Author Topic: Waxed Pressed Cheeses - Wax Cracked At Top Like Can Opener  (Read 577 times)

Offline TAMARA

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Waxed Pressed Cheeses - Wax Cracked At Top Like Can Opener
« on: July 02, 2012, 06:19:21 AM »
Hi Cheesemakers,

I've recently begun waxing some of my firmer cheese with the latest being a herbed cheddar. It didn't really need waxing as I like the natural rind, but i thought i would try it and allow the rind to stay quite fresh and soft and I've done some in the last few weeks and had no problems at all.

I have been away for a week and just discovered that most of the batch of 12 cheeses have a significant crack around the top of the cheese. The cheeses are small cylinders and the crack is almost like i have opened a can and left the lid ajar... so the wax seems to have cracked around the edge and lifted slightly.

There doesn't appear to be moisture seapage and I think there isn't mould either...

I think the cheese was dry enough but it seems logical to me that there might ahve been a build up in pressure inside the wax but i don't know why.

Should i strip the wax and re-wax or just leave them to form a natural rind.

Thanks for any advice...

Regards,

TAMARA


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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Waxed Pressed Cheeses - Wax Cracked At Top Like Can Opener
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2012, 06:23:37 AM »
Those questions produce very different outcomes. It's akin to asking the question " I want to make jam. Should I make peach jam or strawberry jam".

If you do a natural rind, it opens the surface to ambient flora, encourages gas exchange, and facilitates drying out. Gives one the option to treat with a wash, or to wrap in bandage.

In wax, that's pretty much it. You let it sit and wait out the maturation time. The flavors and approaches are very different, and their aging conditions are different, too, with wax needing less humidity. Pick one that's right for you and your lifestyle and work. Natural rind cheeses are often more work than waxed, for example.
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Offline TAMARA

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Re: Waxed Pressed Cheeses - Wax Cracked At Top Like Can Opener
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2012, 07:08:15 AM »
Thank Linuxboy, I must not have been very clear in my original message.

I wasn't really asking what the best approach is for cheese, but rather, given that the wax has now cracked, what is the best way to handle this batch for example, if i was to strip the wax and re-wax, would i expect it to crack again as a function of something in the cheese that is producing pressure... or could it just have been too moist when it was originally waxed?

Thanks though,

REGARDS, Tamara

Offline Tomer1

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Re: Waxed Pressed Cheeses - Wax Cracked At Top Like Can Opener
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2012, 07:15:11 AM »
You might want to try a cheese plastic coating and then wax.  This way any tiny cracks in the wax are less significant as it turns into mear moisture barrier. (any mold growth is "covered" by the coating)
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Offline Mtnman28749

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Re: Waxed Pressed Cheeses - Wax Cracked At Top Like Can Opener
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2012, 02:04:27 PM »
Tamara, I was experiencing cracks in my cheese also. I had leakage of a liquid also, but I was storing my cheese rounds on edge, so the liquid (whey) leaked out and then mold formed around the leak. The following is an answer I got from Jim Wallace at Cheesemaking.com. I hope this helps.
The whey leaking out of the cheese is the tip off for me. This is typical of late acid development caused by molding the curds with too much moisture. This moisture contains lactose, which the bacteria will continue to convert to lactic acid while the cheese is being pressed and continuing on the aging shelf. This is usually accompanied by leaking whey during aging. Unfortunately this will cause the cheese to become quite acidic and crumbly with aging.
The solution for this is to make sure that your curds become dry enough before molding and press. Proper ripening of the milk before adding rennet and maintaining the proper temperature can do this. Your final control is stirring the curds well and long enough so that are dry enough.
In the final stages of cheese making it is important to watch the temp and time of stirring. If the curds are "mushy" they are not ready to mold. They need to form individual curds and when squeezed in the hand they should be dry enough to separate with little effort.
The general test for this is to gather a small clump of curds in the hand and compress it. Then with a little thumb pressure, see if the mass breaks apart easily into separate curds. If it does the curd is ready to place in the mold and press.


Also cutting your cheese into the small pieces would cause it to dry out more quickly. Always make the largest cheese you can and then age it before cutting. When it is ripe you can cut the wheel and re-wax the portions for future.


   ... jim
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