How to Make Brick Cheese
- In a 10-quart, non-reactive pot on low heat, add milk and let it heat to 88 degrees F for 18 to 20 minutes.
- Turn the heat off and sprinkle the starter on the surface of the milk. Let it rehydrate for 5 minutes and with a slotted spoon, stir it in by using gentle up-and-down motions until it is well incorporated. Cover it and make sure the temperature stays at 88 degrees F for 15 minutes to ripen.
- Slowly start to add the diluted rennet and start stirring in the same motion. Cover it again and set it aside, undisturbed, for 35 to 40 minutes, maintaining the same temperature.
- When a break begins to form between the whey and curds, start cutting the curds into ½-inch pieces. At this point, you must not stir, and let the cubed curds sit aside for 5 minutes.
- Place the curds back into a pot on low heat and let it heat to 98 degrees F slowly (the temperature should come up 1 degree F in 3 to 4 minutes). When it is heating, you need to be stirring so they do not stick together or release any more whey or they will become the size of a peanut.
- When it reaches 98 degrees F, turn the heat off. Cover it and maintain the temperature for 20 minutes or until the curds get to the bottom of the pot.
- With the help of a damp cheesecloth or butter muslin, line a colander. Slowly and carefully, start putting the warm curbs into the colander. Let the curds drain for 5 minutes, move them, then with the cloth wrapped around them, put the curd into the molds, with the cloth still present. After putting them in the mold, pull the cloth so there are no big wrinkles and so your cheese can be as smooth as possible. With the excess cloth, fold it on top of the curds while patting it slightly.
- Place something heavy on top of the covered curbs and “press at 5 pounds of pressure” for at least 15 minutes. Take the cheese out of the mold, unwrap it, flip it, rewrap it and place it back into the mold. Then, you will need to press the cheese at 10 pounds for at least 12 hours.
- Make a gallon of medium strong brine (28 ounces of salt in 1 gallon of water) and let it chill to 50 degrees F. take the cheese out of its mold and keep it in the cool brine. Take the cheese and brine to the refrigerator and let it soak in for at least 2 hours.
- Remove the cheese from the brine and put it on a rack so it can air-dry in a dark, cool place until the surface of these begin to dry, this takes around 24 hours.
- Wax the cheese and let it age for 4 months at 55 degrees F. make sure you are flipping the cheese at least one time a week so it ripens.
- Brick cheese originates from Wisconsin, United States.
- It is called brick cheese because it is shaped like a brick.