Gruyére, Emmentaler, Gouda, Parmesan and Cheddar

This recipe combines 5 recipes all-in-one, teaching you to make Emmentaler, Gruyére, Parmesan, Gouda and Cheddar. They are made in almost the same way, but differs slighty in the process, so read our instructions carefully along the way. 

These cheeses are somewhat complicated to make at home. You need quite a few of tools including a cheese press, plus lots of patience and persistance to see it right through to the end. Parmesan for instance, needs to mature for 2 years - however if you are determined and prepared to do what it takes, you will succeed!

The recipes are inspired from this great book; ”Cheesemaking Practice” by R. Scott, edited by Richard K. Robinson and R. Andrew Wilbey.

This is a link to the book 

See more on

20 litres of milk, total volume 

Gruyére, Emmentaler, Parmesan: Whole milk + a little skimmed milk
Cheddar, Gouda: whole milk +  cream

2 dl starter culture, total volume 

What makes these cheeses differ in taste and texture is often the different combinations of starter cultures. The standard combinations are as follows:

Gruyére: 1 part yogurt starter culture, 2 parts nutflavouring culture + eyeformation culture.
Emmentaler: 1 part starter mix, 2 parts nut-flavouring culture + eye-formation culture
Cheddar & Parmesan: Starter mix 
Gouda: Standard cheese starter


Gruyére, Emmentaler, Parmesan: 4 ml
Gouda, Cheddar: 5-6 ml


Calcium chloride 1-2 ml

  • In a pot, slowly heat the milk to 32°C.
  • Add starter culture 
  • Put a lid on the pot and wrap a towel around it to keep it warm. Leave the milk to acidify;
    Gruyére, Emmentaler, Cheddar, Parmesan: ½ hour
    Cheddar: 1 hour

  • Add rennet and stir thoroughly.
  • Leave the milk to coagulate for 35-50 minutes, at 32°C. 
  • Cutting and stirring:

    Gruyére, Emmentaler, Parmesan: Cut curd into 5-6 mm cubes - use a whisk
    Gouda, Cheddar: Cut curd into 10 mm cubes - use a long knife.

    Let the curd rest for 5 minutes, then stir gently for 20 minutes until cheese grains floats freely.

    Gouda: Scoop out 30% of the whey.


  • Stir frequently for the next 30-40 minutes while slowly heating the milk, only increasing the temperature by 0.2-0.3°C/ min. A nice slow way to increase the temperature is by adding small portions of hot water (~80°C) little by little - while stirring. Scoop out some of the whey from time to time.

    Increasing the temperature takes minimum 30 minutes, depending on the cheese type and its temperature requirements:

    Gruyére, Emmentaler: 50-53°C.
    Parmesan: 42°C for 15 min, then raise the temperature to 51-54°C.
    Cheddar: 38-40°C.
    Gouda: 36-38°C.


  • Let the curd rest for 30-60 minutes and stir when necessary to seperate the grains and keep them from sticking together. 

    Meassure if pH is correct:
    Gruyére, Emmentaler og Parmesan: pH ca. 6.3-6.4
    Cheddar: pH ca. 6.1.
    Gouda: pH ca. 5.9-6.0. 

    If measured pH value is too high, give the curd a bit more time to rest. Remember to stir to keep the grains seperated.

  • Line a clean pot with cheese cloth and pour the curd in.
  • Place a mould in the pot you just emptied. 
  • Get hold of the corners of the cheese cloth and lift it up to let the whey run off - keep it, you need it later.

For cheddar, the rest of the recipe is described in a seperate section futher down.

The steps below only applies to Gruyére, Emmentaler, Parmesan and Gouda:

Prepare brine:

  • Boil 2 litres of water, add and dissolve 400 g salt (20% saline solution) and leave it to cool to 10-15°C.
  • Place 2 litres of whey in a pot at room temperature.
  • Mix cooled brine with whey a little bit prior to when you need it.
  • Add more salt to the mix, 400 g and dissolve it by stirring thoroughly.

  • Move the cheese cloth with curd into the cheese mould in the pot – use your hands to mould it into place.
  • Fold the excess cheese cloth over the curd and down the side of the mould. Shuff the mould lid on.
  • Add a light pressure to the lid - around 10 kg and leave it like this for 5-15 min.
  • Ease the pressure, take the lid off and uncover the curd.
  • Carefully move the cheese onto a clean cheese cloth.
  • Wrap the cheese in the cheese cloth and put it back into the cheese mould - you may need to push a bit harder to get it in.
  • Fit the cheese in to the mould and add the lid. Apply pressure.
  • Increase pressure x 2 each time. 
  • Repeat this 3 times - each time with two hours in between.

    After completing the third time, do as follows for each type of cheese - special instructions for Gouda.

Gruyére, Emmentaler: Add heavy pressure (up to 100kg) for 8-10 hours.
Parmesan: Add heavy pressure (up to 200 kg) for 8-10 hours.
Gouda: Leave Gouda with "the last" pressure until it reaches pH 5.1-5.2.


  • Soak the cheese in the brine made earlier. Use a plate to weigh it down.
  • Salt the cheese there for several days at the required temperatures, see instructions below: 

    Gruyére, Emmentaler: Salt for 2-3 days at 10°C.
    Gouda: Salt for 2-3 days at 15°C.
    Parmesan: Salt it for 2-3 days at 7-10°C.

    Every day, lift the cheese out of the brine, rub it in salt and put it back in on the reverse side.


Gruyére, Emmentaler:

  • Mature these cheeses at 10-16°C, 90% RH (HIGH humidity). e.g use a thermobox with cooling elements to provide optimal conditions. Leave it there for 10-14 dage – turn it over every day.
  • After 10-14 days, increase maturation temperature to 20-24°C, 80-85% RH (Humid) e.g. move it to a warmer place or remove cooling elements from the thermobox. Let it mature like this for 3-8 weeks - turn it over 2-3 times a week.
    The Swiss cheese structure (holes) normally develop within this period. 
  • Wrap the cheese in cheese paper and store it in the fridge at 7°C for several months, if you can keep your hands of it for so long.


  • Mature at 15°C, 80% RH (high humidity) for 4-6 weeks, rub it in salt every day and turn it over. If you like an extra mature cheese, mature it for 6-12 months at 10°C.


  • Mature at 10°C, <75% RH (humid) Turn it over every day in the beginning and rub it in salt. Mature like this for 2-4 years!


Cheddar special:

  • Move the curd to the cheese mould.
  • Place the lid on the mould and put a light pressure on it. Keep the pot warm, ensuring the curd stays at 40°C, e.g. by switching the heating plate on-off momentarily. 
  • Every 15-20 minutes, take the curd out of the mould, cut it in lumps and put it back into the mould. Add light pressure once again. Keep repeating this procedure until pH reaches ~5.3. At this point the curd ought to seem dry as boiled chicken breast. 
  • Cut the cheese into 1 cm little cubes, air and cool them to 25°C.
  • Sprinkle the cubes with 2% salt - mix it in well. 
  • Pack them into a mould lined with cheese cloth, fold the cloth over the top, and put the mould lid on.
  • Put light pressure on the cheese to begin with. When the temperature has dropped, add up to 200 kg pressure - from 12 hours to several days!
  • Dry the cheese, wrap it in cheese paper and mature it at 7-11°C for 4-12 months. A thermobox where you can control the temperature by adding cooling elements can serve as an ideal place for maturation.
  • Turn the cheese over from time to time, rub it in salt and perhaps brush it with a vegetable oil to protect it against mould.
  • Should mouldy patches appear on the crust, promptly scrabe them off, rub salt on the crust and brush it with oil once again for optimal protection.