Quite welcome! ....the hygrometer has worked better than expected, and the pH meter has given me good results as well, even though it is a bit of a pain to use.
My hygrometer is currently showing me 99% RH in my mini cave, and once I got there I have to wipe down condensation, so it appears to be on the up and up. The temp it displays matches an analog thermometer I have to a T...so no complaints whatsoever with it.
Regarding the lard solution...makes sense. Thanks for the suggestion! I have not had a cracking problem yet, but am still a cheese newbie so it's just a matter of time