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Has anybody made a cheese press

Discussion in 'Cheese Making' started by blackwrx04, Apr 9, 2019.

  1. blackwrx04

    blackwrx04 Newbie

    My wife really wants me to make one, but looking around there are so many. I thought I would ask on here because all the good advice I get on smoking meats. So please help a guy out and give me some ideas if you dont mind
     
  2. TomKnollRFV

    TomKnollRFV Master of the Pit Group Lead

    I have not; but I am curious about this as well. I've been eyeballing making cheese now.
     
  3. pineywoods

    pineywoods SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member OTBS Admin SMF Premier Member

  4. Holly2015

    Holly2015 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Sure have. Are you looking to make a spring press or a lever style?
     
  5. blackwrx04

    blackwrx04 Newbie

    A spring press.
     
  6. Holly2015

    Holly2015 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    As for the press it is homemade (see 17th picture down from the top):

    2 - 3/8" x 2" carriage bolts
    2 - 3/8 x 10" pcs of 3/8 all thread rod
    2 - 3/8" rod couplings
    2 - 3/8" wing nuts
    4 - 3/8" hex nuts
    10 - 3/8" fender washers
    1 - 1" x 3" x 24" oak board
    1 - small wood screw
    1 - cutting board at least a 1/2" thick
    2 - springs (this is the hard part to figure out)
    1 - 1/2" 1/8" x 6" piece of aluminium bars stock (this is the weight gauge)
    1 - cheese mold. Originally I was using a piece of 4" stainless sanitary tubing but broke down and bought a real cheese mold for something like $14. It was worth the investment

    To figure out what springs I needed and to make the scale (alum piece) I did a mock up on my work bench and used a digital bathroom scale to set the values. When I reached 10lbs of pressure I marked the aluminium where it intersected the wood then the same with 40 and 50lbs. When I get home I'll take a clearer pic of the press it'll make it more obvious.

    While spring presses are good I am going to make a simplified Dutch press as they are more consistent. They use a weighted lever/fulcrum design so even as the cheese compresses 40 lbs is alway 40/lbs. With a spring press as the cheese compresses the springs relax and the pressure reduces. To combat this need to periodically check and retention the press to keep the cheese properly weighted. Don't get me wrong a spring press produces really good results and takes up less space.

    CP1.jpg

    CP2.jpg

    CP3.jpg
     
    crazymoon likes this.
  7. blackwrx04

    blackwrx04 Newbie

    Thank you so much now I can build one. Another project going to get done
     
  8. Holly2015

    Holly2015 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You are welcome. If you hit any snags let me know and i'll do my best to help out.
     
  9. canuhover

    canuhover Newbie

    I built a hydraulic one that works great but if your interested in a wood one here you go. You can download the pdf from sturdypress.com
     

    Attached Files:

  10. forktender

    forktender Smoking Fanatic

    Could you cap off a sausage stuffer and press with that?
     
  11. crazymoon

    crazymoon Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    FT, I'm not sure if you would get the pressed cheese out of the stuffer as it isn't open ended like a cheese mold.
     
  12. Holly2015

    Holly2015 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    No and for 2 reasons:

    1. As Crazymoon stated you never get the cheese out in 1 piece.
    2. The reason for pressing cheese is squeeze out moisture at a certain rate. That is when cheese molds are perforated.

    There is no better press than a Dutch style for consistency. Hanging a weight on a lever and letting gravity do its thing produces repeatable reliable results.
     
    forktender likes this.