Yesterday was my first attempt at Swiss! It's a similar process to the other hard cheeses, with the notable exception of adding a specific bacteria--Propionic shermanii--to the milk at the same time as the thermophilic starter. (That's what will produce the gas during aging, creating the famous "holes" in the cheese.)
Part of the process is cooking the curds, bringing them all the way up to 120F degrees -- by far the highest temp I've had to hit for cooking curds (cheddar only neeeds to go to 104F). Then there's the stirring...and stirring... and stirring. I was definitely happy to make use of my motorized stirrer!
Pictured above is the cheese after pressing overnight, floating in a saturated brine solution. Tonight I'll take it out of the brine and start aging. The aging is a bit more specific on this one: One week in the cave (50-55F, 85% humidity), then 2-3 weeks at room temp, and then back in the cave (45F, 80% humidity) for at least three months. No wax on this one, either, so it'll be interesting to see how it fares. I'll keep you posted, of course!
2 gal. Trader Joe's Organic Whole Milk
1/4 tsp. freeze-dried Thermophilic Starter
1/8 tsp. freeze-dried Propionic shermanii
1/4 tsp. Double-Strength Liquid Vegetable Rennet
1 gal. Saturated Brine Solution