Here at the James Ranch, we make artisan cheese. This means our cheeses are handcrafted in small batches the way cheeses have traditionally been made. The result of the extra time and attention is a superb and complex cheese that we are sure you will enjoy.
- Morning and evening milk combine to fill the vat for cheese making.
- The milk gently heats until it is at the right temperature for the addition of starter culture. Soon thereafter, rennet is added.
- The rennet sets the milk. The cheese maker tests for the proper consistency (that of custard), then it is time to cut the curd.
- After the curd has been cut to a uniform size, we drain the whey. Whey is the lactose and water that is separated from the milk solids.
- The molds are then filled with cheese curd.
- For the next 2-3 hours the cheeses are pressed to expel additional whey.
- After pressing, the cheeses are plunged into cool brine for three days where they are periodically turned and sprinkled with salt. This is how our cheese gets its salt and forms its rind.
- Because all of our cheeses are made from raw milk, even the youngest sit in our temperature and humidity-controlled ageing room for at least 60 days. Many continue to mature much longer.