommendations

To get comfortable with your ability to monitor and maintain humidity in the box, we recommend that you work with the box for a week or so before making cheese. Try to manipulate and maintain appropriate humidity for the cheese you want to make. Try a couple different temperatures and see how that impacts the relative humidity (RH). Is the internal fan in your refrigerator causing any impact inside the box? Try with the calcium chloride in the box, and try it without for a couple days. Once you have the ability to set and maintain the proper temperature and humidity for your cheese, you are ready! Remember that when you place a fresh-made wet cheese into the box, the humidity will spike at first. The calcium chloride, along with the drainage system of the box, will help you bring the RH back down in a relatively short period of time.

With proper maintenance of humidity, temperature, sanitation, and ventilation, you are on your way to making world class cheese! Have fun!

 

 

How to Use

Note: This is not a stand-alone cheese kit, but a base for a variety of cheese making when you add one or more of our Specialty Cheese Kits, which we have for the following styles of cheese:

 

For articles and recipes with instructions for making a wide variety of cheeses check out our database of Cheese Making Articles and Info.

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