Do You Know Jack?


Meet Jack!

No, not THAT Jack!

He’s pretty special, though. But I mean Monterey Jack! And PEPPER JACK! (Pepper Jack pictured at the top, just before waxing.)

I love Monterey Jack and especially Pepper Jack. I use Pepper Jack in my homemade pepperoni rolls. I need homemade Pepper Jack! It all starts with learning how to make Monterey Jack, so I was excited to take on Monterey Jack for my first cheese challenge post for New England Cheesemaking.

I’m using my well worn copy of Home Cheese Making by Ricki Carroll from New England Cheesemaking as my guide.

Well worn not because I’ve made so much cheese but because I’ve fondled it a lot while dreaming about making cheese. I’ve made a lot of soft cheeses, and Farmhouse Cheddar as well as Traditional Cheddar from the book. Now I’m finally (finally!) plowing past my fears and making more new cheeses. There is a lot that is similar in making Monterey Jack to making Traditional Cheddar, so it’s a good recipe to venture out with first. Next month, I’ll be scaring myself to death with something really different. (More on next month’s cheese challenge later!)

Let’s get started! (And don’t miss the giveaway at the end of the post.)

To make Monterey Jack, you need:

2 gallons whole milk*
1 packet direct-set mesophilic starter or 4 ounces prepared mesophilic starter
1/2 teaspoon liquid rennet (or 1/2 rennet tablet) dissolved in 1/4 cup cool unchlorinated water
1 tablespoon cheese salt
cheese wax

*If you use whole milk, your Monterey Jack will be semisoft, the way we’re accustomed to finding it from the grocery store. If you use skim milk, it will turn out hard enough to grate.

I use direct-set packets of starter and liquid rennet. If you do one thing I tell you about today, buy liquid rennet!!! Save yourselves! (I don’t like the tablets.)

Step 1. Go milk your cow. Let the calf help.

I’m just kidding! You can use milk from the store if you don’t have a cow. I use raw milk from my Jersey sweetheart, Beulah Petunia. You can find out more about milk for cheesemaking here, including information as to whether or not you may want to add calcium chloride to your store-bought milk when making cheese. If you have trouble with weak curds when using store-bought pasteurized milk, for a two gallon recipe–add 1/4 teaspoon calcium chloride diluted in 1/4 cup cool water after the milk has ripened in Step 1 and before adding the rennet.

Step 1. (The real Step 1!) Heat two gallons of milk to 88-degrees F. (All temps in my posts are listed in Fahrenheit.) Add the starter and stir thoroughly.

Cover and allow the milk to ripen at 90-degrees for 30 minutes.

Milk holds its temperature really well in a covered pot, by the way.

Step 2. After the 30 minutes have passed, add the calcium chloride, if using. (I don’t use it for my milk.)

Step 3. Add the diluted rennet and stir gently with an up-and-down motion for 1 minute. I’ve had people ask me what an up-and-down motion means. I use a big stainless steel slotted spoon and I just move the spoon straight up and down (or as straight up and down as I can) in the pot as opposed to stirring around in circles. It’s not that hard–you’re not going to mess it up. As long as you don’t go crazy stirring in circles, you’ll be okay.

Cover the pot again and let it sit at 90-degrees for 30-45 minutes, until the curd gives a clean break. I turned the heat back on under the pot for about a minute, bringing the temp back up to 90.

I use both a hand-held digital thermometer and a long clip-on cheesemaking thermometer. When I’m watching the temperature over a period of time, I use the clip-on one. When I’m spot-checking, I use the little digital one for a quick read.

Step 4. Cut the curd into 1/4-inch cubes and let set for 40 minutes. You can use either a long knife to cut curds or even a tall whisk.

How do you know if your curds are ready? You should be able to cut the curds cleanly, meaning they won’t fall back into a mushy mess together. It’s sort of like cutting little cubes of Jell-O. The curds have a similar jiggly consistency yet clear separation from each other. I usually just stick a butter knife in there to test it to see if the curds are ready. If I can draw a line with the butter knife and see the curds break apart, they’re good to go.

Here are some cut curds:

See how the pieces maintain their shape and separation from each other. We’re making cheese now, baby!

Step 5. Heat the curds to 100-degrees, increasing the temperature by two degrees every 5 minutes. This will take about 35 minutes.

Stir gently but frequently to keep the curds from matting.

It’s important to raise the temperature really slowly because the slow rise of heat causes the curds to expel whey and shrink. If the temperature rises too fast, the curds can get a hard skin to them and not expel enough whey. You can raise the temperature slowly by placing your cheese pot in a sink or larger pot of water that you heat gradually. I just turn the heat on the pot a little bit at a time, watching the temperature so it doesn’t rise too fast. (I turn the heat on and off, watching the temp rise slowly. I have a gas stovetop, which makes heat control more incremental and precise. If you have an electric stovetop, you may want to use the sink or double boiler method.)

Step 6. Maintain the curds at 100-degrees for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep the curds from matting. Let the curds sit for 5 minutes.

There will be a ton of whey in your pot by now. Look at that–you can’t even see the curds!

Step 7. Carefully pour off the whey to the level of the curds. Allow the curds to set 30 minutes longer, stirring every 5 minutes to prevent matting. Maintain the temperature at 100-degrees.

Step 8. Line a colander with cheesecloth and place it in the sink. I put the colander on one side of my sink and the cheese pot in the other.

Ladle the curds into the colander. Sprinkle the salt over the curds, mixing gently, and let drain.

If making regular Monterey Jack, you wouldn’t add anything else right now. If you want to make Pepper Jack, now’s the time to add some hot stuff! There are a couple different ways you can make Pepper Jack, but here’s how I did it, based partly on the recipe for Pepato Toscano, a pepper cheese–the recipe is here. In that recipe, peppers are added in layers as the curds are put in the molds. Pepato Toscano is placed in a brine then aged with a natural rind (not waxed). It’s important to not have any additions like peppers poking out on the surface of a cheese that’s not waxed because it’s a possible invitation for mold to get into the cheese. I was waxing my Pepper Jack, so I went ahead and mixed my peppers into the curd along with the cheese salt. I used a tablespoon of coarse ground mixed peppercorns (red, black, green, and white) and a tablespoon of crushed red peppers (seeds and all).

Mixing cheese salt into curds for regular Monterey Jack:

Peppers mixed into the curds for Pepper Jack:

Step 9. Place the curds in a cheesecloth-lined mold.

I also made another Pepper Jack where I did the layering technique with the peppers, alternating placing curds and peppers in the mold, trying to keep the peppers inside the cheese.

Press the cheese with a 3-pound weight for 15 minutes.

I don’t have a 3-pound weight. I got out my kitchen scale and starting weighing stuff. I came up with this ridiculous arrangement:

That’s a jar of ground cayenne pepper on top of a jar of dry beans. Together, they weighed 3 pounds.

Necessity is the mother of invention.

Step 10. Remove the cheese from the mold and gently peel away the cheesecloth. Turn over the cheese, re-dress it, and press at 10 pounds of pressure for 12 hours.

Note: If you’re using a homemade press, double-check to make sure the weight is pressing down on the cheese and not distributing across other parts of the press.

Now go to bed.

Whenever I start to make a cheese, I add up all the steps and the time for each step then plan it so that it’s ready to go in the press for the final pressing toward evening so it’s ready to come out of the press at a decent hour the next day. (You don’t want to be getting up at 3 a.m. to take cheese out of the press.) Plan on about 3 1/2 to 4 hours to get Monterey Jack ready to go in the press.

Step 11. Remove the cheese from the press and the cheesecloth. Place it on a clean surface at room temperature to air-dry. Turn twice a day until the surface is dry to the touch. Drying may take 1-3 days, depending on the temperature and humidity. I air-dried mine for 2 days. I use a rack or a cheese mat and I keep the cheese in a cabinet while it’s air-drying. (I have CATS.)

Regular Monterey Jack, after air-drying:

Pepper Jack, after air-drying:

This one is the second Pepper Jack I made with the layering technique with the peppers. Clearly, I need to practice that some more because some of my peppers got to the edges. (I’m going to wax it, so it’ll be okay anyway.)

This cheese came out better in general because the curds knit together better during pressing. It was my third swing in total at Monterey Jack. Practice makes (almost) perfect! (See how much smoother the last one looks? Keep trying with cheese. Like with anything else, you’ll get better!)

Step 12. Wax the cheese.

I keep my cheese wax in a crock pot dedicated to cheese wax only so it’s there all the time, waiting for me. I just put the lid on when I’m done. When I need it again, I heat it back up! Very handy. I just dip and dip, moving around the wheel of cheese, letting it dry in between dips, until I have a good solid surface of cheese wax.

Step 13. Age the cheese at 55-degrees for 1-4 months, turning it over at least once a week. (If you use raw milk, your cheese should be aged for at least 60 days.) The flavor will become sharper as the cheese ages. Yield: One pound.

I place my waxed cheese on a sheet of aluminum foil with a little tag taped to it with the type of cheese and the date it went into the cheese cave.

And now you know Jack–and so do I!!!

See how to make a homemade cheese press here.

See how I made my cheese cave here.

See all my posts in Cheesemaking here.

I get my supplies here.

I’ll let you know my Monterey Jack and Pepper Jack results just as soon as they’re aged long enough for me to break into them! And more info coming soon about my next cheese challenge–it’s going to be an adventure!

To help you get started making cheese, New England Cheesemaking is providing a package including (value of each item in parentheses): a hard cheese mold ($15.95), mesophilic culture ($5.95), veal rennet ($6.50), red wax ($5.50), cheese brush ($7.95), cheesecloth ($5.95), cheese salt ($2.95), and calcium chloride ($4.95). The total value of the package is $55.70.

For a chance to win: Leave a comment on this post and let me know you want it. ONE winner will be drawn by random comment number to receive the package. Eligible entry cut-off is midnight Eastern (U.S.) time tomorrow night (November 16). This post will be updated with the winner by 9 a.m. Eastern (U.S.) time on Wednesday (November 17). Return to this post to claim your prize!

UPDATE 11/17/10: The winning comment number, drawn by, is #312, Shar. Email me at CITRgiveaways(at) with your full name and address for shipping!



  1. lizzie says:

    I want to learn to make cheese oh please!!!!!!!!! :sheepjump:

  2. Deborah R says:

    I love pepper jack cheese! I want to win your prize. Thanks for the chance!

  3. leavesofthefall says:

    I’m so excited! I just found out about a milk farmer who will allow people to come and get raw milk. :snoopy: Of course, it can’t be sold, so he takes donations to his farm. Cheese… yes! I could sure use these winnings!

  4. Sonia says:

    I am ready to make some pepper jack! Put me in for the drawing.

  5. Cheryl says:

    Count me in, I have always wanted to make cheese!

  6. Alison says:

    add me into the drawing please it is a great prize


  7. Enjay says:

    Please enter me too, I have wanted to try cheese making for so long πŸ™‚

  8. Kathie says:

    I want to win….I want to make cheese!!

  9. Maria says:

    Suzanne, that Monterey Jack looks amazing! I would love to make cheese myself, fingers crossed please enter me into your draw! πŸ˜€

  10. judydee says:

    I would love to try making Pepper Jack!! Please enter me in the drawing.
    Thanks for the detailed description,I think I could do this!

  11. Sam says:

    Great giveaway! I would love to give cheesemaking a try.

  12. Telynn says:

    I would love to win this! What an neat opportunity! Thank you!

  13. cobby says:

    Your cheese looks so good Suzanne.. I would love to try my hand at making hard cheeses. :shimmy:

  14. stacy says:

    We are cheese eating people here-would love to win this!

  15. windspiritwhimsies says:

    Would love to try my hand at making cheese! Enter me for a chance please! :cowsleep:

  16. CindyP says:

    Oh WOW! Would love to win this! I still haven’t attempted the hard cheeses….I NEED to!

  17. Snapper says:

    I’d love to win that prize….Mmmmmm cheese!

  18. Maribeth Shreve says:

    I would love to win the cheesemaking supplies! The waiting to try it would be the hardest part of making it!

  19. Brenda says:

    I really, really, really want to learn how to make cheese! I hope I win! What a nice Christmas present it would be!

  20. Johanna says:

    I’d love to win the prize and get launched on a fabulous cheesemaking career!

  21. Anke says:

    I really, really want it! I’ve been wanting to try my hand at cheese making and this would get me started.

  22. Elaine says:

    Very generous of NEC. I love them! Please enter me.

  23. Teresa from Lancaster, PA says:

    Count me in! I’d love to learn to have my own cheese making kit. Thank you!

  24. Erin says:

    This would be so much fun. I’d love to win!

  25. Joann says:

    Sign me up! Thanks!!

    Joann (Central KY)

  26. Renee says:

    OK, I’ve talked myself into making cheese. Ready to tackle it and see what it’s like. Hope I get picked

  27. irishhillstrish says:

    I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.. well ok, I’d like to TRY! Enter me!

  28. Marjorie Wolson says:

    Please, oh, please, I want to make cheese! Enter me in the contest. :sheepjump:

  29. Samantha Goff says:

    Ohhhhhhh, i just drool over your cheese making posts. it is something i want to learn so badly πŸ™‚ I would love to be the winner!!


  30. ~jackie says:

    I would love to have the cheesemaking kit, but what I would really love, love, love is to TASTE THAT CHEESE you made!!

  31. Pete says:

    Wonderful! Yes, we would LOVE to win and get started on the cheese adventure!!

  32. CasieD says:

    I’m from Wisconsin… of course I’d love to make my own cheese!! :cowsleep:

  33. Gem says:

    Pick ME! I have only made soft cheeses for years! It’s time for me to graduate to Hard Cheeses now! (Thanks to you Suzanne for all your inspiration πŸ™‚

  34. cmgrob says:

    Me! Me!! ME!!!!! (please, of course)

  35. wvhomecanner says:

    Excellent pics as always! I really want to try this, especially Pepper Jack!


  36. Blyss says:

    My head is swimming thinking about cheeses I can make… if I had a starter kit! Please enter me in the drawing! Love these segments Suzanne!

  37. Kristen says:

    I would LOVE to learn to make cheese! Please enter me? Thank you! πŸ™‚

  38. floreksa says:

    Ooh!! I want! I want!!

  39. Donna says:

    I live in Wisconsin near a cheese factory, love to go there for samples, but would really enjoy making some of my own cheese.

  40. Cheryl LeMay says:

    I absolutely would love a kit like that! Please enter me. Thanks.

  41. DebrafromMD says:

    Oh, I’ve always wanted to try cheese making! Thanks for this chance to win these goodies.

  42. Angela P says:

    Heres alittle more cost savings, Cheese Salt is just non iodized salt.

  43. Meg M. says:

    I’ve wanted to make cheese for a long time now…This kit would kick-start me into actually doing it! :moo:

  44. Kim says:

    Cheese please! πŸ˜€

  45. tsmith says:

    I want to try to make cheese!!

  46. Annie says:

    My doctor says I need more calcium! Pick me!

  47. Cynthia Lee says:

    I want to make cheese too. Wish I had a cow to share with someone. Don’t think I could do it by myself at this stage of my life.

  48. Marci says:

    I would love to win this. I teach people how to make cheese and have a couple of ladies who could use the help to get started!!! :cowsleep: :moo:

  49. Bobbi says:

    I want to make cheese!!
    Enter me in the drawing please πŸ™‚

  50. Debbie says:

    Learning to make cheese is one of the things I REALLY want to do! Please enter me into the giveaway.

  51. Robyn says:

    I loooove cheese. Would love to win :happyfeet:

  52. Connie R says:

    I would love to send this to my daughter in Peru so she can learn to make her own cheese.

  53. Rhonda says:

    Yes I love cheese and have always wanted to make it too. Yours looks so yummy. Thank you for the giveaway.

  54. jackie c. says:

    I would love and use the New England Cheese kit. If I don’t win, a wonderful consolation prize would be a slice of Jack on homemade bread. Oh yes, yum.

  55. annabel52 says:

    Please, please I need a cheese making kit for my mid-life crisis so I can make cheese, cheese, cheese

  56. Brandy M. says:

    I would love, LOVE to make some cheese for the family!!

  57. gladdismom says:

    Please enter me in the drawing too. I’d looove to learn to make cheese!

  58. Stephanie S. says:

    At the risk of sounding cheesey, I would love to use this kit to make something yummy! Please let a city girl live out a homesteading fantasy!

  59. KristenA says:

    Please enter me. I would love to win. I have been dreaming of cheese

  60. Sherie Adams says:

    My Goodness! That looks like fun – but not easy! Please enter me!!!!

  61. heidiannie says:

    I’d rather win this than the Smart phone. That’s how much I want to start making cheese. I keep looking at the supplies but my budget is rather tight right now. Anyway- thanks for the great offer!

  62. Naomi says:

    I’m ready to start making cheese… :chef: Please add me to the drawing…thanks!!

  63. Landodixy says:

    I was just getting ready to order some cheesewax today and some other things…maybe I can win this instead! I would love to make some pepper jack!


  64. Zusiqu says:

    I’d like a shot at winning the cheese kit, please. :yes:

  65. Amie says:

    Ooooh, I want to win! This looks complicated but fun πŸ™‚

  66. Hlhohnholz says:

    I Waaaaaaaaaaaaant! πŸ˜€ I would love to start making cheese.

  67. Loren says:

    I would love to win this!!!

  68. Sarah K says:

    I want to win the kit.

  69. Annie B. says:

    I love your blog and would love to win the cheese pack.

  70. Nikki says:

    Yes please, throw my name in the cheese press too!

  71. VaGirl2 says:

    I would love to win!! I so want to make cheese…

  72. CraftyK says:

    Please enter me into the cheese giveaway. Thank you for all your awesome posts!

  73. Kelli says:

    Pretty please with cheesey goodness on top! I would love to try my hand at cheese making!

  74. Rebecca says:

    Great, detailed post, and nice-looking cheese, too! Congrats on Jack Success!

  75. Julia says:

    Have gotten raw Milk and made Paneer cheese, very basic, but since its a 5 hour (round trip) to get it am trying to find a closer dairy. Would love to win these items.

  76. Alberta Price says:

    well, I really enjoyed this post about making cheese just like I enjoy all your posts about making things. I especially enjoyed the pictures and I thought that you were weighing stuff to get the right pounds but I just couldnt figure out where you could see how much the stuff you were piling on top was weighing. After about the 3rd picture it dawned on me that that was actually your cheese press. Pretty neat. Oh, well, a good thing I dont make cheese. I probably would really screw it up although I was intrigued by your recipe for making Velveeta cheese a couple weeks ago. Since Velveeta is my favorite cheese I would love to make that but wont. I just sit at my sewing machine and quilt and continue to read your column every day and enjoy your pictures.

  77. Tina says:

    Your cheese looks excellent! I’ve made panir, a fresh cheese from Indian cuisine, and it is delicious. I would love to try and make different kinds, like you do, Suzanne! Enter me in the drawing, Please!!!! πŸ˜€

  78. summerwindfarm says:

    I love to make soft cheeses with my goats milk. I’d love to learn how to make molded cheese! Thanks!

  79. Deanna says:

    Yum! I’d love to make cheese that looks that good.
    Please enter me!

  80. Deb says:

    I would love to win! I’ve been wanting to make cheese; just haven’t been able to afford to send in an order for the necessary ingredients yet.

  81. I Wanna Farm says:

    I never win, but this one is worth a try!

  82. Joy says:

    Cheese, glorious cheese. I love cheese and would love to make some of my own to make toasted cheese sandwiches with Grandmothers Bread. Enter me, please.

  83. Dawn says:

    I would love to win the cheesemaking kit. Thanks for the chance!

  84. Kelly A says:

    I am so excited about becoming self sufficient!!!

  85. Raeann says:

    What a fantastic giveaway! I would love to try my hand at cheesemaking!

  86. Mary Kellogg says:

    Please enter me in the drawing!

  87. Margie brown says:

    You make cheese too! Awesome! I would love to win and try that too!

  88. Teri says:

    Would love to win this!

  89. LeAnn says:

    I would love to try cheese making!

  90. debbie says:

    this cali girl would love to learn to make cheese!!!!!

  91. BeckyW says:

    Please sign me up for the drawing! Will be making my Pepper Jack in the next day or two.

  92. Amy says:

    Yum, MJ looks good and the pepper jack looks warm and spicy! Would love to make cheese!

  93. Kellie Green says:

    I want it…Please! Thank you.

  94. Shelly says:

    :snoopy: Please put me on the sign up list to win :snoopy: . Just last night I was saying I want cheese making supply for Christmas. I have fresh goats milk on tap to use. Shelly

  95. Patricialynn says:

    I’d love to win this one. I’m getting married this week, and my husband-to-be LOVES homemade cheese (he’s been talking about making his own cheeses for as long as I have known him). I’d love to be able to have this kit in my kitchen – we could make cheeses together!

  96. Luann says:

    Love BOTH Jacks! Please enter me!

  97. John says:

    Oh my wife would be so happy with me if I won this for her.

  98. Barbie says:

    Oh, I’d love to try making cheese with our raw milk. You make it look doable, Suzanne!! Thanks for the opportunity for a chance to win the cheesemaking supplies. Yum, homemade cheese and grandmother bread for toasted cheese sandwiches.

  99. Lacey says:

    Yes, yes, I want it!

  100. Jblank says:

    Ok so making my own cheese was the last thing I would ever want to do. . . until I read this post! Dang you, as if I don’t already have enough that I want to try! Great details and pics

  101. Jillian M. says:

    Please enter me in the contest! I love cheese!!!

  102. Tonya says:

    I’d love to have this ….. I’m going to try again some time this week – maybe Pepper Jack!

  103. Mim says:

    Please enter me in the contest…..My hubbie & son love pepper jack cheese…. Might have to try to make some and they will know that I am “Super Woman”… :pawprint:

  104. Ashlee M says:

    oh please, oh please, I want to make cheese!!!

  105. Kathy R. says:

    Please throw my name in the hat too. I’d love to try my hand at making cheese. Thanks for the chance and good luck with your cheese challenge.

  106. Faith says:

    Include me in the drawing, please!

  107. Bobbi says:

    I’d love to win! I’m in the reading up stage but I truly hope to get to the making stage soon.

  108. judyh says:

    Ohhhhhhhh, I’d love to win this cheesemaking package. Add my name please! :happyfeet:

  109. Mintamichelle says:

    I’de love to win….

    There sure are alot of step here…I am going to try and make this one, I have been very excited about making cheese….

  110. Nicole says:

    I would love to learn how to make cheese….please!
    Thanks for your post!!

  111. Debi says:

    Yummy! I would love to learn how to make cheese!

  112. Linda T. says:

    oh PLEASE let me win this one! My family thinks I’m a nutjob because I’d like to learn to make cheese. If I won a starter kit….really….it would be stupid not to try, wouldn’t it?

  113. Joanne Semanie says:

    I love, love, love the wax in a crockpot! Send me the kit!

  114. Banana says:

    Please enter me! I have always wanted to make cheese!

  115. Lisa Cummings says:

    Please pick me!!

  116. carmellgp says:

    never win anything but putting my name down! i have a question. i have serched the web and the cheesemaking forums and have not found an answer so maybe u can help me… how do u make colby jack cheese!!!!??? that is my favorite. was thinking i just making them both separatly then when aged mix and repress…. would that work???

  117. Heidi says:

    In middle school we had to write a report on a future career. I thought it was a stupid assignment so I wrote my report about the career of a professional cheese maker. Fast forward…I grew up and moved to a farm and got two dairy goats and considered buying a cheese making kit…will I one day also listen to the Beatles and talk to my cats and wear velcro shoes?? My middle school me will be horrified!

  118. Charley says:

    I would LOVE to win this! πŸ™‚

  119. Rosemeri Barabe says:

    I would really love to have this kit. Thanks for the step by step. It looks like something I would like to do.

  120. The Mom says:

    I would love to win this! I’ve also tried mozzarella with horrible results. It would be wonderful to try something else.

  121. QuietStorm says:

    Please add me in….I’m in serious trouble if I ever figure out how to make Havarti… :snoopy:

  122. janet mcmillan says:

    Would love to venture into this field. Have been making her 30 min Moz, which is easy and wonderful.

  123. MMT says:

    It would be amazing to make my own cheese! Please enter me to win, and thanks for the chance.

  124. aimeespcr says:

    I want one! We go threw colby jack and monetary jack like crazy in my house!

  125. Brenda H. says:

    I would love to learn how to make my own cheese. Please enter me in the contest!

  126. Full Strut Farm says:

    I love Pepper Jack Cheese! I have been making soft cheese for a while now and I think it is time to jump into the hard cheese! (winning the kit would really help :lol:)It really helps to see your pictures along with the steps, thanks so much.

  127. Debbie R says:

    Oh yes, cheese please!

  128. Linda Segerson says:

    I love Pepper Jack cheese, want to win this!!!
    Will you be giving away any of this wonderful cheese, would love to have some fresh home made Pepper Jack Cheese!!!! :snoopy:

  129. Kathi N. says:

    Thank you for the cheese lesson. I would like to be included in the drawing! (Thanks)

  130. Connie of Ohio says:

    WOW what a prize. Please draw my name.

  131. CindyS says:

    Suzanne–Please enter me in your cheesemaking contest! Thank you!

  132. Nancy K says:

    would love to win this cheese making kit.

  133. Melody D. says:

    count me in…I’m getting goats in the spring so milk is on the way

  134. Kimberly in NC says:

    Enter me, please. Thanks!

  135. gen@scarletacres says:

    Fascinating! We love pepper jack and would love the chance to make our own with these products. πŸ™‚

  136. Mandy says:

    I’m going to have a my first chance at making cheese next month. I’d love this kit! Thank you!

  137. Amber says:

    Oh yes! I would love to make cheese!

  138. Tracy says:

    Please add me to the list. I’ve been wanting to try something more difficult than fresh cheeses.

  139. Michelle says:

    Thank you so much making this seem simple and within reach. I’m all about the pictures too! I would love to win the cheesemaking kit. I’ve tried the cream cheese and mozzarella cheese with success, so I just need to take a deep breath and dive into hard cheese!! :moo:

  140. Debbie says:

    Look at all the new cheesemakers you have inspired! Thank you so much for sharing your world with us…and for this lovely giveaway.

  141. Gen-IL Homesteader says:

    :snoopy: I would love to be entered in the cheese drawing! Thanks much! You’re inspiring me to branch out into cheese production!

  142. Other Martha says:

    Beautiful cheese – love the red wax. Does it come in different colors – I’m partial to purple. πŸ˜€
    I’d love to try making some MJ – can I borrow BP for a day? Pick me@

  143. Cindy says:

    Oh, I would love to win the cheesemaking package! Please consider me entered for the drawing!

  144. cyndi says:

    I would love to win this. Please enter me. We are going to start in on this big time just after the holidays – until then we are going to do some mozzeralla as practice. THANKS.

  145. Karen W. says:

    please enter me to win!
    yummm pepperjack! How would fresh/frozen jalapeno or anaheim chili peppers work? I have a ton from the garden taking up space in the freezer….

    thank you for sharing your walk through you cheese making fears, I get to follow in your footsteps that way…someone has to be the trailblazer!

  146. Nic, SD says:

    Totally want it!

  147. Linda G says:

    I would love to win the cheese package. Your cheese journey has provided me with much entertainment and dare I say hunger? The pepper jack cheese looks so good!

  148. Cindy Lou says:

    I would love to start making cheese! Along with all the other ideas I have learned here. Thanks, Suzanne, for all of your knowledge that you share with us!

  149. lwb says:

    I would love to have this cheese kit!! Thanks!

  150. Jenny says:

    Yummy pepper jack! I haven’t ventured into adding anything to a hard cheese yet. I have checked that book out from the library umpteen times. I’m going to buy it when I get a chance!
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  151. Langela says:

    I’d love to be entered. Thanks for the giveaway!

  152. Karo says:

    Pick me! Although that pepperjack looks harrrd.

  153. marymac says:

    Oh would I like to win this, I love foolin with stuff like this.

  154. Sheila says:

    Learning to make cheese… its on my bucket list!

  155. Whaledancer says:

    Suzanne, on the first wheel where the curds didn’t knit together as well, do you know what causes that? Does it have to do with the pressing? And does the looser texture cause it to mold more easily?

  156. jan~n~tn says:

    You make it look and sound so very simple…..I’m just scared!

  157. Carmi says:

    Count me in. I’d love to learn how to make cheese.

  158. Myzzld says:

    I’ve been wanting to try making cheese for years. I’d love to win the kit!

  159. jan~n~tn says:

    Sorry, I meant to add, that I would L-O-V-E to try and do cheese. Please put me in for the package.

  160. Lana says:

    I would love to win the cheesemaking kit. Thanks for the chance! I have been reading cheese-making books from the library, and I think it would be really rewarding to make cheese.

  161. Mandy says:

    Please enter me into the drawing!

  162. Lisa says:

    I love your writing! And your stories about cheese making. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences with the world.

  163. Abby's Mom says:

    I want to make cheese please?!? My little girl is a cheese fiend!

  164. geena22 says:

    I want to know Jack! and i want homemade mozzerella! I want to win. :wave:

  165. Susan says:

    Please enter me in the group to win the cheese kit. My mouth is watering it looks so tasty. Thanks for all your hard work.

  166. Krista Miller says:

    Please please enter me I want to make cheese!

  167. Brigitte says:

    I’d love to win!

  168. Tricia in TEXAS says:

    I want it… I NEED IT… I’ve just gotta HAVE IT!!!

  169. Michelle says:

    I want it! Forget the cell phone giveaway – give me the implements of cheese! :happyfeet:

  170. Maria says:

    I would love to win this giveaway.

    I have never made cheese yet!

  171. Ann says:

    Homemade cheese – sounds yummy! I would love to try it.

  172. melissashea68 says:

    Please enter me in the contest! :sun:

  173. Windflower says:

    Please enter me as well! I’ve been going through cheese making supplies like crazy, so I could use the restock on all that stuff! :snoopy:

  174. Christina Leonhardt says:

    Pick Me, pick me, by the way the velveeta made the best brocoli cauliflower cheese soup

  175. Connie says:

    I’m almost out of rennet and want to try the pepper jack recipe. Thanks for the chance to win this fabulous prize!

  176. beth Brown says:

    Oh I would love to make Pepper Jack Cheese! Cheese and bread – my two favorite things.

    Please enter me in this contest!

  177. Melody says:

    Learning to make cheese could be my New Year’s resolution! I’d love a chance to win. πŸ™‚

  178. Rachel says:

    Ohh, so fun! And so yummy!

  179. pdelainey says:

    Please add me to the draw.
    Your cheeses look amazing.

  180. NBC in Roane County says:


  181. andrea pierce says:

    I would love to try my hand at this! Count me in. But I’m not milking my own cow……

  182. ayenbe says:

    I believe I could do it if I had the right tools… and I would sure love to have the right tools to try it right! Please pick me! πŸ™‚

  183. lavenderblue says:

    Now I might know what to do with this. That whole cell phone thing…I dunno. πŸ˜‰

  184. carmellgp says:

    ok i figured that too but i don’t have two of everything to do that!!! oh well! thanks! :sheepjump:

  185. Sheri says:

    Oh Please enter me in the drawing! Your farm is my dream and I would love to learn to make cheese!

  186. Stacy says:

    I would love the cheese-making kit. It would give me something new to try in the new-year.

  187. Lucy says:

    I would love to win the cheese making kit.

  188. Pam Smyth says:

    your cheese looks lovely, please sign me up, I have milk goats and would love to make your jack cheese, so that I can say I know jack too!

  189. Deb Feo says:

    Sign me up – great jack instructions! Thanks…

  190. Mafong says:

    Sign me up!! I would love to learn how to make cheese.

  191. Angela Minard says:

    So far I have only made soft cheese using raw goats milk from my Nigerian Dwarf goats. Your recipe looks doable and yummy! I would love to win the cheesemaking kit!

  192. Ondine says:

    I would love to enter to win! Thank you.

  193. Donna says:

    I love cheese and learning how to make it at home! I would love to win the prize!!

  194. Jess McG says:

    Yea! I have the mozzarella Kit and have made it several times, mostly with success. I am ready to venture into hard cheeses, just need to make a cheese cave first. Thanks for the idea for Monterrey Jack, it is one of my favorite cheeses!

  195. Jani Jeane says:

    Sign me up too. I have tried farmhouse cheddar and colby. Jack was next so thanks for the tips!!

  196. lauren says:

    i would love to try this!! please enter me also πŸ™‚

  197. maryann says:

    Michigan is another state that doesn’t allow the sale of raw milk. To get around here you buy shares of the cow and are allowed so much milk a week as part of your share. I still do want to learn how to make mozzarella cheese. So please enter me in the contest for the cheese making kit.

  198. devlyn says:

    Wish there were a good place to find raw milk here for the cheesemaking. Oh well… I’d love to learn more about it this winter, though!

  199. Julia says:

    I would love to have a cheese making kit…please enter my name!

  200. quiltingfarmer says:

    :sheep: I would love to win a package as I also want to try different cheeses this winter. I think it will be a great project. So glad you are sharing your experiences with us. Glad to hear you were controlling the temp of the cheese on a gas stove, was wondering if that was possible. quiltingfarmer

  201. Mel says:

    Oooooooh, I really want that package from New England cheesemakers!
    I have made some soft cheeses (creme fraiche and mozzarella) and would love to start making hard cheese….but have not invested in the hardware!

  202. Andrea the Kitchen Witch says:

    I’ve wanted to learn to make cheese since I was a wee girl!! I want to win! πŸ™‚

  203. Shelley Conrad says:

    Thanks so much for your relaxed and pictoral step by step for jack cheese. I have been making 30 minute mozzarella and have been afraid to move on to Jack cheese. So, I have Isabel my jersey and Don Quixote my donkey, so I am armed and ready to proceed to jack cheese. (not fully unafraid) I would really love that cheesemaking package to take the leap!! Besides its my deceased moms birthday on the 17th!!! Thanks for taking the time and energy to post all of this!!

  204. Cathy Herbert says:

    I so would love to have the cheese making kit, so I cna make some cheese too!

  205. Leah's m0m says:

    I’m so glad I found your forum through blog. I’ve been making cheese for about 1.5 years now and have been teaching others as well. I’m entering for a chance to win so that I can pass it on to my young friend, Justin, who asked me to teach him how to make cheese!

    Enjoying Chickens in the Road…. Leah’s m0m

  206. Ellen says:

    Thanks for the incredibly clear directions!

  207. Becky says:

    Man, I’d love to win this kit!!

  208. Ulrike says:

    I’d love to have it! πŸ˜€

  209. Debbie says:

    I really like all of your very informative directions with pictures. I think I could do this! I would love to make cheese-hope I win!

  210. Moopsee says:

    WOW, I can’t believe that you have extended past the barrier that I have feared — cheesemaking! I have some books and have read and read. You go!! :shimmy:
    I win or know, it is my birthday Nov. 16 — breaking into mid-life (or as my kids say, old age!

  211. Matt Silva says:

    Enter me in! If I win, my first hard cheese ever will be PEPPER JACK!

  212. Mark Garner says:

    Tomorrow is my birthday and this would be a sweet gift!

  213. LisaAJB says:

    Oh, I want it! Pick me!

  214. Senior citizen says:

    Great photography! You make this sound doable. Could one use 2%
    milk and get what kind of softness/hardness?

  215. Bonnie Williams says:

    I want it! It’s my birthday today and what an awesome gift it would be! πŸ™‚

  216. Lee Orr says:

    :chef: I just wanted to tell you what a fun website you have here. It is quite splendiferous. Thank you for sharing your trials and tribulations with all of us. It makes me feel we are not alone in our quest for self-improvement. Nice to have company! I found you through my monthly “MoosLetter”( New England Cheesemaking Supply Co.).

  217. Jim in Colorado says:

    Cheese, lots of cheese to make.
    But, alas,
    Not a cheese maker in sight.
    Even our dog, Nugget, could use a cheese maker, for us to make him cheese.

  218. Jennifer S says:

    I would love to try making cheese!

  219. Karen says:

    I would love to make cheese! You make it look so accessible!

  220. John Bittner says:

    Thanks for this article. Will try tomorrow. The link to making a “cheese cave” does not seem to work. Can you help? John

  221. Susan Willson says:

    I love your posts! I am making soft cheese with milk from my Nubian goat- just learning everything this year. I love it!

  222. Helen Kirkwood says:

    I live in the state of Washington and would LOVE to have a New England cheesemaking kit!!!

  223. andrea says:

    That sounds like a great kit!

  224. ElizaRed says:

    would love to make some cheese….count me in!

  225. Beth-Ann Fortunato says:

    Hi- I am a new cheese maker, I have an Oberhasli goat named Nannie McPhee and she gives wonderful sweet milk. I have tried several soft cheeses and made a cheese press last week… thinking of hard cheese but a little intimidated. I would love the Jack cheese kit- kick me into gear!

  226. LeaAnn says:

    I would like to try my hand at cheese making because we love cheese in our house.

  227. Hollie Mailhiot says:

    I would love to win the cheese prize. Can’t wait to try it.

  228. Pattie says:

    This looks like such a delicious project! Yes I want one!

  229. Valerie says:

    I love cheese. I love to cook. I’d love to make cheese. Thanks for the entry!

  230. Jeanne says:

    I would love to try making cheese! Please pick me!

  231. Sharon says:

    :chicken: I would love to be picked for the cheese package. Count me in!

  232. Ginger says:

    Would love the cheese prize. Trying to get a head start for when my jersey has her calf in May

  233. TJ Tarbet says:

    I love making cheese! The cheese kit looks fabulous! Thanks so much for your wonderful posts!

  234. Sheila Z says:

    Cheese, it’s a good thing! I want to learn how to make hard cheese.

  235. Sharon Gosney says:

    pick me please! I would like to make cheese.

  236. Deborah Hitayezu says:

    I would love a cheese kit to start me off…now, to find a cow! :cowsleep:

  237. Rhonda Craig-Schwarz says:

    I MISS WV! (Grew up on Arbuckle Creek, Mason County) Completely homesick in NC. I read your blog every day as a daily fix. Give me some cheese, please. πŸ™‚

  238. Lauren L says:

    I would love a cheesemaking kit! I LOVE cheese! Thank you πŸ™‚

  239. farmershae says:

    I really need to start making cheese!!!! This is just the kick in the rear I need! Thank you!

  240. Jenn says:

    I would love that!

  241. Carol M says:

    Well done! I love the cheese wax in a crockpot. I can’t wait to make my own jack cheese.

  242. Torbie Phillips says:

    What a super informative post! I’ve been a big fan of making fromage blanc and cottage cheese but have thus far been chicken about trying hard cheeses–but your photos and directions make me want to take the plunge! Not only is making our food “from scratch” a very cool concept, but I’m also sold on the idea that ya-gotta-wait-for-it-to-be-ready (as in waiting a month for the cheese, or even 18 hours for No-Knead Bread or fromage blanc) is refreshingly Zen in this world of fast food! I’ll definitely try this out, as soon as I can find some young buck to help me make me one o’ them-thar cheese presses. . .

  243. Jan Cauley says:

    I would love the chance to try my hand at cheesemaking! You give such detailed information regarding the whole process which I am sure would help out any beginner.

  244. Torbie Phillips says:

    O-Oh! Did I forget to say, “Yes, I want one!”?
    Yes, I do, I do!
    with much love to all you cheesemakers and aspiring cheesemakers–

  245. Darlene in North Ga says:

    Ok, I’m in on this one! I’ve made soft cheeses before, but never tried to make a hard cheese.

    I’ll bet yours comes out REALLY tasty.

  246. Sharon says:

    I love any kind of cheese and would love to learn to make my own. Count me in!

  247. ncgirl says:

    Hey Suzanne,

    I sure would love to win this prize. I love cheese and I love doing things like this; such a feeling of accomplishment and independence. Hope I win!


  248. Carrie Anne says:

    Love your cheesemaking posts…thanks for the great pics and clear directions! Please enter me for the chance to win the chessemaking kit!

  249. cricketjett says:

    Please include me for the chance to win the cheesemaking kit!!!

  250. floribunda says:

    I would LOVE to win the Jack-pack! Thanks for the enlightening tutorial…

  251. nell morell says:

    Would love love love to make cheese. Please enter me in your contest.

  252. melody says:

    I would love to win. Thank you for the chance.

  253. mommafox says:

    Your post is almost as good as having you standing beside me in my kitchen while I attempt making cheese. Please enter me in the cheese-making kit drawing.

  254. Marilyn says:

    I really need to win something, my self esteem is suffering badly. Besides cheese is scary!!

  255. Turtle Mom says:

    I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to make cheese!

  256. Kathy says:

    Please enter me for the cheese making kit. I got the book for my birthday, would love to start making my own blue or parm. Good post by the way.

  257. Nancy S. says:

    I love it! Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks!

  258. Kacey Kay Pickens says:

    Love your cheese making adventures! Can’t wait until you cut into this in a few months and tell us how it turned out.

  259. Maureen says:

    Please enter me!

  260. Sandra in SC says:

    Please enter me in the drawing! I would love to learn to make cheese! Thanks!

  261. Joy says:

    Wow! Happened upon this looking for a recipe for yellow cake mix. I would love to try making cheese. We’ve been thinking about doing it for years. I would love to win the kit to get started.

  262. momma-leigh says:

    Love to get it!!

  263. Becky says:

    I’ve tried making mozzarella, but never anything more complicated. I’d love to win this and try Monterey Jack!

  264. Jennifer says:

    I love making soft cheese. I am ready to move to the next step and would live the prize

  265. Kellee says:

    Count me in! I have always wanted to learn how to make cheese!! It on my bucket list!

  266. Renea says:

    Please add my name to the hat! It would be so much fun to (try to) make cheese!

  267. Laurie Hamar says:

    I would love to win the cheese kit, thanks so much for the opportunity.

  268. Melinda says:

    Please enter me in the drawing for the cheese kit. Thank you!

  269. Bapa Chris says:

    I would LOVE to have this! Please enter me in the drawing as well!
    Good luck, everyone!

  270. Carolyn D. says:

    :cowsleep: I don’t have a cow, but I can get milk. I don’t make cheese now, but I would try it if I could have one of the cheese making kits. Please pick me. Please, :moo:

  271. JenW!~ says:

    WOW seems a lot of people wanna make cheese. And I do to so count me in.

  272. Heather Webb says:

    Thank you so much for the easy to follow recipe! I learn so much better when beautiful pictures are involved. I would love to win the intro cheesmaking kit since we’re fixing to have lots of milk coming my way from our 2 cows. :moo: :moo: Last time I tried making cheese, well, let’s just say it was interesting. Thanks so much!

  273. Jessica White says:

    I would like to win the prize! >^.^<

  274. Tea4too0 says:

    Please enter me in the contest. Thanks

  275. Lindsay B. says:

    I love pepperjack, and I would love to take the dive into hard cheeses. Count me in!

  276. Mother of a ROCKSTAR says:

    Suzanne, is the 10 lbs weight one of son’s weights? Please put me in for a chance to win the prize.

  277. Dana Richards says:

    I’m so glad to meet your Jack! The pictures make a huge difference. I just made Jack for the 1st time 2 weeks ago and was surprised when it turned out to be “mottled”as if the cream was clumping or something. I was glad to see that your Jacks seemed to be mottled too. πŸ™‚ Can’t wait to taste! – Dana

  278. Lori Alberti says:

    I would LOVE a cheesemaking kit!!! The price of cheese is going up and up and …..well, you know and with five kids still at home and with a family motto of “there’s no such thing as too much cheese” you KNOW we need to learn to make cheese.

  279. BonnieP says:

    This is what I want for Christmas. Please Santa. :wave:

  280. Wanda Bright says:

    Hello,i am a new home canner and am trying to learn all i can in preserving food,would love to learn how to make cheese. :fairy:

  281. Carol Laing says:

    I’m very interested in learning how to make cheese. Carol From Virginia

  282. Jason Wilson says:

    I would live to win your cheese making package.

  283. Barbara Smotherman says:

    I am very new to cheese making but want to make a difference for my family so learning bit by bit. I loved your weight contracption. That was ingenious. I see I have a lot to learn. Thanks for the column and site. And I would also love the cheese making kit since I have never heard of most of it and will sure need it. LOL

  284. Ramona says:

    I luv Jack. He’s cute! Would also luv to know how to make Jack.

  285. Kathrynne Holden says:

    I just got access to raw milk and would like to start making cheese. Please add my name to the list of names to be drawn

  286. Amy Nicewonger says:

    Suzanne, Thanks for the awesome explanation and pictures to make Pepper Jack cheese….my favorite. Please enter me in the drawing for the cheese kit. Hopefully, I can also progress from fondling my copy of Cheesemaking Made Easy and make some hard cheese!


  287. Suzanne Perry says:

    I would LOVE to win this kit and be able to make my own cheese.

  288. Nena Rybarczyk says:

    I’ve been reading up on cheese making and have gotten everything together. I just have to build the press and I’m headed to the link you provided after leaving here. Your jack gives me inspiration to finally get my feet wet and make cheese.

  289. Elaine Pollard says:

    Oh my gosh, I have always wanted to learn to make cheese! I definitely want this, so I’m praying you pick my name.

  290. Kat says:

    Third time’s a charm to win, right?!
    I wanna know jack, too!

  291. esp says:

    Oooohhhh…I would love to learn to make my own cheese. what an excellent giveaway!

  292. Margaret Miller says:

    i would love to try and make cheese.

    Peggy in Iowa

  293. Phyllis says:

    I never win anything but, man oh man, I would love to have this. I want so badly to make our own cheeses. Please, pick me! :woof:

  294. Susan says:

    You make it look so easy to make the cheese and the pictures are great so we know what it’s supposed to look like. I would really enjoy trying to make this cheese with the free kit.

  295. Mary in VA says:

    Nice instructions. I have always wanted to learn to make cheese. Please put my name (number) in the hat!

  296. Donna Davenport says:

    Wow! What a great prize! Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks!

  297. Jen R. ( says:

    Can I get a free cow, too? I’ll take Glory Bee off your hands… πŸ˜‰

    Yes, I’d love to learn to make cheese!

  298. Laura says:

    I want it too! I have goats and make chevre but I don’t have any molds and haven’t made any hard cheeses yet. I love your jerry-rigged weights, btw.

  299. Courtney says:

    I have tried making mozzarella myself and have been hit or miss. Please enter me in the drawing I would love to try some others.

  300. Melanie says:

    :clover: I would love to win the kit. I have been interested in making cheese. Thanks. πŸ™‚

  301. Shar says:

    Your cheese looks lovely! It’s amazing how every batch can look different than others did!

    I’d LOVE to win the giveaway and would put it to great use with my wonderful goat milk!

    TIA to you and your sponsor!

  302. Teresa says:

    I don’t Jack,the cheese or the donkey, but I would love to know both. Please enter me in the drawing. – Teresa

  303. Tammy says:

    Was just turned onto your blog by a friend. We are just beginning our cheese making adventures and I hope it isn’t too late to enter!!

  304. Diane says:

    Oh my gosh ! I would LOVE to win a cheese making kit !!! :snoopy:
    Wonderful explanation above !!

  305. Connie Zempel says:

    What a great step-by-step…Thank you! Winning would be great…

  306. Kara Nelson says:

    Great pictures. Do you know why the third try had better curds?

  307. Kara Nelson says:

    Forgot to mention that I’d love to win the cheese kit.

  308. Audrey Ward says:

    I would love this prize. I’ve only made soft cheese, I would love to try making a hard cheese. Thank you

  309. Katherine says:

    Yeah, I’d totally love a cheese-making kit. Thanks for the pictures!

  310. Lori Holt says:

    Ohh how I would love to make cheese, this year I have made so many new things thanks to your blog and learning how to can!!! Tomorrow would have been my dad’s birthday, I just would love to win the cheese making kit!!!

  311. Karen Sorensen says:

    I would like to try for the cheese making supplies. I love to make yogurt and have wanted to try making cheese foe a while now.

  312. Deb says:

    Please enter my name for the cheese giveaway! You’ve done an excellent job! My family would love to try to make cheese!

  313. Laurel Henderson says:

    Very interesting! If I win, I’ll try cheesemaking. Please put me in for the drawing.

  314. Hannah says:

    This sounds intriguing…I have recently sampled someone’s homemade mozzarella, so this would be neat to learn!

  315. Tara says:

    I would love to try making cheese!!! :

  316. Shauna says:

    I want it!!

    That is an amazing process!! I LOVE cheese and I’m proud to be a Wisconsonite. I’ve never ever made cheese but this looks like fun!!!!

  317. Suzanne McMinn says:

    THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED. The winner is comment #312, Shar.

  318. pyoung says:

    I have the same book however mine calls for 1 gallon of milk. Does anyone else have this book? Can you tell me how much milk yours calls for? Home Cheese Making by Ricki Carroll

  319. Matt says:

    The cheese turned out great, but I think I messed up somewhere along the line. I used the calcium chloride as suggested, since I’ve had a clever or two go off base on me and almost liquify. Beyond that I followed the recipe to a tee. I only dried and pressed one day, and found the cheese how a sour note. How can I reduce this for a sweeter flavor? Should I reduce the CaCl or the cheese NaCl? I’d love your suggestions and THANK YOU!

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