At God's Country Creamery, our cheeses start with the highest quality, certified Grade A milk which passes all quality tests with flying colors, making it as wholesome as possible. We want our cheeses to have the best taste with no bitterness which means we are extremely careful to start with the best forages and a balanced nutrition plan for our cows.
- Cheese making begins during morning chores (6 AM) when the cows are milking. Milk is delivered directly to the cheese vat when it is warm to guarantee the freshest milk and also to conserve energy.
- After milking, the milk in the vat is heated to 85-90 degrees Fahrenheit (depending on the cheese) by the vat's hot water jacket. Once the optimal temperature for culture growth is reached, we add the natural milk cultures. These cultures dissolve and are stirred into the milk.
- We add the natural enzyme to coagulate the milk (makes it solid). Some cheeses require the culture to ripen (the milk sits and rests awhile) for a little while first before the enzyme is added.
- After about 45-60 minutes, we check for a 'clean break'. This is a cheesemaking term that means the cheese is ready to make perfect curds. At this point we should be able to insert a knife into the cheese and remove it cleanly.
- Once we've achieved a clean break, it's time to cut the curds. When cutting is finished the curds should be between 3/8 inch to 1/2 inch depending on the cheese variety (Swiss varieties require the curds to be even smaller -- rice size actually).
- Next the curds are stirred and cooked at temperatures not exceeding 105 degrees (Swiss varieties require a higher cooking temperature however).
- Now it's time to separate the curds from the whey. The whey is a valuable by-product which is drained from the curds and sent to our manure storage to be used on the cropping fields.
- After most of the whey is drained, the hooping stage starts. At this point, the curds are scooped into the cheese moulds to form the cheese wheels, and the moulds are placed vertically on a press. The press adds a little pressure to expel any remaining whey from the cheese.
- The wheels are moved into the cooler and enjoy a nice soak in the salt brine tanks unless it is our Boondocks Cheddar (salt is added directly in the make process). The brine is made with our own spring water and all-natural salt. This soak produces a rind on the outside of the wheels and helps to expel any lingering whey.
- After soaking 36-48 hours, depending on the cheese, the cheeses are removed from the brine and air dry on drying racks in the cheese house.
- Finally, the cheese is ready to relax in the cooler and simply age. We have three different aging rooms to accommodate each aging needs of our cheeses. All of our cheeses age at least sixty days, however some of our cheeses are aged months before they reach perfection. At God's Country Creamery our little saying is, "Age is of no importance unless you are cheese".
God's Country Creamery | 439 Pushersiding Rd. Ulysses, PA 16948 | Phone 814-848-7262 | godscountrycreamery.com