How to Make Swiss Cheese

How to Make Swiss Cheese

If you’re looking for a Swiss cheese recipe you’re in the right place! My friend Michael asked me to teach him how to make Swiss cheese. Meet Michael Stauffer a bonafide Swiss descendant. Guten tag! Excited to be here! My ancestors made a cheese similar to this in Switzerland back in the 1300s. So I’m excited to be here with Lisa today. This is going to be a lot of fun! He’s going to follow along with me and do everything that I do and you can do that, too! If this is your first time making Swiss cheese, grab your cooking pot and come into my kitchen. Let me show you how to make Swiss cheese! Alright, let’s get our cook on! Take three gallons of pasteurized un homogenized milk and heat it to 85 degrees Heat the milk slowly Take a quarter teaspoon of thermophilic culture and sprinkle it on the top and allow it to rehydrate for five minutes. So Lisa why are we using a thermophelic culture rather than mesophilic culture. That’s a good question- so each culture does its work best at different temperatures and as soon as you reach 104 degrees in your recipe you need to switch to thermophilic We’re going to be taking this milk today to 120 degrees. It’s a heat loving culture. And stir in the thermophilic culture for one minute. Now we’re going to add the propionic shermani and we’re going to mix it in a quarter cup of milk. And just mix it in right there. Stir it up, and pour it into the milk. Since this is the culture responsible for making the eyes or the holes that are characteristic of Swiss cheese we want to make sure that this culture is stirred in very well into the milk. Let’s stir for about a minute and a half. Then cover the pot and let it rest for 45 minutes. Now it’s time to coagulate the milk. We’ll take a quarter cup of non-chlorinated water and we’re going to use that to dilute the calcium chloride. Take three quarters of a teaspoon of the calcium chloride and add it to the water. Add it to the milk and stir it in for one minute Now we’ll do the same thing with the rennet. Take a quarter cup of non-chlorinated water and mix the rennet into the water. Oops! See what I did there? Some of my rennet went straight into the milk so we got to get to stirring. It’s all good! pour it in and stir for no longer than one minute. All right now it’s time to check for a clean break. Remove the lid. Take your curd knife or a long knife that goes to the bottom of the pot put it into the middle of the curd mass and slice. Pull the slice back and you start to see whey filling into the slice it’s ready to go. It should have a consistency of like pudding or custard. Pretty close… We’re going to go ahead and wait about five minutes on this one and then we’ll cut these curds. Cut the curves vertically then horizontally in one half inch cubes. Nice work! High five! Once you’ve finished cutting the curds put the lid back on the pot and let them rest for five minutes. Slowly bring the curds to 90 degrees Fahrenheit and once ninety degrees has been reached Stir the curds for 40 minutes. Stir very gently at this phase. The curds are fragile and you don’t want them to shatter or break. So just take your time. If you see any curds, that are too large you can cut them gently with the edge of your spoon. So as we were bringing the curds to 90 degrees We noticed Michael’s temp jumped up he went to 90 a lot quicker than I did and then almost immediately jumped to 106! Now that’s unusual especially since he was on a very low flame. So I’m using my thermometer and he’s he is right at 90. Every once in a while your equipment can fail so the best thing to do if your temperature isn’t quite what you think it is is you can probably calibrate it. You know just need to look in the instructions and get it calibrated. And/or a fast an easy way to do that would be to obviously plunge it into boiling water and see if it comes out to the right temp. But no worries. He’s good. These curds are perfect Better check mine…. Once the 40-minute stir is complete we’re going to move to the next phase of stirring and we are going to now take this temperature from 90 degrees to 120 degrees over a 35 minute period of time. And it’s important to keep this at a very Even pace so roughly a degree a minute and maintain the stir at this point So, where’s your cat that I see in all your videos? (Laughs) Yumyum? Yeah, she’s not here because you’re here! She is a one-person cat and I’m pretty sure she’s hiding under the covers. Mm-hmm. I was right. There she is under the covers. Towards the end of the stir the curds are shrinking and you can stir more vigorously to prevent the matting. Once 120 is reached maintain the temp and stir for 15 more minutes. Once the 15 minutes is finished your curds will have shrunk to about the size of kernels of corn or maybe peanuts. That’s what they should look like. All right 90 minutes of stirring done. And go ahead and put the lid on the pot and allow the curds to sink to the bottom for about 5 minutes. Place the pot into the sink to collect the way we’ll be making ricotta with this later. Then place your colanders onto the pot now. You’ll notice Michael is using a fine mesh colander and I’m using a regular colander with a number 10 cheesecloth laid over it so that we catch every bit of the curds because every little piece of curds is cheese. Now take your pot and go ahead and pour the curds and whey into the colander. Now the moment of truth. We’re going to take both of these sets of curds and we’re going to put them into one large mold we hope to get a six pound cheese out of these curds. We’re pretty excited about it! Then fold the cheesecloth onto the cheese. I’m gonna make a little case. Then take the follower and place the other one on top and then place it into the press and press it at ten pounds for 15 minutes. After the first press is complete remove the weights and remove the cheese from the mold. Be very careful at this stage the cheese is just beginning to form its shape so it’s pretty fragile. Flip it over and redress the cheese. Sometimes you end up with excess cheesecloth and that’s not a problem. You can just cut some of it away. Just make sure the scissors are sanitized. Then place the cheese back into the mold and repress it at 15 pounds for 30 minutes. See you in 30 minutes. Remove the cheese from the mold. Flip it over and redress it and then press again at 15 pounds for two hours. You’ll repeat this step in two hours. You’ll flip it over again, and then you’ll press it again at 15 pounds for 12 hours or overnight. So to be clear…the whole pressing process goes like this: 10 pounds for 15 minutes 15 pounds for 30 minutes 15 pounds for 2 hours and then 15 pounds for 12 hours or overnight. Flipping each time. See you in the morning! Now it’s time to brine the cheese I’m using a 25% brine solution. That’s a gallon of non-chlorinated water and 2 pounds of non-iodized salt and I prepared this yesterday. I went ahead and brought the water to a near boil and then added the salt and then I allowed it to cool to room temperature so that when I’m ready to add the cheese, it will be at the same temperature. Take one teaspoon of calcium chloride and stir it into the brine. The calcium chloride helps prevent the calcium from being leached out of the cheese during the brining process Then take the cheese And we’ll add it into the brine. Now this is a food-safe bucket and it’s important that whenever you’re using plastics with cheese-making to make sure that that’s always food safe and It isn’t this cheese beautiful! I weighed it just a moment ago and it is 5 pounds 14 ounces. So it’s the largest cheese that I’ve made to date. Go ahead and place it into the brine for 12 hours. You’ll flip it at the six-hour mark to make sure that the entire cheese is brined evenly. After the brining stage is complete take it out of the brine and dry it off with a paper towel and place it into a ripening box. Your cheese will live here in the ripening box for seven days. Make sure you flip it every single day and store it in your cheese cave or any place that you can find at 54 degrees Fahrenheit. I like to re purpose a pie carrying container because it has a vent on the top and that way some of the moisture can escape the hope is that you’re going to create an environment of about 85% humidity. And now we’re going to let the cheese rest at room temperature at between 68 and 70 degrees. You’ll want to flip it twice daily and inspect it to make sure there’s no mold. This is day 10 of the drying stage with the Swiss cheese. Now during this 14-day period what we’re trying to do is allow the proprionic shermani to do its magic and create some holes and you knowit’s starting to do that when you see this! I’m going to show this to you… You should notice a dome on the top and on the bottom. It’s pretty cool. That’s a good thing. That means that the cheese is creating holes inside and I’m pretty excited about that. Now I’ve been flipping and inspecting this cheese every day and today, I did notice a very small tiny amount of mold on the top of the surface. So I’m going to take a cheesecloth and I’m going to dip it in white vinegar. I’m just going to wash that small a little bit of mold right off the cheese. I do have a challenge with this cheese and I discovered that this cheese is too big for a normal vac seal bag, and I normally vac steal all my cheese’s so I have a decision to make about how I choose to store it. Stay tuned and find out how I end up storing this cheese. We are at day 14 and Michael is back with me, after I’ve been patiently taking care of this cheese and as you can notice I’m pretty excited about this! We do have significant doming, so we are optimistic that we’re about to see some eyes formed. So here’s what we’re going to do we are going to cut it in half, I guess this is the big reveal. So let’s give it a shot. What do you think? Oh wow. I’m cutting through the rind. Listen to that! She’s seems pretty solid. Yes, it definitely does and we’re hoping for holes because we would like a nice Swiss, typical Swiss cheese. And I’ll finish cutting off the other side here I think this is one of those times that could use one of those cheese wires. That might have to be on the list for later. All right, so we’re going to look first. Oh! Oh my goodness!! Check this out. This is beautiful. High five! You want to see? Take a look. There it is, look at that. That is a beautiful cheese. High five. Good work! All right, Michael. So take a look here. Here’s what we’ve done. All the all the holes are it just the way they want them to be and I think part of the reason this worked so well as we have formed a perfect rind, you can see the dark yellow all the way around so we’ve got a just a gorgeous natural rind going and basically, what we did is we built a case for the propionic Shermani to do its magic and that’s exactly what it did. The way to build the case- there are two things that are pretty important and the first one that I have found is to make sure that your house sits between 68 and 70 degrees and let me tell you we’re we’re really more of a 72 degree family so we’re looking forward to bumping the temperature up a little bit. The things you do to sacrifice for cheese! Now the second thing that you’ll want to do is make sure that when you create this recipe- this is a three-pound recipe- and I would make sure that the mold is tall enough. I would go for a tall cylindrical mold to make sure that the proprionic shermani has enough room to create the holes. If you do a very short sort of pancake style cheese, it might not have enough room to create those domes that you’re looking for. So between those two precautions that we took I think that we right! Now we have a decision on our hands. So Michael, we have four choices to seal this cheese 1/ you can vacuum seal the cheese, 2/ you can wax the cheese 3/ you can cloth bandage it or 4/ you can continue to natural rind it. Should we choose a natural rind? I would need to make sure that I had a temperature of 54 degrees which I do in my cheese cave but the challenge is that I don’t really have a great way to control the humidity and if you’re going to use a natural rind process you need to have a humidity at about 80% and The best I can do in my cheese cave is 60, so that one’s out. I’m not sure. We want a cloth bandage it because I think we might affect the holes, what do you think? Yeah, we don’t want to mess those up because they’re pretty beautiful. And then so that leaves us with vacuum sealing and waxing. Waxing is off the plate right now because my order of wax isn’t in so we’re back to vacuum sealing. We have an issue This is the reason why we cut the cheese. My vacuum sealer capacity appears to be a five pound cheese and this is a six pound cheese with some dome growth. So I did some QA earlier and the whole round did not fit into my vacuum sealer bags. So we made the decision together to cut it and we’re good with that. So I’ll be vacuum sealing in each one of these pieces. Michael when do you want to eat this cheese? As soon as possible! So if we want if we want some flavor developing I recommend between two and three months Can you wait that long? I guess we’ll have to make do. We’re gonna have to try so I’m going vacuum seal this and then I’ll put it in the cave for three months and then we’ll be enjoying this cheese. Michael thanks for doing this with me. Thank you! It was a lot of fun. Thanks so much for watching. We appreciate your support! I hope that you enjoyed this video and if you did you can like it and share it with your friends. Don’t forget to subscribe and we will see you in the next episode.


  1. We LOVE Swiss Cheese 🧀 one of Caleb's favorites !! Great video and I love the team work !! So excited for the next video ! That cheese cave is looking fantastic 🤤❤

  2. Very good cheese, I regret not being able to do it because I do not get the ferments and culture for Swiss cheese. Best regards from Cordoba, Argentina.

  3. Guten Tag!
    When I was a student radiographer in a hospital far too many years ago, every year the local cheese factory would bring in several 40 pound waxed rounds of swiss cheese for us to X-Ray, because they wanted to find the ones with the best hole formation. They used to enter their wonderful cheese in international competitions, and X-Raying it was the only way to find the prettiest interior without cutting it up! We got to share a cheese for our trouble. Its holes may have been unsuiitable for competition purposes, but it tasted just as wonderful as the best one.

  4. When you heat up the curd to 90°, are you stirring from the beginning or do you start stirring as soon as you reach the 90°

  5. Is the normal fridge too cold for resting? I saw you using a wine fridge… I assume that works! What other options are there?

  6. Hi.. Just found your channel.. been looking at this video with interest. I want to do a Swiss cheese also, but I don't want to use a smaller mold as I would think that the eye development would be limited, so I'm looking at a larger batch.. and I see you have about a 6 gallon batch here. Question, what is the size of the mold that you are using.. Is it the large mold 7 7/8 x 6" size that has? thanks for the feedback.. cheers

  7. I have no excess to only pasteurized milk. Pasteurized and homogenized milk only. So my question is. What should I do to make this cheese please?

  8. Very satisfied about this videos 😍 Can you do for us a video about cheddar cheese ? Thank you so much and I wish you all the best.

  9. I just cut into my Swiss. I was very nervous but, Success! So excited! Now comes they hard part..waiting to taste it! Thank you so much for the leading me by the hand with your video!

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