How to make Colby jack cheese: Cheese, with its diverse textures and aromas, has been a culinary treat for generations. Colby Jack stands out among the broad family of cheeses due to its mild and creamy flavor, making it a favorite among cheese fans. While store-bought choices are easily available, making your own Colby Jack cheese at home is especially satisfying.
We’ll be teaching you how to make Colby jack cheese directly in your kitchen.
What Ingredients are Needed to Make Colby Jack Cheese
Before making a Colby Jack Cheese, you need to know the ingredients you will be needing:
- 2 gallons of whole milk
- 1/8th teaspoon of Mesophilic starter culture
- 1/4th teaspoon of liquid rennet
- 1/2 cup of cool, chlorine-free water
- 1 teaspoon of calcium chloride (if using pasteurized milk)
- Cheese salt (non-iodized)
- Colby and Jack cheese cultures
- Cheese wax (optional, for aging)
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What is the Needed Equipment?
Before starting your Colby Jack cheese-making expedition, make sure you have all of the necessary tools.
- Stainless steel pot (large enough to hold 2 gallons of milk)
- Long knife
- Cheese mold
- Cheese press
- Cheese cloth
- Cheese aging mat or board
How to Make Colby Jack Cheese
Below is a step by step guide on how to make a delicious Colby Jack Cheese:
1. Choose Quality Milk
Start with fresh, high-quality cow’s milk, preferably from a local source or a reputable dairy. If using store-bought milk, select a brand that is minimally processed and free from additives.
For store-bought milk, add calcium chloride to compensate for any loss of calcium during pasteurization.
2. Heat the Milk
Pour the milk into the large stainless steel pot and heat it gradually to 88°F (31°C). Use a low heat setting to avoid scalding the milk. Stir gently to distribute the heat evenly.
3. Add Mesophilic Culture
Once the milk reaches 88°F (31°C), sprinkle the mesophilic culture over the surface. Let it rehydrate for a minute before gently stirring it into the milk using an up-and-down motion. Allow the culture to work its magic for about 45 minutes, maintaining the temperature.
4. Introduce Rennet
Dissolve the liquid rennet in 1/4 cup of cool, non-chlorinated water. Pour this solution into the milk and stir for a couple of minutes. Cover the pot and let the milk sit undisturbed for approximately 60 minutes, allowing the rennet to set the curds.
5. Cut the Curds
Once the curd has formed a gel-like consistency, use a long knife or curd cutter to cut it into 1/2-inch cubes. Allow the curds to rest for 5 minutes, allowing them to heal and firm up.
6. Gradually Heat the Curds
Begin to slowly heat the curds to 102°F (39°C) over 30 minutes. Stir the curds gently to prevent matting. Maintain this temperature for an additional 30 minutes, continuing to stir periodically.
7. Drain and Press the Curds
Transfer the curds into a cheese mold lined with a cheesecloth. Press the curds at 20 pounds of pressure for 20 minutes. Remove the cheese from the mold, flip it, re-dress, and press at 40 pounds of pressure for another 20 minutes.
Repeat the flipping and pressing process, gradually increasing the pressure to 50 pounds, and press for an additional 12 hours.
8. Salt the Cheese
Once the cheese is fully pressed, remove it from the mold and immerse it in a brine solution made with 1/4 cup of non-iodized salt dissolved in 1 quart of water. Allow the cheese to soak in the brine for 12 hours, flipping it halfway through.
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Now that you know the process for making Colby Jack cheese, you can try it yourself at home. Remember to be patient and allow enough time for the cheese to age and develop its flavor.
And remember, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can experiment with different spices and herbs to create your unique flavor profile. So get your ingredients and start preparing your own delicious Colby Jack.