Havarti Cheese Making Recipe

Havarti has a buttery aroma, somewhat sharper in the stronger varieties, much like swiss cheese. The taste is buttery, from sweet to very sweet, and is slightly acidulous. It is typically aged three months, if aged longer the cheese becomes saltier and tastes like hazelnut. When left at room temperature the cheese tends to soften quickly.
  • Yield

    4 Pounds

  • Aging Time

    ~3 Months

  • Skill Level


  • Author

    Jim Wallace



Total price:


  • Heat & Acidify Milk

    Heat four gallons of milk to 86F in a water bath, or stovetop. Add 1packs C101 culture and let the milk ripen for 45 minutes.

  • Coagulate with Rennet

    Add 2.8 ml single strength liquid rennet diluted in 1/4 cup cool water, stir in gently for 1 minute. Let rest undisturbed for about a 36 minutes.

  • Cut Curds to Release Whey

    Check for curd a proper firmness. To do this, insert a knife with the blade sideways and gently pull upwards, if the curd splits it's ready to be cut.

    Once the curds is ready, cut it into 3/8" cubes. Do this by making a checkerboard patter with a curd knife, then insert a ladle, or very loose wisk, to make horizontal cuts.

    After cutting, let the curds rest for 3-5 minutes.

  • Cook & Scald Curds

    Gently Stir the curds for 15 minutes

    After initial stir, remove 1/3 of the whey from the pot then stir for another 15 minutes

    Next, add 15-25% (total milk volume) of hot water at 130¡F over 10 min.

    The temperature of the curds should reach 95-100¡F, depending on the final moisture content desired.

    Add 1 oz of salt and stir curd for another 15-30 minutes.

  • Drain Curd & Add Herbs

    Drain the curds by transfering them into a large colander lined with buttermuslin.

    Once drained, add herbs to the curd and mix well, be sure to keep the curds broken up while mixing.

  • Form & Press Curds

    Transfer drained curds into a cloth lined cheese mold and add 8 lbs of weight for 15-20 minutes. Turn the cheese and rewrap it. Then, increase the weight to 16 lbs for the next 2 hours. Turn and rewrap the cheese every 30 minutes.

  • Soak Pressed Cheese

    After pressing, the cheese cloth can be removed. Place the cheese back into the cheese mold and submerge it in a pot or bowl of 65¡F water overnight.

    Before the overnight soak the pH should be 6.0-5.8, after the soak, the final pH sould be 5.2.

  • Salting

    You will need a saturated brine prepared for salting this cheese, find all of the details you need on brining here.

    A simple brine formula is:

    • 1 gallon of water
    • 2.25 lbs of salt
    • 1 Tbs calcium chloride
    • 1 tsp white vinegar
    • Bring the brine and cheese to 50-55¡F before using.

    Unmolded the cheese and tranfer it into to a saturated brine for 5-6 hours. Sprinkle the top surface with salt and flip the cheese half way through to brine evenly.

    After brining, place the cheese on a draining mat and allow the surface to dry for 1-3 days.

  • Aging

    The cheese is now ready to age. While aging, turn the cheese daily and wipe down with a light brine (1 tsp salt in a quart of water) every 2-3 days.

    Keep temperature 59¡F with a relitave humidity of 90% for 5 weeks (young cheese) or 10-14 weeks (mature cheese).

    After the initial aging, bring the temperature down to 54¡F with a relitave humidity of 80% for one week.

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