Our milking parlour is equipped with the latest technology to ensure first class standards in all aspects of hygiene. We have a direct link from our milking parlour pumping fresh milk straight to our cheese making facility.
- 1 The milk is pumped from the parlour in to a rectangular stainless steel vat.
- 2 When the milk is warm, we add a bacterial culture. We have selected our cultures to provide the best flavour to the resulting cheese as it matures.
- 3 After further gentle heating in the vat, when the milk has reached 32C, we add a vegetarian rennet. This enzyme coagulates the milk so that it turns to a thick consistency within about 25 minutes.
- 4 The coagulated milk is cut into half-inch cubes with automated wire knives. In the process, 90% of the volume separates out as watery whey from the curds. To firm up the curds and extract a little more moisture, they are stirred and cooked in the whey.
- 5 The curds and whey are drained from the cheese vat to the draining table. The whey is then extruded to our underground tank for later use as fertilizer on our fields. Meanwhile, the curds are raked to the sides of the draining table.
- 6 When we determine that the acidity level is correct, milling of the firm slabs into “fingers” takes place.
- 7 The curds form together in to a mass and are then are cut into slabs. The slabs are then stacked and re-stacked on one another.
- 8 The cheese curds are then scooped into special moulds, before being pressed. The resulting wheels of cheese weigh approximately 2.5kg after maturation.
Knockanore Cheese is vacuum-packed in wheels and matured for a minimum of six months. However our plain red is matured for a further six months to give it a distinctive flavour.
Cutting & Wrapping
- Once the cheese has been matured in wheels and is deemed ready it is then cut down to size and packed or for the whole wheels, simply packed and labelled. This takes place in a dedicated separate area of our facility.
- Our pre-pack cheeses are cut from the large wheels of cheese in to 150g-200g wedges as per customer specifications, and we also cut some of the full wheels in half sections.
- As a final check the cheese goes through a metal detector prior to labelling.
- Labels are compliant with all required guidelines and laws and include batch number details for full traceability.
- The packaged cheese is stored prior to dispatch in a dedicated cold room at less than 5 degree Celsius.