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I am interested in learning more about the processes of making clothbound cheddar cheese as it is done in Somerset, England.

In the United States I like the clothbound cheddar made by Jasper Hill Farms.

So far, the best book I have found is The Cheesemaker's Apprentice: An Insider's Guide to the Art and Craft of Homemade Artisan Cheese, Taught by the Masters, but I get the sense that important steps and information missing from this books. Also, like many books, it focuses on "kitchen" methods using generic equipment, not specialized equipment.

I have mechanical ability, a shop, a biological laboratory and other capability to fabricate harps, centrifuges and other specialized equipment so I am interested in finding out the most advanced techniques for making high quality cheddar. How can I do this?

  • Apply for an apprenticeship? (only half-joking...) – Stephie Nov 13 '15 at 18:20
  • I am very involved in the cheesemaking community, and there isn't a quick and easy answer to your question. Cheddar in particular is not an easy cheese to make (now, "farmstead cheddar" is quite easy to do, but that is not what you are trying to achieve) -- I would recommend posing your question to the wonderful forum on www.cheeseforum.org. This is not a site that sells anything; simply a place where hobby cheesemakers congregate. The people over there are helpful and open to helping those new to the cheesemaking world. Good luck! – user40894 Nov 18 '15 at 19:50
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The quality of cheddar is largely dependant on the skill and effort shown in the aging process. This means providing a suitable environment for the lactose bacteria to flourish. Remember it is the bacteria that coverts the lactose into lactic acid that is the crux of the matter. That is the main source of flavour.

Somewhat cool and somewhat humid. I would aim for a coolish 10 - 15 degrees Celsius and a moderate amount of humidity.

Realise that making these types of artisan cheeses are a huge undertaking especially if you are interested in doing it well and on a large scale. Although I have seen 3 month old aged cheddar the true types would be aged at least six months if not a year.

You are going to have to have a large enough store room that can house all the wheels of cheese. Along with the atmospheric condition the room also needs to be clean and rodent free.

You also have to at least dialy check on your wheels to ensure there is no unwanted mould growth. You would have to turn those wheels, check the humidity and temperature.

Ultimately there is no short cuts. The effort you put into the making of the cheese will directly influence the taste and ultimately the success of your endeavour.

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