Curd Handling

Most brine or surface salted varieties are dipped directly into the forms or pressed under the whey. In the absence of salt, the curd is fused to form a smooth, plastic mass. The hoops are turned at regular intervals to promote uniform drainage, symmetrical shape, and a smooth finish.

Some varieties such as Gouda and Swiss are pressed under the whey before draining. This encourages formation of smooth texture and prevents incorporation of mechanical openings in the cheese due to trapped air or pockets of whey.

For Cheddar, American, and Pasta Filata varieties the curd is kept warm in the vat or drain table and allowed to ferment to pH 5.2 -5.4. Pasta Filata varieties are then worked in warm water while Cheddar and American varieties are salted in the vat.