I’ve gotten to the point in cheesemaking where I needed to buy some specialized cheese moulds. Particularly, to make cheeses in the style of brie, camembert and muenster. They have these cool band-link wood moulds in small, medium and large sizes, starting at $70 and going well over $100. I knew right away it would be a while till I could get a hold of those, so in the meantime, I’ve found that you can use sheets of food-grade polypropylene. I used 1/8″ thick sheets. If you can find it thinner, it would work, and looking back, I’d go thinner since this stuff was more difficult to bend. Here’s what I did.
Look up polypropylene on Amazon. I found offal sheets in the size of 12″ X 24″ for like $10-12. Free shipping for Prime Members. It was perfect really. One sheet made two moulds. Actually, I think these turned out a tad too tall. You could cut the sheet in thirds and get 3 perfect moulds. At the time, I cut it in half and made strips for two moulds.
To bend them, you have to boil water in a big pot on the stove. Get your biggest. Even the one I used was a little small (looking back). Once boiling, put and end of the sheet in the water to soften it. It works fast. Flip is and put the other end in. I was able to bend it enough to contour around the side of the pot I was using. I let it go for about 2 minutes. Then, used tongs to pull it out. It was soft enough to roll up tighter and tie some twine around it. it’s ok to make smaller than your final mould will be. It will want to unwind slightly after it’s done. Put it back in to boil for a couple of minutes, and fill up your sink with cold water. Remove the moulds from the pot and plunge into cold water while still tied. Let it cool, and you’re done.
That’s all there is to it. I go ahead and store them with the twine around them to help keep the sized shape I want for next time. Let me leave you with a word of caution. I did scald myself. I decided to get a wooden spoon and try to push the moulds down into my boiling pot of water a little more. They were somewhat flexed against the edges of my pot, so they were a little tight. I was pushing hard enough when the spoon slipped off the edge of the mould and pretty much plunged my hand into the pot of water. It was a quick scald. My hand totally made it… but the tender area around my wrist is what took a second degree. Also, while flexing the mould getting into the water–and perhaps out as well–be mindful that any tension on the plastic could spring and splash hot water on you. I’m pretty good around a stove, yet I managed to get a pretty good burn. Be careful.
[…] and large) but they are very expensive… over $100 and it just wasn’t happening. So, I made some moulds out of food-grade polypropylene. Once I had the moulds, and the special bacteria, I was ready. There’s two ways you can use […]