Making Pepper Jack Cheese


3 Gallons whole milk
1/4 teaspoon Mesophilic-A Culture
3 Teaspoons of 30% Calcium Chloride in 2 tablespoons distilled water
1/2 a rennet tablet dissolved in 1/4 cup distilled water
1 teaspoon + 3 Tablespoons flaked salt
Finely Diced Pickled Jalapenos 
Red Pepper Flakes


Combine milk and calcium chloride in a stock pot and heat to 88 degrees. Add Mesophilic-A culture and stir thoroughly. Allow milk to 'ripen' for 45 minutes (while this is happening dissolve rennet in distilled water). 

Increase the temperature of the milk to 90 degrees. Stir 1 teaspoon salt into dissolved rennet mixture, then gently stir it into the milk. Allow milk to set covered at 90 degrees for 60 minutes. 

Using a long-bladed stainless steel knife cut the curds into 1/2 inch cubes. Let set for 10 minutes.

Place the pot of cheese in the sink and pour 100-degree water around the pot into the sink. Indirectly heat curds to 100 degrees by increasing the temperature no faster than 2 degrees ever 5 minutes. It should take 30 minutes to reach 100 degrees. Stir the curds frequently but gently during this 30 minute period. 

Maintain the curds at 100 degrees for an additional 30 minutes stirring every couple minutes. 

 Allow curds to settle for 5 minutes. 

Place a large colander in a sink and pour the curds and whey into the colander so they can drain. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons of salt and peppers. Gently mix it in with your hands. 

Pour cheese into a clean 300 count pillow slip and place in the mold (These must be clean, washed with only bleach and no detergent, etc.) . Pull up on the cloth to prevent bunching. Spread the remaining cloth over the curds. Place the follower on top and set with a 4 pound weight (you can use cans from the pantry or a 1/2 gallon of water for this. Press cheese for 15 minutes. 

Remove the cheese from the press and pillow case, flip, put back into a pillow case and return to mold. Press this side with 8-10 pounds (1 gallon of water will do it) for 12 hours. 

Remove the cheese from the mold and pillowslip. Mix 1 tablespoon salt and 1/2 cup water. Use a corner of the pillowslip to brush on the salt water. Place on a bamboo mat to air dry for 1-3 days, turning twice daily. When a yellowish rind appears and it is dry to the touch it is ready to wax for storage. 

Wax the cheese and store for aging 1-4 months. Turn the cheese daily for the first month and several times weekly for the rest of the time. 

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  1. I've never made cheese before, but that looks really good. Nice write up!

  2. This recipe looks fantastic I can't wait to try it!


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