As you will see, we have a very "compact" dairy. We have just taken delivery of a second vat which will run alongside our other one, so things will be even more interesting in the New Year!
Here are a few pictures to give you an idea of a typical day in the dairy.
Milk is poured into vat and heated up. Starter culture and blue mould are then added.
When the correct temperature is reached, rennet is added.
The rennet will cause the milk to coagulate and set into curds and whey.
Once the milk has set, curd knives are used to cut the curds into small cubes.
The whey is drained off and the moulds are filled with the curds.
The curds are allowed to drain in the moulds before they are turned to give an even shape.
The cheeses are removed from the mould and placed into brine tanks.
They are then stacked onto racks to drain.
Once dry they are pierced by our wonderful machine! (saves getting stabbed by the piercing fork) This allows the oxygen into the cheese causing the blueing process to start.
The cheeses are then stored in the maturing room where the blueing process continues and the rustic rind is formed.
The cheeses are regularly turned to ensure an even coat, shape and maturing process.
This is Barkham Blue after it has fully matured
and here it is wrapped and ready to go!
Last but not least, our labour saving dishwasher for all the moulds and racks. A full cycle takes just 3 minutes - brilliant!