How to Make Blue Cheese
Blue cheese is characterized by blue or blue-green mold (courtesy of Penicillum cultures added during the cheese-making process) and a sharp, slightly salty flavor. The blue cheese made by following these instructions is similar to higher priced blue cheese available in the United States called "Saga Blue."
Cold drained curds from Farmer's cheese
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. uncontaminated blue cheese
1/4 cup cool clean water
Pan of water
Start with cold drained curds from Farmer's cheese made from two gallons of milk, drained in the refrigerator. Neufchâtel should also do fine as a starting curd.
Sprinkle on 2 teaspoons of salt and mix to form pea-sized crumbles.
Use a blender to blend 1 teaspoon of uncontaminated blue cheese like "Saga Blue" with 1/4 cup of cool clean water to create a smooth suspension of cheese (the inoculum).
Pour the inoculum over the salted curds and toss to mix thoroughly.
Line the press with a sterile handkerchief, and load the curd. Press lightly so that the curds are not compressed together, but retain air spaces within the cheese. Allow it to stand in the press overnight.
Remove the curd from the press in the morning and create air holes by inserting a sterilized rod, about 1/4 inch in diameter (6 mm), through the cheese every inch or so. This will allow air to enter the cheese which is necessary for growth of the mold. Whatever type of rod you insert must be sterilized (or at least dipped in vodka, as the screwdriver shown was). Make sure that you do not introduce bacterial contamination in these air holes.
Rub the surface lightly with salt, and place the aerated cheese on a dry sterile handkerchief. Fold the cloth over to lightly cover.
Place the cheese on a non corrosive rack to encourage air circulation around the cheese and place it in a "cool box" (e.g. refrigerator) which will hold the temperature around 10 C (50 F).
Monitor the temperature and humidity. The temperature should be around 10 C, and the humidity around 70%. Elevate the humidity with a pan of water in the bottom of the "cool box." Since the cheese will be aged unwaxed, this high humidity is important so that the cheese does not dry out. On the other hand, if it is "dripping wet" so that the cheese "weeps," the cheese will spoil.