It’s almost time for In-depth night and now, I am wrapping up the investigations aspect of the project. As I began preparing my learning center, I also wanted to make some cheese at home because I was unable to visit my mentor in these past two weeks. I went out and bought a small one-day cheese making kit. The kit came with everything I needed: the cheesecloth, citric acid, cheese salt, and instructions on how to make the farmers cheese but I had to buy the milk separately. The recipe called for half a gallon of milk but using my newly acquired stoichiometry skills, I was able to yield a wheel of cheese using a full gallon. After putting the milk in a large pot and putting that on the stove, I had to wait until it heated up to 185°F and then I could add the citric acid. If the milk is still cool, the curds wouldn’t form. Once I added the citric acid, the milk immediately began to split into the cheese curds and liquid whey. The whey smelt terrible. Once the curds cooked properly, I drained the whey and transferred the curds into the cheesecloth. Through gravitational forces, the cheese further drained and after half an hour, I added the cheese salt and pepper, mixed the curds, and wrapped the hot clump and places weight on top of it. Two hours in the fridge cooled the cheese down and after a long day, I finally made the farmers cheese. Luckily, I faced very little challenges through this process but I believe with better tools, I could’ve made the cheese look more appealing.
For my learning center, I plan on serving the cheese that I made at home as well as the cheeses I made at the crafting facility. One challenge that came along the way was that some cheeses require a certain amount of aging and so I was restricted to which types I could make. I will explain the making of each cheese and why each taste is unique. I will also have a poster board containing the chemistry and procedure for making cheese. The poster will also include several pictures of my experience. In front of the poster, I will also display some of the raw ingredients that go into the making of cheese. Another idea I’m exploring is working with Connor to present something because he is making bread for his project. Overall, I’m very excited to show my learning and share something I made.